Meet Dani Kelmar

Danielle Kelmar, LCSW, believes that achieving balance in life is a journey rather than a destination. Raised in the Bay Area, and now a working mom, Danielle decided early on that she was going to break through stereotypes and control her own destiny. At the age of four, Danielle saw a group of cows in a field in Marin and decided she would no longer eat meat, a lifestyle she continues today. At the age of eight, Danielle became the first girl in the state to play in a boys’ soccer league. She went on to graduate from Sonoma State with a BA in Psychology and Health and received her MSW from Sacramento State.

During graduate school, her father, in his early 50s and severely overweight, underwent a quadruple bypass surgery. By his late 50s he had a massive stroke that left him incapacitated until he died 17 years later. During this same period, her beloved grandfather was diagnosed with adult-onset diabetes, and her grandmother passed away from a heart attack brought on by severe obesity. Danielle knew that she shared their genes (and a Type-A personality) and so she decided to cultivate a life-long passion of inspiring balance and wellness for her and for others.

Danielle began her career at St. Helena Hospital as an eating disorder counselor and then transitioned to counseling pregnant teens at a health clinic. She taught educational classes on body image and developed techniques for how to reframe situations, identify triggers to stressful situations and create plans for healthier outcomes. 

Danielle moved to California Pacific Medical Center and worked with the kidney transplant team and honed her skills in preventive health management. Her passion for wellness emerged when working with the medical staff on patient education. She focused on identifying and then extinguishing unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, as well co-designing a depression inventory tool for those awaiting transplant.

At this point, Danielle took a hiatus from her career to raise a family; she is married with a 15-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son. Danielle maintains a sense of work/life balance as a mom by volunteering her time at her children’s school; she has implemented anti-bullying programs and served as PTA President. She also decided to take on a new form of exercise. Danielle had been running over 45 miles per week to maintain a healthy weight. However, she hit a plateau, and in frustration she turned to the Bar Method to revise her concept of exercise. She was anxious to be in class with advanced participants, but after six months, the Bar Method owners asked her to be on their website as a success story. For Danielle, the success was not just the weight loss; it was also the inner quiet she felt for the first time.

Now a Wellness Advisor at Stanford’s BeWell program, Danielle so appreciates that each person she meets is open to improving his or her life — whether simply by taking a walk at lunch for five minutes or committing to start a new way of eating. In each case, Danielle enjoys the opportunity of helping to bring balance and wellness to each of the participants she meets.

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