Hello “Kids” of All Ages! I am a new blogger on LK’s site – my name is “Lori Bell” and I am honored to be a part of the Louie’s Kid’s Blog. I hope my words help at least one person on the road to weight loss, health, and fitness. As a former instructor for the Richard Simmons “Anatomy Asylum” I have faced my own struggles with weight and exercise my entire life.

I was born a very BIG baby. They called it “baby fat” for many years, and told me it would “come off” naturally. It never did. When they gave us the “fit” test at school (age 10)– I could not hold my own weight on the overhead bars for more than a few seconds. That feeling of despair, disappointment, and defeat ran through my body and my mind all at the same time.

When I was 13 (60 lbs overweight) I went to a camp for overweight kids for the entire Summer (“Weight Watchers” Camp). It felt like a punishment, but it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. This was the start of learning to exercise with sports like tennis, swimming, baseball, horseback riding, and engaging in major exercise/activity twice a day. I lost 30 lbs at and came out the other side a new “kid” with hope for a new body and life as I entered Jr. High. When I got home and my family saw how good I looked, they congratulated me by taking me out to a nice dinner. Maintaining what I learned at camp would be a lifelong challenge that would have me losing weight only to gain it back again.

In my 20’s– I was an instructor at Richard Simmon’s Anatomy Asylum! I won the “Best Motivation” Instructor Award and learned how helping others truly is the key to helping myself at the same time. Everyone wins! I lost over 80 lbs and became a Yoga Instructor, taught exercise classes, did private training, and wrote fitness articles. But when I stopped working there, I gained the weight back plus more over the years.

My most recent wake-up call to get into action was when I could not walk after suffering from a bad attack of gout (a metobolic disorder that causes pain in the toe and foot). I could not find a pair of shoes to fit me. I was at the end of my rope and needed help.  I called a trainer that my doctor recommended and started paying a trainer to come to my house and get me moving.  We started slow and built up gradually. I have lost over 30 lbs since then (August 2012) and I feel much better. I still have a long way to go (over 80 lbs), and I want to share my journey with you. My hope is that it will inspire you as you strive to reach your goals.

Now I have shoes that fit, I can breathe and have no chest pain. I no longer have a trainer, but I am my own trainer and pay myself now for each workout – I put the money in a fund towards an adventure vacation.

Today I went to the gym and pushed myself to do a little bit more than the last time. I helped the person next to me reset their machine and was proud to be of service, while helping myself at the same time. It seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life… and thank Goodness Gracious for this truth.

Until Next Time – I will see YOU at the gym!

Love, Lori Bell!