November 2022’s Member of the Month: Meet Orlonda Bellow!


Genesis 1:1-2

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.


July 29, 1976 was the day God brought this creation of his to the face of the earth. I may not be perfect in the eyes of others nor have I ever thought of myself as perfect, but I’m perfectly made by God. Through my younger days, I heard several negative comments about me, and I thought them as well. It caused depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. To cover all the pain, I showcased all my talents that God gifted me with athleticism, decorating, floral designing, and candle making (to name a few); however, my heart still wasn’t fulfilled. It was still missing something because I still carried what was truly my biggest crutch – “obesity”.  No matter how successful I was, that happiness was never there because I didn’t love myself because of the way I looked on the outside despite being a good person on the inside. I needed change desperately; it was taking a toll on my mind not to mention my health. By the time I graduated from high school, I was weighing 230 pounds. I knew I couldn’t continue like this. That was the beginning of my weight loss journey in 1996.


1 Peter 5:10

And the God of all grace , who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself make you strong, firm, and steadfast.


In the fall of 1996, I began walking everywhere I needed to go, especially on campus at USL. I started going to the gym and found the love of tennis – chasing that ball gave me the cardio that I needed but hitting it also released so much pressure I had built up. By the spring of 1998, I was down 60 pounds from exercising, crash dieting, and partying; moreover, my new dependency on weed (marijuana) was a whole new issue. Smoking covered all the pain I had stored up, and it was a filler when I wanted to over eat. I used it to get through the day, to keep my anxiety from rising, and to help me feel like all my problems were gone.  I thought I was happy. I was thin, I was independent, and I had my first real boyfriend.  In the fall of 1998, I was blessed to find out that I was expecting. Now I was extremely overjoyed and gaining weight; by the end of my 9 months of pregnancy, I was weighing in at 240 pounds. It was back!  After delivering my  bundle of joy, the overweight issues returned, and the person who I thought loved me made them even worse. I was called every bad thing a fat person can hear.  Once we separated, I lost weight because of the let down and a broken heart. I was thin again but not in a healthy way; depression is never a good thing.  

It took me 5 years to overcome the let down, but now I was fully dependent on weed. I stayed active because exercising has always been therapeutic for me. Running was my new hobby. In 2005, I began conditioning the NHS softball team and that’s where I found the love of training. It fulfilled my heart, but I wasn’t ready to give up my habits, so I chose the habits over pursuing my dream.


Psalm 57:1-2

I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. I cry out to the God Most High, to God, who vindicates me. 


Through the years of 2005-2018, I maintained an average weight of 200 pounds – not the healthiest but better than before. In the spring of 2018, I began feeling really bad dizziness, headaches, and shortness of breath. I decided to get on the scale and for the third time in my life, it read 230 pounds. It was back and brought even more demons with it: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, low thyroid count and the end of an 8 year relationship. This time I knew I had to make a real change. I started walking, stopped eating fried foods, and cut back on my food intake; most  importantly, I started seeing a doctor regularly who diagnosed me with all the conditions. I told myself that next visit, I would be down 30 pounds. Knowing I’ve done it before, I pushed myself to do it again. Next visit much to my doctor’s surprise, I was down but all the medication stayed.  I maintained the weight loss for 3 years but still wanted more. 


In February of 2021, Kandice Guidry invited me to a special that Revfit was having for 30 days. I paid the $20.00 fee but never showed up. I was friends with so many people who were attending the gym but had never thought I was capable of doing all the hard work.  Summer of 2021 hit and I was starting to feel the depression setting in. I was going on a girls’ trip for my birthday and nothing I ordered fit. I had to return everything and reorder everything in bigger sizes. That was the beginning of the end. In the beginning of July 2021, I joined Revfit Gym. My trip was scheduled for the end of July. My birthday weekend, I was excited to visit California, but I was more anxious to return.  Before I left, I asked for Sandra, who’s Sandra? Well, I informed her that I was going on a trip but would be returning to join her bootcamp.  

Upon my return I tested positive for Covid, so that prolonged my start by 2 weeks. But let me tell you – once I was cleared I jumped straight in. I pushed harder than I ever have in my life. I changed my eating habits, I stayed consistent, and after 20 plus years of smoking I quit. I now had so many other things to depend on: the best trainer in the world, Mentors that are a blessing and very open with me about their lives, a wonderful gym family and community of some of the hardest workers I’ve ever met before.  


I’ve lost a total of 52 pounds – starting at 215 and now I stand at 165. I’ve accomplished so much in the one year I’ve been a member of the RevFit family: Bodypump Instructor, now training to become a Spin Instructor, but mostly I’m so proud that I am fulfilling my dreams of becoming a trainer. Working with the youth bootcampers finally makes me feel complete. These young adults are doing what I should have been doing 25 years ago – taking charge of my life.  To watch them change their minds and body lets me know God brought me here for a reason and he’s not done with me yet. I’m still reaching for goals on my weight loss journey and in my career as well.  Revfit  has changed my life. It’s given me a third start at this, but finally the correct way, and now I’m ready to give it to others. This is not about losing weight; it’s a lifestyle change that allows you to take your life back from all addictions. 

If you walk through the gym and I’m teaching or training, I guarantee you’ll hear the word “WORK” because that’s what it takes:HARD WORK, but it’s all worth it in the end.