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Bell Smith Lost 67 Pounds – “I’ll Never Be Skinny But I Can Still Carry Weight and Be Healthy”

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 -

Bell Smith collage

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.


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Kara Allbaugh Lost 80 Pounds – “I Was a Food Addict and then Something Shifted. I’m So Glad.”

My name is Kara, I’m from Nebraska, and I was a food addict. This was my first introduction to Kara Allbaugh, this week’s True Weight Loss Story inspiration. When I received Kara’s email I was struck by her honesty and touched by her story. This mama said, “No more. I’m worthy,” and then she put in the hard work to lose 80 pounds.

Kara Allbaugh 1

More from Kara in her own words -

Tell me when your weight struggles began. After I finished with school and settled down, it seemed like a downhill slide from there. When I got pregnant, I just gave up on how I looked. I just assumed that’s what happens.

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I thought I needed to eat for two, and I did. Fast food became an addiction.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? Wow, so many things. My biggest reason was that I wanted to stop being miserable. I didn’t want to be trapped in a flabby body anymore. I wanted to wear anything I wanted, not search forever for something that might make my body look cute.


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Travel Tips from Eli Sapharti, Author of “From Fat Boy to Fit Man”

eli sapharti

After conquering obesity, losing over 100 lbs, and getting in the best shape of my life, I have learned that when I am taken out of my regular daily routine and environment I can easily fall prey to old eating habits. One of the most challenging situations for me has been while traveling.

This reminds me of a particular airplane trip that I took a few years ago. One that I would soon like to forget if it weren’t for the lessons that I learned.

As I prepared to leave on a three-day business trip, I made sure I had everything I needed. Or so I thought. I had the right clothing, toothbrush, shaving blades, deodorant, and all the necessary toiletries. (I even packed extra undies.) What I didn’t prepare for were my meals that I was so used to  having ready during my regular weekly routine at home.

My first challenge was when my flight was delayed and I found myself at the airport for an unexpected extra 2 hours. I was starving. (Well, not literally, but I WAS very hungry.) Since I didn’t want to sit at a restaurant and order grilled chicken and veggies (which would have been the best choice), I grabbed what I THOUGHT was the next best choice. A prepackaged turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread. Healthy, right? WRONG! I later learned that this sandwich had more fat, more sugar and more carbs than if I had ordered a burger a a sit down restaurant. Big oops.

My next challenge was while in the air.  I don’t know about you, but I get especially hungry while traveling. Perhaps its not “real” hunger, but it seems these instances awakens my inner “snack monster”. So, I snacked. The problem was that the only snacks available were potato chips, cookies, or honey roasted peanuts. So of course I chose the peanuts—they were obviously the best option, right? Probably, but the issue was that one little bag (ok FOUR little bags) of peanuts didn’t satisfy me. So since eating FIVE bags of peanuts would have been excessive, I had a bag of chips instead. After all that saltiness I got a major sweet craving, which made me reach for a bag of chocolate chip cookies! Talk about a binge!

Luckily, after this binge I fell asleep and when I woke up, we were ready to land. Thank goodness for that or I may have been charged an extra fee for excessive snacking on-board!

The good thing about this trip was that it forced me to think and prepare before embarking on any trip, whether on a plane, a road trip with the kids, or even my honeymoon cruise which I cannot wait to go on!

Here are some rules I learned from this experience, which you too can use to avoid a travel binge:

1) Calculate how many hours you will be traveling and pack adequate meals for that time frame. For instance, pack a healthy sandwich or two that you can take with you on a plane, train, or automobile. By eating real meals you’ll reduce your in-between meal cravings.
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Jessica Rogers Lost 110 Pounds – “I Was Eating Myself to Death”

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“I’m in tears knowing that I will get a chance to encourage more people. It is my heart’s desire to help make people realize their potential, overcome fear and reach their goals.” This is the reply we received from Jessica Rogers when we told her she would be featured on our True Weight Loss segment. After losing 110 pounds, Jessica is on a mission to tell others, “It’s all about your mindset.”

One night realized I was literally eating myself to death

When Jessica was a teenager, a lack of exercise, eating a poor diet and yo-yo dieting all contributed to her weight gain. But in times of clarity, she knew that it was the way she ate, that was often the biggest problem. Even in her adult years, Jessica admits that she would often eat until she became physically ill. One day, she had a startling thought, “If I don’t make a change for the better I won’t live long enough to see my children grow.”

How she lost 35 pounds in two months
Once Jessica got herself in the right mindset, she started a two-fold approach to losing weight. She joined a commercial weight loss program to help track calories, then she bought the DVD, Walk Away the Pounds and committed to it faithfully. After losing 35 pounds in two months by utilizing these two methods, she knew she was on the right track.


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Mike Kenney Lost Almost 100 Pounds by Living the Mantra: “Eat Clean and Train Dirty.”

Michael Kenney is a father of two, and Daddy Mike is cut! It’s hard to believe that 90 pounds ago, he was pre-diabetic and experiencing crippling migraines. With hard work, miles of spinning under his smaller belt, and tracking portion sizes, Mike says he feels better than he has in years. This Father’s Day, he’ll celebrate with daughters Jamie and Jordan, and continue to set a healthy example for his girls.

Mike Kenney collage 1

We love his mantra: Eat clean and train dirty.

More from Mike in his own words -

When did your weight struggles begin? I have always struggled with my weight. I played sports in high school, and this kept it under control but after I stopped playing sports, over the years my weight just kept increasing.

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? Definitely overeating. Portion sizes played a huge factor. It was not unusual for me to eat a whole pizza by myself. I really didn’t know how many calories I was consuming, or how many I was burning.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? Health issues. I had a routine checkup with my doctor and when my blood work came back, I was pre-diabetic. I was also suffering from frequent ocular migraines.


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