Mitch Felipe-Mendoza was on the path of becoming a physical therapist when a chance encounter steered her towards another direction. “Though I was a licensed physical therapist, I didn’t get to practice my profession in a hospital; I explored the other side of it, which is more about active rehabilitation: fitness,” says Mitch.
After passing her board exams in 2000, Mitch joined an aerobics class to learn more about various exercises. The club manager approached her after and asked if she would be interested in becoming a fitness trainer. “They were looking for people with a background in exercise science, so I decided to give it a try. I took all the available fitness-related courses and certifications available locally and internationally to become a more knowledgeable and credible trainer.”
Her clear passion for her craft is what makes her one of the country’s most sought-after fitness trainers. Soon, she would also add a counseling psychology degree to her repertoire for a more holistic approach to fitness. “I realized that achieving and maintaining a fit lifestyle is not only about physical exercise, but most importantly, about the mind and even emotions.” In 2006, she finished her masters in psychology and started lifestyle and weight management coaching, going beyond the physical aspects of fitness.
Being a fitness coach not only allows Mitch to help people reclaim their health, it also benefits her. “I always have to be a role model to my clients when it comes to [leading a] fit and healthy living, so every day, when I wake up, I am always committed to myself to be at my fullest—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I get to interact with various people of all ages, and I learn from them through their experiences inside and outside of fitness.”
If you want to get caught up in Mitch’s passion for fitness, here are her top tips on how you too can fall in love with a healthy lifestyle:
Enjoy the process
“You have to enjoy the process of getting fit. There are no shortcuts. You must really devote time, effort, and energy to achieve a fit body and healthy lifestyle.”
“Consider every slip or lapse as a learning experience instead of a failure. Talk to inspiring people that you know like a fitness coach or someone who lives a healthy and fit lifestyle and listen to their unique stories on how they conquered disappointments and how they achieved their healthy lifestyle.”
Know the why
“Know what really motivates you to start the fitness journey. Then be ready to commit and be willing to give up things that will slow down the process, like keeping junk food at home.”
“Most importantly, have a healthy mind and a positive attitude because there will be a lot of times when you will encounter challenges and temptation. Stay strong.”
Stick to a healthy diet even when you’re dining out. Here’s a list of restaurants that’ll let you stick to your healthy lifestyle:
Salad Stop. Pick from any of their wraps, salads, or craft your own from their wide selection of greens, vegetables, and fresh ingredients.
Jamba Juice. Get your daily serving of fruits on the go at this smoothie place that incorporates vitamin boosters of your choice into their drinks.
The Wholesome Table. Dig into organic, healthy plates at this hearty restaurant.
Poké Poké. This refreshing bowl that incorporates fresh, raw seafood with greens, and rice, is filling, satisfying, and healthy.
Susi. This restaurant serves vegan and gluten-free dishes without sacrificing flavor.
Phat Pho. A hearty bowl of Vietnamese pho throws in a mix of healthy greens with your protein and noodle soup.
Juju Eats. Has a wide selection of salads, pastas, and wraps made to order with fresh ingredients.