HER STORY

Melanie Riggio’s story takes a few turns. She says she was always bigger than other kids when she was young. As an adult, she was never obese, but a pregnancy in 2004 changed that. “I became immobile. I didn’t exercise and just packed on the pounds.” After repeated diet failures, she opted to have lap-band surgery in 2012. “I thought it was the answer, but it just didn’t agree with me. I spent nine months vomiting and very sick. I lost 45 pounds, but it was because I couldn’t keep anything down,” she says. Out came the lap-band.

But Riggio says she was left with severe scar tissue, which led to more problems like acid reflux, a hiatal hernia and stomach cramping. In pain for a year, she had surgery in 2014 to remove the scar tissue and fix the hernia. It worked.

“Feeling like a normal person again, I needed to figure out how to eat better and feel better,” Riggio says. The answer for her came through Isagenix, a nutritional cleansing program. In addition to feeling and sleeping better, Riggio says, the weight started coming off. She lost 20 pounds the first month and a total of 130 pounds subsequently. “Isagenix taught me how to eat better and what exercises are beneficial,” says Riggio, who now coaches others on the program. “The Isagenix community has been a big part of my success.” Riggio wants to lose another 50 pounds.

HER DIET

Riggio has an Isagenix shake for breakfast and for dinner. She likes the strawberry flavor and adds turmeric, coconut oil, hemp seed, or chia seeds, plus Isagenix Greens and IsaFruit, nutritional vegetable and fruit powders. She has a “clean” meal for lunch that’s usually about 600-700 calories, such as grilled fish or chicken and a salad. She snacks on green apples, almonds or hard-boiled eggs.

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HER EXERCISE

Riggio goes to the gym three to five days a week for about an hour. She uses cardio equipment like a treadmill, a step machine or an elliptical. She tones using a weight machine and free weights.

HER ADVICE

“If you want change, start with your mindset. You can’t put a price on your health. It’s more about health than vanity. If you feel better inside, you will look better on the outside.”