All right, now, if you are just tuning in, is now seven oh five and we got our group on today, OK? And if you didn’t tune in last night, last week we were hit with Miss Olivia Busby and it was awesome. And today we have Miss QandA walls. Now she is a woman who is an entrepreneur, author and a life coach. And we are going to be here today talking about the growing issue of women’s physical and emotional health. She also has a business call, Tupelo Rose Candle Boutique, which will be shown throughout the show tonight. And she also has another business called Bella Fitness Group, which is what we’re going to be breaking down tonight. So, hello, Chaunda Walls. Hey there. Thank you so much for having me. Always, always. How are you doing today?
I’m doing pretty good. Doing pretty good. Considering, you know, we’ve made it to 20. That’s right. That’s always a good thing.
So, hey, let’s speak to our audience. Let us know that you say. All right. That’s all right. Let’s get into it a little bit. So can you tell us a little bit about your business so that everybody here understand what we’re doing tonight?
Ok? Yeah. So I started the business in 2009.
And so you thought it was a business that was blues.
So this is Bella Fitness Group. So that’s like my first year that I’ve had for I guess that’s about 13 years now. But it started it was just something that happened because I had been well, this kind of a long story. So I’ll just kind of do a quick nutshell. But so I was married for like 18, 16 years. We had a family, three kids. And during that time, you know, after my last daughter was born, I had a really difficult childbirth, almost died. It was this whole thing, so traumatic. And so I suffered from depression, you know, postpartum depression at that time. And it just kind of more than it it lasted eight years. So coming out of the eight years of depression, within that time, I gained over one hundred pounds closer to like one hundred and thirty pounds or so during that time, so and so when I was just completely miserable. It was eight years was just like misery. But I was a stay at home mom. I was a kid. I was married. It was just this whole thing and that was great. And it is a blessing to be able to do that. But I knew that there was more that I was supposed to do with my life and that I had so many things inside of me that I didn’t want to die before I got them out. Right. So I was depressed. I recognize that. And one day it was literally like a day, just a random day. I read an article and something clicked for me and I realized, hey, you need to get healthy and this is a way to do it. And it was it was this book. It was by Bob Greene. It was called The Best Life Diet. But he used to be Oprah’s trainer. And I tell the story so many times when she got, like, really small, like years and years ago. You remember that guy.
So you kind of like Oprah in a way like this. But reading this book for me was
Like he became, you know, my sensei almost when it was when he was just but his book was just talking about eating in the way that God intended for us to eat. For example, it was not this diet. It was not this crazy thing, because I tried all of that. I had done every single thing, starvation, laxative, abuse, you know, just like the what is the Cabbage Patch cut cabbage soup diet. Like, I had done everything right. Nothing really worked. So anyway, that happened. I read it. I got it. And I just started it one day and I started walking. It ended up losing hundred twenty pounds. It took me eight months. So my story of the weight loss was featured back then in the Atlanta Journal newspaper and it went well, you know, they had a weight loss success story and some like and they may still have it, but someone to just sit that article in. And from there I started hearing from so many people around the country who want to do the same thing like healthy. I’m miserable, too. I need to lose weight. And so that’s how I started the business. I wasn’t that wasn’t I have two degrees is something totally different, like one is in biology. Like that wasn’t the plan, but it was the plan. So. Right. That was the view.
You are like the circumference of wonder working women really for the egg with that is it.
Yeah. To kind of come from there and to be you know, because I. Had never had a weight issue before I was the prom queen, the pageants, I was doing all of that. I am in college. I was just this whole thing. You got married and it wasn’t womp, womp, womp. It was with getting married and everything. It was just that I lost sight of myself. So my mental health was the thing that was suffering and I had put that on the back burner. And so then the evolution from that has become the Bella fitness group. And that just means it’s just like a platform for me to help other people. And it started by just me going into people’s homes at first. When I first started the business, I would just go there and work them out because I could also stay at home mom. I couldn’t really afford to have my own space eventually. Come later, I got my own studio. So we still have the fitness studio we are in in Lawrenceville, Georgia. We have a studio there, but we’ve been closed during covid. So we’ve been doing all of our stuff online, though. So we do our work out for some training or small groups online. But I have done so many things to kind of get the word out about the importance of not only how we look, but how we feel on the inside first.
