Personal trainer and fitness coach Melissa Alcantara went through her own weight loss journey, to improve herself after giving birth. She tells BET , that her career wasn’t initially planned- having previously worked as a photography producer. She however embraced the opportunity when her friends noticed her transformation and asked her to train them.

Her Backstory

Melissa didn’t always exude the confident, centre of the room personality that we now see portrayed on her social media platforms. In the interview with BET on YouTube, she opens up about her difficult relationship with her body while growing up. She describes feeling self-conscious and inferior around the girls she grew up with. The mum of one mentioned feeling bad about herself, especially due to the attention boys gave to the other girls rather than her.

The on-going struggle with her body and self-esteem eventually led her to feel tired and fed up with her situation. She recognised the need for change and found the motivation to start her journey towards better health and self-acceptance.

Fast forward 10 years into her fitness journey, Melissa has had her head down establishing herself as a business woman and etching her name in the fitness space. In 2017 she even caught the attention of Kim Kardashian who found her on Instagram and took Melissa on as her personal trainer. Their partnership contributed to her rise in popularity and as they say, the rest is history.

Melissa’s Changes to her fitness dedication

Melissa’s impressively toned arms stand out as one of her defining features, making a statement in every outfit she wears. If meeting her for the first time, it’s immediately evident from a distance that she’s deeply committed to fitness.

However, Melissa has recently expressed a change of mind going forward with her training style and how she now prefers to look.

She shared her updated perspective in an Instagram post:

“The journey to losing muscle hasn’t been easy. I know that sounds preposterous. About 2 years ago I decided I didn’t want to be so muscular anymore, I build muscle quickly and I also have tons of definition (I’m naturally leanish) thanks to the genetic gods I was blessed in that way but it’s also a bit of a curse as I struggle between being soft and feminine and being super strong muscular.”

Melissa is expressing that her personal preference is just that: her preference. She clarifies that she’s not suggesting it’s impossible to be both strong and feminine, acknowledging that different individuals may have different goals and preferences. However, she personally prefers a softer, less muscular appearance over being heavily muscular.

“I’m not saying you can’t be strong and feminine …All I’m saying is I prefer to be softer and not so jacked.” She added

Melissa explains that her perspective on fitness has evolved over time. She acknowledges that as circumstances change, so do priorities. She expresses that she no longer desires to train specifically to become bulky or overly muscular.

“Times change, things change and I just don’t feel like training to be bulky anymore. I love training hard and lifting heavy which is why it’s a struggle because I’m still trying to find the balance between still doing that but not building and being so muscular. There’s much more to say to this so please refrain from commenting like ima tell you the whole story in one post. Also, you don’t know me like that lol just sayin”

Despite this shift, Melissa still enjoys intense workouts and lifting heavy weights. However, she finds it challenging to strike a balance between maintaining her strength and fitness without excessively building muscle.

Her recent change in direction aligns with a previous post from a couple of months back, where she also mentioned her intention to dial back on her level of dedication to fitness.

“I used to wake up at 4am every day for years and would be proud to say that. These days I feel like I’m catching up on years of not sleeping and when someone says they wake up at 4 or 5am I cringe.

I’m not saying it’s wrong, all I’m saying is that there are times in our lives when we’re ready and prepared and even love what we’re doing. And then that changes. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just something that is bound to happen and part of life as we gain more experience and wisdom.

So when you’re not feeling like “yourself” anymore, maybe you’re just becoming another version of you and that’s ok too.”

They say the best diet is the one you can stick to and I think this applies to working out also. Although it’s unclear what has motivated Melissa’s desire for a softer physique and less intense workout regimen, one thing is true, at any point you can re-define what fitness means and looks like for you. There’s no perfect body or workout regimen, the goal is to maintain a consistent fitness routine that sparks joy, rather than being a slave to an onerous standard.


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