Melissa Engel is a certified holistic health coach in New York City. She writes the blog Missy Maintains where she shares healthy recipes, awesome exercise classes, and delicious restaurants. She loves to work out and eat well but will never reject a fruity cocktail with friends! She enjoys life and loves to help others do the same. She has a really inspiring story and we know she works everyday to live an amazing, happy life.  For these reasons, we asked her to fill out the Thrivivial Questionnaire.

What does “thriving” mean to you?

Thriving to me means living my life to the fullest. It is making the best out of everything that comes my way. It means finding the good in things and focusing on the positives.  It means growing as a person and living a happy, healthy life.

What do you do on a regular basis in an effort to thrive?

I make sure I put fresh, wholesome foods in my body. I agree with the phrase, “You are what you eat.” I know I feel better every day when I take care of my body and eat foods that provide me with energy. Exercise is also a huge part of my effort to thrive. I recently made intenSati a regular part of my fitness routine and have noticed a difference in how I approach things in life. I am a more positive person and am committed to loving myself and my body. I love the feeling of inspiration, power, and determination that I feel during and after every class. Blogging is another hobby of mine that has really changed my life for the better. Expressing my feelings every day is a form of therapy and has helped me grow as a person. I love being involved in the healthy living community and feel that writing gives me a feeling of satisfaction and happiness each day.

In what ways have you gone from survival mode to thrivival mode?

I struggled with disordered eating in the past. I had a poor body image and let food control my life. I was just “surviving” every day and hoping that I would not overeat each night. It was a never-ending cycle. I would wake up hating myself the next day and swear I would never do it again. It most likely happened again that same night. This is how I lived for a couple of years until I realized that I wanted to start treating my body with respect. I wanted to love myself and my life. I started to ask myself WHY I was doing this to myself. I eventually filled the void in my life that I was missing and focused on forming a healthy relationship with food. I envisioned myself as a happy and healthy person. I set goals for myself. I told the universe what I wanted and things started to go my way. I finally feel like I am living my life the way I want it. I am not just surviving anymore. I am thriviving.

What are some things that get in the way of your efforts to thrive?

Sometimes if I am feeling down or stressed, I still turn to food as a coping method. I found that when this happens, it is important for me to stop, take a deep breathe, and figure out what that underlying issue is. I also have been in the same job for 3 years. I am not at all satisfied with it and would like to do so much more with my life. I think once I figure exactly what I want to do with my life, I can go for it and make it happen.

If you feel low, how do you boost your level of thriving?

If I am feeling low, I find that blogging or expressing my feelings to a loved one can be very therapeutic. There are times when I feel it is appropriate to just be alone and let my feelings go. Exercise such as intenSati or a walk outside is always a great way to boost my mood. Listening to my favorite techno music and dancing around my room works too!

Who, in your life, or “in life,” do you admire for their efforts to thrive?

I admire my both my parents in their efforts to thrive. My mom constantly has a new hobby and is always enjoying life. She plays the flute, goes to the gym every morning, and is now a Zumba instructor. My dad owned a business for many years and eventually sold it to pursue his dream job of selling Grateful Dead artwork. He is also in a Grateful Dead cover band. I find it amazing that my parents never let anything get in the way of what they really want to do.