Bell Smith is a belly-dancing beauty who embraces her curves because she knows they belong to a healthy body. For a time in her life, Bell let stress and grief take hold and she forgot to focus on her own well-being. Not anymore. After a 67-pound weight loss and mind-shift, Bell has transformed her life and her body.
More from Bell in her own words –
Tell me when your weight struggles began. As a child, I could eat what I wanted and get away with it, but when I lost both my parents in the span of two years and then job stress piled on, so did the weight. I experienced out-of-control eating, excess carb intake and I really overdid the fast food.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? I saw a family picture of myself in 2009 and thought, “I’m fat.” Since my dad’s side of the family carried a lot of weight and both parents had high blood pressure and diabetes, I knew I had to take charge.
How did you lose the weight? I knew I had gained weight, yet I had been belly dancing since 2001 and my troupe accepted me as I was. I didn’t realize how much weight I’d gained. I started off by walking in the early morning with friends while it was dark so no one could see me, then signed up for a gym membership.
After seeing the photo of myself in 2009, I said, ‘I’m done’ and joined the Medifast plan.
Through Medifast I dropped 50 pounds but then, BAM, I had a medical scare from a blood clot. I had to change my diet, gained some weight back, but then recovered. In January 2013, it was time to serious again. I hired a local trainer, increased my workouts, and signed up with bodybuilder, Big Frank! As a bodybuilder and lifestyle coach, he not only helped with workouts, but with my nutrition goals, as well.
Did you have any “ah ha” moments along the way? Being aware of my body, learning not to weigh every day, that the scale does not show inches lost and using side-by-side pictures of myself and the fit of my clothes as a guide.
I know I’ll never be a skinny size, I’m fine with that, yet I am amazed I can still carry this weight and look so much different because I’m healthy.
Current/future goals? Big changes, great results and loving life. I’d like to build more muscle to squeeze out the fat, be comfortable in a bathing suit and continue to get healthy with yoga, weight training and belly dancing.
No supplements, no pills – all my nutrition comes from food on the advice of my doctor.
Advice you’d give to other people struggling to lose weight? Don’t let your mind trick you into quitting. You owe it to yourself to have the best healthy life possible