Living Fit // Q & A Session

Fitness, Lifestyle

Since beginning my fitness journey, I get asked all sorts of questions, and I thought it might be a good idea to answer some of those common questions here! If you have any other questions, feel free to let me know in the comments or on Facebook/Instagram!

– What made you decide to do a bikini bodybuilding competition?

I chose to participate in a local NPC Bikini Bodybuilding competition because I love building muscle and I wanted something to strive for. I try to keep the mindset of being the best ME that I can be, but sometimes you need a goal to aim for to set you in the right direction and give you benchmarks. This is a big benchmark for me. I don’t plan on competing just once either. I have found that I really love this whole process and plan to continue this the rest of my life. I love it! So this is an easy way to give me goals to strive for as I continue on my fitness journey.

– So what does your diet look like? How strict is it and what can you eat?

I eat primarily real foods that I prepare myself. I eat a lot of chicken, turkey, egg whites, green vegetables, quinoa, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, greek yogurt, and protein pancakes. I keep red meat to the weekends as a special treat, but I definitely enjoy my steak! I don’t really eat sweets, I try and only have a sweet a couple times a week, but when I do it’s high quality dark chocolate, medjool dates and quest bars. I eat every 2-3 hours during the day. I get one cheat meal a week, so I use it wisely!

– How much time do you spend in the gym every week and how many rest days do you take?

I am in the gym for about 10-12 hours every week (2 hours a day) and take 1-2 rest days. My typical rest day is Saturday, but I listen to my body. If I feel like I need it, I take Wednesdays off.

– How are your workouts broken up?

I currently have my upper body split into 3 days, and lower body in 2. My current schedule is:

Sunday: Shoulders & some abs

Monday: Lower Body

Tuesday: Back & Biceps

Wednesday: Abs

Thursday: Lower Body

Friday: Chest & Triceps & some abs

– Does your husband mind how much time you spend in the gym or guys gawking at you?

My husband has been incredibly supportive! He isn’t currently working out, so I’m at the gym without him, but he does eat the same way as me, just not quite as strict or as much. He loves the changes that have been happening to my physique and is really proud of me! He isn’t a jealous guy, so he doesn’t get all uppity when guys watch me do squats etc. Ultimately, I come home to HIM so it doesn’t matter. Plus, since he has been eating clean and pretty balanced with me, he has also found himself in better health and leaner than he has been for years. So he has no complaints :)

– How do you find the time to be working out that much?

It’s simple. I have the same 24 hours in a day as you. I make it a priority. I leave work and go straight to the gym. Every. Day. (Even before my office was in my gym!) I made a commitment to myself and I take it seriously. Plus I really enjoy it! But it takes making your workouts a priority to make it stick!

– How long does it take you to do meal prep every week?

A few hours. I split my grocery shopping and meal prep into two days so I have time to relax. Actually making all the food takes me about 3 hours, sometimes 4, every Sunday. I get to watch movies or TV while things are in the oven and while I am prepping, so it’s not too bad! I plan everything out on Fridays so I don’t really have to think about what I am making or what measurements I am putting in my containers.

– What vitamins and supplements do you take?

I take a multivitamin, biotin, and BCAA’s every day.

– What is your favorite muscle group to work?

Glutes. By far, hands down my absolute favorite!!! Give me the squats, dead lifts, pushdowns, leg press and kickbacks!


– What is your “specialty”? What is the exercise you are BEST at?

I would hope that this answer would be more dynamic with time, but as of now, the exercise that I am the best at is leg press. I can lift the ENTIRE STACK on the machine, which is 400lbs, and do at least 3 sets of 10 reps with that weight. I am pretty proud of myself for that! I see some girls that neglect their lower bodies, their upper body looking strong and lean, yet their lower doesn’t seem muscular. In fact, one in particular, when I first started working out I completely envied how strong she was and how big her arms were. And now, I am pretty proud of myself that I can lift the entire stack, and I finally see this girl lifting lower and she has difficulty lifting 160. Someone I envied, I now can lift more than :) It’s like a little notch in my belt, and a little confidence booster!

– Won’t you get bulky and manly building muscle?

Nope! Have you seen pictures of IFBB Pro Bikini competitors?? They look anything but manly! Curves in all the right places and strong!

– Do you have a coach or a trainer?

I have not yet hired a coach or joined a team, but I have been communicating with a few over the past several months and have picked the team I will be joining. It’s a matter of timing and finances right now. I do however have a trainer that I have been working with for almost 2 years now at my gym that has been phenomenal. His name is Matt and he is the one who initially showed me how to lift, corrected my form and is always giving me new things to try. He is GREAT!


– What has been the biggest and best change you have seen so far?

I don’t think I could ever pick just ONE change! I love the knowledge and understanding I have gained in nutrition, and learning how to listen to my body. I absolutely LOVE seeing my physique change! Muscles getting bigger and stronger, leaning out, and just the overall confidence I have gained. I enjoy sweating now, and I NEVER EVER thought I would EVER say that haha. I love that I have become determined and found a way to stay healthy and fit that I actually enjoy!


– What has been the hardest obstacle to overcome?

Currently the biggest obstacle I have been TRYING to overcome is my upper body being really slooooow to progress. Splitting my upper body workout into 3 different segments has been really helpful, and I have definitely gotten stronger. It just is a really slow progression.

Looking at my fitness journey as a whole though, the biggest obstacle is actually learning about nutrition and re-training my body and mind. It takes a lot of determination and work to learn to see food as something other than enjoyment/tasting good and what I want in the moment. It’s not something I learned overnight. With time, commitment and hard work I have re-trained my mind and body to see food for it’s nutritional value and what it is doing for my body. I still eat good food that tastes great, but the reason I choose the items I do is for how it fuels my body for my workouts and optimum functionality. (That doesn’t mean I don’t get a cheat meal or little treats here and there, but I am very specific in when and what those items are.)


– Surely you do cardio. What does your cardio look like?

I do cardio at the end of every workout right now. That may change over time, actually I’m sure it will, but during this season, I do 30 minutes of cardio after I am done lifting. I try and rotate what I do for cardio so I don’t get bored, because I don’t particularly enjoy cardio! I tend to cycle on the stationary bike, the elliptical (but one that has an incline! Extra glutes emphasis,) row machine or plyometrics. Cardio, while I don’t love it, is an important part of a well-rounded fitness regime and let’s face it, if you want to lean out/burn fat it is vital. So, I do my cardio! :)


If you have any questions that aren’t here on this post, leave the question in the comments section below! I would be happy to answer them!


One thought on “Living Fit // Q & A Session

  1. Way to go Melissa! It’s interesting to read about your journey and see what you love about it. Sounds like it’s been a lot of hard work and goal setting but it’s paying off and you’re healthy, proud, confident and as always, beautiful!! Keep up the awesome work!! :D

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