From a moderately active person, to an award-winning fitness competitor, Mindy Muylaert has never stopped challenging herself when it comes to physical activity.

As a GoodLife member since 1992, her gym visits were often sporadic until about eight years ago.

“I wanted to shed a few pounds of baby weight after my second child, but what really got me to this place was when I saw a picture of myself on the beach. It was a different person than who I saw in the mirror.”

The healthcare worker and mom of two began with some nutritional changes and a 4-week gym commitment as a personal challenge. She quickly caught the fitness bug and was motivated to make more significant changes, creating meal plans and counting macros to complement increasingly demanding workouts. Before long, she was living a lifestyle of strength, endurance, and repeated personal bests.

I cut out some previous behaviours, and created healthier new habits that complemented my fitness routine, and I just felt … better.

But it didn’t stop there.

“I was at the gym one day, and a gentleman approached me and asked if I was training for a bodybuilding show.”

Mindy says as someone who is a bit reserved, she felt she wouldn’t be comfortable putting herself on display. But a supportive conversation with her husband inspired her to challenge herself once again to a fitness competition at the age of 40. Placing 16th left her feeling disappointed, but it motivated her to try again.

From training, to being up on stage, Mindy connected with a side of herself she’d never known before. She fell in love with competitive bodybuilding, and ended up winning her second competition. She continued to set new goals, logging several more wins. Now she’s working toward her IFBB (International Federation of Body Builders) Pro Card, which will position her with the ‘best of the best’ in bodybuilding.

Despite fitness club closures during the pandemic, Mindy was determined to continue on her fitness journey, so she built a gym in her basement. But when things reopened, she couldn’t wait to get back to her home GoodLife Masonville club in London. Mindy relies on her time at the gym for social connection and support, and a much-needed mental break from the realities of everyday life.

“It’s such a comfortable place, and it’s nice to see those familiar faces every day -- especially after so much time away. I’d become friends with the other members, and all of the associates are phenomenal. I missed them so much.”

Mindy prefers an early morning gym routine. If she misses a day, she’s left feeling lethargic, and doesn’t enjoy her time with family as much because she doesn’t have the energy boost she needs from her workouts. On rest days, she still gives herself 20 minutes to do something active to keep her mood and

energy levels up, and to set a positive tone for the day. After suffering with anxiety, Mindy says she’s grateful that fitness has helped her overcome her struggles and feel better.

“The gym is my life now!”

With her fitness goals always a moving target, it will be interesting to see how Mindy decides to challenge herself next. Whatever she decides to do, there is no doubt she will give it everything she’s got and come out on top.