Melissa Hinkelbein

35 year old lifelong martial artist, studio owner & instructor. Weightlifting is my meditation. Newly vegan. Proud wife & dog mama.

Placed 4th

in the semi-finals

Ms. Health and Fitness and Jared Allen's Homes for Wounded Warriors would like to thank Melissa Hinkelbein and her voters for helping us donate to our injured United States military veterans!

What would you recommend to others who want to be fit and healthy?

Be consistent. Just trust the process and enjoy the journey. When I'm having an off day, I remind myself that I don't "HAVE" to work out or eat right, I "GET" to. Mindset is so important. Connect with your body, appreciate what you are doing for it & all that it does for you every day, because it is truly amazing. Don't compare yourself to anyone, you are uniquely & perfectly YOU, just focus on becoming the best version of that person.

How does fitness positively influence your life?

I found my passion for martial arts at a young age. For the past 26 years, pushing my body physically on the mat has led me to develop unbreakable discipline, mental strength & inner peace. I'm blessed to have a career helping others do the same. Later on in life I found weightlifting & fell in love w/ feeling my body getting stronger. Every morning starts w/ a couple hour gym session. It clears my mind & sets the tone for my day. It's time for me to be completely present w/ myself.

If you were the next Ms Health and Fitness, what would you do with $20,000?

For me, it's always more about influence than money. If I can help one person feel better about themselves, that's an amazing accomplishment. If I were selected it would open up my influence to help more people & that would be the best gift. I would definitely save some of that money to pursue my dream of attaching a small gym to my martial arts studio, but I'd also love to give away martial arts scholarships & donate to local charities, especially animal rescues.