And interrupt me for just a second to go back before we move a little forward, because it’s a question I got on my mind that I want to x about postpartum and women who cannot recognize that postpartum in a way that kind of can say this new experience. And a lot of women don’t even know that they experienced this for eight years. Right. So do you believe that understanding that you went through this postpartum and you had to be on a road to recovery within your physical self, your mental self? How do you work on that with your clients?
Well, so that’s really, really an important question. So a lot of the people who come to me really do have an emotional breakdown or some sort of thing that they need to break through first. So I think that when people have a weight issue, it’s usually far greater than the weight. It’s the you have the weight issue is not because of the it’s just there are so many deeper issues that we have to unravel. We have to kind of there have been covered up because we’ve learned how to survive, especially as African-American women in this country. We have had to learn how to put it all of our burdens aside, what’s going on in our souls and spirit aside. So they carry our families forward so that we can birth children, so that we can birth businesses, so that we can do the things that keep the world going. We care about carry that. So when they come, by the time they me, I’m like, what we’re going to do is put all that on this table and then we’re going to start working on you and your soul and then work. So that is where we do a lot of the behind the scenes work. OK, so like let’s talk about how that made you feel.
You yes. You ate the whole pizza and you ate the whole thing of Oreos. But let’s talk about how you were feeling and why you are using food as your drug of choice, because for many of myself, that was my drug of choice. And so we are using many of us are using food and negative lifestyle behaviors to cover up from pain. So some sort of pain. And I like to that’s why I’m a little bit different with my thing. Yeah. I could you know, I could go in and just get the money, get the money. I know where the money resides so I can really go and get the money and not keep saving people’s hearts and minds and allowing them to be their become their best selves, you know, and that’s just through talking and really evaluating. Sometimes, you know, I have homework where I’ll give people some time to journal and ask them to do that, whether they share it with me or not. It’s about like, hold on, we have to really inspect this. Like, we can’t just keep brushing you aside because you actually matter and you’ve got to get happy before you bring in whole like from the inside out.
So that’s kind of just like my wellness and fitness. It’s more about, you know, we see all the grand girls and they are like, really beautiful. They may not necessarily be emotionally whole. And there’s a thing about like I want you to know, where are you emotionally? How is your soul? How are you beautiful. How is your soul? How are you feeling on the inside? And then we have to figure out whether that person is ready to do the work to go through that, because it can be painful. I mean, I’ve had let people say that I can’t help them. Like, I had to like the money on the table because I know that no one either they they weren’t ready emotionally to do it. And they were it was kind of like if someone is telling you, hey, I see this thing in you that I want you to. And I’m going to help you look at it and it’s ugly and it’s going to hurt you to deal with this, unless they kind of get like it’s like I’m the enemy. But really, let me be I can help you help be the savior for whatever that thing is. So it’s just been like that.
I’m sorry. How do you combat the Instagram and Facebook models with your clients? Because, you know, it took me a long time to love my body the way that it is. And, you know, a lot of times if you are overweight and you lose weight, you have to deal with how your body is going to look without going to a doctor or going somewhere to remove anything. So how do you combat those issues within your business to help your clients overcome that fact with their health?
Yeah, well, I think that with social media, especially for our young girls, that’s so difficult. You know, it wasn’t really out yet when I when I was starting my journey back and we still had the flip phone. So like Instagram was like, I am old now. I am. Oh, like, well, we didn’t I have. So I was just able to do it right. Because I compare sort of this guideline that society said, you know, you you need to be ninety eight pounds. You cannot you got to take the perfect you gotta put this filter so you will get to me, you know, I will go ahead and be honest with them that that when you do lose weight you will have to deal with what you’ve done to your body. And skin is an organ. And what people don’t realize is you gain weight, your body generates new skin. So it has two new skin to accommodate the excess fat. So when you lose that, the skin doesn’t have a way to just disappear. You may have some laxity in electricity in your skin, but you can do that. You can kind of offset that by doing weight training. So I just let people know that up front, hey, we want to not be so much about how you looked, but when you do the work to get healthy, the side effect of that is that you’re going to look better.
So I tell them, let’s go with like that. You want to be perfect. I do want you to give me all like maybe a picture of if you want to look like Serena, OK, that may or may not be possible. It just depends on your genetic structure, how much time you’re willing to put in, what kind of nutrition you’re willing to sacrifice for the food. But I don’t think that we should have like a set standard because your own beauty is going to be individual to you. And yeah, it’s hard to not compare, though, because as I age, you know, look, I now I’m like comparing my brother. Like, you look like you have in five years later, you’re like, this is just real talk. I’ve been following this lady on Instagram. I need to get some fillers. And so as soon as she is, she opens up her. But I’m not like a guest looking. I think usually we do. But that whole piece of do it when you are emotionally healed and healed now, you just do it because now, hey, you did the work. You want to just do what you want to do to be your best self, but not in comparison to anybody else, really.
