Smart, driven, fit and beautiful are words that describe Michelle Carigma. Michelle, also known as @_modernfit on Instagram, runs an inspirational fitness blog that strives to motivate individuals to #getmovinghavefun. The success of her blog and her charismatic personality has lead to opportunities working with brands including Nike, Asics, Without Walls, and Finish Line. Michelle believes that we all have a purpose in life, hers being "Modern Fit." Fitness is the key element of her vision, however, her goal is to create a platform for future generations to aspire to. Michelle advocates the idea of living out dreams and empowering girls to achieve their goals. Read about Michelle's journey and you'll quickly understand why she is a MISSBISH.
Tell us about yourself. Where you live, what you do and the path that lead you to where you are today.
My name is Michelle Carigma, and I currently live in Downtown Los Angeles working full-time as a Business Analyst for a utilities company & run a blog called Modern Fit. While discovering my passion for fitness and style, I was even more determined to go beyond what others expected of me. I felt like there was more to life than sitting in a cubicle for the rest of my life. I wanted to live with intention, purpose and inspire others to do the same. I strive every day to showcase that this lifestyle is worth living.
How did your passion for fitness x fashion begin?
As I was growing up, my passion was Polynesian dancing. I danced Polynesian throughout my teenage years and couldn't keep up with the schedule when I went to college and work. I still wanted to be active, so I decided to sign up for the gym.
Being naturally thin my whole life, I discovered the beauty of fitness and how everyone has the capability to sculpt your body in the way you never thought possible. I live by "strong is the new skinny," and I then created a blog to document my fitness journey to hold myself accountable. I wanted to inspire others not only about healthy living, but to follow your dreams.
I wanted to reinvent the stereotypical fitness scene in my own way, in a way where people may find it aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Being able to add my personal style in and out the gym, this was the beginning for Modern Fit. It opens up a whole new element to your fitness journey because if you look good, you'll perform good!
“I wanted to live with intention, purpose and inspire others to do the same. I strive every day to showcase that this lifestyle is worth living.”
Your website and Instagram handle is called "ModernFit." How did you come up with the name and what is the meaning behind that?
I originally created a blog called Modern Edge via Tumblr. Nothing too personal, just a place where I can endlessly reblog artsy, fashionable and inspiring posts. Upon creating Modern Fit, I wanted a name where my style would still be identifiable with the addition for my passion for fitness. Modern Fit's style strives to be timeless, practical and comfortable.
I wanted to create a fitness blog that changed the game. My blog is my canvas, and my lifestyle is the art of it all. I believe in living by example. I wanted to create something that will impact others to live, feel & do better, not only for them but for the next generations to come.
Do you remember your first pair of trainers you got?
I remember my very first pair of Nike Free Runs. They were black and white, of course.
What do you look for when purchasing your workout clothes?
I always look for the right size. Sounds simple? It's a bit more complex shopping for athletic apparel because different brands have different sizes and different styles have different sizes. I've been purchasing Nike sports bra's for years, but I still have to try on to see if I'm a small or extra small.
For bottoms, I like to see if I could squat comfortable in them. I check for the knee comfort because some leggings are a bit too tight for me around which causes discomfort. I also check if the waist of the leggings move around as well as I squat. I wouldn't want anyone seeing Victoria's Secret while hitting my PR! That's why I absolutely love high-waisted leggings, they're comfortable and add curves to your body.
“I wanted to inspire others not only about healthy living, but to follow your dreams.”
What does your everyday workout entail?
It really all depends on what day it is. I break down my workout days by muscle groups.
Monday - Legs
Tuesday - Back, Abs
Wednesday - Chest, Triceps, Abs
Thursday - Legs
Friday - Shoulders, Biceps, abs
Saturday - Cardio, Abs
Sunday - Rest Day
Are there any fitness activities you enjoy the most?
Strength training is my absolute favorite, but I'm enjoying the practice of Yoga more and more each day.
Do you remember your first fitness competition you've done? How was that experience? How did you train for it?
Yes, very much so. Training for the Nike Women's Half Marathon had to be the most invigorating yet stressful training I have ever had to do. I am not a runner, but I made it my goal in 2014 to conquer running. I joined a running group called Mission I'm Possible in Los Angeles, and found a support system and family to help me reach my goals. I also curated a high energy playlist to keep me motivated for all 13.1 miles.
I trained for 12 weeks, and it was an emotional & physical roller coaster. I suffered minor injuries and had lack of motivation on some weeks. However, I ran that half as though my life depended on it. I had a lot to prove to myself because I was overcoming a fear I always had.
“Progress doesn't happen over night. Enjoying the journey is the key to your success. Now do work!”
What inspires you to train harder?
Remembering why I started. I want to be able to push my body to its fullest potential. My mentality is: A healthy body is a privilege denied to many. Do not to take it for granted. For a visual perspective, I often use my iPhone wall paper as inspiration with quotes and pictures to constantly remind me of my goals.
Who has been your greatest mentor?
I would definitely say Valerie Juan from Fruition LV. She is such a beautiful soul with nothing but great intentions in her. She helps me think outside the box and encourages me to step outside my comfort zone. Her presence alone teaches me self-love and to never be afraid to be yourself even if it goes against the grain. She reminds me the importance of success and that is to do whatever the hell makes you happy. She is more than a mentor, she is my sister!
What advice do you have for someone who wants to incorporate fitness into their lifestyle.
Progress doesn't happen over night. Do not get discourage if you don't see results right away. Remember, gaining weight didn't happen over night, it happened over time. Please do not compare your Chapter 1 to somebody else's Chapter 20. Enjoying the journey is the key to your success. Now do work!
If you are not working out, what do you do on your off time?
My life basically revolves around my blog. If I'm not working out, I'm working towards improving my blog such as maintaining the site, writing blog posts or brainstorming. I also spend time with my loved ones (always make time for them!).
“My mentality is: A healthy body is a privilege denied to many. Do not to take it for granted.”
Do you have a specific diet you follow? i.e. what is your normal meal like before and after you workout?
Healthy choices! I try to bring out the fun in this so called healthy lifestyle by reinventing my own recipes into it. For breakfast, I usually whip up an egg white omelet with spinach and turkey bacon with a side of oatmeal.
Before I work out, I usually eat a bowl of oatmeal to sustain my energy. After my work out, I usually drink a whey protein shake while I cook dinner. If I'm still hungry before bed, I drink half a protein shake just to get me through the night.
What are your 3 hidden gems in LA?
1) Vista Hermosa has got to be my number 1 hidden gem. It's so close to where I live, and I am able to go there to sit and reflect on life while I enjoy the beautiful view of DTLA.
2) Echo Park is my next hidden gem in LA. I trained here majority of the time for Nike Women's Half Marathon. It's a beautiful park with so much to look at. Just beware running pass the elote man and LA dogs, because it will mess you up when you smell the goodness!
3) Silver Lake, Los Angeles. I've quickly grown accustomed to this city as everything seems to be so cultured. I love the people, the places to eat, the culture and how diverse everything seems to be.
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
MISSBISH has created a virtual inspiration board for women today. I am absolutely in love with MISSBISH and its purpose to empower women. We are often surrounded by the superficial aspects of social media, but we can look to MISSBISH for a sense of inspiration, motivation and creativity.
Photography: Ron Holden