A fitness pact leads to first-place wins and a stronger family
Melody and Gabor Farkas made a life-changing decision during one conversation: adopt a new lifestyle and train to be competitive professional bodybuilders. And just like that, they started on their adventure together.
Melody, 39, and Gabor, 41, had different reasons for agreeing to the pact in 2019. But together, the League City residents managed to achieve goals that many competitors strive years to reach. In October, they each won first place in their category during the Storm Classic competition in Texas City, which is part of the Global Bodybuilding Organization.
Competition was intense with more than 160 athletes vying for first place in a variety of levels. But Melody took first place in the figure category, where she was judged for her body’s symmetry, muscle development, tone, stage presence and posing. Gabor won the Pro Beach Body competition, a contest of body builders who wear long board shorts and show off their arms, legs and back.
The journey has been interesting, they said.
Gabor, a chiropractor in private practice at Creekside Integrated Medical Center in Friendswood, treats many athletes, he said. After a speech he gave in the summer of 2019 on athletic injuries, he realized he wanted to look and feel better, too, and began working out with new goals in mind.
“Within a week, I thought this would be good to do and I wanted to do it before I turned 40,” said Gabor, who moved to Texas 15 years ago from Delaware. He spent the next three months focusing on his body and routine, entered a competition as an amateur and took first place.
Melody, who also works at the private practice as well as at her father’s company, Manlove Advertising, grew up in Pasadena. She and Gabor married in 2009 and are the parents of two boys, Lex, 9, and Johnny, 6. She was so proud of Gabor and his win that she started toying with the idea of competing, she said.
“I had gained a lot of weight after my boys, but I thought ‘heck, I am going to do this, too.’ I’m so glad I did,” she said, noting she had competed earlier when she finished college, but her daily trips to the gym had not been with bodybuilding competitions in mind.
But once they agreed to the plan, they stuck with it.
“It snowballed and we realized it was something we could do together,” Melody said. “With the two boys and our busy schedules, we could make this work.”
The boys are home-schooled and are frequent visitors to the gym. They join in, doing pushups and exercises they see their parents doing, she said.
“This is what we do and now this is how we live,” she said. “We work out, we eat healthy and spend time together. The kids see us doing this and the benefits and they might want to compete, too.”
When Melody signed up for her first competition last summer, she was in the amateur division. But after she took first place in the contest that morning, she was given her pro card and she signed up for another contest that evening, she said. She placed second in the professional level.
Bodybuilding and competitions have changed their lives. They agreed they’re much more disciplined with their time because the effort they put requires them to be.
“Getting ready for competitions is very intense and a level of commitment is required,” Melody said.
They each train several hours a day and carefully monitor their diets. They abstain from alcohol and take vitamins and approved supplements. They eat healthy meals of “normal” food, she said.
During training, Gabor consumes about 6,000 calories a day; Melody consumes about 2,300 a day, they said. But as they work their way toward competition dates, they drastically reduce their intake: he drops to about 2,000 calories and day and she cuts her consumption to less than 800 a day. They stop drinking liquids. The goal is to eliminate as much body fat as possible for the contest, and to be able to show off muscle mass. The objective is a sleek, streamlined body for judges to rate.
“You look like that for a few hours only,” Gabor said. “You work so hard for so long just for that look.”
He usually has about 12 percent body fat, but for competitions, it drops to about 6 percent, he said.
Bodybuilding for them is a battle of mind and body, but having a partner helps, they said.
“It is a struggle at times, so it is good to have someone who understands when you are irritable or have self-doubt,” Melody said. “It makes it is easier when you have encouragement and assistance from someone who really understands what you are going through.”
As a family, they spend lots of time together and their plan is to keep at it, they said.
“I want to keep doing this for as long as it is fun,” Melody said.
Gabor is a bit more philosophical.
“I want to keep doing this as long as I can so I can be a role model for my sons and inspire my patients to do something to reach their goals,” he said. “If you want to achieve something, you have to work hard and not give up.”
They’re looking forward to a big competition in September and their goal is to each walk away with first-place trophies – solidifying their commitment to the sport and each other.