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Diane Kelley

This 51-year-old did it all – a total transformation of body, health, and mind.

Diane Kelley

Written by Diane Kelley

My name is Diane and I’m 51 years young! I began this fitness journey in January 2011. I weighed over 250 pounds with 47 percent body fat and I was sick and miserable.

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, Addison’s disease, Restless Leg Syndrome, gastroparesis, gall bladder disease, stenosis of the spine, bone spurs, tears in my shoulders, arthritis of the spine and left ankle, depression, high cholesterol, congestive heart without failure, anxiety, and I had to have a total hysterectomy.

I was on too many medications to remember. There were days I would just lie on the floor and roll around crying because the pain was so severe and the meds didn’t help it go away.

Today I weigh 165 pounds with 25 percent body fat, and I'm not sick all the time or miserable!

In the beginning, I really just wanted to lose weight. That as my only goal. But the more I lifted and the more I learned, I began to have new goals. I stopped caring about the number on the scale. All it does is tell you the amount of gravitational pull needed by the Earth to hold your body on it, anyway.

I started wanting to gain strength and be healthy. Of course, I still wanted to lose weight, but that wasn’t all I craved anymore.

Since January 4, 2011, I have lost 85 pounds and over 62 inches! My blood pressure is down from 185/100 to 107/68. My cholesterol went up to 478, but it was 171 when last checked. My gains in strength are through the roof!

I entered a 12-week weight-loss contest. I searched the Internet for exercises. The “suggested programs” were targeted to “girls” and cardio. I wanted to lift!

Fate brought me to Dr. Jim Stoppani. The first program of Jim’s that I followed was Shortcut to Strength, a 12-week program — just like I needed! Then I did Beginner to Advanced. It was awesome, too! I was so hooked on my results that I kept using Jim’s programs.

Since then, I’ve completed MED Training, Six Weeks to Sick Arms, Oxford Drop Sets, the Giant Program, Power Pyramid, Ripped in 6, Drop Set Countdown, Strong in Eight, Down and Up Mass, Split Set Training, Undulating Mass, and Alternating Rest-Pause! And I’ve done many of these more than once!

I also make up workouts using different programs and exercises that Jim himself does. I’m doing Top to Bottom Legs, Dead Legs, Building a Bigger Chest, Extended Set Back Workout, 8 Weeks to Boulder Shoulders, and several Train With Jim workouts at the moment.

There’s such a wealth of information that Jim has on his website you'll always find some workout to suit you and your goals!

In the beginning, I paid a nutrition coach $350 a month to create my meal plans. I did lose some weight, but I stalled after a few months and my coach wasn’t adjusting my plan. Come to find out, my plan was almost exactly like most of the other clients he had!

I found Jim’s article on Dieting 101 and read it. Then I read it again. And then for a third time. I applied those principles. I adjusted the amounts for my body and for what was working for me. I eat low carbs at the present with two carb-cycling days. I also practice 18/6 intermittent fasting daily.

I also practice balance. If I want a piece of pie, I pick my high-carb day and eat a piece. A piece, not the whole pie!

I was on so many medications that I can’t remember them all. Now I only take my muscle relaxers when needed. I took them four times a day before.

I found an article Jim wrote about what ingredients were needed in a pre-workout drink and the amounts of each. So I bought a digital scale and all the separate ingredients and I weighed them out and mixed them up and drank it.

THEN, the heavens opened and the Doc finally made his own supplement line! I use Pre JYM, Pro JYM, Omega JYM, Vita JYM, and Alpha JYM from the JYM Supplement line. I also take a probiotic, turmeric, DHEA, and biotin.

An unforeseen advantage: My supplements are cheaper than those prescription medications — with ZERO horrible side effects!!

My children are my biggest motivators to stay healthy. My oldest is a Wounded Warrior and has to have care 24/7. That’s my job now.

When my mother was 51, she had her first of two bypass surgeries. She had an inch of her aorta replaced, was diabetic, and had renal failure. She died at the age of 61. My father has malignant benign osteoporosis of the spine, diabetes, and had to have a below-the-knee amputation of his left leg.

I didn’t want to die. My kids needed me. I HAD to be here to take care of them.

I changed. I stopped eating and drinking sugar to start and replaced my sweet tea and Cokes with water. That was it. Then after I made it through that week, I stopped eating bread. That was hard, I ain’t gonna lie! But I felt so much better that I didn’t mind.

Then I cut out processed foods. I hear things like, “Well what do you eat then?”! I always reply with “food!” I eat meats, veggies, and fruit. That’s food, right?!

I also had to change my mindset. I had to stop telling myself that I was too old or too fat or too lazy to do this or that. I had to start making myself believe that I could do those things that I thought I couldn’t.

Was I able to walk five miles? No way! But I could walk for five minutes. I educated myself. I learned all I could about exercises. Which one worked what muscles, proper form, all that. I learned about nutrition and how my body uses what I put into it. I read tons about exercise and nutrition.

Did you know that raspberry “natural flavoring” comes from the anal glands of insects? There is NO way I could ever eat that again! Or that sugar has the same effect as cocaine in your body? I love knowing why I’m doing or not doing something!

My advice to anyone is this: Just start. You don’t need a new year, a Monday, or "after the holidays." Just start today. Right now.

Get up and walk for a minute. Do a few air squats, a push-up or crunch. Put down the Coke and drink a glass of water. Educate yourself. Make a commitment to yourself.

Change your mindset that you aren’t good enough or don’t deserve it. Don’t allow others to get you down when they talk. Beause they will talk. They'll be jealous. They'll tell you to have a piece of cake, that it won’t hurt, or to stop losing weight because you’re looking too thin, or that you’re just trying to show off.

Don’t listen. You WILL have good days and bad days. Don’t let the bad days get to you. Make working out a habit. Go when you don’t feel like going. GO. That’s when you need it most.

Find a community of like-minded people to share in your highs and lows, your successes and failures because sometimes our families just don’t get it. Most importantly is to NEVER give up or in!


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