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GMOVE: What’s your favorite exercise?
I love to be out in nature hiking three wild labs each morning or in the summertime, paddle boarding can’t be beat. If I have time and my sister has sent enough guilt my way about preventing osteoporosis . . . I join her and my mother at a gym to concentrate on weight training.
GMOVE: How do you spend your spare time?
I don’t understand this question! Hah, well I volunteer in my community. I love Maliheh Free Clinic which provides free medical care and Neighborhood House which provides day care and support services to low-income children and adults.
GMOVE: Why do you volunteer?
As a young girl, I adored my grandmothers and their quiet generosity. As a teenager, through my mother’s involvement I began volunteering at Neighborhood House and experienced need in the community first hand. I remember expressing surprise at the hearty “snack” kids received in the afternoon before going home and I will never forget my mother’s response informing me that was all many kids would have to eat until they arrived at Neighborhood House in the morning for breakfast. The nutritious meals served daily are so important because who can focus on learning if they are hungry?
GMOVE: Who does Neighborhood House serve?
Since 1894 when the founder, Emma McVicker looked around and saw little children that needed to be clothed and fed so she got to work. What a powerful legacy to think how many lives have been influenced for the better because someone identified a need, I’m certain in her day Emma was a real gmove woman! I think over 120 years later she would be proud that the organization she started is still committed to providing quality, affordable services that aid low-income families in their efforts to self-sufficiency based on their ability to pay. We provide year-round preschool/daycare and school age programs for children ages 15 months through twelve years old and loving care for aging adults who can no longer care for themselves.
GMOVE: How is this funded?
As a non-profit, 43% of the cost of care is paid for by generous donations which reduces the cost through our sliding fee scale. This is important since 91% of the families served are low-income with an average income of less than $25,000 for a family of four.
GMOVE: What is the impact?
Ready for some numbers? How about providing 53,000 days of care and over 95,000 meals to 550 children and adults each year. Making early childhood education, afterschool care and enriching adult care affordable to our community will reap benefits for years to come. Everyone deserves a chance, right?
GMOVE: What’s in your purse?
My purse is part of my upper arm fitness routine since it is loaded down with files, maybe some By-laws or a 990-tax form, a protein bar, more files, a bunch of loose change in the bottom, a book and my all-time favorite snack of raw almonds & dried tart cherries.
GMOVE: What’s your guilty pleasure?
Scottie Dogs All Natural Black Licorice, I’m certain if no one was looking I could consume an entire bag by myself. Non-food guilt would be to sit down and read a book in one sitting (on a distant beach far, far away would make it even guiltier!)
GMOVE: What’s a book you’d recommend?
I have too many favorites but “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is in the top 10. Favorite authors are Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan, Jane Austen, Wallace Stegner, Candace Millard, David McCullough, Jhumpa Lahiri, etc.!!
GMOVE: What’s your secret to staying fit?
Well my family would contend my secret is that I never say “no” but I would say just keep moving & challenging yourself each day.
GMOVE: What makes you happy?
Exploring and finding adventure with family and friends either on the trail, through travel or around the board table. Brainstorming, problem solving and discovering possibilities always makes me smile.
GMOVE: Best piece of advice you ever received?
Long before the lol, omg acronyms became popular my father was always emphasizing to have a good “PMA”. As a teenager, I rolled by eyes but now I realize how important it is to your overall health to remain positive.
GMOVE: One thing that always chills you out?
Dancing around the house to a pretty wide . . . Nat King Cole to Beatles to Classical to U2 to Imagine Dragons . . . variety of music with my nieces.
A: Hmm, well as of right now I’m loving walking on an incline & a good stair stepper workout followed by a little dumbbell workout and stretching is my favorite!
GMOVE: What’s do you do in your spare time?
A: I love to scrapbook, craft, make cards, hang out with my friends, be with my family!
A: I love love love oatmeal chocolate chip cookies 😄
A: Honestly it’s all about what you eat! Abs are made in the kitchen. So I try my very best to stick to high protein food and no sugar!
GMOVE: How did you get into modeling?
