I recently wrote this status update on my Facebook page:
You can't earn everyone's love but you can earn self-love.
We all know this...right? Kind-of-sort-of? Or is it that we forget to remind ourselves of it? Forgetting the meaning and actions behind "self-love" can wear us thin. We can be hard on ourselves for no good reason which then leads to bad habits, like my strange midnight love affair with Fig Newtons (I'll get into that later). Sometimes we just need help channeling our self-love into healthy & positive outcomes. Meet Melissa Kathryn. She's the founder of Melissa Kathryn Makeover, a weight loss program for women who want to trim their bodies and tailor their wardrobes. I couldn't resist--I had to sportswear-style her for this story!
How I Met Melissa Kathryn
It sounds strange but we were set up a by a mutual friend who thought we'd have "career stuff" in common. We met up at Tartine in NYC's West Village. Immediately I noticed her calm composure, illuminated skin and how beautifully proportioned her body was in her super stylish maxi skirt. 'This girl has it together' I thought. Within minutes I'd find out why. Melissa Kathryn is a Certified Holistic Nutrition & Wellness Coach specializing in weight loss. Informally, she's a makeover expert who makes transformations happen from the inside out (a title I like much better than the first). She believes a healthy lifestyle involves a proper diet, fitness and truly loving oneself and tells me that "you cannot achieve one without the other". But most importantly, healthy eating can't be achieved without practicing self-love daily. Why? "Because women are emotionally driven" she says.
Melissa is wearing: Actra / Lady Foot Locker Tank and capris, basic short-sleeve pullover hoodie, shoes by RioSoul. Cruiser Bike by Schwinn with Nantucket Bike Basket.
What the Melissa Kathryn Makeover Program Is All About
Melissa works one on one with female clients. She provides you with a nutrition and fitness plan that is completely customized to your lifestyle, goals, nutrition needs and fitness level. Once you achieve your goal weight, she teaches you how to play up your best assets and dress for your body type. Melissa tells me that "Not all fashion trends are meant to be worn off the runway or by everyone." I nod my head to this while having scary flashbacks of outfits I've worn that I shouldn't have (like the picnic table cloth overall dress in my closet that needs to be burned ASAP). Overall, Melissa sees her role as your coach and her mission is to help you become "unstuck" and find effective, long-lasting ways to lose and maintain weight. Check out her coaching program and holistic-focused method.
Melissa is wearing: Actra / Lady Foot Locker Tank and capris, BodyRock Sport Di Top (left), Adam Lippes zip-up jacket (right), shoes by RioSoul, Urban Outfitters Slouchy Beanie .
Of Course I Had To Ask Melissa How She Prefers To Work Out
It's my trick question and she didn't stutter:
My favorite workout is Hip Hop dance class at Peridance Studio – it’s 90 minutes and you are drenched when you leave. It’s an entire body workout and by the end of class, you've had an absolute blast, copped an attitude, shaken your booty, picked up new moves and burned at least 600 calories!
Since becoming buds with Melissa we've tried quite a few workouts together including SurfSET Fitness, Flywheel Sports spin class and Tonique Fitness. I've gotta say, this girl can hang! But I was most impressed by her eagerness to jump on my cruiser bike and pedal through the Meatpacking District for our photo-shoot. Biking NYC's busy streets with taxis coming at you left and right can be pretty intimidating--not for this makeover maven!
Melissa is wearing: NUX USA Refresh Poncho with Actra / Lady Foot Locker capris. Cruiser Bike by Schwinn with Nantucket Bike Basket and Linus Office Bag.
Melissa's Quickie Health Advice For You
I kind of asked her this for selfish reasons because at the time I was struggling with a late night Fig Newton addiction. I kept thinking 'what the f*ck is in these things?' fully knowing it's processed food pumped with preservatives and definitely responsible for my ailing tummy. It's also probably not a good idea to eat more than 20 at once.
Here's what Melissa had to say:
I would advise everyone to keep their diet “clean” and go “back to the basics” in regards to weight loss, fitness and wellness. We don’t need chemical pills, wraps and creams for weight loss, expensive equipment to become physically fit and see results or a multitude of power dose vitamins with promises to rewind time and preserve beauty. The power is within ourselves and the choices we make. Eating foods as close to their natural state and taking part in physical activity will have a huge impact on your weight, energy, sleep, mood and overall happiness. It’s actually very simple.
Melissa's words convinced me not to buy anymore Fig Newton snack packs. I realized that I don't even like the way they taste. They're disgusting and they make my mouth dry! I've been stocking up on apples, oranges and REAL dried figs. They taste so much better and I don't feel guilty about snacking on them at night. I actually look forward to slicing up an orange or dissecting a pomegranate. I now know self-love can be served up in wedges and tiny seeds that stain like a mother f*cker. I guess sometimes love squirts. (*sorry for the language but James Perse t-shirts don't come cheap)
To learn more about Melissa Kathryn and her magical makeovers, go to her website Melissa Kathryn Makeover. Find her on Facebook here and Tweet at her here.
Credits: Photography by Moises De Pena and Sportswear Styling by Bianca Jade.