Women have a variety of reasons why they choose a healthy lifestyle but no matter how you slice it, getting active requires a mental shift to stay consistent enough to reach your fitness goals. British West Indies-born fitness trainer Melissa Mussington suffered from an abusive relationship that knocked her once healthy, athletic journey off course and her weight reached 200lbs. When photos of herself at her sister's wedding put the weight that she had gained on display, she was inspired to make a change that has influenced over 27K of her followers on Instagram. We recently chatted with the 27-year-old about her favorite way to break a sweat, the one surprising thing that slows her down and much more.
Tell us how your winning photo came about?
The winning [photo] was actually a surprise to me. The nomination was even more of a surprise. I just told a few people I got nominated, and they went to town with the votes.
Please briefly share your fitness journey with us.
I was actually an athlete from young. I played tennis from the age of three, amongst many other sports, which I represented my island internationally. I then got into a very abusive and unhealthy period of my life in a relationship, which caused me to gain massive amounts of weight. I was over 200lbs and was reminded constantly by those close to me. After seeing myself in my sister's wedding pictures, I decided it was time to change, and started to make a change, beginning with leaving the country and the abusive relationship behind. The rest is history. I fell in love with fitness and now want to inspire and educate women alike.
We believe fitness + friendship = FUN! What is your favorite group fitness workout?
I totally agree! My favorite group fitness workout would be soca aerobics. The excitement and effortless ability to keep up with the music tends to mask the fact that it is exercise.
While working out is important, so is eating the right foods. What is your go-to pre-workout meal? How do you refuel after a workout?
My go-to pre-workout meal would be some oats in almond milk, half a banana, sprinkled with chia seeds. Post-workout, first thing is my protein shake, followed by a protein-rich meal, to ensure I'm fueling my recovery and muscle building.
What is one item that is always in your gym bag?
Always in my gym bag? RESISTANCE BANDS!! I never leave home without at least one.
Which songs/artists would we find on your workout playlist?
You'll always find soca artists on my playlists. For example, Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin, and Patrice Roberts. If I'm not listening to soca, it will be an inspirational playlist with ET the hip-hop preacher
, Tony Robins, or Les Brown.
What are your top 3 fitness Instagram accounts to follow?
Since “pretty girls sweat,” what is your favorite deodorant?
I don't particularly have a favorite deodorant, but I always try to go for one that doesn't smudge on black clothing, is an antiperspirant, and contains natural, feminine-smelling ingredients.
What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
People would be surprised to know that I have a tumor in my brain which causes severe migraines, blackouts, and usually slows me down with workouts. But I don't let it limit me.
What are your top three goals you hope to accomplish in life?
Top three goals to accomplish in life would be a healthy, supportive and thriving marriage, to own a gym of my very own, and to attain time and financial freedom to enable me to travel very frequently and do a lot for my parents while they are still alive.
What does PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT mean to you?
PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT means more than just a physical acceptance to women becoming active. It's WOMEN ourselves becoming comfortable with our choices WE MAKE. If we want to be ripped, we can do so and still FEEL pretty, disregarding the opinions of others. If we don't look like the next woman in fitness, that's fine. We are not all built to be the same, and we can be our own kind of "pretty". There's so much beauty in supporting one another, and I think this is an amazing community.
What is the most important thing you want to share with our audience?
As we've got life, we've got a chance. We all have a purpose. And if we spend each day getting closer and closer to a feeling of content, we are doing GREAT! There are so many people that live unfulfilled lives, and no matter the area of life, we don't have to. Another day, another chance.
How can readers stay in touch with you on social media?
You can keep in touch and see what I'm up to on my social media platforms:
Want to become our next photo contest winner? Tag @prettygirlssweat in your favorite fitness photos for the chance to win a feature on our homepage, an exclusive interview, and a PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT prize pack filled with gear and beauty products!