Kim K's Trainer Wants You to Know It's Normal to Feel "So Far Away" from Your Goals Sometimes

Melissa Alcantara shared her nine-year fitness transformation on Instagram, explaining what it took for her to get to where she is today.

You probably know Melissa Alcantara as the badass, no-excuses celebrity trainer who works with A-listers like Kim Kardashian West. But the former bodybuilder is actually pretty relatable. The young mom has been open about struggling with depression and body image issues for years before deciding to take control of her life. She taught herself how to work out using the internet, and now she uses Instagram to inspire others who are looking for help as they start their own fitness journeys.

In a recent Instagram post, Alcantara gave her followers some perspective on how long it took for her to get to where she is today. She shared a photo of herself from 2011 at the start of her fitness journey, alongside a video of herself today where she's seen flexing her impressive muscles. In the caption, Alcantara said she remembered feeling "so far away" from her goal when she first took the photo on the left. "That was back in 2011 before I could even do a jumping jack," she wrote. (

"It took all the damn mental strength I had to stay on track, which meant trying every damn diet, changing programs every other week thinking I needed to do what the next person did," the trainer continued in her post.

It took a lot of trial and error, not to mention the humbling realization that she "didn't know sh*t" at the start of her journey, for Alcantara to understand that reaching her goals was going to take time—years' worth of time, she wrote in her post. "You can't go from beginner to pro in 1 month," she added. (

Alcantara has a point, BTW. The truth is, there's no exact window of time for how long it takes to achieve your fitness goals. Not only does it depend on what those goals actually are (weight loss, increased strength, improved flexibility, better mobility, the list goes on), but your level of progression is also largely based on your prior fitness level, your total time off before embarking on your fitness journey, and even lifestyle factors that may have previously stood in your way (surgery, work, children, etc.), Jay Cardiello, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and celebrity trainer, previously told us.

The best way to get into the grind? Start a workout program in a progressive manner, shared Cardiello. Specifically, he recommends spending your first week doing a mix of flexibility workouts and light cardio. This can help to increase blood flow, improve range of motion and joint mobility, and it'll help your body get accustomed to general, consistent movement, explained Cardiello. After that, he suggests doing gentle strength training workouts that incorporate exercises that improve posture, develop core strength, and activate muscles throughout your glute and hamstring regions. "Exercises like squats, lunges, bridges, TRX hamstring curls, stability ball mobility, and core work will help to activate these areas," he said. (

While Alcantara didn't share a step-by-step into how she kickstarted and progressed through her fitness journey, a quick scroll through her Instagram feed shows she's found success in consistently tackling many of the basic exercises that Cardiello outlined.

"I didn't let myself give up," Alcantara wrote in her post. And once she made that commitment to herself, the trainer said she's "never looked back".

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