It is a sacrifice she marked as a downside to being a sportswoman, but says she "can't give up halfway".
There have been other difficult moments, most notably in 2014, when she was almost dropped from the national team after suffering an injury to her left knee just before crucial competitions - the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and the Diving World Cup.
"It was my lowest point. I had less than one month to a competition and the doctor said I couldn't dive for six months."
But Pandelela made sure that she bounced back from the incident by jumping back into the pool one week later.
"It was painful but I could still endure it," she said.
Out of the pool, she is completing her degree in sports management at Universiti Malaya, juggling assignments with her full-time commitment to diving. Though she could opt to live outside the training centre, she stuck to the dorm.
"That way she can sleep till the last moment!" her manager Jolene Knight said, as Pandelela burst out laughing.
Her managers described her as playful, cheeky and inquisitive when she is not training, attributes that have kept the diver well-loved by fans who follow her on social media.
With photos and captions that regular Malaysians can relate to - a photo of her holding a bowl of chilli pan mee, her favourite, garnered over 1,000 likes on Instagram - it is not hard to see why she is one of the most popular personalities in Malaysian sport.
Her popularity is helped by the fact that she continues to make waves in the sport.
Currently ranked fourth in the world for the 10m platform by Fina, she is a regular medallist on the world stage, with her most recent success a bronze for the synchronised 10m platform, with long-time partner Leong Mun Yee, during April's World Series leg in Russia.
Based on her current performance, team manager Chen forecasts another medal from Pandelela during the Rio Olympics.
"If Lela can maintain five dives without fumbling, she stands a good chance of winning the bronze," she said.
Unfazed by the country's heavy expectations, Pandelela just hopes that her performance as a diver would help create more interest in the sport.
"In Malaysia, diving is not as reputable as badminton or cycling, so we need this kind of exposure to make the sport more popular."