Right. You know, I think that that’s very important because we learn a lot of this behavior from growing up as well, depending on how our parents were raised and how they see beauty in terms of weight. And I think that what you are doing is awesome because, one, I’m you right now. It’s hard to figure out what I want to eat and make sure it’s OK and talking about nutrition. And it’s like you want to be healthy, you want to eat well. But if you’re always hungry or like stars to make sure no, because they call it breakfast or whatever in the morning, make sure that that’s what will guide you throughout the day. Right? Yeah. But if I’m like I want to eat avocado and eggs and bacon in the morning and a pancake, that’s the best example of, you know, that nutrition aspect and how we can better ourselves all around. Just a snippet so people can kind of like look on your website and see what you are really about when it comes to this. Can you give us a snippet of what their nutritional body looks like for our health?
Ok, yeah, definitely. So what I what I believe in is not a quick fix for nutrition and for losing weight. So what I do is what I like with goals in the at the beginning of what they are trying to accomplish. OK, we may have a weight goal, but sometimes we most of the time I don’t go by the scale. So what I just asked people to work on is. Nutrition and the accountability with that. So what we do at Bella is once you sign up, I’ll write up a plan for you. So the meal plan is just going to be like Whole Foods is going to be like nuts, berries, healthy, fat. So you said avocado. I was like, yes, we need that. I like that. Yeah, she needs berries. So lean protein. And it’s all about figuring out what works well for your lifestyle. So if you’re a busy mom or your busy student or you guys are super busy, we have to then find meals that fit into your lifestyle that you can pack with you and take nutritionally. It’s 80 percent is about the nutrition. There’s a 10 component that is that revolves around your genetic makeup. And then 10 percent is the so. So for me, the exercise is the easy part. So what we do with the workouts, when you log on, you might feel horrible and broke down and like you worked out, but that is only a 10 percent of the whole process. 80 percent is what you’re doing when you’re not with me. So how what’s been working and effective the past three years of the program is that I have people text me pictures of everything that they eat and drink every day for at.
Yeah. Like you have to have you know, you just take a picture so that the meal that you mentioned, you would snap a pic, text it to me and I’ll give you some feedback on it now. So most people do really well after the first five weeks, but sometimes they get off track. They start by saying, hey, can I start by telling you pictures? I’m like, yes, that that means that they know, like, if you have it. And what we do is just try to help them find some balance. You don’t it’s not really about being super strict, but you need to eat clean about 80 percent of the week. And what eating clean means is for your body type, for your goals. So it’s different for each person. So you may want to just press your overall body fat composition that’s different than weight loss. So its goal might be a little bit different. And we structure the workouts to kind of add to the nutrition. But the first thing is the food. We got to get the food right. If you’re addicted to the food like many of us are, that is going to be hard. So, you know, I just recommend that people be willing to make the changes with the food. You got to let the food go. It can’t be your best friend anymore. So I try to get people to try new things, other things to replace because I’ve had that.
You not like talking to me right now. I’m like my neighbor and I am in
Friend, but this is the thing I want. That’s what I’m saying. I used to be like that to you. And so but like the young lady that I couldn’t work with anyone. I mean, you know, it really broke my heart that I had to tell her that I just didn’t think that this relationship will work out. But because she had an unusual attachment to food, so much so that kind of like really getting mad at me for telling her the things that she needed to eat and then holding her to that. Like if if she said, can I have the fries? And I said, no, she kind of was like pouting and mad at me. Like, I can’t help you with
That, you know, sometimes because I’ve been in this part before not getting mad at some tough because some healthy stuff I can cook and I’m at the bar. Yeah. When I go to the grocery store, if you can afford all the healthy stuff, you like that and like, how can I eat healthy and you look up recipes and stuff and you try to go get you like OK, this is expensive. I’m get this because it’s cheaper. How do you also work like that with people to fix that? Because a lot of times you go and you’re like, oh, this is expensive, I can get that, I’ll get the cheaper, you know, thing.
