As promised, today I’m sharing a conversation about New Year’s health and fitness goals that I recently had with cohost of THE SOCIAL, Melissa Grelo. 

I’ve decided we’re close enough that I can call her Mel now, since we’ve interviewed each other so many times. Back in the summer of 2014 I went behind-the-scenes at THE SOCIAL and we chatted for a Momterview here on the blog. Then this past September, Melissa and Traci Melchor interviewed me when I made my debut on the show talking about school success for kids. Next, she and Marci Ien were asking the questions when I was back on THE SOCIAL in November offering homework help for parents. Just before Christmas, I was the one doing the grilling when I spoke with Melissa for a Parents Canada feature – coming soon.

This time around, Mel and I spoke – as busy moms do – during the morning commute! (Well, her commute – she was jealous that I live five minutes from the school and didn’t have to rush!)

How do you feel about New Year’s resolutions?

Generally I don’t make them, only because I think I’m lucky in many ways that for the most part I live a pretty healthy lifestyle all year long. But I know oftentimes if you’ve been overindulging or doing things particularly around the holidays and you feel like you need to get yourself back in the saddle a lot more people seem to be pushed or enticed by the idea of a New Year’s resolution – something specific they want to improve. Most years I haven’t made resolutions, not that I’m against them because I’m all for people making positive change, but this year it was a little different. My daughter’s going to be two years old this March and I thought there’s one thing that I’ve always had in the back of my mind, and maybe it would lend itself to a New Year’s resolution, and that is to get re-inspired by my once very fit self. In my early 20s I used to do fitness competitions and I thought that’s the kind of shape I probably want to try to strive for again and this seemed to be a really good year to do it. 

So clearly health and fitness are big for you in 2016. How do you plan to meet your goals?

Anybody who has to make a plan is aware that you’ve got to just break it down into simple steps and then execute. It’s really no more difficult than that. It’s making a plan and then figuring out, how do I get this done in a realistic way? I asked myself okay, what’s my end goal here? And then I broke it down into smaller pieces. The first thing I did was decide to sign back on to the Activia Challenge. It’s something I did back in September after a particularly indulgent summer and it worked so well for me. I really enjoyed the product, I’ve been a longtime fan of it, and I thought this is something easy to start, so that was step one. All I had to do was enjoy some great-tasting yogurt.

Secondly was to figure out what else was I going to change in my diet to have it a little leaner and cleaner, keep it balanced, and that’s what I did. Maybe it’s not having that extra glass of champagne on the weekend! I just started to cut out little things.

Finally, it was figuring out my workout plan which includes getting back with my personal trainer. 

It’s that simple. I wish it was grander and bigger and more complex but it’s basically three steps and now it’s up to me to actually do the hard work which I’ve started in earnest.

I am a real treadmill girl, but I can’t often convince myself to do strength training. How do you motivate yourself and make it enjoyable?

This is a big question I get from women because I do a lot of strength training and I really enjoy it. There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding strength training, especially for women, and I think maybe that’s partially why a lot of women don’t have it as part of their fitness regimen. I think the first thing in terms of getting motivated is understanding what it can do for you and what it can do for your body, and I’m not just talking about aesthetics, I’m talking about preventing injuries, how it makes you feel throughout the day, how it can energize you to have a little more muscle mass on your body, and finally for some women it is to realize that wow, it can actually reshape your body in a way that you might find really really pleasing. 

I think the other part is intimidation. I think a lot of women don’t know where to begin in the gym or at home with weights, so it’s important to get educated to figure out basic, simple things you can do with weight training. Some of it doesn’t even include other weights, you can just use your own body weight and you don’t even need equipment, so I think it’s getting educated to figure out how can you do it so you feel knowledgeable. I think a lot of women are perfectionists in some respects, so trying to go to the gym to the section where it’s predominately men working out, that’s intimidating stuff. If you don’t feel confident with what you’re doing, that’s a big deal too. So getting educated, knowing what it can do for your body, all the benefits that come along with it, I think will go a long way, just to help you start to introduce a little bit of weight training.

Mel on THE SOCIAL with Traci Melchor and one of her favourite guests!

You’re on live TV every day so of course your appearance is important. Do you put a lot of pressure on yourself, or is there external pressure to look a certain way?
I think it’s both. I think the pressure on myself is because I’ve always been active and I know how I feel and look the best so that’s definitely coming from inside of me, I just don’t like when I’m not in my best physical form. It’s interesting that there’s a notion that television puts on an extra 10 or 15 pounds and that’s actually true. What it does to someone on camera, it plays with your mind a little bit because you have the live studio audience who always says, “Oh my gosh, you are so much smaller in person!” and then you go, “What does that mean I look like on television?”, and that plays with your head. I think if you don’t have a really good sense of self already it can really mess you up. I’m very aware of that, and so it contributes to my motivation to stay fit for sure, but at the end of the day it’s what I look like on television versus what I know is my reality, and that’s where you have to keep yourself in balance. 
A photo posted by Melissa Grelo (@melissagrelo) on Jan 7, 2016 at 7:11pm PST

Recently you posted a throwback photo from your honeymoon and had a lot of commenters weighing in about how good you look as a brunette. Any plans to go “back to your roots”, so to speak?

Not right now, although I love reading people’s comments! I posted that picture because I love the Acropolis and I thought, “Wow, Greece is going through so much turmoil but I love that country and I love Athens,” and I didn’t even think about my hair…and that’s what everybody jumped on! I thought that was really interesting! For me, in many ways I still just think of myself looking like that, if that makes any sense, but at this point no, I don’t plan on going darker, I really like my light hair, but you never know!


Thanks for sharing, Melissa! I have a feeling you’ll be in the interviewer’s seat next as I have just been booked to return to THE SOCIAL in February!

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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Activia. Opinions are, as always, my own.

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