• Lose Weight
  • Healthy Life Change
  • Improve Appearance
  • Reduce Stress


  • Lost 101 pounds
  • I have more energy
  • I’m healthier and happier

how bally helped:

how i did it:

  • Drink plenty of water (6 water bottles a day)
  • Reduce your carb intake
  • Eat healthy snacks, like salads, protein shakes or energy bars
  • Take essential vitamins daily
  • Move during the day (take the stairs instead of the elevator)
  • Begin a structured exercise program with goals
  • Be patient—the pounds will come off if you keep at it

Name: Melanie

Age: 36

Home: Staten Island, NY

Occupation: Marketing Manager

Like so many people today struggling with their weight, I can recall childhood memories filled with activity…and lots of food. My mom was single, so my sister and I would prepare these big Italian meals. And, although I was a tomboy when I was 10 years old, my high-calorie, high-carb diet started me off in life with a few extra pounds.

When I was only 13, I began to work food concessions at a small nearby amusement park in Brooklyn, New York. But my way of disposing of the odd-shaped cotton candy, overcooked fries or overbuttered popcorn was a bit unhealthy, to say the least. You see, I was trained to eat our mistakes! I was always around this fun food, so I thought it was okay to eat it all.

Later on in life, I found myself in Italy during my last semester in college, when I heard news that my father had died of a heart attack. It took a toll on my family, and we tried to cope by eating, and drinking. I know I did…I gained 20 pounds!

Soon after college, I found my dream job at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Surrounded once again with savory amusement park temptations, my weight peaked at 234 pounds.

The Moment that Changed it All

I was working onstage at Disney when I nearly blacked out, stumbled into the bathroom, and did not like what I saw in the mirror. It was like that free-fall on a roller coaster ride when your stomach leaps into your throat. I finally experienced my moment that changed it all. A few days later my doctor went through a long list of my weight-related health problems, so I finally decided to get off the roller coaster and get healthy. But life would not make it easy for me. I found myself going on and off diets. It was around that time that I quit my job at Disney to be home with my sick mom, who died of cancer a month later.

Then a friend referred me to a customer service position at Bally Total Fitness. I wasn’t sure I should go for it. Would I fit in with all those beautiful people? Will they really want an overweight person who eats bacon, eggs, and cheese every morning for breakfast working in their health club? But my life needed to change quickly, so I took the job when it was offered to me.

Small Steps, Big Changes

At first I felt out of place, but the positive energy at Bally really helped. The healthy atmosphere and the people at Bally made such an impact on my life that I wanted to change. I started looking at my job as a way to live a healthy lifestyle. And the Personal Trainers at Bally really cared about me and gave me advice—drink plenty of water, take vitamins, eat healthy snacks—and I began to absorb it all. I started to take small steps to exercise, like taking the stairs instead of an elevator. I tried my best to eat healthier. Within months I lost 40 pounds.

Today I can proudly say I live an active lifestyle. I now weigh 134 pounds. Best of all, I get to share my success with others as a certified cycling instructor and boot camp leader. I love training, motivating, and coaching hundreds of people a week who want to change their lives. I like to think they see me as a role model.

My life has been a roller coaster ride. I have had my ups and downs, but thanks to my new lifestyle and health, I am ready to conquer anything that comes my way. Now I just need to wear some sexy clothes to show off my body!

Would you like to submit your own success story? Click here.

Create a
Fitness Plan

Never yawn on the treadmill again! Our free fitness plan builder pushes you to mix it up and challenge body and mind.

Build a fresh routine