ViSalus’ Challenge Champion and Mother of 3, Melissa Salazar Rediscovers Self
By ViSalus @visalus
With motherhood come many unexpected adventures, schedules, responsibilities, emotions, and a whole lot of diapers. And so, it can become quite easy for a new mom to be so focused on making sure her little one has everything to grow and thrive, that she forgets to focus on, well, herself.
Sometimes the self-realization moment hits months, even years, after the baby is born. For Melissa Salazar, that moment came when she was sitting in a therapy center with her daughter who has autism.
“When you’ve basically worn the same yoga pants for a few days, have gained weight and stopped caring what you look like, you realize that somewhere along the road of motherhood, you’ve let yourself go,” says Melissa. “I had lost myself.”
So when her mom challenged her to enter the Mrs. New Mexico United States pageant, Melissa had hesitated… until, that is, she saw her 5-year-old daughter in ABA therapy.
“I decided I would challenge myself to get fit and compete in the pageant,” says Melissa. “I looked at my daughter and realized I had somebody to fight for. It’s why my platform at the pageant was for autism.”
A few months later, Melissa fulfilled a lifelong dream by winning Mrs. New Mexico United States and then competing in Vegas for the Mrs. United States title. And although she didn’t win that title, she did win back something much more valuable… herself.
Today, a much thinner and healthier Melissa is reveling in life as a mom of three children: Mackenzie, Layla and Stone. At ViSalus’ 2014 Vitality event in Houston, thousands of attendees watched Melissa crowned as Vi’s Challenge Champion in the Active/Fitness category.
We asked her what her ‘Why’ was for wanting to become a Challenge Champion.
“I have such a competitive spirit, and I wanted to win—I love to win! I love to be on stage. The feeling of strength inspires me physically and personally, and makes me want to do things to help my community. When I learned I had become a Challenge Champion, I felt pure energy. I was happy and sad at the same time, since I knew that every woman on that stage with me deserved to win. I felt like that Mom who broke out and did something, and I was able to tell thousands of people my story. I share my story because I want every woman to eventually have that opportunity to create her own story—one with an inspirational ending.”
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