Thursday, November 29, 2012


I was always "regular."  I yo-yoed...did nothing but cardio...and was resigned to the fact that I would never look anything but average at best.  Then I got fat...did nothing...was tired of it...discovered lifting weights...worked hard...and got a better body than I ever imagined.  For a long time it was sort of easy for me.  My life was easy.  I had a nanny and a housekeeper.  I didn't work and I was obsessed with working out.  I had built my physical capacity to a point that things that are very hard for most people seemed not too bad to me.  Then my life changed.  I've been struggling to save a 21 year marriage and eventually going through a divorce for 2 years. 

The toll it's taken on me physically and mentally has been great.  Now everything feels hard.  I no longer feel like an invincible Wonder Woman when I hit the gym.  I no longer want to be there for 2 hours.  My once loose-ish (yet tight in the right places) yoga pants are tight in all the WRONG places.  The good news is that I'm starting to go in to the "recovery phase" finally.  I no longer cry everyday in private.  I wake up with hope, and I KNOW I will be okay.

The hard part is that it's hard to let yourself slide backwards.  When I was obese, I was super motivated to get in the gym.  Now, it's hard.  I feel weaker and my body is not the same, but I still look good and everyone thinks I'm crazy because I'm still fit. 

Yesterday I did nothing but eat crap...all day.  I felt like a bottomless pit of hunger.  No matter what I did I never felt full.  To top it off, I was busy and never worked out.  So by the end of the day when my kids went to dinner with their Dad and I was alone, I made a choice...a bad choice.  I should've gone to the gym to "work off" the loneliness and frustration and then eaten a good meal to FUEL my body and help it recover.  Instead I talked on the phone, went to the mall and justified it by buying one Christmas present for my daughter.  Then, I ordered pizza and stuffed myself at home. 

You are probably either A.  Disgusted with me and wondering how I could ever pretend to motivate anyone else  B.  Surprised   C.  Thinking, "Are we the same person?  I've done the same thing!"  or D.  Wondering if I will have the strength to come out of this funk I've fallen into.  So I got up this morning with my stomach growling and making ATROCIOUS noises...a weird, gross reminder of the crap I piled in it last night before I fell asleep in my makeup on top my bed, and I thought to myself..."Is this it?!?  Am I going to give up?  Am I going to say, 'Oh well...I still look good and I'm fit.  I don't need to get back to where I was again.' and continue to lie to myself and comfort myself with food?  Or am I gonna start all over again...on a Thursday...not a Monday...not on New Years!?!?"

I talk a lot about starting over.  In fact, I wonder if people ever think "There she goes again...whining and saying she's gonna hit the "reset" button!"  I'm not a paid model or fitness professional.  I'm a normal girl that grew up in Texas thinking if it wasn't fried, it wasn't worth eating and comforted myself with sweets when there was no adults to reassure me or comfort me with a hug.  I've worked hard to overcome those habits, but at times they creep back in because I'm human.  So the the fact is this...I AM starting over...AGAIN.  And I will continue to start over as many times as I need to because I am stronger than any obstacle or setback or sadness or disappointment that I may face in my life!  I'm not gonna use towels to wipe tears and I'm sure as hell not gonna throw in the proverbial towel!  I'm gonna fight...not for you this time, but for ME.  I'm gonna use the towel to wipe away my sweat and prove to MYSELF that I CAN come out the other side of what could be described as a tragedy BETTER!  My hope is that anyone else injured or struggling or just feeling lazy will join me and make today the first day of your COMEBACK!


  1. Stay strong girl. You make a difference in lives everyday:)

  2. My dear, sweet, and wonderful Marsha,

    You had choices A, B, C, and D. I choose "E" for Excellent!
    And "W" for Wonderful!!!

    You are truly GREAT!

    I have been married. And Divorced. Took me 3 years to fully recover. People either take the time to recover or they never work thru recovery and carry that for years, if not the rest of your life. And take it into their next relationship(s).

    The sadness and pain is such that most people cannot move, literally, most of the time, for quite a while when they are getting divorced. It's just too much for them. I remember clearly the day I needed to assemble the documents for my divorce. I literally could not move. I finally called someone and they came and helped me put the paperwork together.

    After a few months, I started back to the gym, loving to be there. Reveling in feeling better. What you are experiencing is a phase of relative shortness.

    I speak for all of us who have been privileged to get to know you and have come to love your strong spirit, your caring and love for other people, your internal beauty, as well as your breathtaking external beauty.

