Melissa Shed 80 Pounds And Is Taking The Fitness World By Storm.
WEIGHT 220 lbs
WEIGHT 140 lbs
Why I Got Started
I have always loved the fitness industry. I have been training with my coach, Mike Davies for almost 7 years. He stood by me as I ventured through life from wrestling to Tae Kwon Do, to Powder Puff football. I travelled across the world and back, and no matter where I was, I would work with him to help me in any sport or just to stay physically fit!
I would travel down to Columbus, Ohio, for his infamous boot camps, and each time I would leave so inspired by the amateur and pro figure and fitness athletes that flooded the gym! When you are surrounded by the likes of Julie Palmer, Latisha Wilder, and Chastity Slone, your dream could only be to one day step on stage, those girls were so inspirational.
This dream stayed with me over the years, I trained hard, but with my travel and busy life style I never settled down in a nutrition plan, and tended to yo-yo diet. Years passed, and I settled down, got married and had my first son. My son and husband were the greatest blessings to me, but my pregnancy took its toll on my body.
I was a high risk pregnancy and put on bed rest for most of it, which left me snacking and picking at foods I shouldn't have. After my son was safely delivered I stepped on a scale to only realize, I had ballooned to 220 pounds! I wanted nothing more than to be in shape and a role model, for not only my son but others.
I wanted him to grow up active, with active and healthy parents. So I set my mind to not only getting in shape, but I set an aggressive goal on January 1st to compete just 10 months later! I reached out to my AMAZING coach Mike Davies again, and he said "Let's do it!" We had a plan, and slowly but steadily, the weight fell off!
How I Did It
With the guidance of my coach Mike Davies I had a healthy plan, and the support of my husband I was able to fit in my cardio and workouts. We made cooking and working out a family affair, a priority.
Not long after I started to train we actually found out my husband was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, which meant that a healthy lifestyle was even more important for him, and we committed to this together.
We set up a game plan, cooked on Sundays, and created a schedule each week so we were prepared. This was really important because I went back to work, full time as a traveling sales manager and had to pack my meals to eat in airports and in-between meetings.
Not to mention that I also volunteered within the community, am in school for holistic nutrition and am hosting a Natural Bodybuilding show in my home town this fall. You could say my plate is full!
My busy daily schedule meant my mornings would start early, so after I fed my son his 4 a.m. bottle, I packed my runners up and hit the gym.
In the afternoons I would take him with me for my 2nd cardio session. He loved the time in the gym day care, and I had some mommy time to work on my goal. It took patience and dedication.
Mike warned me that the weight didn't go on overnight, so it wouldn't come off overnight. I had to stay true to the diet and what he asked me to do in the gym. And I did just that. In all the years I have trained with him, this was my heaviest weight, but because I was strict with his plan, I was seeing results right away!
The most important part was definitely my diet. I ate 6 small, measured meals, high in quality protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and drank 1.5 gallons of water per day. By June that year I was already down to 160 pounds!
Finally November rolled around and I flew out to step on stage in a foreign city more than 6 hours away from home, with my husband and 11-month old by my side. I got on stage at an amazing 135 pounds, and took 4th place!
It felt so amazing ... even more wonderful was looking out into the audience to my cheering squad - my two boys. Then just 2 weeks later I competed again. I have committed to this wonderful and rewarding lifestyle, and love how much energy I have now!
- Vitamin B-Complex: 100mg
- FUSION BodyBuilding Sub-Q: 3 caps
- Vitamin C: 1000mg
- Glutamine: 1 tbsp
Each month my coach provides me with a new diet. He has me switch up the diets every 3-to-4 weeks, so that my body doesn't get used to it.
Here is just a sample of something he may have me eating on a nutrition plan:
When I train I am athletic about it. I go hard and fast, focusing on form, strength and explosiveness. I usually will include abs or plyometrics of some form into all of my weight workouts.
I like to do circuits on some days where I will superset a chest exercise with an upper body plyometric move and then an agility move to keep my heart rate up.
My favorite part about visiting my coach Mike in Columbus for a boot camp is that I always go home with new ideas to mix into my workouts at home, to keep it fresh and interesting. I feel that it is important to change up your workouts frequently so you remain focused.
Repeating the same workouts over and over again can become daunting. If you keep it interesting you are more likely to love your workouts and challenge yourself more each time!
