Carmen + Gustavo
Her name is Carmen Melgoza and she is proud to wear the #bosslady tag these days. A consummate professional and confident go-getter, she is the founder of Latino Fit Club by Fit With Carmen, an online health and fitness community. She motivates others to find a healthier lifestyle with motivational speeches, messages, and even demonstrations on cooking and exercise.
In addition, she is a fitness coach at Beachbody, LLC and just co-founded a media company, GuMel Media Agency with her fiancé, Gustavo. Her audience has increased immensely in the last year boasting over 2 million views on her YouTube channel, and over 25,000 followers on social media.
Gustavo Gutierrez Magallanes is a communications professional turned social media and fitness guru. He is the founder of AVivirLA, a wellness lifestyle blog, a certified personal trainer, and the CEO at GuMel Media Agency.
Both dedicated to helping the Latino community develop and follow a healthier lifestyle, Carmen and Gustavo are also planning their wedding, which will be taking place in Mexico later this year. We caught up with the couple and asked them about life, their fitness journey, and of course, romance!
HipLatina: You have become the Latino fitness power couple in LA. How did you decide to get involved in this field?
Carmen: For my personal well-being. I was 45 pounds overweight and it was really affecting my self-esteem. My insecurities got to a point where I wasn’t happy, so I decided that it was time to prioritize my health. I’m a Latina that loves food so I wanted to find a way that I could maintain a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing my yummy Mexican food. As I began working on myself, I saw that my journey was inspiring many others. Before we knew it, Gustavo and I saw that our social posts about our workouts together were leading hundreds of people to get motivated!
Gustavo: Growing up I wasn’t the healthiest person. I didn’t play sports and I suffered from a lot of bullying for being overweight, a minority, and an academic overachiever. Growing up, my family lacked both resources and information on nutrition, so we weren’t living the healthiest lifestyle. It was in my early twenties that I decided to focus on my fitness by distance running and educating myself more on nutrition. Some of my close family members suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure, and I did not want to see that in my future. I took action early on and simply started sharing my healthy weight loss journey—where I lost over 30 pounds—with people and they began getting inspired.
HL: You were both born in Mexico—tell us a bit more about your journey to the United States.
C. I was born and raised in Michoacan, Mexico. I came to this country when I was 18 years old. I’m an accountant (degree from Cal. State University, Bakersfield) with a BIG passion for health and fitness and I love coaching people on starting new healthy habits. I’m also a blogger, founder of www.latinofitclub.com, a website that started as my weight lost journal and now it’s a an amazing resource where I share tips, ideas and yummy recipes, as well as information on how to start a healthy lifestyle.
G. I was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and I came to the U.S. when I was 4 years old. I’ve lived my entire life since then in California. I was raised in Northern California (Stockton and Modesto areas), then lived in San Jose for 4 years before moving to LA. I graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in Communications and Marketing and went on to receive master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern California. For the past 8 years I’ve called Los Angeles my home, and I find that LA is my ‘element’. I cannot see myself living anywhere else! Here I became a lifestyle blogger, certified fitness trainer, and launched www.avivirla.com, a bilingual blog for the modern gentleman and lady that want to live healthy and enriching lives.
HL. Is the Latino culture a big part of your interest in helping couples stay fit?
C. YES! Unfortunately, Latinos suffer disproportionately from obesity and I’m planning to keep learning and sharing tools that can help them to start and live a more healthy lifestyle without sacrificing the delicious foods that our traditions provide.
G. Yes, I have always been a proud Latino and I’ve seen firsthand the huge gap in misinformation and misconceptions about staying healthy because my family lived it. Though that has changed with my family because I’ve shared what I know with them and they’ve adopted healthier habits, there is still a lot of work to be done with our “comunidad” in educating them on how to stay fit, healthy and happy.
HL. Carmen, tell me about Latino Fit Club by Fit With Carmen. What is your main goal?
C. Latino Fit Club is an online publication and community focused on health, fitness, and well-being for the Hispanic community in the US and Latin America. Latino Fit Club’s main goal is to encourage people to start living a healthier lifestyle in a really fun and enjoyable way. Fit With Carmen understands that taking the first step to living a healthier lifestyle can be challenging for many, and this is especially true for Latinos. Food is a big part of our culture, traditions, and social life. With Latino Fit Club I share and promote delicious traditional recipes that include a healthy twist but maintain the familiar taste that anyone in the family can cook and enjoy. Latino Fit Club shares the tips and knowledge that allow many people to realize that living a healthier lifestyle can be easier to achieve than imagined. In simple words; Latino Fit Club is the starting point to a person’s healthier lifestyle.
