Name: Melinda Rocha
Birth Date: 12/14/1971
Birth Place: Michigan
Current Residence: Orlando, Florida
Height & Weight: 5’2″, 123lbs
1. What made you want to compete?
I’ve always been an athlete, but an unhealthy one. Never really understood nutrition or diet and being a single mom of three, I did what I needed to do to just to get through the day. After I put myself through a personal weight loss challenge and dropped 13 inches, I had multiple people tell me that I had the physique of a competitor. I didn’t understand the sport of bodybuilding at all. The only sport I knew with a bikini was the one I played: semi-pro beach volleyball. But at 40 years old, I felt called spiritually that I needed to do something completely out of my comfort zone, and if that many people believed in me, why shouldn’t I believe in myself. What was suppose to be a “bucket list goal” has now become an true aspiration to achieve my pro status.
2. What do you do to stay inspired?
My children have always inspired me to change as a person. In my lowest, most difficult times, I always think about how my children view me or how would I want them to be able to get through life. I have to teach them through example and that pushes me through a lot.
After my first NPC National show, I was also shocked at the number of people that followed my journey to the stage. I didn’t realize how many women, particularly single moms, needed a role model of hope. In the past year now with the WBFF, that number has grown exponentially with each competition. Although this journey is always about self-growth and self-development, I am inspired by those that I inspire. The messages I receive from complete strangers from all over the country continue to humble and overwhelm me as I don’t see myself any different than anyone else. All I did was make a decision to change my life. In doing so, others know that they can do the same.
3. What shows have you already been in or plan to be in in the future?
My first show in July 2012 was NPC Master’s Nationals. In 2013, I have competed in the WBFF Orlando Fitness Weekend where I placed 4th in Masters Fitness, and in the WBFF Boston Championships where I placed 5th in Masters Fitness. I’m looking forward to competing in Providence, a show that was not originally planned on my schedule. My goal is to achieve my Pro Card as a Fitness Model, and I am considering for the 2014 season competing in Figure for the Orlando and/or Miami events.
4. Who got you started?
God did. Not sure I can explain it any other way than that. Competing wasn’t something I had ever thought of doing, but so many people were telling me I should do it, I figured it was a sign of some sort. I was with Team Bombshell when I competed with NPC and was prepped by Total Body Advantage / Team Hard Kandy for both the WBFF Orlando and Boston events. I now head coach my own prep team and wrote my own plan for the Providence show.
5. Who do you look to for help now?
Although I now write my own plans, I am very grateful for the help of some excellent pros and trainers in the business. In particular, Tabitha Sierra of Brickhouse Bodies and Rueben Brooks of Body by Brooks have been very motivational and also serve as a sounding board for my prep. I have also often referred to research published by Dr. Layne Norton in Tampa.
6. Where do you usually workout?
My home gym is Genetic Fitness in Winter Garden, FL, located just a few miles from my house. It is a very nice, privately owned facility with a studio feel to it. I also workout at my home often.
7. Do you use any suppliments? If so, what ones (brands, names, etc)
I am an AdvoCare Advisor, and since the start of my weight loss / bodybuilding journey, I have only used AdvoCare supplements.
8. What are your most noticeable results?
I have noticeably changed spiritually. Those that knew me before I started my weight loss journey immediately saw change in my demeanor, temperament, and purpose. Physically, I am leaner and have learned better to gauge areas for improvement in my physique such as my glutes and hamstrings. I also eat a lot better of course!
9. Has fitness changed your life? If so, how?
Fitness has always been a part of my life. However, this type of contest prep, where it really is about you versus yourself, changed my life overall. My focus in life changed. My purpose changed. My friends changed. Everything changed.
10. What personal fitness goals have you set for yourself?
Just shy of 42 years old, I want to continue proving that age is just a number, and there is no such thing as impossible. It would be wonderful to achieve my pro card within the year. I think achieving pro status in your 40s is not something that happens often, much less when you are a single mom doing life on your own. All-in-all, whatever doors open in my fitness journey, I am more courageous in trying new things and keeping my mind open to what may be in store.
11. Describe your diet.
I eat every 2-3 hours keeping a relatively even ratio of carb/protein during the off-season. During cut, I cycle between 10-40% of carbs. My body is very sensitive to change so the cycles have to be constantly changed as well. I’m not particularly over-detailed with the foods I eat unless I have to be. Being a mom, I have to be realistic with prepping for myself and my kids.
12. What does your workout schedule look like?
I usually split my workouts. Cardio is done in the later morning after I’ve gotten my kids to school and had a few meals. Weight training is done in the afternoons, sometimes along with a second cardio. I try not to train too much in the evenings.
13. What do you do for a living?
I am an AdvoCare Nutrition Advisor and Life Coach. I spend the majority of my day helping people through life change in the areas of spirituality, lifestyle, nutrition and fitness. I also am a certified personal trainer, commercial/print model, and contest prep coach.
14. What are your personal non-fitness goals?
I would like to finish my doctorate degree in Physical Therapy. I was unable to finish my internships due to the timing of my divorce. My focus now is putting my kids through college first, so we’ll see if that ever occurs. If not, continuing education in any area of medicine/health or spirituality is always a goal.
15. Have you participated in any other sports?
I was a high school and collegiate volleyball player, and continued on playing on the semi-pro beach circuit for nearly a decade.
16. Here you can mention your family/thank you’s.
My kids are my biggest fans. In our lowest moments of life that come with divorce, they stood by me and absorbed many pressures that kids should not have to absorb. As we have been able to work through many hardships together as a family, they continue to be my biggest fans. Taylor, Ryan, and Kiele – thank you for believing in your mom.
17. Do you have any hobbies?
I am a Latin dancer – salsa and bachata. I have been dancing for 4 years and have done a few amateur performances as well.
18. What are challenges that you face that may keep you from reaching your fitness goals?
My life challenges me in general. I am single mom of two high school children and one in elementary school. I also own my own business in which I coach other people. Learning to balance life and make time for myself has not been easy. Even for this prep, all three kids contracted a flu bug which I eventually caught 4 weeks out from the show. At the same time, we had an influx of clients come through the team. When you are spread thin in life, it’s hard to take care of yourself, even more so when you don’t have much of an immediate support group. But I always manage, and when I really need help, the people I need do come along when I need them.
19. What obstacles have you overcome to be where you are?
Four years ago, I was actually homeless and broke, a result of the divorce, unemployment, and overall unfortunate circumstances. My kids were living with my brother in Michigan because I couldn’t support them. I was even sleeping in my car a few nights while in-between staying with friends. It was then I learned to take control of my life, even when life was out of control. The process has made me stronger and while I could have stayed bitter or depressed, I am now in a position where I can take those life experiences to help other people.
20. Is there anything else you would like to add that you think we’ve missed?
This whole experience is still surreal. Being able to speak and mingle with legends in the industry and now calling fitness professionals who I used to just admire from afar my colleagues and friends is such a blessing. It is very true that when one door shuts another one opens… you just have keep moving forward to see it.