Melissa Barker-Milkovich is extremely driven and hard-working. Although her life is very busy, she has figured out how to balance it all. She owns a hair salon, is a mother, a wife and created a Facebook page called Building Female Muscle and Inspiration dedicated to helping others.

After the birth of her daughter, she longed to get back in the gym and feel strong again. She has exceeded that goal and now beautifully embodies the words “Inspirational Mom.” Join me in celebrating this motivational mama that truly lives a healthy, fit and balanced lifestyle.

Kim: Share a little about you.

Melissa: My name is Melissa Barker-Milkovich. I am 25-years-old, and have a beautiful 17 month old daughter, Elle.

Kim: Have you gone through a transformation?

Melissa: Before my daughter, I had always gone to the gym, but not to the degree I do now. I never had any formal training, so it took a few years to learn all the exercises and machines, and proper form. I stayed active my entire pregnancy, (when I had the energy!) 🙂 I gained about 17 pounds with my daughter. I chose to breastfeed her, which changed my body COMPLETELY. I started losing weight, but was getting too skinny. I wasn’t able to work out until my 6 week postpartum appointment. I was eager to get back into the gym and get strong again! As soon as I got the go ahead, I was back in the gym hitting it hard! Within 6 months, I already had a “6 pack” even though I never had one before! When my daughter was 1-year-old, I decided to open my own hair salon, and gained a little weight back while my husband and I were working on the place. It was hard to work at the salon, be a mom a wife and get to the gym everyday, so my training and nutrition unfortunately took a back seat. Being fit again was on my mind everyday, and while I didn’t get too out of shape, I was nowhere near where I was for all of the hard work I put in. I found a way to balance gym, family, and career, and I couldn’t be happier, and after 3 months off at the gym and back at it for 2 months now, I’m in the best shape of my life!

Kim: How did you get your body back post-baby?

Melissa: I was in the gym everyday, working a different muscle group everyday, and did 20-40 minutes on the treadmill at an incline, and ran stairs, or trail ran.

 Kim: What is your favorite fit-mom, fit-family meal? Snack? Any go to items?

Melissa: We cook lots of chicken in our house! We change it up all of the time by adding different spices or vegetables to make baked dishes or healthy stir fry. I always carry a protein bar, greek yogurt, and measured out granola in my purse!

Kim: Favorite Fit-Family activity?

Melissa: We like to hit the trails around our house. We are lucky to have the Cuyahoga Valley National Park close.

Kim: How do you stay fit amidst a hectic schedule and manage to do it all?

Melissa: I make sure I am up at the same time every morning to have my coffee, pack my food, and see my family before I hit the gym and open my salon. After I work out, I shower at the gym, and am off to work! My husband is blessing because he’s a stay at home dad while I’m at the gym and work, and he has always been supportive of my fitness lifestyle!

Kim: Words of motivation and inspiration for other moms?

Melissa: Finding time is always an issue, but you can do it if you put your mind to it. Even if you can’t fit it an entire workout, any activity is better than none. Once you start to see your body transform, you wont want stop! You’ll be hooked! Its something you have to make part of your daily life, and then it will become habit! Don’t wake up tomorrow wishing you would have started yesterday! Today is that day! I also created a page on Facebook called Building Female Muscle and Inspiration to help motivate people and help them on their fitness goals. Please contact me there, I look forward to hearing from you.