Fitness Amateur Of The Week: Ripped And Ready

Melissa doesn't need a reason to train. Her motivating factors range from herself to her country. She stands for every woman who dreams of dumbbells and a strong, feminine physique!

Name: Melissa Jooste
BodySpace: melissajooste
Location: South Africa
Age: 28  Height: 5'2"  Weight: 127.6lbs
Years Competing: 5

How Did Your Fitness Journey Begin?

I participated in swimming Gala's, athletics, and was first-team netball throughout school. After school I continued training and formed an action netball team. I enjoy group training, like kettlebell and boot camp classes. For three years I only did cardio. I was a typical girl afraid of weights. After being introduced to a dumbbell, I completely hooked.

I met my husband in 2004. He'd been competing for seven years and I decided to give it a try in 2008. The bug bit me hard and I haven't stopped since. I won our regional show in 2010 and knew I had it in me. The sense of achievement when I reach a goal is exhilarating. I want to be the best I can be on stage and improve from my last show. A trophy means very little to me. My goal is to beat my previous best.

How Did Your Passion For Fitness Emerge?

I start my day at the gym every morning. It makes me feel alive and rejuvenated. I prove to myself that I can achieve anything I put my mind to. Being a role model to other women, young, old, skinny, and overweight pushes me to be my best. Helping others achieve goals makes me a very happy person, and a happy person is a healthy person.

What/Who Motivates You To Live A Healthy Lifestyle?

My husband, Corne, is my biggest fan and motivator. I've met some great girls onstage and I'm grateful to stand next to some of South Africa's best athletes. Being a brand ambassador is a huge achievement for me. I'm very grateful to have a supporting team behind me.

Where Did You Go For Inspiration?

When my husband's mom passed away in February of 2011 after a horrible battle with cancer, something snapped in my head. You can control what goes into your body and how you live. Having a healthy and fit body fights diseases. I want my children to be healthy kids, and healthy habits start at home.

What Are Your Future Fitness Plans?

The recent introduction of bikini at the IFBB South Africa allows me to represent at worlds. It would be a huge achievement. I want to be on the cover of Fitness South Africa magazine one day.

What Is The Most Important Fitness Tip?

Surround yourself with motivating people, push the limits, and compete for you, not for somebody else. Whatever the outcome, always remain humble.

Who Is Your Favorite Fitness Competitor?

Amanda Latona is my favorite bikini competitor. She has grace and represents a healthy feminine physique. I've never met her, but she portrays a very humble and grounded image. I strive to represent myself onstage like she does.

How Did Help You Reach Your Goals?

When I first stumbled upon, I was drawn to the articles and training advice for women. I like visiting BodySpace to see the transformations; if that doesn't inspire you, then I don't know what will.