Body Transformation: David Melnick Sticks With Fitness!

David searched for ways to escape the fat that encapsulated his body and found fitness. See how he lost 76 pounds and cycled his way into a new body at age 51!

Why I decided to transform

I spent most of my post-college days around 240-250 pounds. After a couple stressful years at work, I was up to 270 pounds.

There were several events that changed my attitude. The first was when the coach of my son's wrestling team awarded me an extra large team polo shirt and it was too small. The second was seeing pictures at my 30th high school reunion and realizing how huge I was. The last event came when I tried to donate blood, but my blood pressure was too high. The Red Cross workers wanted me to call my doctor and get checked out, so I listened.

The doctor weighed me the next day, and my list of problems included high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. We went through a list of causes and of course my weight was number one. He told me if I lost 20 pounds most of my problems would probably go away.

Before /// 270 lbs
After /// 194 lbs
AGE 48 / HEIGHT 5'8" / BODY FAT 35%
AGE 51 / HEIGHT 5'8" / BODY FAT 18%

If I didn't get my numbers in check, I could expect a lifetime of medicine. My wife also promised me a new bike if I got down to 230 pounds. I set my goal at 220 pounds—my weight at college graduation. I started watching my diet, went to spin class, and made slow progress.

After a long weekend with friends in Washington, I packed on about another 10 pounds and my photos in a bathing suit were humiliating. At that point, I buckled down and started with DVD programs from previous false starts.

How I accomplished my goals

The first priority was to get control of my eating. I lost weight before on a low-carb diet, but kept it simple this time with no empty carbs, rice, sugar, potatoes, or refined flours. I committed to turn off my phone and Blackberry to shut out the world for an hour of "me" time. It was hard, but I started to sleep better and woke up fully energized. I stopped snoring and my sleep apnea went away.

I started to work out in the morning and it felt like I got my life back. I started every day with 100 push-ups to kick-start my metabolism.

What aspect challenged me the most

Maintaining the diet plan was the hardest part. It was easy to slip into old habits and temptation.

My future fitness plans

I'd like to lose more body fat and stay healthy. I might compete in a few bike races this year and compete in men's physique in the future.

Suggestions for aspiring transformers

Set a goal, big or small. I do better with long-term goals and push myself. Start as slow as you need to, but remember every step you take in the right direction brings you closer to your goal.

When you take a step in the wrong direction, stop and regroup. When you hit a plateau, be patient and stay on track so your body can adjust. If it lasts longer a month, tinker with your diet or exercise plan.

How helped me reach my goals

I read the forums for ideas on diet and exercise. The stories about people who changed their lives through exercise and diet continue to inspire me.

David's Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey
  2. "Proud Mary" by Creedence Clearwater
  3. "Born To Run" by Bruce Springsteen
  4. "What's Your Name" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  5. "Do Ya" by Electric Light Orchestra