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Building a Stronger Body and a Stronger Mind


Soap fans have watched actress Lauralee Bell grow up on the "Young and the Restless" (CBS) these past 10 years--from Cricket the fashion model to Christine the lawyer ("We tried to jazz up her suits by taking them and shortening them, and then we got letters saying, 'Well, no wonder your character was sexually harassed.' ") to Christine Williams the wife of Paul Williams, private eye.

The 27-year-old actress said working out. . . .


Mrs. Williams?


Christine is getting married. To Paul. This morning. 11 Pacific time. Hard to believe after all those oft-postponed weddings but just you watch.


Question: Now what were you about to say about working out?

Answer: It sounds so strange but after working out, an awful lot changed. I lost baby fat. My face changed. My hairdresser asked if I had my eyes enlarged because suddenly they were so big on camera. I just changed.

Q: You mean emotionally as well as physically?

A: It's amazing. When you strengthen your body, you strengthen your mind. I became more independent. I became stronger, more vocal in terms of my beliefs.

Q: Just how much do you work out?

A: About three times a week I go to a gym--I eat differently now so I don't have to work out as much. I get there 20 minutes before my trainer to walk the treadmill. And then I lift weights. I leg press a lot, close to 200 pounds. And I do barbells anywhere from 5 to 25 pounds. One day we'll do shoulders and legs and then the next day we'll do arms and butt.

Q: Do you exercise on your own?

A: When I'm watching TV I'll crank out 100 or 200 sit-ups during commercial breaks. Then on weekends I do the treadmill at my parents' house, and I walk the beach just to get outside.

Last year our show was going to Hawaii, and I wanted to get tanned while working out so I did the Santa Monica stairs, but it's like a pickup spot. Everyone's got their dog and wearing their tight stuff and got their radio going, and I'm huffing and puffing.

Q: What did you mean when you said you eat differently now?

A: I don't eat as much now. I grew up in Chicago, so it was Friday night fish fries and Saturday morning doughnuts, and for six months out of the year it was gray, raining or freezing so you had no motivation to get out, so I ate a lot. In fact, last night I was looking at a yearbook and I looked like I was a linebacker. Now, I eat a little bit of everything in moderation.

Q: What's your diet like?

A: At home I'll have Shredded Wheat or Grape Nuts for breakfast--that to me is the biggest treat--and nonfat milk. Orange juice and coffee. If I'm [on the set] it's very easy to order egg whites or granola or oatmeal.

Then for lunch I'll bring turkey hot dogs and spinach and brown rice vegetable patties, which I heat up in the microwave, and a salad or vegetable. And I drink a lot of diet Coke.

Dinner, I eat a lot of fish--like this weekend I had swordfish--and a lot of meat and chicken and vegetables. I just won't have the potato or bread. I really like red and white wine. And every once in a while I have to do something like pizza or Doritos or Oreos. And I eat a lot of licorice.

Q: Oooooo, so do we. What kind?

A: The thick Red Vine or if it's the string, I knot it.

Q: You're not one of those actresses who worries about weight?

A: People already think I'm obsessed about food but I'm really not. We have very, very thin younger girls on the show and if I wanted to compete with that I would, but I don't need to. I'm happy when I go home. . . .

Obviously I can be waify, you know, thinner. But I'm getting closer to 30 and when I get pregnant eventually, I don't know if all of that dieting won't. . . . Well, I'm not going to not eat just to look good on camera.

* Guest Workout runs every other Wednesday in Life & Style.

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