A: Becoming Miss Utah Teen USA 2010 helped get my foot in the door and then in 2012 I was on the reality TV show Survivor and that really helped get my name out there and I started booking a ton more. And winning Miss Utah USA 2014 helped me so much too!
GMOVE: You have amazing skin, what’s your secret?
A: I always wash my makeup off at night and also my favorite thing for my face is my Clearasonic its my favorite beauty secret!
GMOVE: One beauty item you can’t live without is _____?
A: Tinted moisturizer 😄
A: Lol so many things, I have makeup wipes, mascara, lip gloss, my wallet, snacks, gum, phone charger, water bottle, crystal light water drops, headphones, headache medicine, hair brush, Bobby pins, sunglasses, and receipts 😄
GMOVE: Three words that best describe you are?
A: FUN, kind, kinda-crazy 😄
GMOVE: If you could go back a couple or three years, what advice would you give yourself?
A: Enjoy life as much as possible and truly live each moment and have FUN!
GMOVE: Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
A: Well in 5 years I’ll have a 4 year old baby boy, so I hope to be the best mom in the world! And I hope to have my makeup line successful, and to continue to grow my family!
GMOVE: What keeps you grounded?
A: First my friends and family.. But besides them the gym & eating healthy always makes me feel so good.
GMOVE: What gives you confidence?
A: Knowing who I am and helping other people always gives me confidence!
GMOVE:What makes you happy?
A: Food:) family, and friends! And I always love a fun date night!
GMOVE: What is a fitness / wellness trend you secretly want to try?
A: I’ve always wanted to try hot yoga
GMOVE: Favorite Movie?
A: The vow 😄
GMOVE: Secret obsession?
A: Firehouse Subs!! I could eat there for every meal! Omg!
GMOVE: Top 4 favorite Instagram accounts?
A: I don’t really have a favorite but I love the company who I work for: @shopMVB
GMOVE: What’s a book you’d recommend to others?
A: The Secret! I live by that book and the secret message it shares by teaching you how powerful your mind really is, and how anything is possible!
GMOVE: Current workout music?
A: I’m all about Drake and Ri Ri right now!
GMOVE: Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
A: To be KIND to everyone! It will take you wayyyyy farther in life than you’ll ever know.
A: Baths with bath bombs
GMOVE: Something you’re looking forward to in the future?
A: Becoming a mommy this coming January!! I can’t wait!!
we can’t wait either to see this beauty become a mommy.
C: My favorite exercise is anything that gets me outside and moving! I am a rock climber, so the majority of my work outs take place on rock walls. I love intense hikes, surfing, yoga, and anything else that lets me move my body. For a quick workout to shape the legs and booty, barre/pilates is always my answer.
GMOVE: how do you spend your spare time?
C: In my life, no time is spare. It’s all about doing the thing that is going to make your life better, both short-term and long-term. For me, that can be working on film and photo edits, playing music, researching/planning expeditions, spending time with my family, or just sleeping a little extra! Sleep is sooo important to me and ensuring I am always productive.
C: I don’t do guilt :). But if I did, it would be froyo from Yogurtland (which I have weekly) and Cheez-its!
C: Fitness is a by-product of my lifestyle. I am a yoga teacher, barre teacher, and rock climber. I also need to stay in shape to continue working as a model, so I end up doing additional ab and leg workouts. I don’t really diet unless I have a shoot that is very important and that I need to look a certain way for. My daily diet is very high in healthy fats, high in protein and veggies, and doesn’t sacrifice cheese, chocolate, carbs, or ice cream :).
C: Oddly enough, my modeling career took off when I gained weight. At one point I was very thin and living in Los Angeles, not having much success as a fashion model. I found success when I finally put strength before looks and began eating well for climbing, surfing, yoga, and other things I love.
GMOVE: Talk to us about your skin regiment?
C: Dr. Bronners Peppermint Soap (on my face, too) and Aveda Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Lotion!
C: All of them! In my day-to-day life I usually don’t wear makeup or style my hair. If I had to choose one, I’d say mascara!
