How Melissa Wood Made Fitness More About Wellness
And how you can, too.
Melissa Wood, the founder of Melissa Wood Health, is the queen of making impactful workouts versatile enough to fit into your busy schedules — anytime, anywhere. By mastering the art of the flexible workout, she makes consistency and long-term results possible. But, as she points out, she had to start somewhere.
What we learn from Wood’s wellness journey below is that truly committing to fitness comes by making wellness a genuine part of your life — at the core is the way you treat yourself in your inner-dialogue and self-care. By recognizing that you are worthy of compassion, love, and devotion — imbuing your self-care with authentic intention — you can become your best ally and source of motivation on your wellness journeys. Being kinder to yourself enables you to unlock your inner potential and see your dreams realized, as well as being a source of inspiration to others.
The Effect of An Unhealthy Relationship with Self
“The truth is my flexible approach was inspired by the very inflexible lifestyle I used to live,” Wood tells rē•spin. “I came from the mindset that if I wasn’t doing an hour of cardio in addition to an hour of strength training [per] day at least six days a week, then I simply did not feel I was getting a good enough workout in.”
Looking back, Wood laments what can be likened to internalized perfectionism that kept her engaging in a cycle of dissatisfaction. “I weighed myself daily and micro-managed every morsel of food that I put in my mouth,” she continues, recalling the negative inner-dialogue that fueled this unhappy state. “It was not a sustainable life to live because I did not like myself.”
Even when she succeeded in meeting her unsustainable wellness goals, the fact is that she could never feel satisfied because her inner-dialogue set her up for failure. But she learned that intention matters, and how she treated herself mattered — and ultimately that she deserved to celebrate the successes, no matter how small.
Self-Love: The Key to Wellness
Anyone who tunes into Wood’s virtual workouts knows that her mindset is completely different these days from the state described above. When she guides you through classes, she radiates positivity and encouragement, guiding you through strengthening exercises without a trace of judgment or inadequacy. Classes with Wood are more like segments of self-care that can become an actual lifestyle. Why? Because rather than focusing on high-impact sweat sessions that you can only make time for once per week, their flexibility makes it easy to practice them consistently. Over time, this yields long lean lines and muscle tone.
Her transformation into who she is today began upon becoming a mother. “[My old mindset] changed after having my son. I knew there had to be another way, a way that I would be proud to live by example for my children,” she says. Inspired by a mother’s love, Wood overcame her eating disorder by changing the relationship she had with herself, practicing meditation in the place of binge-eating, and implementing new coping strategies when facing the accumulation of inner and outer stressors that fueled her former state of mind. Wood essentially found that by rē-spinning her self-view into one of self-compassion and self-love, she entered a state of authentic wellness. “The more I committed to these daily habits, my life started to change — as did my view of myself. I had to rē-learn to love myself, my body, and my mind.”
Making Wellness Possible for Others
Wood has since become the fitness icon that we all know her as — one who seamlessly balances motherhood with health practices like juicing, meditation, and yes, working out. Her personal wellness journey was so transformative that it inspired her to start Melissa Wood Health to share what worked for her with us. “I share my meditations and my style of workouts because they changed my entire life and truly saved me from myself,” she says. “When you make the decision to get rid of old habits that are no longer serving you and commit to the ones that do, I believe it can change anyone’s life for the better.”
Reflecting on the lessons she learned along the way, Wood shares what helped her make working out authentically about wellness — free from self-judgment and unattainable fitness goals. “First and foremost, forgive yourself. No excuses, just apologize to yourself for not taking care of you and make a commitment to put your peace first,” she says. “Be so, so gentle with slowly getting back into it, and start with even ten minutes a day to get that fire flowing back into your body. It will come. Stay consistent and watch the rest unfold.”