The YMCA of the Coosa Valley personal trainer Melia West shares her knowledge of health, fitness and wellness.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Gadsden.
What schools did you attend?
I attended Coosa Christian and Gadsden State Community College.
Has fitness always been an important aspect of your life? If not, when and why did you become involved with fitness?
Yes, fitness has always been a part of my life.
Describe how you became a personal trainer.
I started out as a certified fitness instructor. I continued my education for a personal trainer. After many years of training, I wanted to help others with total body health. I then became certified as a health coach, nutrition and wellness coach and a certified holistic nutritionist.
How many years have you served as a personal trainer (at the YMCA and in general)?
I have served as a personal trainer for 15 years.
What have you learned throughout your time as a personal trainer?
Your health is your wealth. You have one body, and if you don’t take care of yourself now, you will pay later in life.
What do you enjoy the most about working as a personal trainer?
I love sharing my knowledge about health and fitness to everyone. It is my passion.
What do you enjoy the most about the YMCA and what differs the Y from other fitness facilities?
We are a non-profit. We do a lot in the community to help others. I have always said that we are like a church in the way we help others. We are also a family gym. We have something for the entire family to enjoy.
Describe the services you offer clients.
I offer a personal fitness plan. I also can help with their nutrition. Holistic nutrition can give a personal plan to help keep their body healthy. I also work with people with health issues. Nutrition plays a big role in a person’s health. Your body has the ability to heal if you give it the right things. Movement and strength training helps keep you strong and disease free.
How much do these services cost?
Personal training for 10 one hour sessions for $350. Nutrition and wellness coaching for 10 one-hour sessions is $350. Health coaching in both nutrition and training for 10 one-hour sessions is $400. We also offer a smaller package of 10 half hour sessions.
Describe how you incorporate nutrition into your fitness program.
I teach that being healthy is not only fitness but your lifestyle. A healthy body is what you eat, drink, think, say and do. This includes rest, detoxing and sleep.
What is the importance of focusing on both nutrition and fitness?
It will help you look and feel great. It will build your immune system and help you fight disease.
How does your approach to fitness differ from other personal trainers?
I offer a variety of options. You can choose fitness, nutrition or total body. I also can help people that are sick and have diseases. I will help you strengthen your immune system and feel great.
What advice would you give to people interested in making a change to incorporate fitness and nutrition into their lifestyles?
I would tell them you are either fighting disease or feeding it. The choice is up to you. Baby steps are better than no steps at all.
Is there a message you’d like to send to the community regarding your services?
I believe the most important gift is a healthy body. I would be happy to guide you to that goal.