Grammy-winning producer Damon Elliott was 310 lbs. when he signed up for his first SoulCycle class five months ago at the encouragement of his niece.
“April 28, 2015 is when my life changed,” Elliott – who has worked with Beyoncé, Gwen Stefani and Christina Aguilera – tells PEOPLE.
He expected to dislike the class, but instead loved the experience so much that he signed up for more sessions immediately. Since then he has dropped 77 lbs. and never skips a workout. In fact, he often takes more than one class a day!
“It’s the music, it’s the message,” says Elliott, 42, of why he loves the workouts. “You’re pushing yourself so much past the point of no return, and you feel like you’re literally dying. When you accomplish it, you really have a sense of, ‘Well now I can accomplish anything.’ “
The talk show host and son of Dionne Warwick believes SoulCycle has saved his life.
“Most people say SoulCycle changed their lives; I would say losing all the weight and being a part of the family has saved my life,” he says. “My blood pressure was crazy, where it was stroke level. I was feeling a little bit of hypertension in my arms and legs. My doctor was like, ‘You’ve got to get it together.’ “
Elliott now has his blood pressure under control, and no longer loses his breath from walking up stairs or bending down to tie his shoes. He’s also dropped from a size 42-inch waist to a 32-inch waist.
“I can almost fit two legs in the one pant leg,” he says. “It’s pretty wild.”
Although he’s dropped a dramatic amount of weight already, Elliott’s goal is to lose 100 lbs. When he does, he plans on celebrating by spinning at every SoulCycle studio, and speaking at each one about his personal transformation.
“I’ve dedicated my life to health and wellness now, so I want to pass on the secret, which really isn’t a secret – it’s about doing it,” he says. “If you think that you can do it, you can do it.”
—Gabrielle Olya, @GabyOlya