C: Again, I don’t carry a purse. I prefer to travel light! My cell phone case has a place to put my ID and credit card, and my car keys are on a carabiner that attaches to my person!
C: You are good enough, you are smart enough, and don’t be scared – just go for it!
C: Yoga. Yoga and meditation is always the place I can go to when I need to slow the world down. I also journal a lot as a means of reflecting on what is going on in my life and whether I am handling it in the best way possible.
C: Two major milestones that built my confidence were teaching yoga, and finding success in my carreer. But I also believe that confidence is a natural gift of becoming an adult. You make mistakes, become wiser for them, build a career and learn to take care of yourself by doing things you love, and before you know it you’re sharing your wisdom with other beautiful girls who are on their own path to happiness!
C: Beauty in people, beauty in this world, love, laughter, passion, and realizing that the good, bad, and the ugly make up this beautiful life.
C: Yoga and meditation.
C: All of it!
GMOVE: Connecting to bodies through movement has been a common theme in your life since you began dancing at a very young age. tell us more about this.
M: yes throughout my youth and after receiving my BFA in dance from the University of Utah, i went on to dance professionally in NYC, Monaco and France for 12 years.
GMOVE: What did you do after your return to the States?
M: I returned to the States feeling grounded and in a very good place in my life so i turned my focus to helping others achieve balance and wellness in their lives. I open up the pilates programs for Body Tech in Foothill village, Xcel Spa and Fitness, Advanced Training Performance…. in addition I set up yoga programs for various gyms and studios, started teaching the classes, managing the studios, providing life coaching, nutritional counseling and private sessions to clients.
GMOVE: tell us about your own businesses;
M: first company, Moving Fit, is an internet company helping clients use mindfulness, movement, and nutrition to lead empowered, healthier and happier lives; my second company, Wholy Raw, creates organic, vegan, gluten and dairy free energy snacks.
GMOVE: your Wholy Raw is our favorite midnight snake! one of the few guilt free ones!
GMOVE: your passions in life …
M: my biggest passion is traveling and staying active and teaching yoga.I walk/ light hike and do yoga every day to stay in shape
GMOVE: your heaven on earth…
M: My favorite place in the world is the south of France. which is why i spent this entire past summer there.
GMOVE: we’ve seen your beautiful travel posts on your instagram & Facebook pages: moving_fit_wholyraw & movingfitco. can we go with you on your next trip!?
M: laughing! although i was working, it felt more like a vaca. I taught yoga all last summer in Antibes and Saint Tropez.
GMOVE: you have a great figure. what are your eating habits?
M: I don’t believe in diets. I love to eat but have a European mentality, so I eat whatever I want but have small portion sizes and never feel ” guilty” about it. I don’t have the all or nothing way of thinking when it comes to food.
GMOVE: what’s the toughest thing you’ve done in your life that’s been rewarding and worthwhile?
M: I have raised my son, Matisse alone, since he was 2. He is 16 now and I couldn’t be more proud of him. he’s my love and my life! he even helps me with my raw food company.
GMOVE: What do you look for in active wear apparel?
M: Versatility is key to me. I am a very busy woman with work, travel, and social life; that is one of the reasons I love GMOVE!
It takes me from the yoga studio directly to a business lunch and even a nice party in the evening. The designs are so unique yet comfortable-they are classy & sexy at the same time. The leggings, Muscle Up Baby Girl, & Beirut Nights are 3 of my favorite pieces that will go in my suitcase on every trip I take. In fact, I wore them in the S. of France this summer and my french friends loved them.
Thank you Melissa for taking time to sit down with us!
Melissa has been teaching yoga, pilates and fitness classes for over 20 years and holds certifications through Yoga Alliance, Stott and Polestar pilates and National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is passionate about teaching others how important it is to move our bodies every day, to focus on correct alignment in movement, to eat healthy real food, to practice self-care and to follow our hearts and dreams to create the life we want. She uses yoga as the tool to teach these life skills and as a way to slow down, breathe, connect with ourselves and live our lives with more presence, awareness and integrity.
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