International recording artist Diane Pancel isn’t afraid to speak her mind, even about subjects many in her chosen field prefer to keep hush-hush. At 39, the Victoria-born performer is experiencing her greatest year to date, working mainly in the show business capital of Los Angeles as a singer, dancer and songwriter.

With more than 200 radio jingles under her belt and preparations underway to re-launch her one-woman show and release a new album, Diane took a few moments from her busy schedule to talk to Ageless Living about her past struggles with weight, how she maintains her flawless skin and the challenges and joys of aging in the spotlight.

39… And Proud of It!
“In an industry like entertainment, getting older is particularly tough for women. There are less great parts, especially in film. But I find I’m doing more now than I was 10 to 15 years ago. I feel more comfortable in my own skin. I really know who I am and what I want, and I feel energized.

“The last two years in particular have been very positive – I’ve had more success than in my entire career. I toured for a year with Amway Corporation, performing at their major functions. I’ve worked with the Orlando Magic, the LA Kings and the LA Galaxy. And, I was on two episodes of the TV show Vegas – or my voice was, anyway – for a singing voiceover.

“Especially in LA, everyone is so hush-hush about their age. I really don’t care. I’m 39 and proud of it! It’s the healthiest I’ve felt in my entire life.”

Passion Equals Motivation
“I’m a motivated person in general. This is my lifelong dream and passion, and it’s motivating to get to do it every day. My family is also a huge support.”

A Healthy Weight Breakthrough
“I was a competitive figure skater in my youth – I was always active – so it was mind-boggling for me when I found myself struggling with weight. I found out about two and a half years ago that I was allergic to gluten. For three months, I ate no gluten or dairy, and I lost 28 pounds so easily. I had been working out three days a week, but that motivated me to bump it up to five or six days a week. In total, I lost 60 pounds. It’s given me a new confidence.

“I try to find a balance, find what works for me. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and lean protein, but I don’t deprive myself. If I want a little bit of ice cream, I’ll have it. It’s about moderation.”

Finding Fitness Beyond the Gym
“I need variety in my workouts or I get bored. I like hiking, power walks, and going to the gym to lift weights. I have a dance background, and I love salsa dancing, so that’s a great workout. If I can’t get to the gym because I’m busy or I’m on set all day, I make sure to get out for at least half an hour for a really good walk.”

Make SkinCare a Priority
“I owe a great deal to my mom. She was always saying, ‘Diane: Moisturize! Sunscreen!’ I really have to thank her because my skin is healthy. In fact, I’m a skincare junkie. I use Eminence Organics from Hungary and products from Artistry. I love the sunshine, but I do my best to stay out of it.”

Maintain Balance for Optimum Health
“I do my best to eat healthy and work out every day, as much as I can, to stay focused. When you look after yourself, you’re happy and fulfilled, and you have great relationships. To me, that’s optimum health.”

What’s Next for Diane
“I’m currently in rehearsals for a Barbra Streisand review show – The Way We Were – to be performed in Kimberly, BC, and I’m re-launching my Ladies of Hollywood one-woman show in the new year.

“I’m also working on a new album to be released this spring. It’s a great mix of originals, R&B, soul and jazz. There will also be a new single that’s more dance-oriented, released exclusively online.”

Final Words of Wisdom
“You’re never too old to go after what you want in life. If you’re really passionate, go for it!”

Find out more about Diane Pancel’s Ladies of Hollywood show and access her performance schedule on her website, www.dianepancelmusic.com.