This is the phrase that was often uttered by Marisa during her training days with me. I would simply respond with, “No, this is what living feels like!” At which point she would usually just snarl at me but continue on with whatever torturous thing I had her doing for the day. That was in April 2010 when I first met her. These are the stats she handed me upon our first meeting:

Weight: 281.3
Date: April 28, 2010
Dress Size: 24/28
Pant Size: 22/24
Shirt Size: 4 X

This is what she has transformed herself into:

Weight: 165.1
Dress Size: 8
Pant Size: 6/8 (depending on who makes it)
Shirt Size: M (no more X’s for me)
Total weight loss: 116 pounds

After three years of nothing but hard work, dedication, sweat, tears and almost complete loss of sanity, Marisa continues to be a huge success! She lost a lot more then weight with those pounds and gained confidence, a tremendous running ability and a die hard circle of fitness friends.

This is not the first time I’ve written about Marisa’s success but I never get tired of doing it! And as the years pass, she continues to amaze and inspire me, as well as those around her, with her tireless fight with her weight. As anyone who has struggled with dieting will tell you, the maintenance after the initial loss can be the hardest part.

From Marisa’s Journal:
5/24/2010 “ I wanted to cheat yesterday, but I did not, I stuck it out and I succeeded” – Those words sum up my story ‘Staying focused, not being swayed and sticking with it’ because its the only way to achieve any level of success.

This is for anyone out there struggling with their weight or maintaining a fitness level of any kind. It is a battle. It is hard. If it wasn’t hard, we wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic in this country. Marisa is who I turn people to when they want to give up. She wanted to give up many times. She certainly had failures and setbacks along the way but she persevered and does to this day.

Health and fitness is something you have to make a conscious decision about everyday and I often have told clients “Just like an alcoholic, take it one day at a time.” It doesn’t come easy but the rewards are amazing…not to mention the camaraderie, beer and prizes that may come as well.

Jimmy Dugan summed it up best in the movie A League of Their Own:

Jimmy Dugan: Shit, Dottie, if you want to go back to Oregon and make a hundred babies, great, I’m in no position to tell anyone how to live. But sneaking out like this, quitting, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. Baseball is what gets inside you. It’s what lights you up, you can’t deny that.

Dottie Hinson: It just got too hard.

Jimmy Dugan: It’s supposed to be hard! If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great!

~ A League of Their Own (1992)