She's in the business of transforming bodies into better ones, and in only nine months on SXM, she's got a busy schedule. "The personal training business is going well for me here," says Chawlyn Mezas; a little lady who possesses a ton of physical strength. This chic has been an athlete since the tender age of four and now in adulthood finds herself a personal trainer.
The first time I saw Chawlyn was at the Fittest of the Rock competition earlier this year. I was amazed at her strength for her stature. As the only times I had ever seen her were in pictures, I assumed she was a bit taller. "People always think that," she said during our interview for Health & Beauty.
Chawlyn was born in the Netherlands to Curaçaolanean and Surinamese parents. At just four years old, she started synchronized swimming and gymnastics. She competed internationally around the Caribbean when her home base at the time was Curaçao. She moved to Suriname later at age nine, and was living in the Netherlands by age 17.
Although Chawlyn was super active with sports and fitness, she ended up slowing down with that to pursue her Bachelor's degree in Economics. After her graduation, she then realized this was not what she wanted to do so she went back to fitness: "I started my own company called C Girl Dance."
By age 25, Chawlyn moved to Canada and got certified as a personal trainer in Vancouver where she lived for six months. It was after this that she decided to move to St. Maarten. It's been two years and Chawlyn says she's still checking out the scene and likes it.
This tiny personal trainer has a crazy, busy schedule filled with working out, personal training, Zumba classes and classes at schools and various fitness locations. Chawlyn's schedule looks something like this: She gives personal training mostly on mornings. On Monday and Wednesday, she gives a Body Shape class at 7:00-8:00pm at Belair Fitness Centre. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, she gives Zumba classes at 7:00-8:00pm, and on Saturdays at 8:30am at I & I Fitness Centre. Also at I & I Fitness, she gives group training, which includes weights, machines, core workouts and circuit training at 8:30am, 6:00pm and 8:00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Feeling tired yet? This is so not all for Chawlyn who also gives dance classes at St. Joseph Primary, Sister Borgia and Regina schools. She teaches at INDISU dance school once a week and gives children's swimming class at Belair Fitness on Mondays and Wednesdays at 4:00pm and on Saturdays at 1:00pm. She also gives adult swimming classes and personal training classes for children ages eight-15.
Chawlyn's very busy schedule requires a specific and good eating regimen to keep up her energy but also accomplish her very own personal fitness goals as she also makes time to train herself and participate in fitness competitions. A typical breakfast for her usually consists of oatmeal, or sometimes a protein shake if she's in a real hurry. She likes to snack on a banana three times a day. For lunch, she'll have tuna with salad, or fish with quinoa and sweet potatoes and/or broccoli. Snack options are usually green apple or green tea and of course bananas, or a protein shake or egg whites with spinach.
"That's really healthy," I remark as Chawlyn replies, "Just because you are working out does not give you an excuse to eat whatever you want. That way, you'll never get the results you are looking for. Eighty percent of visible results will show up due to nutrition, but you have to exercise of course."
For dinner, Chawlyn will have a mixture of steak and some type of fish with broccoli, carrots and quinoa, or sometimes couscous "but I cannot have too much; it looks like I eat a lot and I make sure to eat every two hours to keep my metabolism burning and to prevent my body from storing fat."
In combination with this way of eating, she fits it in with the blood type diet "which has really worked for me, I've been following it for the past nine months." One tip Chawlyn gives is to make sure you eat dinner a good two hours before bed so your meal has time to digest. I had to ask Chawlyn if she had any quick favourite recipes. "Cut strips of sweet potato and fry them up in a pan using cooking spray, coconut oil or olive oil and put some cinnamon powder on top. You can also bake them, but I like the crispiness of a pan; I love to eat this with salmon," she replied.
Chawlyn's favourite "cheat meal"? "Pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms; my favourite 'cheat dessert' is chocolate ice-cream or flan or cinnastix."
Chawlyn was honoured with the title "Most Valuable Player" earlier this year at Fittest on the Rock, from where most people including myself recognize her.
If you want to know more about Chawlyn's personal training with good results, check out her website www.chawfitness.com or facebook: chaw fitness. She also has branded herself and sells cool fitness items like gym shorts, T-shirts and tank tops, but plans to expand to other necessary gym items in the future. Her slogan is her favourite quote form a book she recently read: "I want for you what I want for myself."
She likes to train at various gyms because "all the gyms have different types of equipment and I like getting different types of workouts; it's really good to get different types of workouts." She also likes to work out with different trainers when she has the chance. Even though she is certified, she is open to learning new things and seeing things from a client's perspective.
Gyms Chawlyn usually frequents are Juliet's Gym, the Country Club at Port de Plaisance, Belair Fitness Centre, I & I Fitness. "I dislike the fact that people think that I should belong to just one gym," she said.
Chawlyn is now training for the upcoming St. Maarten Day Race. She is also an IFBB Bikini Fitness Athlete and has already competed twice this year (in a Caribbean competition and then later in a National competition) placing third both times. "I like competing because I was always doing competitive sports as a child."