Melissa Marroquin has been a crucial member of The Sweat Shoppe team. She has helped our riders get their workouts in, and in turn she has been inspired to attain her own fitness goals.
Melissa said her journey to a healthy lifestyle has not been easy, but she continues to be patient with herself. The key to her success is simply listening to her body.
“I just woke up one morning and started to make changes. Slow—really slow —changes. I started cutting down my portions, and then eventually I cut things out.”
Melissa doesn’t deprive herself—she still enjoys her cup of coffee with sugar—but knows that moderation with sugar and most things is essential.
“I can fit into my Mom’s clothes now,” she said with a smile. “I even started wearing junior sizes.”
Growing up, Melissa led an active lifestyle and was involved in track & field and dance.
“I started to gain a lot of weight in high school. I knew if I stayed active I wouldn’t gain a lot of weight, but I never lost as much as I wanted.”
Eventually Melissa was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Her hormones were unbalanced, and she gained weight. To combat the side effects of PCOS, she turned to heated indoor cycling and a healthy diet.
Another factor that contributed to her lifestyle change was her family’s health history. “My Dad’s side has diabetes, and my Mom’s side has high blood pressure. I knew I had to do something. I had to make a change. It was time, and even I knew my weight was getting out of control.”
Melissa said the big wake-up call for her was when she jumped from a size 18 to 22.
“I didn’t feel comfortable in any of my clothes anymore. I looked big and I felt big, and I thought, "This isn’t what I want.”"
She said some of her weight problems came from a lack of imbalance in her personal life.
“My parents got divorced and I started at a new school. My Mom worked nights, so I had to step up to provide for myself and my brothers. I took on more responsibility, mostly taking care of my brothers, and that meant I didn’t take care of myself. I put my family’s welfare before mine, so my weight just grew and grew.”
When it comes to inspiration, she holds her mother in high regard.
“The person who inspires me is my Mom. She is always supporting me and telling me I can do it if I set my mind to it. She is also losing weight with me, so we support each other.” Melissa doesn’t have a specific target weight and said that as long as she is healthy, she is happy.
When asked what her favorite thing about the Shoppe is, she said it's the people she has met. “You never know what kind of person you will meet here. They are all so kind and fun, and they tell very interesting stories either from work or vacation. It’s really cool.”
Melissa’s advice for people who are new to The Sweat Shoppe: It will be hard the first time, and it will get hard the second and third, but it is important to remember why you are here and why you are doing this. It could be something as small as keeping your weight in check or something big like trying to fit into a dress for a wedding or event. Having goals—no matter how big or small—can have the greatest impact.