Daniell Sobelman’s Semaglutide Success Story

50-Pound Weight Loss While Regaining Her Power

Daniell Sobelman, a 26-year-old former collegiate athlete, aesthetics provider, and tattoo artist met VIVA Wellness Founder, Jennifer, in 2021. The two formed a relationship, as Daniell was Jennifer’s provider for aesthetic services at Gädis Beauty, which is when Daniell remembers first opening up about her struggles with her weight. In Daniell’s words, Jennifer never pushed, but she made her feel seen and hopeful about the options. As Daniell opened up more about her other health issues adjacent to the weight gain, Jennifer had a hunch she knew what may be a good fit for Daniell, so she suggested that if they began working together, they’d explore all the available options for weight loss. And that’s what they did.

A former athlete who had dreamed of a career in professional soccer.

As a former athlete, with a traumatic exit from the sport, Daniell watched herself form an interesting relationship to movement, food, and simply how she viewed her habits and her body. Formerly seeing her body as the ticket to her career as a professional soccer player, she now viewed her body as something that had betrayed her (coaches criticized her for various physical abilities). When she was an athlete, Daniell was in incredible shape, but the methods being used to push her are now something that this particular coach is being investigated for—as it was demeaning and abusive.

She had gained weight after her exit from the sport.

As Daniell gained weight, she also started experiencing symptoms of extreme hormonal imbalance, having to be on birth control in order to achieve regular periods. She experienced extreme mood swings, and often depressive and anxious episodes, something that was not occurring before her weight gain.

Food was a support and a tool. Because she had experienced high levels of activity throughout her entire life, she’d never worried about “eating right” or paying much attention to what she was eating at all, as she easily maintained a healthy weight for her athleticism and size. After leaving soccer, Daniell began drinking, partying, and eating for entertainment and soothing. Without consistent soccer in her life, this time it led to weight gain.

At 5’2”, she had reached around 223 pounds. She couldn’t look at the scale. She did not recognize who she saw in the mirror. The doctor used the term “obese,” and informed her that she was pre-diabetic. She already knew that not getting her period was a sign, but to then receive a PCOS diagnosis was a key indication that something had to change.

I just knew something wasn’t right, and I didn’t recognize myself. I loved myself then and I love myself now, but I knew it wasn’t healthy.


Finally she felt seen, encouraged, and empowered.

As a vibe-sensitive person, it’s important to Daniell to click with who she works with in order to trust them, and Jennifer was someone that she genuinely trusted and felt understood her. She knew that she could say anything without judgment, and she opened up about her story of what had led to the current moment in her life and state of health. Normally, people didn’t seem to really see or acknowledge Daniell when she’d talk about her soccer career, the elite clubs at the national level when she was a teen, and during her collegiate career, but Jennifer was dialed into that vision with her, seeing her as that athlete who had suffered trauma that created the body distrust.

Of course, if someone tells you that your body and what it can do is inadequate, you’re going to form some interesting stories about it. Unwinding from the abusive stories, the trauma that lived there, the grief of the chapter that ended prematurely, and the protection the food and weight gave Daniell was no small task to overcome. But with Jennifer’s help, it happened.

Formulating a custom weight loss plan.

Before and After Semaglutide Weight LossAs for a plan? Daniell and Jennifer talked through all their options. While phentermine may have been a good fit (it’s often Jennifer’s starting point for younger folks due to its efficacy and cost), Daniell felt that taking a pill multiple times per day would be both challenging for her in terms of consistency but also in terms of creating a mindset that she was “medicating” her body as if the weight was an illness. It’s interesting to note that at VIVA Wellness, we recognize that everyone has their own unique context and understanding of weight, wellness, and the medical community, rooted in innumerable factors. As a practitioner, Jennifer knew if that was something Daniell deemed as a red flag, that protocol would have been less successful for her.

Semaglutide was the right fit for Daniell.

Because of the other symptoms Daniell experienced, inflammation, hormonal issues, mood, etc., Jennifer knew that semaglutide may be the right fit. But she wanted to run more thorough labs than Daniell’s Primary Care Physician had suggested. It was only with the fullest picture of where Daniell was physically that Jennifer felt confident coming up with a plan that would support Daniell’s WHOLE BODY and WHOLE LIFE experience—holistic health.

While Daniell was nervous about the shots, the VIVA Wellness staff calmed her down and had solutions for every fear that arose. Not only did it make for successful, easy administration of the injections, but soon Daniell began to have less fear around the work with her body in general. She started to feel confident and knew that the negative criticism she encountered in the past wasn’t true: her body was not broken or flawed, it was, in fact, RESPONDING AND RESILIENT.

And while some may opt for taking semaglutide as an at-home treatment, Daniell loved and leaned on the in-person experience at VIVA Wellness. She wanted the support and accountability, but she also loved the reassurance and camaraderie of the entire VIVA Wellness Team. This helped her feel ‘in the flow’ and on the right path, and she genuinely enjoys her time in the clinic and talking with the team members.

