Name: Melissa Thiessen
Location: Tofield, Alberta, Canada
How did you find out about Girls Gone Strong?
I stumbled upon it while doing some research, around the time I was introduced to strength training.
What does being a Girl Gone Strong mean to you?
Being a Girl Gone Strong to me means living a big life! Being healthy, vibrant, authentic, strong, and owning and embracing every single one of my strengths and imperfections.
What do you do?
I am a stay-at-home mama to three amazing kiddos (ages six, four, and two). My husband and I own two pharmacies as well, and I do some behind-the-scenes work with them.
What else do you do?
I enjoy cooking, curling, reading, spending as much time as possible outdoors, and travelling to any destination with a beach!
How were you introduced to strength training, and how long have you been training?
My sister, Miranda, is the one who introduced me to strength training about three years ago. She had just started training around the same time. Based on the gains she was making, it was a fairly easy sell! I have loved it ever since! Prior to that I was doing a ridiculous amount of cardio.
Top three things you must have with you at the gym or in your gym bag:
Music, lip balm, training journal
Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
I have to say alone only because I have never trained in an actual gym before. We live on an acreage and the nearest gym is about 40 minutes away. I have a very well-stocked home gym!
Best compliment you’ve received lately:
At our last family dinner I gave my Grandma a hug. She was holding me by my biceps and promptly pulled away.
She looked at me with a look of shock on her face and said, “Holy smokes! You have muscles!”
Most recent compliment you gave someone else:
I try to make an effort to compliment others often but my most recent one went to my oldest son. We were training in our home gym, and he asked me if I would teach him how to deadlift (he is six). I love encouraging my kids to be strong. He was so proud of his ability to lift 60 pounds, and I let him know that I was proud, too!
Favorite way to treat yourself:
As a mom of small kids, my favourite treat is some time to myself…and if that involves silence, even better! I also enjoy a nice massage or a trip to Lululemon (although my husband would argue that weekly trips do not qualify as treats).
“What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?” — Erin Hanson
Three words that best describe you:
Caring, strong, genuine
I have read so many good ones lately… Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. And I am a sucker for anything romantic.
What inspires and motivates you?
What motivates me the most are my kids. More specifically, my daughter. I want her to know that she is capable of anything, and that her value as a person does not lie in how she looks or the size of her clothes. I hope that by taking care of every part of myself I will cultivate a desire for her to do the same.
Describe a typical day in your life:
7 a.m. Wake up and get ready for the day
8 a.m. Get my oldest son out the door to school.
8:30 a.m. Breakfast
9 a.m. to Noon Our mornings vary. Housework, playground hopping, Grocery shopping, supper prep, lots of tobogganing lately!
12 p.m. Lunch for the kids
1 p.m. My youngest goes down for a nap
1:30 to 3 p.m. Training
4 p.m. Get my oldest off the bus and spend some time outside before supper
6 p.m. Supper
7 p.m. Bath and story time
8 p.m. Put kids to bed and relax
10:30 p.m. Bedtime
When did you join Strongest You Coaching?
I joined SYC in January 2016. I had watched the promo video last fall and my immediate reaction was, “I need to do this!” I loved the idea of the multifaceted approach, addressing not only the training and nutrition, but zoning in on the mindset work as well. I was so sick of being on or off the proverbial wagon and knew I had to make some big changes. My decision was an especially easy one to make.
I knew that I didn’t want my daughter (who was three at the time) to grow up thinking the same things about her body as I did about mine.
What has been your biggest challenge in the Strongest You Coaching program?
Initially, my biggest challenge was wrapping my head around this new approach that didn’t involve a complete lifestyle overhaul. We started out slow and were encouraged to work at a pace that served us individually and this went against pretty much any typical weight loss approach I had ever attempted. But what do you know?! It works!
What has been your biggest success in the Strongest You Coaching program?
I would definitely say my biggest success has been falling in love with my body and what it can do right now. Never again will a number on a scale or the size of my jeans determine my worth as a woman, because I am so much more than that! I am super proud of the results I have attained as well. I have no idea how much weight (if any) I have lost. I have lost nearly 12 inches throughout my body since beginning in January and have not felt deprived for a second.
What do you like best about the Strongest You Coaching community?
The SYC community is filled with amazing women, all walking different paths, with common goals. There is always someone there to give advice, cheer you on, or lift you up when you need it. Such an invaluable resource!
What “BIG” goal did you want to achieve by the end of Strongest You Coaching?
I had a few different goals at the outset of SYC. Some were aesthetic goals, but I really wanted to be able to deadlift my bodyweight. Well, I was able to do that about five months into the program. It was a surreal experience to actually achieve a strength goal I had set. I remember pulling the weight up for reps and then just sitting down on the floor. All of a sudden there were tears streaming down my face—it was the strangest thing how instantly the emotion took over. I felt like Superwoman that day. It is a moment I will definitely never forget.
My deadlift grew by about 120 pounds throughout this journey. I am super proud of that!
What is the habit you’re currently working on most?
Being mindful and stopping when I am satisfied are the two habits I think I have improved upon the most and the ones that I work at daily. It is amazing how when you take care of all of the important little details, everything else falls into place and results will come.
How has Strongest You Coaching changed your life?
I once told Jen Comas that I would happily stand on a street corner, in a costume, holding a sign to promote GGS because this organization and the group of amazing women that sit on the advisory board are the real deal! This coaching program is the real deal! It has changed my relationship with my body, like whoa! I feed my body foods that nourish and make me feel amazing. There is no longer room for feelings of guilt where my nutrition is concerned. And I am stronger than I have ever been! So, ya… winning!
What would you tell a woman who’s nervous about joining Strongest You Coaching?
I would say without hesitation that this coaching program is one of the best gifts you could ever give yourself. You will experience growth in so many areas of your life (and your biceps, too;) You will be led by a first class trainer and coach (I’m looking at you, Jen Comas!) and be joined by a group of amazing women who will walk alongside you. Do it now! You will be so happy you did!
If you’re inspired by Melissa, read on to learn more about—and join!—our community of strong, supportive women…