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Teacher Learns Weight -Loss Lesson

This week, The Early Show looks at weight-loss stories from people from around the country, some inspired by weatherman Dave Price.

After detailing his own battle with weight, Price recieved letters from all over the country. Half of them were from people who said they wanted to lose, but just couldn't seem to get started.

One was Lori Black, a middle school teacher in Ohio who wrote that she knew how to lose 30 extra pounds; she just needed a little motivation. The following is Price's report.

If you're looking for a rural setting, you can't do much better than this: Graham Middle School sits on an open field where horses at the farm next door watch kids take the bus ride home. And inside is a teacher who is trying to solve a problem she's been struggling with for years.

When you think of a fat person, Lori Black doesn't seem to fit the bill. Growing up, she was always on the skinny side. In college, she avoided gaining the freshman fifteen, and she made a good-looking bride.

"My wedding, I felt fine," Black says. "I wanted to look nice on my wedding day."

But having three babies changed everything. She says, "It seems that every one of the kids I've had, my own children, were big babies. I gained lots of weight with all of them, had blood pressure problems. They were all like ten pounds."

And between the kids and the demands of teaching all day, Black found herself more hungry, more tired, and more heavy.

She says, "I think once I had the kids, it was hard for me to get it off."

The pictures tell the story of hating how she looked in a bridesmaid's dress, or of not quite fitting on a seat in a theatre, or of not looking her best in a bathing suit.

Fellow teacher Rebekah Purtee, says, "She's not like overly obese or anything."

But Black is a like the thousands of other people who wrote to The Early Show: She's a mom; she works full time; she's carrying 30 pounds she doesn't need; and between career and family, losing the weight has been nearly impossible.

Purtee says, "You look at her and you think 'She needs to lose 30 pounds?' I think she looks great. She has this cute hairdo and she's always dressed nice. But she told me she wants to wear a two-piece bathing suit."

But so far, she hasn't found a diet she can stick to at work.

"I do not have very much willpower," Black says.

Purtee notes, "Two people, I think, a week, they bring in donuts. And Lori, I think, tries to stay away from that because I mean they're right there so why wouldn't you eat them?"

But Black admits, "On days when I'm really stressed out, I know there's that vending machine's down there with, maybe, some chocolate in it or something like that."

Purtee says, "I think maybe she does lack motivation but who doesn't when it comes to dieting?"

This could be the hardest part of all: Getting motivated to start a diet. It may be the moment you feel your worst. You may need to reach out for help: A friend, a trainer at the gym, your spouse -someone to jump-start you on the path to getting healthy.

Black was motivated by Price's story. Purtee says, "She liked Dave's story because he did it on his own, no fad diets or anything. That really, really made her think, 'Wow. I can do this!'"

The following is her letter:

"Hi, Dave:

I'm 35 years old and the mother of three young children and I have decided that I am completely tired of being overweight and thinking about it.

I worry about what my kids and my husband think of me. I'm just tired of being tired.

I'm going to need all the help I can get but the main thing is I am ready.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Lori Black"

All Black needed from me was a little pep talk.

So what makes her think she is going to stick with it? "Well, because it's going to be on TV, first of all, but I've decided it is time. I'm going to do it," Black says.

She said she was serious and I believed her. That was a month ago. Since then, Black has lost 12 pounds, and people who know her say she'll go all the way.

Purtee says, "Oh I think she'll lose 30 pounds or close to it. She's going to look slim and trim. It's not to impress anybody or whatever. It's going to make her feel good inside and on the outside she'll look good, too."

Though Black says she watched me do it by myself, I actually didn't. First of all, I stopped and started, fad diets, fast, et cetera. It wasn't until I got in my support system that I started to make progress as well. I struggle every day. I'm constantly walking around the office trying to figure out: Should I have that? Can I touch that? Can I snack on that? Lori isn't dieting alone. Her husband and other teachers are rallying around her."

It doesn't happen in 24 hours. These things slip away from you and that's how you get them back - slowly but surely, a little bit of progress every day.

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