How a Challenge to Fit in Her Wedding Dress Changed Her Life

There is nothing better than to look absolutely awesome in your wedding dress. Every girl’s dream…

Marichelle Schelhase decided to get into shape for her wedding day because a challenge always pushed her harder and motivated her more. She saw the Body Makeover Challenge from USN when she purchased Fitness magazine and decided to enter. The rest, as they say, is history.

What made you take notice of your unhealthy weight?

fitness mag shop

When I saw a photo of myself  with a friend I realized that this is not what I wanted to look like. I decided right there and then to stop wishing and start doing!

How did you feel about your weight?

I didn’t feel good about my body or weight and I had a very low self-esteem. My closet only consisted of long jeans and track suits. I did not have the self confidence to wear dresses or short pants.

What did it take to get you on the path to transformation?

My husband and I decided to get into shape for our wedding day. I bought Fitness magazine that month and that was when I saw the Body Makeover Challenge from USN. I decided to enter and that was where it all started.

What type of training and/or diet did you follow as part of your transformation?

I immediately started to cut out all starches and sweets. I also decided to steam all my food and eating smaller portions. My husband and I made a commitment to work out six times a week.

Who helped you along the way, personally and/or professionally?

I met my husband, Callie Schelhase, in the gym. Callie helped me a lot by preparing my meals and also dieting with me. It was extremely challenging to stick to a training and eating regimen when your body only wanted you to quit. Callie helped and supported me a lot! I also had a personal trainer who assisted me with dieting, training, posing and motivation.

1240x660_transform3What drove you to achieve your goal?

I read inspirational quotes when I was feeling down just to keep me motivated. One of these quotes kept me going: “Work until your idols become your rivals.”

What did you learn from your transformation?

Nothing is impossible. I’ve always looked at the girls in the magazines for motivation and inspiration. I’ve personally experienced the amazing feeling of achieving my goals when I stood next to USN brand ambassador and Face of Fitness Alrieta de Wet on the Rossi stage.

That made me realise that we all are just normal people and that hard work definitely pays off.

What message would you like to give others who might be in the same position as you were?

I’ve seen so many girls getting close to their dreams and giving up. Your mind is a very powerful. Fitness does not begin in the gym but with you.

You should:

  1. Get your mindset right
  2. Commit to pursuing your goal no matter what
  3. Give it your all in and out of the gym

Since completing the transformation challenge have you made further progress?

Yes, I made it through to the top 30 of USN Body Makeover Challenge. People around me noticed my transformation. I got married in 2015 and slacked for a bit after the wedding in March but I started to train again and have been with Rudi Fourie of Team Cold Fusion for approximately six months.

Have you achieved anything else noteworthy since your transformation?

I started running  races with my father, who is a big role model in keeping fit and healthy. I also competed in a novice show in Pretoria and the Rossi Extravaganza where I placed 5th in the Beach Bikini Open division.

What was the most difficult part of your transformation?

Definitely how and what I eat. I used to eat only two to three times a day because I thought the less I ate the more weight I would lose. Now I am eating five healthy meals a day!

How did the experience change your life?

I am living a much healthier life now. I still hang out with my friends but I keep my food and drink choices as healthy as possible. In the off-season I would still have a cheat meal in the week to spoil myself!

Other than the physical changes, do you find that going through this transformation has changed other areas of your life?

Exercise has become therapy and not just to better my physical appearance. If I had a rough day there is simply nothing better than to put on my earphones and go for a jog or hit the weights to unwind.

1240x660_transform2Quick facts:

Age: 25
Occupation: Teacher
Current body weight: 53kg
Previous body weight: 67kg
Current body fat percentage: 7.18%
Previous body fat percentage: 24%
Favourite food: Chicken salad
Favourite exercises: Dumbbell lateral raise, hanging leg-raises and hip extensions
Favourite supplements: USN CLA-1000, multi-vitamin, L-Glutamine and BCAAs
Top diet tip: Eat clean and train mean. Nothing tastes as good as being fit feels!

Author: Tanja Schmitz

Co-Publisher at Maverick Media and until recently, Fitness Magazine editor. Tanja now manages multiple digital platforms, consults and create exciting campaigns and opportunities in the fitness industry. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.