Log In

Selena Barbieri

How Selena, a busy mom juggling career and family, lost over 60 pounds and won the 2023 Summer Shred Challenge

Selena Barbieri

In only 8 weeks following Dr. Jim Stoppani’s Super Shredded 8 workout program and diet, Selena Barbieri made an amazing transformation – evidenced by the before and after photos you see here – to win the 2023 Summer Shred Challenge on JimStoppani.com

But behind every successful transformation, there’s a story. For Selena, an accomplished business owner and mother of two, the journey started when she was a kid and came to a breaking point decades later during the 2020 pandemic.

Selena’s Journey

Nothing motivates a person to make a lifestyle change like seeing a red flag signaling her own mortality.

“My slap to reality came at the beginning of the pandemic when a family member was diagnosed with diabetes,” Selena says. “I come from a genetic line of predisposition to cancers and metabolic issues, with family members passing away from various illnesses at young ages. But this one hit me straight in the heart. It was too close to home to ignore. Not only that, but hearing all of the severe issues I could face should I contract Covid made me seriously take inventory of what I was doing with my health. I had two young boys, an incredible husband, and a thriving acupuncture clinic, and yet, I was in the worst shape of my life. My family member’s diabetes diagnosis was the wake-up call. It was as black and white as that. Either I had to make some drastic changes right away, or I’d be forced to deal with the drastic consequences later.”

Making changes wouldn’t be easy for Selena, who at the time was nearing 40 years old and had decades of bad habits built up.

“Growing up, I wasn’t athletic (marching band is debatable), and like any 80s kid, I loved fast food and all the after-school snacks that provided those empty yet tasty calories. Through my teenage years and into my early 20s, I did fad diets, diet pills, intense cardio, and all the things that kept me ‘skinny fat’ while teaching me bad habits until I went to grad school and started steadily gaining from there. For a solid 14 years, I packed on weight, lost self-confidence, became riddled with depression and anxiety, and following the birth of my sons into their toddler years I ballooned up to 211 pounds on my 5’2” frame. I was miserable.”

Being honest with yourself is often the hardest part of adopting a healthier lifestyle, and a lack of accountability held Selena back for years.

“I always made excuses,” she says. “I blamed my PCOS [Polycystic Ovary Syndrome], my genetics, my slow metabolism, my busy life, and whatever else I could come up with to avoid taking responsibility for my health. As an acupuncturist, I treat people daily who have led detrimentally unhealthy lives, and those lifestyle choices have put them in chronic pain. So who was I to help them realize their potential for a pain-free life when I was severely out of shape and unhealthy?"

Finding a Groove and Getting Results

“The day I woke up and decided that I was in control was the day that catapulted me to where I am now,” says Selena. “I began with major diet changes on October 17, 2020, and lost 60 pounds over the next 9 months.”

As members of JimStoppani.com and the JYM Army know, cutting calories and doing endless steady-state cardio will only get you so far. The biggest results in making a physical transformation come from resistance training and a complementary diet and supplement regimen.

“After losing the initial weight, I knew it was time to find something that I could stick to mentally and physically to gain strength, and that’s when I discovered how much I loved weight-lifting,” Selena says. “It didn’t make me feel skinny, but it made me feel strong, and that was the feeling I’d been missing my whole life. From there, I took up the sport of Taekwondo — at the age of 40! — with my kids, and I fell in love with martial arts. I built a basic gym at my house by grabbing used equipment online so I would have no more excuses. Discipline beat motivation. Results trumped excuses. Understanding that this lifestyle required daily attention is what kept me showing up for myself.”

Keys to Selena’s Success

The pinnacle of Selena’s journey was taking the initiative to join the 2023 Summer Shred Challenge on JimStoppani.com, completing the eight weeks of SS8 workouts and meals, and being selected as the female grand prize winner — winning $7,500 in the process. What she learned from the experience is that with the right education and a comprehensive training and nutrition plan, anything is possible.

“If little ole me from small town Florida can do it, anyone can,” says Selena. “I’ve learned so much from Dr. Stoppani’s programs and nutrition plans, and it has changed my trajectory in fitness. I’ve since gone through his Full Body Fire and H.I.P.E programs and have implemented Pre JYM and Post JYM into my daily regimen to maximize results. What his science-backed programs have done for me on a mental and physical level is unbeatable, and I’m forever grateful and humbled to be part of the JYM Army. When people ask me, ‘How do you do it while raising a family and owning a business?’ my answer is simple: ‘It’s non-negotiable!’”


Related Articles