Do your friends tell you you're "celeb obsessed"? Do you follow your favorite celebs' every move? Know their Instagram histories so well that you can rattle off their inner circle by name and IG handle? If yes, Elite Daily's new series, SideClique, is just for you. We're bringing you everything you've ever wanted to know about the people living their lives right alongside our favorite celebs.
Even if you've just casually scrolled through Kim Kardashian's Instagram, you'll have noticed the reality TV icon's fierce physique in more than a few selfies. Fans may envy celebrities for their killer figures, but the public often forget that these stars need just as much motivation and guidance as some of the rest of us to achieve their fitness goals. While the rich and famous have a little more access to exercising help, a word from a celeb training expert may change your perspective about attaining your best self through a healthy lifestyle. Kim Kardashian's trainer Melissa Alcantara wants fans to know that the road to healthiness is personal, but one can find inspiration from others along the way.
Known on social media as @fitgurlmel, Alcantara has more than 800,000 Instagram followers on her platform of exercise clips, and she also shares healthy recipes and workout routines on her popular YouTube channel. She first started her fitness journey when she turned to the Insanity Beach Body program to gain control of her health following a depressive state. Those results kicked off a decision to enter body-building competitions and eventually ignited social media buzz about Alcantara's fitness efforts. She's worked as Kardashian's personal trainer since 2016, and like all good millennial partnerships, the two first connected thanks to Instagram.
"One day, while browsing through Instagram at like 4 a.m, she found one of my transformation images," Alcantara tells Elite Daily about Kardashian. "Something told her that she needed to contact me. Kim wanted to be strong and healthy and do it the right way, aka the hard way. We really connected on a personal level. I told her that I was actually moving to L.A. in about a month from the time we met, which worked perfectly because she wanted to train with me and embark on this fitness adventure together. The rest is history, Kim is my homegirl, and we push each other to do better every single day."
I have crazy respect and admiration for Kim.
Since signing on as Kardashian's exercise guru, Alcantara has essentially birthed a fitness empire. "Right now, I'm working on a book to be published by Harper One, I have two training programs on the Fitplan app, and another program designed for weight loss and sustainability on Fitgurlmel.com," she says. "I travel the world promoting health and wellness, and more importantly, I'm very focused on inspiring people the world over to make meaningful changes in their lives."
Her time with Kardashian has also taught her that dedication can easily trump motivation when it comes to maintaining exercise. "I have crazy respect and admiration for Kim," Alcantara says. "It's no secret that she has helped my career tremendously, I just got lucky that she's also a really good human being and we push each other in the gym every time we train."
Before she keeps up with a Kardashian, Alcantara's everyday hustle begins with brewing fresh coffee around 4 a.m. Her Instagram page includes a breakdown of her coffee-making process, but the drink has come to represent making peace with her day's plans instead of just aiming to get through with them.
"I use the process to put my mind into a place of creation, a place where I can embrace the day rather than tackle it," she says. "After I get through work — this can be anything from filming, panels, appearances, talks, etc. — then it's time for me to train, take care of my responsibilities, wash dishes, make dinner, and many of the things we all have to deal with."
I'm trying to show people this is achievable, this is attainable.
We may follow Alcantara and similar accounts for a boost of motivation, but putting on your workout clothes and actually heading to the gym often takes more than just an inspirational Instagram post. It's tricky to squeeze in a workout among your professional life, social obligations, and Netflix queue, but Alcantara understands that fitness journeys are unique to each person.
"I post my life out there, pretty raw at times," she says. "I'm trying to show people this is achievable, this is attainable. You don't even need to come where I am, you have to go where you want, and use me as an example but not the standard. I want people [to] stop comparing themselves to others in order to negatively punish yourself for 'not having' or 'not being enough' — you're better than that! I want people to see that they can do their own thing... [Celebs and inspiration] are a good example of what's possible if you do your thing, but you don't need to copy a successful personality in order to be successful."
For someone who has built such a presence on Instagram, Alcantara also has advice for people who look at her life or others' through rose-tinted glasses. "People see me as Kim's trainer or this person on social media, a business owner, they see I have a daughter, responsibilities," she says. "All this comes with a great degree of challenges, and I've faced so many throughout my entire life. I have failed faster, more often, and harder than I have succeeded, but that's why I have succeeded on many levels. My point is, fail miserably for the life you want — success is just one less failure away."