Melissa Chrisp – Guest Speaker

The NZ Woman in health, wellness, weight loss and how to keep it all together is Melissa Chrisp. Working towards your health, wellness and weight loss goals has its pros and cons, like anything else.  But for those who without a doubt want to be the best damn version of themselves, then this is for you.

“Before launching Gin & Rosewater I was living in the East Village in New York City, working in the competitive industries of PR and then finance, indulging in many delicious foods and boozy-brunch sessions – and for the first time in my life, my weight was not an issue.

For 23 years I had struggled with my weight.  It was something that unlike my naturally skinny sister I always had to be mindful of.  I couldn’t have that second slice of pizza, or another scoop of ice cream without losing control, eating it all and unsurprisingly gaining weight.  So making healthy choices was something I was always mindful of.

After I graduated University I made the leap to go to NYC on my O.E. and it was the best year ever.  It was a really defining moment for me moving somewhere new where I didn’t know anyone, without an apartment or job set up.  I stepped out in faith in every way and as a result, my inner self-confidence grew immensely.  After all, Jay Z said that if you can make it there you can make it anywhere!

Something else also happened during that time in New York – for the first time ever in my life I never weighed myself.  Not once.  In fact, I never thought about my weight or needing to restrict myself.  It was a really interesting accidental experiment for me actually.  I moved to Manhattan weighing the heaviest I’ve ever been, about 77 kgs (wearing a size 12-14 NZ) and very quickly my weight dropped and then stayed (whatever I ate or drank didn’t change it!) at a size 8-10 NZ.

What I hadn’t planned on, but soon discovered was that everyday life in NYC meant I had to be more active.  I couldn’t afford to live in an elevator building, so I had to walk up 5 floors every day coming home to my apartment.  If I needed laundry done, I had to carry my bag two blocks to my favourite laundry guy.  The nearest Wholefoods was in SoHo which meant I had to make a 10-minute stroll to get groceries.  Basically, I was always up and out and about without thinking about it!  This meant that I didn’t have to worry about calories, macros, or food groups – my body just did its thing naturally.

When my visa ran out and I returned to New Zealand I really struggled to adjust back into life in Christchurch.  Everywhere I went was in a car and at first, it felt so strange… then I kind of got used to being less active, then a little less active.  Noticing that my pants were getting tighter I started Gin & Rosewater to share my health and wellness journey and to connect with others doing the same.

At first, it was a place for my recipes (I have an obsession for recreating recipes to be healthier… (refined sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, etc, but still insanely delicious).  Since its beginnings, it has morphed into a place to share my journey balancing the busy-ness of everyday life with my health and fitness goals.

After returning to Christchurch almost 3 years ago, life has presented so many challenges and it’s a constant struggle to maintain balance.  I enrolled back in university and have been completing my law degree (I’ve got 5 months to go!), I work almost full-time (in a day job + freelancing) and I met the love of my life, Dave.

Being a full-time student means that my income is limited, so I’ve had to be really clever at finding healthy food options that don’t break the bank.  I also can’t afford a fancy gym membership, or the newest active wear, so I’ve had to really motivate myself to get my workouts done.

Working so much also causes a bit of an issue with the time that I have available.  I’m really time-poor, so I am always on the hunt for efficient fixes – whether it’s foods that deliver the most nutritional punch, or a workout that gets the job done in the least amount of time possible.

And although coupling up with my boyfriend has been the best thing I’ve ever done, we are both are the first to admit that since dating we’ve gained love chub.  It’s easy to do!  Would we rather go out to the gym on a cold Christchurch evening, or snuggle up at home with our favourite snacks and a cheeky glass of red?  Dave has the same health and fitness goals as I do, so I’m super lucky to have a partner who is as supportive as he is.  But it’s a journey and we’re still working towards reaching our goals.

On Gin & Rosewater, I share the struggles of balancing studying, working, and life stuff and offer solutions and ideas for how to tackle them.  It’s all about supporting and encouraging each other through them to come out as the best damn versions of ourselves!  I’m just a real girl sharing the journey of her ‘before’ to her ‘after’ selfie with all the highs and lows in between.

There are so many inspiring NZ woman who are also working towards their health and fitness goals who keep me motivated every day!  But one of my favourites is Riley Hemson, better known as @healthychick101 on Instagram!  She is HILARIOUS, and I love how open and honest she is about her life!  If you haven’t already, add her to your ‘gram feed!

Two of my favourite motivational quotes that I tell myself on the daily is “if you’re sick of starting over, stop giving up.”  And the other is “strive for progress, not perfection.”  It’s all about making small, healthy, maintainable changes that you can remain consistent with to see the results you want 🙂 ”

You can connect with Melissa from Gin & Rosewater on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to her YouTube channel here!

Giveaway – Melissa is giving away one of her famous Slay and Rose Sweatshirts!

To go in the draw you must #1 LIKE the Gin & Rosewater and The NZ Woman Facebook pages. #2 private message the Gin & Rosewater page what your size is and #3 TAG a mate on The NZ WomFacebookook post.

Easy!

T&C’s
– Competition only available to New Zealand residents with a NZ postal address.
– Sweatshirts available in size small, medium and large (winner to get the size they requested).
– The winner will win a white sweat shirt with black writing.
– Check the Gin & Rosewater Facebook page for competition dates and date winner is drawn.
– The winner will be notified via Facebook.