Say what you want about the Kardashian family, but under all the sparkly dresses and colourful hair changes, we can agree that they have some bangin' bodies. Pop culture junkies and anyone who's a sucker for a solid weight-loss story watched Khloé Kardashian's emotional and physical transformation last year in awe. Now, we've got a new sister who wants to flip the switch on her lifestyle and gym habits, and that's soon-to-be-mama-of-three Kim Kardashian.
I'm just going to put this out there now: I watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Sure, it provides a lot of laughs and a lot of SMHs, but if I didn't watch the show, I wouldn't have been clued into the pure greatness that is Kim's new trainer and my new favourite fitspo. Meet Melissa Alcantara, or more appropriately, FitGurlMel, as her 79K Instagram followers know her as. During a recent episode of *gulp* season 14, Kim tells her mother that she found Melissa on Instagram and was blown away by her postpartum body.
Say no more, Kim. I immediately grabbed my phone, pulled up Melissa's account, and knew exactly why Kim was so inspired by her. Melissa's insanely ripped figure didn't appear overnight. For years, she put in intense work at the gym to prepare for bodybuilding competitions, but it took a lot of work to get there, and she learned even more on the journey. "I went from overweight to skinny to muscular because I thought I wanted to be skinny, but that's not what I wanted, I wanted to be 'toned' which just means building muscle," she captioned a recent photo on Instagram. "Building muscle doesn't mean you're going to become Arnold. So the next time you say I want to be toned, what you really mean is I want to lift weights."
Melissa explained that it may take time to evoke that desire for a lifestyle change within oneself, but after that light bulb turns on, the rest is history. "The recipe for motivation is within you, it starts with being really f*cking tired of not being the person you want to be then one day you say enough is enough and you change your life," she wrote on Instagram. "You start to wake up at 5am even though you just want to sleep, 3 weeks go by and it's not so bad, you start to work out at 6am even though you don't know exactly what you're doing but 3 weeks later you start to feel like a pro."
With bodybuilding competitions, Melissa was HARD on herself, working out multiple times a day and not fuelling her body with the proper nutrients. But eventually, she learned about the importance of nutrition. In the KUWTK episode, we see Melissa completely wipe out all the "processed crap" from Kim's kitchen and truly test her self-control. In terms of the workouts, the trainer told Kim she does it all — low-intensity interval training, high-intensity interval training, and weight training. There's no "trick" or shortcut to looking and feeling the way she does, it's simple: she takes good care of herself consistently.
"You have to drink your water (a gallon a day), eat your veggies (more than 4 pieces of broccoli), eat your carbs (not processed or fried crap) and exercise with intensity, with good form and with focus," she wrote on Instagram. "IF YOU EAT WHAT THE EARTH GAVE YOU (not processed or fried crap all the time) and exercise with intensity, focus and form you WILL get results over a LOOOONGGGG period of CONSISTENCY and TIME (think years). There are NO shortcuts, stop looking for one. Once you accept that, your journey begins!"
Out of all the intense transformations Melissa has had throughout her life, she said that 2017 was "by far the craziest one" after winning her first bodybuilding competition and being contacted by Kim. The moral of the story is to work hard and never give up on your dreams, because, as Melissa said it best, "1 week turns into 2 and before you know it it's 6 years later and you're training Kim Kardashian."
Read on to see photos of Melissa's applause-worthy "toned" journey, and prepare to feel incredibly inspired by her motivational quotes about lifestyle changes and nutrition.