HL. Gustavo, you are a Latino health and fitness blogger, founder of AVivirLa.com What is your message to those men that are trying to find a healthier lifestyle. Where should they start?
G. Start somewhere! Stop over-analyzing and most importantly, don’t be lazy. I see how advanced technology has enabled some of us to become seriously lazy. I only say that because at one point I found myself there. I would say: Prioritize your time and learn how to manage your ‘down time’. Nowadays everyone says: “I’m too busy”, but are you really? Get out there and get moving! Don’t wait until a doctor tells you the ‘list’ of illnesses and conditions you’ve acquired because of your poor habits. Start taking small steps into what will become a healthy lifestyle. Often times I see many men wanting to go weight lift since the beginning or on day-one, and they have all these grandiose goals. This often fails because they have neither a plan nor are they informed about what they should be consuming. Educate yourself, do your research, but most importantly, get off the couch!
HL. Tell us about your FB Live, #Compromisodedos. How do you decide what to talk about every week? Is it always a message for couples?
C. Gustavo and I have an amazing relationship and this LIVE segment is the result of an open communication as business partners, best friends, and as a couple. We started to get comments from our audiences on the chemistry we have together and the fun relationship that is perceived through social media. People began reaching out asking for relationship advice, so we decided to get more personal. In our FB Live segments we share real-life experiences, the way we like to educate and inform ourselves on certain topics, and how we deal with different scenarios in our not-so-perfect relationship. #CompromisoDeDos is not only for couples, it applies to any kind of relationship because to make things work you want to always maintain great communications. Relationships are a two way street, and the commitment between 2 people and applies with parents, children, friends, co-workers, etc. it doesn’t have to be only couples.
G. Every week it’s a different topic and we always try to make it relatable. Sometimes topics may apply a lot more to couples than others, but in the end if you really sit back and watch people end up realizing that the way they may be with their significant other is exactly the same way they are showing up to other people. It’s great to see how some of them have their “a-ha” moments during our live video. Carmen and I recognize that the impact we can have if we can be the vehicle for saving a breakup or divorce, or just improving relationships with open communications.
HL. In addition to working out together, what else do you do for fun?
C. We have our dates and we enjoy going out once a week to explore a new experiences in the area. We love going to restaurants, or for a hike. We love to travel as much as possible, to visit our families. But we also enjoy just being at home relaxing and cooking. We love food!
G. The same as Carmen’s answer above (“Yes, Honey”).
HL. How do you keep the romance going? Is there anything specific you do daily for each other to keep the romance alive?
C. We both fully understand our love language so it’s easier to do things that I know he will enjoy. It can be just a little note saying: “have an amazing day” or “I love you”. I like to be spontaneous and also do things for him that I know he will enjoy and will keep showing how much I love him. We have a date night every week and we try to do different things.
G. She cooks for me every day, and of course I wash the dishes. LOL! You see there’s always a commitment and a give and take in any relationship. It’s all about communicating and understanding our love language fully. We are both very similar when it comes to our love language so we compliment each other quite well. I like to spontaneously surprise her with flowers for no apparent reason, writing a love note, sending her an inspiring message, doing chores that she later won’t need to do or simply spending quality time together.
HL. Who inspires you?
C. Of course the love of my life. <3 We are perfect for each other and each day we learn from each other. We are not perfect, but we give our best to become better versions of ourselves so that we can deliver our best to others.
G. My love, my family, and people that don’t settle for less. I love reading stories of people who strive for greatness.
HL. How did you celebrate Valentine’s Day?
C. Honestly I don’t believe in having just one specific day to celebrate love. We celebrate love every single day and are grateful for this life. We try to not take anything for granted, and live every moment to the fullest. My advice is: don’t hold anything back, be yourself and do what the heart tells you. Remember that communication is the key in every relationship so make sure you always keep an open communication with your significant other, this will create a strong trust level and a very powerful relationship #JustDoIt #BeYouAlways.
G. We don’t necessarily buy into the commercialized celebration that it this has become. We focus on consistency and yet try to surprise each other. Remember that gifts are not always materials items they can be experiences that will be cherished forever. Why not celebrate Valentine’s Day every single day?
HL: We thank you for sharing your inspirations with HipLatina.
Keep it up you two!