Can you tell me a little about yourself?
Hi there, I am 23 years old; I am extremely passionate about health and fitness. Growing up I was very active, I was a competitive dancer and attended George Brown College for Commercial Dance Studies, and my passion for dance has brought me into the world of fitness.
Can you explain what got you into pro fitness modeling and bikini competitions?
I am part of a community called Diva Girl, which supports the empowerment of women, it is a community dedicated to help women get fit, have fun and feel sexy! Every year they hold something called the “Diva Girl Conference, at this conference there are a variety of vendors related to health, fitness and beauty. One of the vendors that caught my eye was The Hourglass Workout, these women looked incredibly fit and healthy, and they were very inspiring. These women stood out, and I wanted to be like them, so I signed up! Hourglass Workout was amazing; I made a ton of friends while sweating through intense boot camp classes! My passion for fitness grew from there, one of my instructors Judy Benic approached me and asked if I had ever considered competing in a fitness competition. With the fitness industry blowing up on Instagram I confessed that it had been something I was thinking about doing. At this point I had never stepped foot in a gym, but Judy decided to train me as she believed I had great potential, she trained me, giving me clear instructions on a variety of different workouts to do daily. After one month of training with Judy, she than took me to her coach named Mike Jackson; he took me under his wing and trained me every day, giving me tons of knowledge about dieting and training. While training with Mike Jackson for only 1 month, I was entered into my first competition.
What did you do to mentally prepare?
For my first competition I trusted everything my trainer said, I kept my eye on the prize and did not let anything get in my way. No cheating on my diet and training very hard, minimum 2 hours a day. I am extremely lucky to be surrounded by a community of people who train hard and compete as I do. The gym I attend is tight community of motivated individuals. The support of the “Fitness Center” community is what kept me focused on my goal.
What is your workout program like?
When in prep, my workout program changes a lot, depending on how my body is looking, I can change my workouts weekly or daily. I train legs, shoulders, back, biceps, triceps, chest and abs. I also incorporate cardio in my daily routines.
What was it like to step on stage and compete in front of people?
Being in the spotlight and on stage is something I am used to due to my dance background, I get a big rush from being on stage, I am in love with the feeling. The first time however, I was extremely nervous and scared, only to realize moments later that I had nothing to be afraid of, there are no words to explain the feeling of accomplishment when I am up on that stage. showing off all of my hard work.
It must have been quite a journey, have you learnt any lessons through this experience?
To this day, I have competed in 7 competitions. That is a lot of sweat and tears! Every prep is different, I experience different feelings and emotions and struggle mentally. I test myself and realize that my struggles only make me stronger. Not only is prep extremely challenging, where I find I struggle and grow the most is when I am off prep, after every show it is important to have a goal, otherwise post show blues and rebound will occur. I have suffered from that more than once, however, the more I struggle the more I grow as a person and if it wasn’t for all of these competitions and challenges I would not be the person I am today.
In terms of training what is your philosophy?
Work hard, Play Harder!
What do you do to find motivation?, because I know it can be hard to stay on track at times!
When I set out goals for myself I will push and crush these goals, no playing around I become very obsessed about my fitness goals and I am also very hard on myself, if I slip up I do not take it lightly. Things I do to stay focused and motivated is telling myself that it will be worth it and that am strong mentally and I can crush my goals and succeed in anything I set my mind to. I ask myself how badly do I want it. Making excuses will not get me anywhere. To be honest, the beginning is very difficult, but once you start to see results, it is easier to stay focused and on track.
Do you have any words of advice for women who to try these type of competitions?
I say do it for the right reasons, if you are actively in the gym and eating healthy and this is one of your goals to accomplish than do it!! There is no greater feeling than being up on that stage knowing you accomplished your goal. Be prepared to make a lot of sacrifices and work extremely hard. I have to say, it is the most difficult thing I have ever done, however, the person you become afterwards is worth it. You learn so much about yourself and find strengths you didn’t know you had.
Where can people follow you and support you? And do you have any last things you’d like to share?
Please follow me on my Instagram @melissa_proulx
If anyone has any questions about competing or in need of advice please do not hesitate to ask, I will gladly helpJ