Strength, Inspiration, Hope; 48 Year Old Melinda Coleman’s Amazing Transformation

Posted on: November 18th, 2010 by Diana Chaloux 1 Comment

It’s tough to find the words that describe my client Melinda Coleman. Melinda’s story is one of the most remarkable, powerful and inspiring stories I’ve ever had the privilege of sharing. I can’t help get a little emotional recounting the way this woman has overcome immense challenges in her life, obstacles that would have sidelined someone with a weaker spirit. She is a fighter, she is a winner, she has inner strength the likes of which I’ve rarely seen. I’m so proud of her and honored to be a part of her continuing journey!

Melinda Coleman First Competition

When Melinda first contacted me, she was 48 years old and was interested in competing in her first figure competition. At our first meeting, she shared with me that part of her motivation was to do this in honor of her husband Michael who passed away about four years ago in a tragic car accident. He was a doctor and bodybuilder, working out was something that they had shared a love for and did together, when he passed it was too painful to continue doing this without him. Melinda and Michael had 4 amazing children, Tristan, Daisy, Charlie and Logan. These kids have been an amazing integral part of her journey, never have I seen kids that rally around their mother and support her in every way possible like these four have! In addition to being a full time mom, Melinda was also working full time as a veterinarian, AND it took her an hour to an hour and a half just to drive to Hitch Fit Gym to train with me. So as you can see there were plenty of “obstacles” in the way of completing this goal, plus the fact that Melinda had heard from a lot of naysayers who told her she wouldn’t be able to achieve this goal. Do you think she listened?? No way.

From day one, I could plainly see the determination in Melinda’s eyes, I had no doubt that she wanted this and that she was ready to do this for herself. Melinda has amazed me, she worked her tail off every single workout with no complaints. When we first started out Melinda had a body fat percentage of 30.8%, she wasn’t visually overweight by any means, she simply did not have a lot of lean muscle tissue and held a lot of stubborn fat around her abdomen. We worked on building some lean muscle tissue while getting the body fat down in the beginning. Then 12 weeks out from the competition she had chosen we started her full competition prep. Melinda got her body fat down to 16%, scale weight went from 135.6 pounds to 113 pounds. On October 2, 2010 Melinda competed in her first competition, she placed top five in ALL THREE categories that she competed in including a second place finish in the Bikini category! She has not only transformed her body, she has transformed her spirit. Super proud of you Melinda, can’t wait to see what the bright future holds for you!

Melinda’s Stats:
Starting Weight: 135.6
Ending Weight: 113
Starting Body Fat: 30.8%
Ending Body Fat: 16%
She shed over 5 inches throughout her waist, glutes and hips.


Melinda Coleman Before and After Front

Melinda Coleman Before and After Side


Melinda Coleman Before and After Back


Check out Melinda’s inspiring video testimonial

Melinda’s Story:

“My work with Diana began in March….right after St. Patrick’s Day.  I remember specifically because it was the last beer I had for over 6 months.   I was interested in competing in figure.  I had always been a distance runner but lifted weights and read Oxygen magazine.

My late husband was an all natural body builder and physician.  He was very enthusiastic about teaching patients to live healthier life styles which included exercise and nutrition.  I started lifting more and heavier focusing on building more muscle with his guidance about 5 yrs ago.  I had gotten very strong and was starting to make some improvements when my husband was involved in a tragic car accident.   Two of our children were with him and the other two were with me a few minutes behind them in a separate vehicle.   Michael’s truck had spun out on black ice, rolled several times and ended upside down over a deep ravine.   My 10 yr old daughter had gotten a back window open and helped my 11 yr old son out of the truck.  He had been unconscious and had internal bleeding.  They were both barefoot because of the impact of the crash and walked to a neighboring farm house in the snow.  When I arrived I called the hospital for an ambulance.  I could see Michael still upside down in the truck.  Because I had gained the strength I was able to do pull ups on the side of the truck and get partially in to the window.  There was nowhere that your feet could touch except the very front and back ends of the truck and it teetered and moved precariously.  I knew when I saw Michael that his neck was broken and that he had severe head trauma.  I am a veterinarian and he was a physician.   We were best friends and soul mates.  Most of our conversations involved medical practice and working out and nutrition.  We worked out together almost daily.  I knew when I saw him there was nothing that could be done.  In a strange way that was such a blessing.  I never had to wonder “what if”.   I knew.  I also believe he knew I was with him on some level and it was a comfort.  The next 3 yrs were very dark for me and hard to remember.  I’m not sure I really wanted to live.  I couldn’t feel joy anymore but I had our 4 beautiful children to rise alone.  I really wanted to do a good job at that.

