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Freeland, MI Woman Wins $50,000 for Losing Weight, Adding Muscle and Changing Her Life

Million Dollar Body(TM) Is Awarding Over One Million Dollars to Help People

Lose Weight and Get in Better Shape

ANAHEIM, Calif., March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Fitness website has just announced a $50,000 Grand Prize winner in its Million Dollar Body Game(TM), an ongoing incentive competition that is giving away over $1,000,000 this year to spur people to lose weight and get in shape. Melanie Ristau of Freeland, Michigan appeared today in Anaheim along with five other $50,000 winners and two $250,000 winners.

Melanie has a vibrant, newly-inked butterfly tattoo just below her bikini line. It symbolizes a transformation that began for her in April of 2004.

"I was unhappy, trapped in a body that was overweight and dumpy. I didn't look in the mirror and I suffered from anxiety and depression," recalls Melanie. The former high school athlete "knew that underneath there were muscles screaming to burst free." While flicking through television channels one night, she impulsively ordered P90 and "day-by-day, I began emerging from my cocoon."

She achieved extraordinary results within the first 90 days. Throughout her adult life, Melanie's size would vary from 12 to 16. She now wears a size 6! She's dropped 36 pounds from 178 to 142 pounds and her body fat has plummeted from 29% to only 15%.

Along the way, she made more than physical life changes. Her blossoming self-esteem enabled her to leave an unhealthy marriage and divorce an alcoholic husband. However, though her daughters gave her great support, her improvements didn't come without the disapproval of other family members.

"Because obesity is a family trait, I received much envy-related resistance from my relatives. As my body started to change, they called me too skinny and commented that my muscles were ugly," said Melanie. "The support of the Beachbody/MDB community was an enormous factor in my success."

She continues to be motivated even by strangers. "People ask me all the time, 'How do I get a body like yours?' People are invariably astonished when I tell them my age: 'You're 47 and have had 3 kids?' What is important to me now is not looking good in a bikini but sharing and helping others to achieve a healthy lifestyle."

Not content to just become healthier, Melanie has continued to build muscles and sculpt her body. After two rounds of P90, she kept challenging herself. She also uses Turbo Jam in the morning for extra cardio. "I joined a gym last spring and no one could believe that I got as 'ripped' as I am from just doing a workout DVD," she exclaimed.

Melanie has become more adventurous through her metamorphosis. She has gone skydiving, cliff jumping and wall climbing and has completed several triathlons. Presently, she is raising money for leukemia/lymphoma while training for an Olympic length triathlon in honor of blood cancer patients. She's also in the process of getting her personal trainer certificate and a Master's degree in education.

Her transformation has not only improved her life -- it may have saved it. In July 2007, she survived a terrible car crash. "I thought I had broken my neck," shuddered Melanie. "The medical personnel who rescued me said that it was because I was in such fantastic physical shape that my body withstood the impact."

Looking back on all she's been through, Melanie keeps seeing herself in her butterfly tattoo. "Sometimes, when I see pictures of myself I still can't believe it's me," she said. "I've shed my cocoon. I love being a vibrant butterfly and I plan on soaring to even greater heights!"

Like other winners, Melanie's story is available to inspire others. Web visitors can follow her experiences at

"This has been an exciting week for Million Dollar Body as we crowned our two $250,000 winners and six $50,000 winners," said Carl Daikeler, CEO of

"At Beachbody, we're billing these success stories as the ultimate win-win because there are no complaints -- every Beachbody and Million Dollar Body customer wins in some way. Just by following the winners' stories online, people have the extra motivation to make positive life changes and become healthier," he continued. "Obesity is an epidemic in this country. Losing weight takes perseverance and our kind of honest, healthy approach. Seeing others who put in the effort and get the results helps everyone stay motivated and focused."


Launched in January 2007, Million Dollar Body (MDB) is the peer-support division of, including the Million Dollar Body Game. MDB also houses the company's network marketing channel, giving customers the added incentive to get results and earn an income for helping others to succeed with a healthy lifestyle.


Founded in 1998 by Carl Daikeler and Jon Congdon, is based in Beverly Hills, Calif., and is the creator of the nation's most popular in-home fitness and weight loss solutions. Beachbody products include Power 90(R), Kathy Smith's: Project YOU(TM), Yoga Booty Ballet(R), Slim in 6(R), P90X(R), Hip Hop Abs(R), and Turbo Jam(R), among many others. Beachbody programs combine challenging video-based fitness workouts with easy-to-follow diet guidelines, superior nutritional supplements, and an unparalleled customer service and peer-support system. The company's mission is to help people achieve their goals and lead a healthier, fulfilling life.

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