So I totally get that. And my number one thing that I believe when it comes to that is that you’re worth it. So I always let people know that you don’t have to choose the cheapest food. You have to take your budget to the next level so that you can accommodate higher quality food. So so all calories aren’t equal. All foods are not equal. So if you have how you go to the grocery store and they get you can get that whole big bag of fried chicken like it’s not fried, but it’s just like the parts of the chicken, like it’s good for four dollars. But if you want to get chicken breasts, maybe it’s ten dollars, so. Right. But the chicken breasts are going to help you fight that fat because you’re going to be able to build or lean muscle mass. All right. Also, chicken probably doesn’t hasn’t been spiked with hormones and the animals were raised more humanely. You know, you don’t want it necessarily to an animal that’s been like tortured. You know what I mean? Like, I write my life when I want to eat an animal that was happy. So, so but there is one other thing before. So I yeah, I think about that. But also the toxins that are in the hormones, we ingest that. And there is a hormone called an oxygen that is found in some of the pesticides and some of the antibiotics put into the veggies and the fruit. So you do want to look at your budget because that is a concern, especially during what what we’re going through right now.
Where can you put money aside to put forth towards having the healthier things? And so once you if you can buy it in bulk, that’s another thing I always recommend. If you can do a Sam’s Club membership or whatever, it is going to last you. And then what I recommend is meal prepping each week so that you’re never without the foods that you need every day. So you know how you get that hunger thing and it’s like a penny you want to grab the quickest thing. Well, you’re not going to get to that point like the broccoli or not. You’re not going to wait for the chicken to thaw. You’re going to grab back to go to grab something. So always prepare in advance. So we just had a young lady sign up yesterday, Senator, the whole meal plan, it’s like this whole pack of information. And so she’s she went to the store. She’s like, I feel empowered. I’m like, yes, you’re going to be successful. Because now she’s realizing the stuff that she was buying, it was healing her body. So you have to fuel your body with foods that have higher quality. You want to know where your food was made? How was it raised? You know, I so choose restaurants that are sourcing their ingredients, you know, just in a more natural way. So if, like, for example,
Find that information even at the grocery store, like if I go to the grocery store and I’m like, OK, I want to start and I want to see where I can get the best me or the best food, because wherever I mean that as I like to keep market and then go to your store to get my vegetables and stuff about, even when I go to the grocery store, I say if I’m like, I don’t want to go to the meat market. How do I know that the meat that I’m buying at the grocery store is like good meat or get product from the body?
Ok, that is a great question. So what you want to do is usually you want to try to choose organic as often as possible and look for hormone free. Read your labels, look for no additives, look for words like all natural is really deceptive. So you want to look it should say that they have not they raise their say, for example, we’re looking at chicken or beef. So you want to do pasture raised beef. So cows that were allowed to graze and they were stuck in the kennels and all of these things are shot in them to make them grow super fast so that these make more money because they’re selling us poisonous meats, basically. So you want to panic meat as often as possible. So Whole Foods, you would go to sprouts, you would go. I know Publix started carrying a little organic meat section. You will pay more. So the goal is buy it and freeze it so that you can stock it up and you’re not eating it. You’re going to space it out. So you’re going to be able to plan your meat right now. So I would veggies there is a list that you can Google. It is it tells you which vegetables you should and fruits you should buy organic. So in other words, like for an avocado, you could get those. I think this season they’re OK to get non organic, some that they have not they don’t have as many pesticides. I think it’s the dirty dozen if you guys want to Google that. Yeah. So Google.
And yet the skin on a grape, if they spray that with pesticides, you’re eating everything that they just spray and so, so you can wash it, but it’s ingested into the skin. So things like an avocado, they have a tougher skin and they are usually able to raise those with minimal pesticide. So I always try to choose organic. My veggies improves, I choose organic and frozen so that they last longer. I don’t ever buy the cheapest fruits, like when you just go out there and they’re just laying out, I don’t use a section in the bag that’s organic and nobody wants to pay the extra ten, ten cents for. And I go, OK,
You know what I’ve learned is because I’ll be volunteering at a grocery store, sometimes they put out a new stuff on the back. So yeah. See there. Grab that stuff.