The AH-HA moment in her weight loss experience.

“I was sensitive about sharing my journey because I didn’t want anyone to know what I was up to until I felt like this shift was really real. A part of me doubted it at times, but there was an undeniable moment earlier this year when I put on a pair of snakeskin pants. Just a year earlier I had to leave them open during a photo shoot, which meant I couldn’t do any standing photos. This year, they were roomy. I knew I’d reached the tipping point. I was ready to start opening up and sharing.”

I didn’t want anyone to know what I was up to until I felt like this shift was really real. A part of me doubted it at times, but there was an undeniable moment earlier this year when I put on a pair of snakeskin pants...they were roomy. I knew I'd reached the tipping point.


Do what’s best for you—TRUST YOURSELF

Ever a proponent of authenticity, Daniell’s biggest piece of advice for someone on a wellness or weight loss journey is, “Don’t listen to the opinions of others that you have not sought for expertise.” Everyone is quick to insert their beliefs about the ‘right way’ to lose weight or why semaglutide is a bad idea or didn’t work for them, but Daniell learned to keep her blinders on and her chin up. Trusting herself, and not comparing her choices to others gave her the freedom to continue to make her own progress.

She also makes it clear that you need to give yourself time. Change doesn’t come instantly. For her, it took an adjustment period and at least three months to feel really certain that things were working. She did not compare herself to others. She trusted the long game, that worked.

Semaglutide comes with a number of side effects, but they were not surprises. Daniell was calm as she experienced side effects the VIVA Wellness Team told her she might. Nausea and constipation would go away, and she allowed herself time and an open mind with the solutions that VIVA Wellness provides. According to Daniell, “It’s worth experimentation to arrive at the best results.”

Words Daniell wrote to herself at the beginning of her journey.

From Daniell to Daniell on Day 1: “Give yourself grace, but know you’re going to be so proud of yourself. You can trust yourself and you can take your time, but also start being healthy now. Yes, semaglutide makes me feel good, but if you start to be a bit more mindful with eating, movement, and the way you’re taking care of yourself, it’s all going to get easier. Start now.”

Daniell feels the it took her to return to healthy habits makes sense—she didn’t have the confidence to step back into a gym immediately (her former comfort zone) because she felt like people were judging her for her size. And she was not in a place, mentally, to see all the ways in which food was a crutch. But she wants to assure anyone else on a similar journey that you don’t have to wait until you have that confidence to do the things you want. DOING the things that make you feel good in a healthy way will help you build that confidence more quickly.

Her “Healthy Girl” Era

Daniell is thriving now. She feels lightness in her body, mind, and soul. She has relief from the previously consuming food chatter—no more thinking about Starbucks and Jimmy Johns first thing in the morning. She’s moving her body, going to the gym by herself, boxing weekly, and eating healthy. She’s begun exploring new wellness hacks for herself.

Going on this journey also gave her confidence in a new chapter in her career where she gets to step into her business-owner era—visit her website danielltattoos.com or follow her Instagram personal and business accounts. She’s been able to make decisions about what does and doesn’t suit her preferences. She’s investing in her future and is now booking appointments for tattoo work months in advance. At the beginning of the journey, she was an employee and at this stage, she is self-employed. She credits this building of self-trust with her body in feeling safe enough to take bold moves in her career.

Daniell has now lost 50 pounds.

And as of early May, she’s down 50 pounds from when she started, her confidence soaring, and feeling like herself again. Daniell went to buy her boyfriend a birthday present at a soccer store and walked out with a pair of indoor shoes for herself. She shared, “I’m going to start playing again.” Not a dry eye in the house. The thing she loved, the thing that made her feel most at home in her body. When that chapter initially ended, she was lost temporarily. She’s now come full circle.

Daniell has re-connected with who and what she loved and left behind in her past, and is embodying those both in a way that serves her in the present.

Start your own weight loss program with VIVA Wellness.

When you’re ready to create your own story of transformation, please be in touch with our compassionate team of Weight Loss and Wellness professionals in the Brookfield and Milwaukee area. Our team is a wealth of knowledge, support, and experience in weight loss. When asked to comment on Daniell’s journey thus far, Jennifer was quick to respond:Daniell is such a positive light and creative force. I am so happy that she was able to reconnect with her power. Now, she’s unstoppable! She’s going to do big things in this world, and is already proving that with her artistry and tattoo business! Who knows, maybe I’ll get my first tattoo from her ;)”


Everybody is different and so individual results may vary. Testimonials are not claimed to represent typical results. Any images or anecdotes we share are from real customers, but just like all things in life, there are no guarantees—not every person will achieve the same or similar results to any product or service. Reading our words, viewing our images, and taking action on anything you see or read is at your own discretion. Social media, blogs, and newsletters are not substitutes for medical advice. Please consult a healthcare provider before beginning any exercise or diet program. Hey, we have those on staff, book a consultation!

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