The (F)Empower Project: Meet Mel!

I’m a television host and producer for a Canadian music television show I co-created called BRBR. I’m also the founder, content creator & creative director for MELSAYS.COM, a website I started a few years ago. My goal was to share my passions for travel, wellness, food, fashion and surf with everyone. This website has taught me so much about myself, it’s been such a wonderful journey thus far.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been playing sports and been active. Growing up, I was the kid that belonged to every sports team and had an activity every night after school. I grew up doing every sport imaginable and as I got older I started focusing my energies more particularly on dancing.

When I moved to Toronto six years ago, I decided to stop dancing. After more than 22 years of dancing, teaching and performing, I felt like I had had enough. That said, being in a new city, I wanted to remain active and with my crazy schedule, the thing that I was drawn to the most was running.

Last summer, I also started doing NTC and working with Nike and it completely reignited my passion for being outdoors and living an active lifestyle. Working in the music industry and having an irregular schedule had thrown off my training game a bit so I was so excited to see that I still had that fire inside of me.

Through training, I also met some amazing new people that really opened my eyes to how amazing living an active life can be.

Being fit and leading a healthy and active lifestyle can mean so many different things to so many people. To me, it’s taking time for myself several times a week to get out and be active. I’ve realized that the more I’m active, the better I can sleep and the less stressed and anxious I feel. It has also made me feel a lot more confident about myself and a lot stronger mentally.

"Being active...has also made me Feel a lot more confident about myself, and a lot stronger mentally."


 Photo credit: Mymediaphoto

Photo credit: Mymediaphoto

Though my training regimen tends to change quite often due to the amount of time I spend traveling, I always make it a point to train at least 3x a week, no matter where I am and what I’m doing. Ideally, when I’m home, I run 3x a week and also do 1-2 NTC classes. I also ride my bike every day and on weekends will spend time outdoors. I love surfing, wakeboarding, snowboarding, hiking, swimming, yoga, etc.

I’ve realized there are many things that keep me motivated to keep training and exercising. The first, is being the daughter of a cancer survivor, I want to put all the chances on my side and lead the healthiest life possible to avoid as many health issues as I can. Second, working out makes me feel good, it makes me feel happy and more relaxed. Even if I sometimes don’t feel like going out or working out initially, the feeling I get afterwards is always worth it. Third, the amazing group of people I’ve met through training, running and partaking in races is a huge motivation. I used to run and train mostly on my own but meeting these incredible people have kept me on my toes and kept me wanting to keep up with all of them.

It makes me so happy to see and be able to work out with so many incredible women. I feel privileged to live somewhere where women come together to work out and stay fit. Through doing so, we also develop incredible friendships and are able to share so many important moments together.

I find that people’s attitudes towards women and fitness are changing. I see the standard of beauty in society also changing. It wasn’t too long ago that really skinny and unhealthy looking women were gracing the covers of magazines. Today, we are finding more and more healthy and fit women on these same covers, on runways and in press in general. It’s nice to see people slowly waking up and realizing that healthy is better than skinny. I hope that attitudes will keep changing and people will embrace a healthier lifestyle above and beyond everything else.

"I think being fit and being a woman is the best thing." 

I feel I’m the best version of myself when I’m leading an active lifestyle and being fit. I love being able to workout, getting down and dirty, getting a good sweat but then also being feminine and enjoying this healthy body.

This past year was definitely an important year because it’s the year I felt the strongest and the healthiest. It was the first year I really set some fitness goals and attained them. I ran my first 10k race, then ran a 15k race, a Spartan Race, etc. The more I did, the more I wanted to do. My next fitness goal is to run my first ever half marathon in 2016 and sign up for more races like the Spartan Race. I love the combination of running and also having an obstacle course. I want to keep being active and in turn be happy!

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