Yeah. Go around site. But the quality of the foods that you are investing yourself in your body. But guess what? We’re trying to heal your body. So that means we have to heal from a cellular level of neurologically. And then we talked about muscular the muscle level, but that’s what the work has. But you want to feel your body with foods that are. You know how they were raised. So when we go to eat out, that’s why I don’t eat everywhere like I’m not you won’t find me a Mexican, you will not find me a Chinese restaurant. You will not buy me a lot of places. I got about two or three places that I go if I’m going to eat out. And that’s because I study them. I like their I like how they pattern their businesses. I like that they care about the way they get their food. So for example, there is just one that I have been going there since I lost weight. Then I went there almost every day when I was losing weight because I liked how they source their veggies, which are locally sourced. Where are they? Go to local farmers on the meats, no hormones, antibiotic free meat, fresh avocados, frozen, and they don’t have a microwave on the premises. That’s good to me. That means you go to the farm. Are you going to cut it? You will make my guacamole. And I like that. So it caused a lot of Chipotle. I wear that deal. Yeah, well, I had to I had to think about that. So we’re just a very few places that I, I know that I can trust. So when you when you want to shop for food, I would say start looking for the quality of the food of the veg and I think you’ll be healthier that way.
Ok, well we are coming to a close. And I just want to add one last question about the biggest challenge that you had in changing. I think it’s a good note to close on because everybody can want to change. Everybody can be like, I’m going to do it. But changing your mind is a difficult thing to do. So what would you say your biggest challenges and how do they help you to be consistent? Because consistency is also a big thing with changing as well. So how was that affect? And on that note,
Ok, I think that’s a really, really important that is something that I wrote a book a couple of years ago. And so in the book, I started the book out by
The name of your book so we can look it up.
Oh, yeah, please, guys. It’s still on Amazon. It is breaking into me. I usually used to have a copy of it. I’m not on it, but it used to be here. But it’s called Breaking into Me is the name of the book. You can look on Amazon or Google it on Facebook or whatever, but it was about my journey, but just a three hundred and sixty five day devotional. But I started the book out with the premise of that we have every change that we make. Everything that we want to accomplish starts with a single a single decision that you make. You have to make the decision. Like the young lady that I was telling you about, she never made the decision to change. And when you do that, you have to be willing to change regardless of everything that’s going to come at you. Because now the universe sense is that you want change and transformation is going. But guess what? Just like a rose that’s going to bloom, there’s a lot that happens with Rose to become as beautiful as it is. It’s got the thorns. It’s got this whole thing that it’s it’s amazing. But once you make the decision to change, you have to understand that you’ve got to do everything that it takes to achieve the goal.
And a lot of us fall short once things get challenging, once the scale doesn’t show up. You lost twenty four hours once. You don’t look like the girl, you know, that whoever was dating, you know, once you don’t have the hair and the nails and the skin in the butt and the boobs, it’s not about that. You made a decision that you wanted to do what you needed to do to be healthy, strong, vibrant. You have to start there. And until you’re ready, everything that you will do will fail. And unfortunately, it took me about out of that eight year period where I was overweight. It took me like ten times to try to find the way path. And then the path was it turned out to be the easiest one was the simplest one for me to learn how to eat properly. So I didn’t cut out a whole food group. I didn’t like do this. So they didn’t have a choice. Trainers, they didn’t have detoxed tea. And this girl up here, you can have a lollipop to lose weight on Instagram like they didn’t like that was not out. Like you were like, yeah, the pop. You can’t drink this tea at times. I’m like, yeah, you know, I was watching this girl and it just was infuriating me.
I’m like, why are you telling them that? That is not true? You know, where this waste train trainer, first of all, you should be exercising with a weight trainer and it can be detrimental to your your cardiovascular health, you know? So but once you once you want to commit to something, I suggest doing everything that it takes to reach your goal and then don’t limit yourself to a time. It took me eighteen months. I’ve helped people lose one hundred pounds in less than a year now. So just over the years I’ve been helping people. But it was because they were dedicated and they wanted. To do it, so make the decision, stick to it, and it takes as long as it takes because you’re worth it, like literally you’re worth that extra three dollars for the good chicken, like. So if anybody to the take away for tonight would be that you are worth it and that you should go the long way around. Don’t just go around the base of the mountain, go up the hill, go up the mountain, do the do all of that stuff because you learn so much, you know, and it’s got to be worth it, you know.
Thank you so much, Miss QandA, for being here and for everybody. Once again, if you if at first you don’t succeed, you can start again. Yes. This is a good way to walk into closing the month of Wonder Working Woman’s Hour. And I really appreciate you being here and helping us all get our shit together, if I could say I like that. So thank you so much.
Yes. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, everybody.
Have a good night. I love you guys. Thank you.