The Many Faces Of Perseverance Blog Series. I thought it would be nice to take the filter out of our daily lives and to be able to relate to many different people about struggles that we each face. I am learning everyday to embrace the struggles we go through, instead of fearing them. I am learning that everything we go through is putting us on our path and helping us grow. I am learning that even when its uncomfortable and hard that we are learning so much about ourselves and that our struggles are shaping us into a better version of ourselves. I hope you gain guidance, inspiration, and support from this series – Alexa
Melanie, what made you want to share your story?
What made me want to share my story is the fact that I wanted to connect with other people, women especially. We’re made to feel like we need to handle everything and take care of everyone else and look and feel glamorous while doing so. It’s just not true. I was inspired by other wellness bloggers and podcasters to be open and vulnerable because I knew there had to be hundreds of other girls out there going through what I went through- whether that be an eating disorder, exercise addiction, digestive issues, hormonal imbalance, stress, mom stuff— we are not alone! Women need to be connecting with other women more often because when they do, magic can happen.
I’m a 26 years old certified personal trainer Nutritional Therapy Consultant! I was born and raised in Chicago. I am married to my dream guy and we have two little boys- a 4 year old named Harlan and an almost year old named Wilder. My journey through health and wellness is a looooong one with a ton of ups and downs. I’ve always been interested in health and fitness but I would definitely say I took the two to extremes when was younger.
Throughout high school, I suffered from bulimia and didn’t know anything about proper nutrition. I thought the less I ate, the better. This is when the majority of gut digestive issues started. I went on every diet you can imagine-eventually eating oatmeal, protein shakes, and grapefruit every single day. I felt like crap! I became a personal trainer at Equinox when I was 21 and my exercise addiction worsened. I was exercising sometimes two times a day and not really eating much. It was then that I met ,my now-husband, AJ! Within two weeks of dating, I became pregnant and my world was flipped upside down. After I gave birth to our amazing little man, I developed horrible post partum depression. This got me researching all of the natural ways I could heal myself- with food and supplements. I dove into the world of nutrition and never looked back. After I gave birth to our second son in December of 2015, my postpartum came back, not as bad, but it did come back. I was also still suffering from some bad digestive issues even though I was eating mostly “paleo.”
I decided I needed to make myself and my health a priority so I went back to school for nutrition and I fell in love with the process of helping myself and my clients heal themselves with real food, mindset work, and movement. I can’t say that all of my digestive issues are fully healed, but they’re SO much better than they were before. Making myself a priority made a world of difference! Today, I run the blog getrealwithmel.com, co-host two podcasts: The Well and Balanced Podcast and The Female Experience Podcast, and I help run our training business, Next Level Fitness Chicago. I also have some other fun stuff in the works so stay tuned!