First Name: Melissa
Where you live: Pretoria
Occupation: Candidate Attorney
Tell us more about yourself
What are your personal fitness goals?
Initially, my goal for this year was to compete in the IFBB shows – I wanted a new challenge for myself, as I strongly believe in the saying: “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”. I was devastated when the national lockdown was announced, as all my plans were down the drain. But, I stayed committed, with the mindset that I didn’t come this far to only come thus far! I believe that dream was planted in my heart for a reason, and I will succeed when the time comes, hopefully soon.
In addition to the above, competition prep is not a sustainable way of living. Therefore, my personal fitness goals in general are to constantly better myself to be the best version of myself, and doing so in a realistic and sustainable manner. My goal is to become stronger, more fit and leaner – it’s a long journey, but I want to see what happens when I don’t give up!
How will you use your #BiogenFaceOfFitness ambassadorship to inspire women to lead a healthy / fit lifestyle if you win?
I am very passionate about ‘self-love’. We, as women, are prone to compare ourselves with what we see on social media, and it influences how we feel about ourselves. I soon realized that the fitness models and celebrities, too, have flaws – angles, lighting and photo-shop plays a huge role! There is no such thing as a “perfect body”. I want women to embrace their bodies – despite the shape and size. We easily forget that we all have unique genetics, which also plays a big part in how we look – but, I aspire to inspire women to OWN IT to be the best THEY can be. I want women to understand that the classic “carbs make you fat” and “lifting weights make you big” are myths, and motivate them in an educated manner. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to a fit lifestyle – you should get what works for you and stick to it!
I do not believe in quick fixes – I believe in consistency and balance. I want women to realize that you do not need to starve yourself to be healthy and “healthy” doesn’t necessarily mean wearing a size 6. I’ve always had enough self-confidence, but I soon realized that I can be better. I can submit that I have not felt this good about myself since I started this journey – and I believe every woman deserves to have this feeling! Not only does a fit lifestyle enhance your physical appearance, but it makes you feel worthy, proud of yourself and confident in other aspect of your life. It’s hard work, but worth every sweat! Every woman is capable and good enough. One day, I want women to look at me and think “If she could do it, I can too!”
What health and fitness quote or mantra do you live by?
It all comes down to one question: HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT? Success doesn’t come from what we do occasionally, it comes from what we do consistently. Ask yourself, what do you really want – then do the work to make it happen!
Tell us about your fitness lifestyle
I exercise 4-6 times a week, depending on my goals. Since all the shows are cancelled and I never got the chance to compete, I would set mini goals to keep myself committed, for example, I would train for a photo-shoot – just for fun! During the week, I follow a healthy diet and I enjoy ‘cheat’ meals over weekends (it’s a must for my sanity!). I see exercise as a celebration of what my body can do, not a punishment for what I ate, or that I don’t look a certain way. I also found that my workouts are more effective and I have more energy when I fuel my body with healthy food.
As a candidate attorney, I have strict working hours and I am only able to exercise very early in the morning or in the evening. At first it was challenging, but now my workouts are the best part of my day – and despite my goals, I find it mentally and physically stimulating. A workout is the best therapy – you are always one workout away from a good mood! To see the results of your hard work is rewarding and what I love most about it is the commitment and discipline characteristics you gain along the way – to me, it’s more than just loving what you see in the mirror.
Why do you think you’re the Biogen Face of Fitness?
I believe the best thing you can do is to just TRY. Even if you’re scared and even if you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. Something good will always come from trying. For 23 years I was very self-conscious about my big legs – always hearing “you have big legs for a girl”. 23 years later I decided to embrace it, which is the main reason I started this journey. I figured it would be a shame if I didn’t TRY and achieve something with these naturally strong legs I was blessed with. I am aware that I don’t have a ‘perfect body’, but I love every curve and I am grateful for a healthy body and the ability to be active. Imperfections tell a story – they tell YOUR story. Instead of striving to be perfect, strive to be perfectly YOU.
I think I portray a realistic and relatable healthy lifestyle, and with my own experiences (having struggled to balance a work-, social- and fitness life), I would love to share with women how I manage to balance it and that they CAN have it all by prioritizing and making healthier choices. Apart from really enjoying exercising, I also find the study of exercise and nutrition very interesting. I am an optimistic, self-motivated individual and I love working with people. Therefore, I believe I have a lot of potential and I would live out the Biogen brand according to the standards as expected from an ambassador.
I still have a lot of plans and goals for myself – this is only the beginning! It will be an honor to share my journey as the Biogen Face of Fitness 2020.
Lastly, I never thought I would enter this competition, but great things never came from comfort zones – so, let’s get uncomfortable!