The POUND Effect Stephanie Kelly

19 Jul The POUND Effect: Stephanie Kelly

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It is during these moments when we hear your life-changing stories that the heartbeat of POUND emerges in it's truest form. Stephanie Kelly has been part of the POUND family for a long time and has graciously shared her journey with you:

Recently I was asked for a quote about POUND to accompany an article about my latest class.  It came so easily,"There’s kind of nervousness when people are waiting for that night's set list to begin.  They're playing around with the Ripstix, giggling, tapping, not sure what’s going to happen.  I crank up the music and I get to look out and see the purest look of JOY I have ever seen on everyone's faces.  There’s no worrying about choreography or trying to keep up.  Everyone's in their own space and they’re just getting at it and rocking out.  Yet they are simultaneously united in movement and spirit.  It’s magical!"  

Serendipitous, really.

But, let's go back to 2002, before I found POUND, and changed my life for the better. Losing my father to suicide that year resulted in a long period of depression and guilt that led me to suppress my emotions with food.  Eventually that emotional eating spiraled into me using food as punishment for the guilt I felt over his death.  It was a very dark place and my eating was out of control.  I’d lost not only my confidence and my happiness, but I’d lost my confidence to teach people fitness in a group setting.  Something that I never thought would happen.

Ten years later in 2012, while still battling depression and my relationship with food, I remember seeing a friend out in California post on Facebook about a workout called POUND she was headed into at her gym.  I was intrigued by the name and did some research.  I mean come on!  The words ROCKOUT and WORKOUT in the same name?  That was music to this chick’s ears!

My research led me to a thirty second clip of a class and I was hooked!  I HAD to do this workout because it combined the songs I loved, movements that made total sense and it gave me permission to finally ROCK OUT in a group fitness setting!  Only one problem – there were NO classes near me as POUND was pretty new.

I checked out the website and saw that there was a Pro training in Washington, DC in November and decided to sign up.  There was only one problem – I weighed over 260 pounds.  I decided to sign up and go anyway because who knew when POUND would be back in the area for a training?  I remember driving to the gym and sitting in my car in tears.  Would I be the most out of shape person there?  Could I even DO the workout I’ve seen only 30 seconds of in a video?  I got myself together, went inside and my Master Pros welcomed me with open arms and gave my out-of-shape, self-conscious self permission to rock, sweat and have a blast!

pound arts council

I was proud to become the first POUND Pro in my area.  I started teaching right away – honestly, I’d told K&C at training, “I’m going to lose weight first and then start a class.”  And they told me no.  You’re a great coach.  Your timing is fantastic.  You do this NOW.  I’ll forever be grateful for their firm push.

I taught and loved it, but I knew I had to address my weight.  I knew I wasn’t representing POUND to my utmost ability.  I felt like I couldn’t run away from myself anymore.

My beloved POUND Posse told me they loved me just the way I was and they came to class because of my enthusiasm.  I love them for that and I will always be eternally grateful for their kindness – but I knew they deserved a healthier, energetic, capable Pro leading them.  Hopefully inspiring them. So in late 2014 I resolved to be the best Pro I could be.  Ultimately, that meant finally confronting the fact that an extra 130 pounds on my body simply didn’t allow me to lead a class at a level I wanted to be at and, honestly, how I was treating my body just wasn’t healthy and I was headed down a scary path.  I have three daughters relying on me to be healthy and there for them.  I wasn’t always overweight – quite the contrary.  I had been a gymnast and then group fit instructor my whole life and stayed very healthy.

Looking back and writing this, POUND ultimately gave me my confidence back and something to work for.  It gave me something to feel proud about and, therefore, quit abusing my body with food.  I tried the healthy recipes I found on the POUND blog – hello, vegan grilled cheese & avocado anyone???  Yummy!  I threw myself into the lifestyle.  POUND has brought such meaning and happiness into my life. POUND gave me my identity back as a fitness professional and to date, in addition to the 130 pound weight loss, I’ve lost 66 inches off of my body!


I have never met anyone who didn’t like POUND after trying a class. Wherever I go, people approach me and ask me if I can teach at a particular day or time so they can come to class or do more classes.  There is something truly special about this workout, the people who love it and those who teach it.  I teach it to middle schoolers in our after school programs and the adore it!

If you are reading this and feel lost like I was, reach out to someone.  Get to a POUND class!  You’ll find wonderful, caring people and an environment that will make you feel like an empowered badass.  Tap (pun intended) into the lifestyle by reading the blog on this site.  This will open up something in you that you either never knew was there or, like me, you feared was gone forever.  Trust me on this!






  • Kate Karwowska
    Posted at 15:37h, 19 July Reply

    Way to go! Rock on, girl!

  • Laura Vann
    Posted at 17:21h, 19 July Reply

    You are such an awesome inspiration my friend! I know your “ness” will bless many and be multiplied exponentially. Keep on rocking whatcha got! You are a world changer!

  • Suzanne orlando
    Posted at 20:27h, 19 July Reply

    Wow! What a great inspiration you are! Congratulations on your transformation! You look fabulous!

  • Anne Marcon
    Posted at 02:39h, 20 July Reply

    Beautiful story and a testament to a change in perception and utilising one very important tool, self empowerment via Pound.

  • Lindsey Koontz
    Posted at 03:03h, 20 July Reply

    I love this story! The fact that other women inspired you to keep going and not give up, you found yourself again! Now you are inspiring and keeping others going as well. There is a beautiful spirit about you! You are a force woman!! You look great keep smiling and inspiring!! From another instructor wanna be!

  • Kathy Moore
    Posted at 20:27h, 23 July Reply

    Beautiful story. I’m a sucker for a happy ending. Keep rockin!

  • LaCresia
    Posted at 15:50h, 28 July Reply

    Go Girl! Congratulations to you! Thank you for sharing your testimony. You are truly an Inspiration!

  • Avatar of Stephanie Kelly
    Stephanie Kelly
    Posted at 10:07h, 01 August Reply

    Thanks so much you guys!!! Forever grateful for POUND and all of YOU!

  • Lori Aisquith
    Posted at 15:44h, 10 August Reply

    What an inspiration you are! I’m looking forward to meeting you one day at one of your POUND classes!!!

  • Rachel Harrison
    Posted at 17:06h, 28 August Reply

    This is so amazing!!! Stephanie, you are so giving me the good feeling about what I did!!! My story is starting out similar to yours! I am 230lbs and struggling with an autoimmune disorder, looking for something to amp up my workouts. I saw a gym on FB posting about a POUND class, so I tried it, went home and found an instructor training was going to take place on Aug 27 near me. I signed up immediately (took the training class yesterday… yay!!!) Reading your story motivates me towards moving forward with courage! I am so hoping that my story continues as yours did! YOU GO GIRL!!!!

  • KathyDraper
    Posted at 16:58h, 27 September Reply

    Way to go girl! It has been amazing to watch your transformation – #Teaminspire

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