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Fotini Vagena

This JYM Girl made steady progress and slowly but surely has changed her body and her health.

Fotini Vagena

Written by Fotini Vagena

I was an overweight child. I went on my first diet when I was 15. Until I turned 31, I struggled with the yo-yo effect. My weight went up and down. I tried so many diets. My skin and my emotions suffered; I felt helpless. I always loved the look of an athletic physique with muscles, but I needed time to convince my brain what my body was capable of. Now I'm 39 and fit and healthier than ever.

On my birthday in August 2008, I was so frustrated that none of my clothes fit. I promised myself that I would do something. I changed my eating habits and started exercising. My fitness was so bad that I couldn't even jog a mile, so at the beginning I started to walk, and day by day I lost weight. Then I started jogging. In 2011, I ran a half marathon. I finished in 2 hours, 11 minutes and I was really proud of myself.

But an alarm went off when I hit 105 pounds, down from 159 pounds at 5'3''. I didn't like the "skinny fat girl" I had become, so in 2010 I started going to the gym. I was fit but wasn't as strong as I am now.

My real transformation began in 2014 when I started to train with Jim Stoppani's programs and use JYM supplements. One day I was looking for new programs and I stumbled onto Shortcut to Size – and I was hooked. I did it and loved the results. I spent a whole day searching for videos to learn more. The way Jim explains everything is easy to understand; I can spend hours watching his videos.

I used to count calories, but not anymore. I stopped counting them because macros are important to me now. If I want to eat a piece of chocolate, I enjoy it. It's all about balance. When you train hard, that won't harm you at all.

Since June, I've been doing intermittent fasting. I love my fitness lifestyle and can't imagine my life without a gym session. It's not about looks. A healthy mind and body is what matters most. Like my Greek ancestors said, "A healthy mind in a healthy body!"

Growing up overweight wasn't easy. Kids teased me, saying things like "you're a whale" and many other things. Sometimes looking back it still makes me sad, which is why I want my transformation to help others. I know how you feel.

With hard work, consistency, dedication, the right food and JYM supplements, everybody can get the same results, or even better. Some will get there sooner and others later; just don't give up. I needed more time, but I never gave up. Slow progress is better than none. It won't happen overnight. Believe in yourself and remember that every day counts.

So far, here are the JimStoppani.com programs I've done: Shortcut to Size (twice), Shortcut to Shred, 5,3,2 Strength, Six Weeks to Sick Arms, Fitter Faster Leaner, Super Shredded 8 (SS8), Super-Man, and I'm doing Daily Grind right now.

My mission is to get stronger and to be healthy. I feel really blessed having my JYM Army family. The motivation and support we give each other is unbelievable and amazing. We're like-minded people who have the same goals. Thank you all, especially to Will Kucharek who motivates me every day to get up, and Jim Stoppani and Mike McErlane. Thank you for everything you're doing for all of us. I really appreciate it and feel blessed. I've changed my life to a better one!


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