Meet the Wellness Professional: Stacey Mello

Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer, Owner of GET FIT TRAINING

Every week I highlight someone in the Upper Valley who falls under the title of "Wellness Professional" - trainers, nutritionists, therapists of all kinds (physical, psychological, massage), and creators of healthy products, to name just a few. I give them a list of the same 20 questions and they choose to answer as many of them however they'd like.  

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This week I'd like to introduce you to Stacey Mello, Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer, Owner of GET FIT TRAINING

What is your fitness/wellness philosophy?
"Everything in moderation" - from nutrition to training. We need to learn to be real with ourselves, especially in this busy world we live in. It's important to set attainable goals without becoming stressed and overwhelmed. Fitness and nutrition should be an everyday part of all our lives; as simple as brushing our teeth each day!

How did you get to where you are now?
I was an 18 year old college freshman who gained the typical freshman 15 and then some. After I returned from my first break home that year I joined a small women's gym in Manchester NH. After taking a few classes I realized I was pretty good at it. Soon a certification opportunity came around and I thought, "Hey, I can get paid to workout!" And so I did, and I haven't stopped since. That was 1991.  After a few years of part time teaching, I got my personal training certification through A.C.E. Soon I was raising a family and working at a club teaching classes and training clients. It was the best job a mom could have. My kids have since grown, but I am still teaching nights while working as a school teacher during the day. When I recently moved to Hartland, Vermont I began training clients in my home gym. I run individual and small group training from home as well as teach and train at various clubs in the area. My main goal, and biggest dream, is to rent space in Hartland, VT and open my own studio in the very near future.

Did you ever have any setbacks and how did you get past them?
I have had many setbacks. Mostly injury related. I have learned through experience how not to over train. (That comes with age too, lol). Most of the time when an instructor has a set back it's because of lack of support from their fitness team or director. It is common for an instructor to become somewhat burnt out after teaching too often. Taking time off can help, or finding a class to "take" as a member can really be helpful. Sometimes we just want someone to tell us what to do for a change. In any case, having the support you need and knowing how or when to get it is crucial. Fortunately for me, I worked for the same company (Golds Gym) now known as Fit Lab through the NH area for many many (21) years and always felt supported. Find your niche and the right people and you can get through any set back.

What makes you unique in your field?
I have worked in the field long enough to have experienced many "types" of workouts. The years of fads I have under my belt would amaze you. Having had all that experience I have been able to pull out bits and pieces that I like and create my own. I call it "Staceyizing". Yup, I "Staceyize" things so that they work for myself and my clients.

What's your go to meal for:
  • Breakfast: Steal oats with strawberries and a little maple syrup mixed in.
  • Lunch: Usually tuna or chicken salad.
  • Dinner: Usually, fish (salmon is my fave!) or chicken. I stay away from red meat and pasta or bread. I also have a protein shake each day and snack on veggies and hard boiled eggs ALOT.
  • My downfall...CHOCOLATE. I love it and I probably eat some form of chocolate related food everyday - and I am not ashamed......

What's you favorite place to eat out in the Upper Valley? What do you usually get?
I usually don't eat out, but if I'm going to it's usually a chain restaurant. I have a thing for Friday's and Applebee's. It's a guilty pleasure. The good thing is now they put the calories on the menu to help you make a healthy choice. It really makes a difference. 

You're trapped on 12A in West Lebanon starving and you only have $8. What do you buy to get your through your errands? 
I don't know, maybe McDonald's? (YUCK! but only if I'm starving.) Some food, is better than no food.

What's something health and wellness related that you wish you'd known years ago?
That the scale doesn't always matter. I'm a small woman who packs on muscle like Arnold, even when I'm not trying. Muscle weighs more than fat, which I always knew and understood, but the younger me was obsessed with that scale number. Not anymore. The real test is how you feel and how your clothes fit. I wish I really got that through my head years ago.

What's the best health/fitness/wellness advice you ever received?
Take it slow. Moderation. Small Victories. A trainer at a conference I attended started his speech this way and it has stuck with me for years now.

What's your favorite quote or mantra?
I have many, but here are two: "If it feels like it's burning, it's because it is burning!" And, "My instructor is the reason I have trust issues!" Obviously both fun and silly.

Who or what gives you inspiration?
My clients give me inspiration. Watching them meet their goals constantly motivates and inspires me. I'm so proud of them all.

What's your favorite non-gym physical activity?
Working with preschool children. Sometimes a three year old has the best stories to tell.

What's your least favorite exercise?  

What are one or two tips you can give to help people be successful in their wellness journey?
To be successful in this journey one needs to set attainable "real" goals and meet them slowly. Slow progress brings lasting results. Work hard, be real, and listen to yourself and you will succeed. I guarantee it.

Where can people learn more about you? 

I am currently a Special Education Para-educator at White River School in White River Junction, Vermont.  I have three children ages 12, 18, and 20. We are new to the Upper Valley area, having moved here a year ago. I teach many classes and personal training at The Aquatic Center and teach classes at the CCBA . I have begun to open my own small business of training clients from my home as well as traveling to their homes. It's called GET FIT. It's beginning to grow, and I hope it leads me to my own studio someday. My interest in fitness education is constant. I am always looking for information to help me serve my clients to suit individual needs. I love to learn new things. My latest obsession..... ZUMBA! and yes, at times I Staceyize it! 

Thanks for reading,
Stacey Mello


Would you or your business like to be featured in "Meet the Wellness Professional"? Email Amy at RVCAmy at gmail dot com 

Did you enjoy this interview? You might also like:

Last Week's Interview - Jasmin Bihler, Owner of Orange Blossom Wellness in Norwich, VT

Next Week's Interview - Sherri Burchman, Registered nurse, Licensed Massage Therapist, and Reiki Master 

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More about the author, Amy Fortier: A short interview

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