I try to get in and out of the gym so that I have lot of quality time left for my family. Most of the time I do two sessions 5 days per week, with 2 rest days. For my cardio my coach Mike has created his own custom interval programs that kick my butt!
I love this because they are full of short intervals and bursts of high intensity cardio that it is actually fun to do cardio! As I got close to the show dates, I would increase my cardio accordingly.
My favorite body part to train is my abs, and usually my coach will have me train them 2 times per week after cardio. I still will toss in a few moves like Stick Twists, Russian Twists, Military Sit-ups and Hanging Leg Raises into my weight workouts instead of a long rest.
Below is a sample of some workouts I would do, but they do change every week:
Terms You'll Need To Know
Superset: Two exercises are performed consecutively without any rest.
- Morning Cardio 5am: 30 min intervals on Step Mill
- Evening Cardio: 30 min incline Walking, plus 1 mile Run
- Hack Squats: 4 sets of 15 reps
- Single Leg Squats: 3 sets of 10 reps each
- Deadlifts: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Morning Cardio 5 a.m.: 45 min short run/walk intervals on Treadmill
- Evening Cardio: Rotating between 3 Cardio Machines for 15 minutes each
- Side Laterals: 4 light warm up sets of 15 reps
- Front Raise: 3 sets of 6 reps
- Machine Press: 4 sets of 12 reps
- Heavy Shrugs: 4 sets of 15 reps
- Rear Delt Bent Over Laterals: 4 sets of 15 reps
- Morning Cardio 5am: 20 minutes on Bike, Treadmill or Elliptical
- Evening Cardio: 30 min Walking, plus 1 mile Run
- Seated Row: 3 warm up sets of 15 reps
- One Arm Bent Knee Deadlift (alternating): 4 sets of 10 reps
- Hyperextensions: 4 sets of 15 reps
- Reverse Grip Pulldowns: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Morning Cardio 5am: 45 min short run/walk intervals on Treadmill
- Evening Cardio: Rotating between 3 Cardio Machines for 15 minutes each
- Skull Crushers: 4 sets of 15 reps
- Close Pushups: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Bench Dips or Bar Dips: 4 sets of 10 reps
- EZ Bar Curls: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Hammer Curls: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Preacher Curls: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Lying Cable Curls: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Morning Cardio 5am: Bootcamp Style Workout or 30 min Bleacher Sprints
- Afternoon Cardio: 30 min incline Walking, plus 1 mile Run
- Incline Dumbbell Bench: 4 sets of 15 reps
Suggestions for Others
Since starting on this journey I have learned a lot about myself, what my perceived personal limits were and how to push myself past them. I learned how important it was to set a goal and stick to it. With any journey you have to have a goal in sight, a purpose for your process.
Whether it's fitting into your favorite pair of jeans again, or stepping on stage for the first time. Create your own purpose for making positive changes in your life and envision the process it will take to get your self there. Find a supportive and caring coach or trainer, and surround yourself with people who believe in you and want to see you succeed.
Like anything in life, be prepared. Make your meals the night before and have your gym bag at your door. Pre plan your workouts and schedule your day so the gym will fit in.
If I am feeling stressed out or wanting to step out on my nutrition plan I look deep within myself and remember there is a reason, a purpose, an intention and a desire to better myself. And to achieve what I want to achieve there is work to be done, focus required, dedication needed and a process to be in place.
Reminding yourself of this daily will prevent you from letting small things get in the way of achieving your goals!
- 2010 Ottawa Classic, Nov 6, 2010: 4th Place (Qualified for Provincials)
- 2010 London Championships, Nov 27, 2010: 6th Place
Gord Weber, Gord Weber Photography
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I don't know if you will see this, Melissa. I don't know what all a physique contest entails. But from the loosk of it, You should have got 1st. Absolutely amazing physique, with the killer curves and beauty. I don't see wrinkles nor cellulite. Please forgive me for being so critical of the other contestants appearance but I am not sure why you only came in 4th. As far as I am concerned you have the whole package and a beautiful smile w/ graceful presence.
I loved this article because you were EXACTLY where I am right now: 5'7" and 220lbs. I feel exhausted, weak and gross. I don't even feel feminine and I haven't been on a date in 3 years. Thank you for this article. It's inspiring and it has motivated me to get back on track!