Melissa helps women ditch the “all or nothing” attitude when it comes to health and wellness in order to create a sustainable approach to getting — and staying — fit. After years of struggling with yo-yo dieting and extreme exercise, Melissa created With ONE and The 23 Hour Method to support others in breaking this toxic cycle and healing their relationship with food and exercise for good.
An entrepreneur herself, Melissa is incredibly passionate about helping other female business owners in their health journey because she knows firsthand how challenging it can be to run a business while also prioritizing your fitness.
Melissa’s mission is to foster a community that shows women that exercise and diet don’t have to be dreadful; how taking control of your health with preventive measures is possible; and how to create a sustainable healthy and happy lifestyle.
Thank you so much for taking the time with A Little Bit Human. Let’s start from the beginning. As a fitness and health coach, maintaining a healthy lifestyle has become your personal mantra and has led you to become a business owner. What made you gravitate towards this particular industry?
Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to share a bit about me and what I am doing. I’ve always had a life-long passion for movement and self-betterment. I was the first in my family to attend college, and while there, I always found myself at the gym between classes, the lone female in the weight section.
This set me on a mission to immerse myself in as many aspects of fitness as possible in order to empower other women to feel less marginalized while lifting. So, I grabbed my undergraduate degree in Sociology and headed to the Big Apple to pursue a career as a trainer.
Many certifications and an MBA in Business later, I have expanded the scope of my work to include personal training, nutrition, and a holistic approach to overall wellness. With ONE is the culmination of over ten years as a certified trainer, nutrition, and health coach. I am proud to be serving clients one-on-one, physically and mentally, to make healthy, life-changing shifts that last.
With ONE helps clients find and maintain a sustainable healthy lifestyle. What led you to start the company, and how does it work exactly?
What led me to start With ONE was to break down how “being healthy” doesn’t have to be a major overhaul in your life and another thing to cause stress and anxiety. My philosophy to approaching health has always been taking everything one step at a time: one rep, one workout, one meal, one choice, everything “With ONE.”
This helps reduce many people’s anxiety around approaching their health and wellness goals. Weight loss can be very daunting, and people think they have to change everything at once.
If you change just one habit at a time, not only is it more sustainable in the long run, but it is almost like a sigh of relief. If you change everything at once, you may not know the one variable that was the true catalyst for change. It might just be as simple as drinking more water.
Before launching With ONE, what was your career path? Tell us your “backstory.”
After college, I moved to New York City, where I became a personal trainer at an elite Upper East Side gym for two years before moving to Arizona. During my time in Arizona, I got a job in a corporate setting because I thought that was what I was “supposed to do:” get a 9-5 with benefits, salary…safety. But I was never happy.
My alarm would go off, and I would dread Mondays (like many people, unfortunately). I always kept training clients on the side while I was working full time, and the time I spent training clients was when I was happiest; time just flew. But, I was also doing well at my job and began to climb the corporate ladder and became manager; next was Director.
I lived my life for what it would look like on my resume. This piece of paper became more important to me than my actual day-to-day life. After three years in Arizona, I was homesick for New York and moved back to the city. I found myself in another corporate job, The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), an online Health Coach Training program, this time on the sales side, but at least it was more aligned with my interests.
During my time at IIN, I received my certificate as a Health Coach. This ultimately took me down the path of leaving the corporate world behind to pursue my true passion of helping others live healthier lives in a fun and sustainable way.
I stopped living my life for a piece of paper and started living it in pursuit of happiness. Sure, there are tough days when you are working for yourself, but as cheesy as it sounds, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. I really do believe this.
I am super fortunate that my passion intersects with my career. I still get people who say you’re “just a trainer/health coach.” Not everyone understands when you go against the expected path, but I realized they don’t have to. They are not the ones who have to wake up to my alarm.
What is something most people do not know, but should, about maintaining a sustainable healthy lifestyle?
Your body and mind will not be on the same pacing. Your mind will give up before your body is ready to show you the results. Keep going and stay consistent, and you’ll get the results you want if you trust the process and allow your body to catch up to your mind. Take it all “With ONE” day at a time!
To get on track in becoming healthier, what is one small, but effective change people can make today?
Some people think being “healthy” is a long list of everything you can’t do and have. However, a lot of becoming healthier is making small mindset shifts. Rather than focusing on everything you “can’t” have, focus on all of the things you can have and do. Focus on what you GET to do.
Tell us more about the “23-hour” Method. How does this coincide with habit-building?
When I started as a personal trainer, most of the conversations with clients focused on what they “should be” doing after leaving the gym. Spending one hour per day with someone and only 2-3 hours per week leaves a lot of extra time for “what should I be doing to reach my goals.”
I have clients who enjoy working out (or at least I talk them into enjoying it), but the gym does not prevent someone from reaching and maintaining their goals. It’s all of the time spent out of the gym.
What are you doing with the other 23 hours in your day to see a difference? I start by helping people uncover the route to what is holding them back. Not only what are you doing in the other 23 hours, but what are you doing consistently?
I start with a simple question: what does consistency mean to you? Of course, it means different things for different people, and I’m here to help them identify the WHY and HOW to keep them on a consistent path to achieving their fitness and wellness goals.
If someone spends one hour a day on fitness, how are they maintaining all that hard work for the other 23?
The 23 Hour Method breaks habits that aren’t serving you and introduces a lifestyle shift, including creating effortless habits that will help you achieve that 1% better everyday mentality.
My program starts at 90-days to thoroughly evaluate and implement small, daily actions to achieve maximum results. Together with weekly coaching calls, text and email support, nutrition recommendations, and more, we curate actionable goal-specific programming to keep you in a consistent growth mindset. I guide you through the healthy, sustainable lifestyle you’ve dreamed of to make it a reality.
What are some of your favorite exercises, and what do you recommend for those looking to start a workout routine?
I enjoy exercising. It’s like my meditation, especially running. Running, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and lifting heavy are my go-to’s. And, most recently, surfing (I moved to Maui just over a year ago).
Like with diet (as in food choices), find what works best for you. Find what it is that YOU like. If you’re unsure, be open to trying new things and go into it with a beginner’s mind. Don’t tell yourself you’re going to be bad at or hate something before you’ve even given it a shot. Stay open-minded.
Give us a “day in the life.” What can someone expect when signing up for With ONE?
With ONE is like the umbrella to all of my offerings. Health coaching, one-on-one training, and on-demand classes. I really believe that what works for one person does not always work for the next. Therefore, I take a very holistic approach to everyone I work with for the unique individual that they are.
I always start with an initial 15-minute consultation call to get to know more about the person and find out what their goals are and what has held them back in the past from reaching those goals. From there, I will work alongside the person to determine the best path for them.
Launching a new brand is never easy. What were some of the hurdles you faced, and how did you overcome them?
Honestly, the biggest hurdle of launching my brand was getting out of my own way. Self-doubt can paralyze you; it can make or break your dreams. I am very fortunate to have a great support network, and I have a lot of people rooting for me. I just had to decide to root for myself!
What’s next for With ONE? Anything upcoming you can share with our readers?
My goal this year is to write a book on either With ONE or The 23-hour Method. I would love to make it like a workbook: to reach others and help them get out of their own way! Although the 23-Hour Method is currently a one-on-one approach, I will be launching The 23-Hour Method: Small Group edition this year. This will be impactful for others to see they are not alone in their health journey and expand the community!
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
My website will host all of my offerings, including one on one virtual training, on-demand workouts, and health coaching. You can also sign up for my monthly newsletter on the site. For more day to day motivation, tips, and encouragement, follow along on Instagram @melissa.chisholm