Health & Fitness

Founder returns home as Fit & Thick national tour concludes Saturday in Miami Beach

Nicole Mejia shows the proper form of stretching at the Chicago Stay Fit Within Tour in May 2015.
Nicole Mejia shows the proper form of stretching at the Chicago Stay Fit Within Tour in May 2015. Prairie Production

When Nicole Mejia, international model and fitness instructor, first launched her Fit & Thick tour around the United States a year-and-a-half ago, she had no idea where it was going to lead.

“I never thought this was going to be my final tour stop,” said Mejia, 26. “Especially in my hometown, Miami.”

Fit & Thick is an Instagram-inspired movement that encourages women to embrace their inner and outer strength through health and fitness.

“Stay Fit Within,” a Fit & Thick program, has helped thousands of women accept their differences and perceived flaws by educating them on nutrition, lifestyle changes and overall resistance training.

“Being fit isn’t about being a specific size, shape or body fat percentage,” Mejia said. “Our program allows women to drop the expectations that society places on them to fit into certain body type. It’s more about accepting who you are.”

Saturday is the final tour stop of the year and will be held at The Temple House in Miami Beach. The event offers two separate time slots, 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Registration is now available for all women 18 and older.

“Each ticket comes with an exclusive merchandise package,” Mejia said. “Not only do we offer the knowledge, but we give you the tools to make change possible. A true lifestyle change starts within.”

The tour package includes a Stay Fit Within notebook, laminated schedule, branded tank top, photo ops of the event, coupons to use in the Fit & Thick store and access to a private forum, where guests can stay in contact with the entire team.

Mejia said that more than 100 women have already registered.

The Stay Fit Within tour’s first stop was six months ago in New York City. Since then, the tour has hit eight cities: Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, San Jose, San Francisco, Chicago, Orlando and now, Miami.

Jessica Day, an administrative coordinator at Fit & Thick, has traveled since the second stop and continues to witness the company’s growth.

“I look forward in coming to work, which is not what many people can say,” said Day, 21. “It’s sad to see this tour coming to an end, but we’re growing at such a rate that it is time to expand.”

After the Miami event, the tour will be put on hold to focus on the development of an online program that offers guests exercises and nutritional education.

“People would ask me after the event, ‘What now? Do I have to wait another three months to workout with you again?’” Mejia said. “But I’m glad I did it because — regardless the number of followers I have —I had the opportunity to connect with them on a personal level and give a preview of what the program is going to be like.”

Mejia said the online program will be similar to her classes, offering five days worth of workouts a week and nutritional advice. It will be available online to anyone in the world.

Day said that the development of the online program is estimated to take up to a year. The release date is still unknown.

“Our [online] program is not for a ‘quick fix,’” Day said. “We are always fighting the plateau to help the everyday woman stay fit and stay sore.”

Emily Gumina, a guest in the New York tour and now member of the Fit & Thick movement, said she decided in January to give working out one more try.

“I’ve always been intimidated to enter a gym, but Nicole Mejia and the Stay Fit Within tour gave me a different perspective on fitness,” said Gumina, 32. “[Mejia] makes working out fun and inspired me to reach new goals.”

The event is divided into three parts: Mejia’s personal story, nutritional guidance and “working your butts on” workout.

In the first part of the seminar, Mejia gives tips on she overcame her insecurities.

As an adolescent, she struggled with body image, was bullied and teased for being overweight.

“I open up. I tell them what I am insecure about and what I consider are my flaws, so they can relate and see that everything is possible,” Mejia said.

Mejia and the Fit & Thick team believe in the holistic approach, which is an idea to incorporate natural and organic whole foods for a state of well-being and optimum health.

The second part of the seminar covers the importance of proper holistic nutrition and how to apply it to a daily life.

“We don’t believe in the word ‘diet,’” Mejia said. “Because in the end, no matter how much diet and exercise you do, if you don’t apply it to your lifestyle you will not be consistent.”

Mejia has made the exercises for this final tour to be more challenging than others. She welcomes guests from beginner to intermediate levels.

“All the women who partake in this program have different and individual goals,” Mejia said. “But we all share one central and superseding goal, and that is to love the skin we’re in.”

If you go

▪ What: Miami Stay Fit Within 2015 Fit & Thick Tour

▪ When: Saturday, June 20, 2015. Morning session 9 to 11 a.m.; afternoon session 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

▪ Where: The Temple House, 1415 Euclid Ave., Miami Beach

▪ Cost: $60 per person. $5 off special with promo code Miami Love.

▪ For more information and ticket registration: www.getfitandthick.com/pages/tour

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