During this time I sent a couple of  emails to Tosca Reno.   She was someone I admired and respected.  She had written about her trials in life and how she overcame them.   She was very inspirational to me.  After the first email I sent her, she replied that day …twice!  I had given her a  brief description of my situation.  I told her that I almost always carried my Oxygen magazine with me although I was still a little too “bruised” to really work out.  It’s ironic that the working out had always been such a stress relief but now made me sad and weepy because it was what Mike and I had  done together.  She told me about how she had kept her Oxygen magazine with her too as she changed her life and body.  She also told me that if I ever needed a hug to write because she would be there with a hug.  I did feel truly “hugged” and it meant so much to me during those really hard times.

On 2-17-10, the 3 yr anniversary of Michael’s new journey, our 16 yr old son came to my room to talk.  He told me I was not only the strongest woman he had ever known but the strongest person he had ever known.  He went on to tell me that I was doing a great job but that I was “dead alive” and that I hadn’t really lived since his father had died.  That hit me hard!  I knew he was right.  I decided then to change that.

I wanted to do something just for me…..kind of selfish for a change.  All I did at that time was take care of everyone else and work.  I got on the internet that evening and looked for figure trainers in the area.  The closest were in Kansas City…..2 hrs away.  I saw Diana’s page and just had a good feeling about it immediately.  I looked at all of the modeling, figure and fitness model competition pics of her.  I wrote to her and she wrote back immediately and had time for me.  It was almost too good to be true.  I think God had a hand in it.  When I first started out most people told me I was already thin and in shape.  By most social standards I was but I carried quite a bit of body fat, especially around my abdomen, which is extraordinarily hard on the heart.  People warned me to be careful as if it was a scary fad diet.  When Diana did my first body fat measurements I was appalled and really worried about being able to actually take the weight off.  I had almost always eaten clean and worked out.  Much to my amazement….I learned so much.  We doctors think we know everything.  If you follow the diet and workouts… works like magic.  I think most people are willing to try if they get results but when you don’t, it’s so frustrating.  All of it is so scientifically based and totally works.  Not to say you don’t suffer because you do suffer.  It’s a good kind of suffering though.  My kids still laugh about the time Diana had me doing sets of pushups with my chest workout.  She would work a muscle group to total fatigue.  I did a face plant into the mat….didn’t even feel it coming on but my muscles just gave in, much to my children’s delight.   I also remember a leg workout Diana had me do that rendered me unable to go from standing to sitting.  It was Mother’s day weekend.  I had to literally launch myself at the sofa and into a reclining position.  The kids loved that one too.  They didn’t love the carb cycling diet in the last 12 weeks before the competition.  They would gage their requests, demands and even their presence according to my level of carb that day.  I also got labels like the carbless witch and the souless zombie.  They all told me they were very proud though.  My youngest son, who is 11, liked being my trainer on the days I wasn’t with Diana.  He would mock her cries of “just 3 more now, almost there!” and then he would report to Diana on facebook.  My daughter helped me choreograph my modeling as well as being my stylist.  She saved me from being completely style-less and nerdy.  I had times I would come to a workout with Diana and be exhausted and ready to cry.  I was working 12 hr days and raising 4 children alone, I had just driven 2 hrs to the gym and I’m 48 yrs old.  I was sure at times she would tell me to give up but she never did.  She would just sigh and say “let’s add another protein shake to your diet”.  I knew I couldn’t give up on me if she wasn’t willing to give up on me.  I followed the diet religiously and worked out hard.  Gradually my body began changing and even more remarkable was the change inside…….I felt JOY again!  I laughed and lived and felt stronger and more confident.  I even started seeing someone special.  Now, that was incredible.  David is also a bodybuilder and started helping me lift heavy and build muscle.  We workout together most of the days that I’m not training with Diana.  My first show was Oct. 2.  I ended up competing in bikini body and sports model.  David and the kids were all there cheering me on.  I loved the competition and challenge.  I know I want to compete again in the spring.  I still want to try figure but had fun with bikini since I don’t build muscle easily.  I am now in the building process and am enjoying lifting heavier and feeling strong and happy.  When I was on stage in the evening show, it was announced that I was competing in memorandum of my late husband,  Dr. Michael W. Coleman.  That felt good.  He would have been proud.  Now I’m moving out of the past and into my future with more optimism, courage and joy.    Being a Mother makes it difficult to be a little selfish but it was good for all of us.  I’m glad now I was a little selfish and made time for working out and preparing healthy foods.  It made me a better Mom, Veterinarian and person.”

Melinda Coleman with Medals

Melinda on show day!

Melinda Coleman Show Day


In Memorandum of Dr. Michael W. Coleman

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  • Touched

    what an inspiring story!