How One Kapolei Mom Is Training For Bodyshaping Gold

Over the next nine weeks, 41-year-old Kapolei mom and business owner Melanie Gonzalez is slashing her calorie intake, lifting weights twice as heavy as she’s ever lifted before, and practicing fitness poses every day of the week.

Gonzalez is training for the Stingrey Classic, one of the state’s premier bodybuilding and physique competitions. On April 17, at the Sheraton Waikiki Ballroom, more than 100 competitors will vie for titles in various specialties, including physique, figure, and bikini.

Mel is out to prove that you can reach new fitness peaks even when you’re a mom in your 40s.

“As you age and have kids, it’s not true that the only way to go is down,” she says. “You can still learn new skills and reach the highest levels of competition,” Gonzalez, the mom of six-year old, Sebastien, said.

mel tricep work

For Gonzalez, the challenge to step out of her comfort zone and drastically change her diet, eating frequency and exercise habits is what sold her on enlisting the help of one of Oahu’s most respected coaches in Muneca Harvey, at UFC Gym Waikele.

From Marathoner To Mom To Fitness Professional

Gonzalez ran several marathons before her pregnancy, but her Hawaiʻi fitness journey started when she decided to check out a FIT4MOM Stroller Strides class at Kapolei Regional Park.

“I was hooked,” she says. “It wasn’t just the workout, it was the community and the way the ladies brought me in. I didn’t have any mom friends at the time. So it was perfect for me.”

After five years as a participant, Gonzalez took over the Central Oʻahu franchise. FIT4MOM Central Oʻahu offers morning fitness classes six days a week in Kapolei and Waipio.

Gonzalez’ 12-Week Training Program

Four weeks into three intense months of training, Mel is starting to see muscle becoming more defined due to a regimented eating and workout schedule. “I have always considered myself to be an athletic person comfortable with organized sports, but this new experience places the journey strictly in my hands to produce the desired results. It is deeply personal,” Mel explained.

Melanie knew that the journey to compete was not going to be easy.

She is finding that the hardest part is the meal planning/preparation because it is recommended she eat every 3 hours. She’s getting help from Clean Eats 808, a wellness company that provides fresh gourmet healthy meals prepared from scratch.

Clean Eats 808 Chefs Richie Ines and Bronson Melchor, share Mel’s passion for food and fitness. With Clean Eats 808 handling meal prep, Mel’s hectic life as an entrepreneur goes a little smoother.

Mel is also sponsored by media company Aloha Media Pros.

melanie and richie ines of clean eats

Mel with Chef Richie Ines, Executive Chef & Owner of Clean Eats 808.

In week four and beginning to find a balance, Mel is less stressed about what she is going to eat and knows it will be quality nourishment. “It’s difficult not to be able to raid the pantry for everyday snacks or special treats, but my goal is always with me and drives me as I get near competition time.”

Gonzalez’ training program is mapped out by her coach, Muneca Harvey, at UFC Gym Waikele, you can follow her here. Muneca has been a personal trainer for 16 years and has coached other athletes to championship titles. At UFC Gym Waikele, Muneca is teaching Melanie a new way of working out all muscle groups and fueling her body to make it most receptive to her workouts.

mel post workout

The program is targeted for competition day: April 17, when the weight training, meal planning, and posing will pay off at the ballroom stage — and hopefully with a gold medal finish.

Silverware aside, Gonzalez understands the journey can help inspire other moms or anyone who believes goals can be achieved, if they are conceived. “I feel extremely grateful to share this journey with the entire community. I think it is important to remind ourselves to never give up and set the example for our keiki.”

To follow Melanie’s journey, competition results and news on FIT4MOM Central Oʻahu, click here.