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Kelly Palermo’s Transformation Story


Before I began my health journey, I had no energy. My body hurt. I did not sleep well, and I was taking too much medicine. I lacked motivation to do anything I didn’t have to do. I spent most of my time at home, hiding from the world. I had low self-esteem and I didn’t like who I was, so how could I expect others to like me?

I knew I had to make a change. I ate when I was bored or lonely, or just because, and most of the time, it was fast food. Quarantine forced me to start cooking more. I am not going to say I was cooking healthy, but I was not snacking as much or eating as much. I also started exercising. I did not lose any weight during this time, but I did not gain any either.


My goal when I started on May 18 was to lose 70 pounds, but I was not necessarily stuck on that number or the size of my clothes. My real “why” was to like who I saw in pictures. If I absolutely had to be in a picture, I would be in the back, hiding from the lens.

I have lost 38 pounds and 30-plus inches in 15 weeks! I’ve also had plenty of non-scale victories. Ninety-five percent of the clothes in my closet are too big. I am off my blood pressure, cholesterol and acid reflux meds. I also take fewer meds for my restless legs. My lower back doesn’t hurt, and I don’t get winded walking up stairs.


After many failed diets that involved pills, eliminating certain food groups or only eating during certain hours of the day, I found a plan where I eat six times a day. Some of the food is meal replacements, and some is actual meals. The food I eat is nutritionally balanced with the right amount of probiotics, vitamins, fiber, protein, carbs and sugar. I also have a health coach who is teaching me healthy habits so when I reach my goal, I can maintain my healthy weight and not gain it back as in the past.


This plan works for me because I’m now eating to live, not living to eat. I have fierce willpower, and watching others eat cake, cheese dip, bread, etc. doesn’t tempt me at all. I know once I reach my goal, I can incorporate some of these foods back into my diet. I do not miss the drive thru or eating out every day. It’s easier for me to cook at home; that way, I know I am eating the right foods and the right portions. I also have a health coach and belong to many online communities that support me and my journey.


The most difficult part was getting on the scale to see I’d only lost a few ounces for the week. I tell myself a loss is a loss, and with every ounce down, I’m closer to my goal.


I struggle to find the words to describe how good I feel. I like myself! I take selfies! That is a big win. I am healthy, both mentally and physically. My medicine cabinet is mostly empty. I sleep at night. I have energy to do things now, and I don’t want to sit at home every weekend. I don’t hide from the world anymore. I’m ready to get out there and live! I wanted to pay it forward and help others on their heath journey, so I became a health coach.


Find something that works for you, and just start. Find your why. Take small steps. You did not become unhealthy overnight, so you should not expect to become healthy overnight, either. You want to do something you can maintain for the rest of your life.

Remember, you are the prize at the end of the journey. You matter. You are important. Do it for you!