Mellie Cay isn't afraid of hard work. In addition to being a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor, she has run 13 full marathons and 31 half marathons — and counting.
She recently took on her biggest challenge yet: becoming a mom. Though her pregnancy forced Mellie to slow down in some ways, she only became more dedicated to her healthy lifestyle after giving birth. "Now that I'm a mom, I'm focused more than ever on becoming the best and healthiest version of myself," she said. "I believe in leading by example, and I'm excited to start introducing my son to movement and the joy it can bring."
Even though her daily routine looks a bit different, staying active is still Mellie's top priority. Whether training for her next marathon or sleep training her son, she relies on a daily wellness routine to feel her best — here's how she stays focused.
Life is all about change, so it's only natural that your health and fitness routine will also have to change over time. Mellie said her priorities have definitely shifted since she started working in the fitness industry nine years ago. "When I first started this journey, [my goal] would have been abs and a sub-four-[hour] marathon time," she said. "But now, it's choosing everyday habits that make me thrive."
Instead of forcing herself to conform to goals that no longer fit her lifestyle, Mellie has learned to be flexible. These days, she's less concerned with achieving a specific race time and more focused on being in good enough shape to both run marathons and run around with her family. "My long-term goal is to be in my 70s and still be able to hike mountains in Colorado or go out for a run with my son and grandchildren," she said. "I want to be able to be healthy and active for as long as humanly possible."
Committing to healthy habits every single day is the simplest way to make sure you're living a healthy lifestyle overall, Mellie said. "There are some things that are nonnegotiable for me: sunshine, fruits and vegetables, 30 minutes of movement, everyday supplements, and lots and lots of water," she explained.
Mellie relies on Meology, a personalized supplement plan based on your nutritional needs and health goals, for her daily vitamins and supplements. After you take an online assessment about your health goals, exercise routine, and eating habits, Meology recommends a suite of supplements for you and ships them right to your door.
"In the past, I would buy a bottle of a particular supplement, take it for a week (maybe two), then completely forget about it. I had no particular rhyme or reason why I took the supplement, either," she said. "With Meology, the assessment made me feel confident that I'm taking the supplements needed for my individualized goals and habits."
You might think that someone who runs as much as Mellie does is all about cardio, all the time; however, she said balance is the key to a workout routine that's sustainable. She usually alternates between cardio like cycling or running, strength training, and active recovery like a long walk or yoga session.
Just as she builds more relaxed days into her workout routine, Mellie also makes alone time a key part of her daily schedule. She usually sets her alarm for 5 a.m. so she can have some time for herself to get in a workout before her son wakes up. "My mornings are my 'me' time," Mellie explained. "I learned the hard way that as a mom, it's almost impossible to find time for myself. By making time for myself in the morning, I fill my own cup first, and I'm able to do it all for the rest of the day because I've already given myself so much from the second I woke up. Committing to making the time is the hardest step, but once you do it, it's so rewarding."
True balance means focusing on habits that make you feel rested, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the day — whether or not that includes a predawn run is up to you. "We all know that there is no one size fits all for a workout plan or nutrition plan," Mellie said. Wellness is all about doing what makes you feel best in your body. For Mellie, "it's a 10-mile run on a Saturday, a colorful breakfast in the morning, and getting out for some sunshine during my lunch break. It's making choices for a fulfilling and healthy life every day."
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Credits: Photography: Brittany Bravo; Production: Hannah Lee; Day of Production: Margot Fodder; Design: Mia Coleman