Melissa Darmawan In the Spotlight

Melissa Darmawan of Sydney Australia features in Australian Natural Bodz Magazine Volume 5 issue 3 In the Spotlight Profile.Occupation:   Model, Lifestyle and Performance Coach, Adviser Services Consultant.

Years in the fitness industry: I’ve been in the fitness industry ever since I was a teen at school playing basketball and water polo among a number of other sports. I loved it so much that I made it a career for 6 years working in management expanding one of Australia’s largest fitness chains, led the team that introduced a group exclusive fitness activity called Boot camp in early 2000 and  was also an assistant event manager for the largest fitness expo and convention in the Southern Hemisphere for 2 years. I only came across the modelling side of fitness in March 2011 when I decided to prepare for my first sports model show.

What made you get into fitness modeling?   Being a model, keeping in good shape was important to me. Also with my Indonesian heritage, my parents encouraged me to be active and stay healthy as they were both fitness enthusiasts so their influence always sought me to appear very fit and slim but there eventually came a time when I wanted to make a real change, so I took on a personal trainer with whom I was well acquainted after watching her win 3 shows as a figure competitor in early 2011. As I enlisted this personal trainer to prepare for a photo shoot that I had, she encouraged me to do a sports model show and my fitness journey continued after the shoot.

Describe your first experience in the world of Fitness Modeling at the 2012 ANB Asia Pacific Titles?  The very first moment I walked on stage, with my cossie was literally nerve racking because I was not use to that kind of exposure. Though a lot of fun, by the evening’s end, with the finishing of the evening wear I felt a lot more comfortable. The experience of being on stage, competing with the best of the best in the fitness industry was priceless and the guys behind stage were all supportive and friendly.

What type of diet do you follow leading into a Fitness Modeling event? I predominately eat fresh vegetables and fruit, salads, dairy, grains and variety of white, red meat and fish over 5 meals a day. I absolutely love my wild and basmati rice with my main meals as they are not only nourishing but also great for the satiety and mind!

How many days a week do you train and what do you feel is more important when it comes to achieving a fitness model body, weight training or cardio? I train 6 days a week doing both cardio and weight training so I feel both is important. Resistance training is the lever to increasing on lean muscle mass while cardio is the lever to focusing on decreasing body fat. Pulling both levers with a stellar diet produces amazing results!

How has fitness changed your life? Being a fitness model has changed so many aspects of my life. From competing in shows between Australia and the US to being Australia’s first sports model champion sponsored by Dymatize Nutrition to doing photo shoots in different locations around the globe, I now share my passion in this sport which has expanded my career from finance to fitness writing lifestyle and performance programs to presenting on wellness to groups outside the industry to prepping clients for their shows while falling in love with the science of food everyday and the mechanics of weights training making it my fundamental basis of each day. My passion also led me to my current studies with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York to combine all my knowledge to be a Health Coach.