How long he's kept it off: "I began the Sparkle program (www.sparkleanewyou.com) with Jacynta Harb on March 22, 2017, and reached my goal weight on Sept. 22, 2017," Melnyk said. "I am currently at goal weight."
Personal life: "I have been married to Dana since Dec. 30, 1994, and have two wonderful children, Maddie, age 15, and Charlie, age 13," Melnyk said. "I am senior director, quality, for Thyssenkrupp Elevator Americas." He lives with his family in Marietta. His wife, Dana, appeared with her own weight-loss story in the Success Stories column in October: https://www.ajc.com/lifestyles/health/dana-melnyk-marietta-lost-pounds/x1j7xuGeJOnW91RUgNkuNL/
Turning point: "My wife began working with Jacynta in December 2016, and in March of 2017 she had already lost 20 pounds," he said. "That was the point I decided I wanted to make this lifestyle change and continue with her on her weight-loss journey."
Diet plan: "I leverage the 'My Fitness Pal' app. I log all of my food daily and subsequently slowly added in exercise over time," Melnyk said. "I eat whatever I want, but I have a 'fence,' a daily caloric intake that I stay within." Yogurt and fruit are his go-to snacks.
Exercise routine: "When I began this program, I did not exercise at all," Melnyk said. "After about three months, I began walking on average 3 miles a week. Over time, I increased the walking distance. In November 2017 I began running. Currently, I run approximately 40 miles a week on average, and I completed my first half-marathon in April of 2018."
Biggest challenge: "This was all mental for me," he said. "I needed to decide that this was something I was committed to for the long term — realizing that there was not a quick fix and this needed to be a sustainable lifestyle change."
How life has changed: "I have significantly more energy," he said. "I travel approximately 70 percent of the time, and I can tell that the airline seats are much more comfortable now." His advice is to understand the journey is a process: "Each person is unique. There is no magic bullet or one program that fits everyone. Find out what works best for you and recognize that it will change over time." For himself, he said, success depended on two things: "Recognizing that there is no quick fix. Needing to be committed to change, and applying that sustained pressure over time." As he looks toward the future, he said his plans include, "maintaining this lifestyle change. Recognizing that I am in this for the long term, and over time, (I) will continue to feel the benefits."
Share Your Success: Have you lost weight successfully with a healthy lifestyle change? If you would like to share your story with our readers, please include your email address, a daytime phone number, and before and after photos (by mail or JPEG), and contact us at: Success Stories, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 223 Perimeter Center Parkway, Atlanta, GA, 30346-1301; or email Michelle C. Brooks, firstname.lastname@example.org.