    From all of us to you: Thank you, God bless you and yours, the angels do walk with you and will bear you up as you need it.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for what you have given us. AND the great example you now give us as you look at adversity in the face, share with us your challenge, and show us that you do keep going, even though it is so hard. If ever a person were to take a well deserved respite from life for a little while, that would be you!!!

    So, thank you, with all my heart, with all our hearts, we thank you.
    You will be in our prayers.

    btw, I did recover and did a half marathon a few weeks ago.

  3. Thank you. I needed to read this so badly today. Thank you. I'm starting over today too.

  4. Even a motivator needs motivating! Yep, you are one of us! I am lucky, because I am still on the high of losing 130 lbs. But, there are times that I want to chuck it all, to dive head first into a foot long Subway Pastrami sandwich, and say "F**k it!".

    OK, now we are back on track. Time to get strong again!

    We all need to whine!

    Focus your eyes on the prize! Get back to being the best you you can be!

  5. Awesome! I lost 90 lbs back in 2000 and had kept it off up until my divorce...I gained 30 lbs in 2 yrs. I have lost a few, gained a few and so on...I recently hired a personal trainer and have decided once and for all I have got to do this! I'm running ojut of clothes and feel like crap. And its embarrassing when people look at me like " well, she's getting fat again" I refuse to get fat again!! I so needed to hear your story...thank u!!!

  6. As just a random reader who loves your blog and doesn't know you personally - thank you so much for this. For a lot of reasons.

    First, it's nice to know that part of what helped you get so in shape was having support with your life. Sometimes it's nice to hear that, so I don't feel like a failure when I can't do everything I wish I could.

    Second, it's reassuring to know that even people in great shape have off days where they eat crap and don't work out. I'm sorry that you had a bad day, but grateful that you shared it.

    Third, your motivation is inspiring, and it pushes me too.

    So thank you, thank you, and I hope your hard times improve soon!

  7. Your AWESOME Marsha...and I know you have it in you to be your BEST no matter the circumstance:) The enemy will always use our weaknesses to try and win...YOU ARE BETTER THAN THAT! GAME ON! See ya at the gym:)

  8. Marsha. I think you may have plagiarized my inner most thoughts. I have not been battling a divorce (this time!) but have been dealing with a chronic disease that has gotten the best of me coupled with some incredible life stressors that seem to have stolen by chutzpah. This has been going on a few years now and while I was treading water for a good, long time, sadly, I have slipped into a place over the past 18 months or so - in a place that I don't even recognize myself.

    Your blogs always seem to resonate in a parallel universe but this blog post seems so eerily familiar and aligned, that I am almost beyond words.

    I hope to 'tomorrow' start over with you. Two years ago -- just as I realized I was starting to slip backwards (no longer treading water), I got a tattoo (what 50 year old woman gets a tattoo after never having one???) of a tribal sun on my lower abdomen. The meaning was that each new day is a new beginning. It was to remind me of how strong I have been over the trials and tribulations of my life. It was supposed to remind me that no matter what happened the day before, that I am resilient and a woman of fortitude and strength. And it was supposed to remind me that each and every day - no matter how I finished the day before, the new day was to inspire me -- but I never got the message....I never focused on that new start; instead, I allowed myself to be crippled by fear, by hurt, my anger.

    Ugh. Thank you for posting but mostly, I am sending you tons of support and hope you do have your new beginning.

  9. Hi there...

    I stumbled upon this blog post today and I cannot stop thinking about how much this is resonating with me. We all know that you can't out train a crappy diet. I have always worked out, but typically ate crap all of the time until recently. Over the summer, I was more committed to eating well and taking care of myself then ever. I was eating strict paleo and did crossfit wods several times a week. It was easy and it felt great! I looked better than ever and I'm almost 40.

    But something happened... In September I started my last year of graduate school and everything has fallen apart. My marriage is struggling, school is stressful, 4 kids, work, and I just can't get it together. For the past 12 weeks I have fallen back into my old eating patterns and have all but stopped working out. This is crazy and not me!! Every day I try to start over and "reset," but it is always met with failure.

    I have gained a few pounds and my clothes are getting tight and though this makes me feel horrible, I continue to regress. I keep saying, "Ok... I'll start on Monday." Monday comes around and nothing happens...

    I am not even sure why I am responding to this, but it helps to share my frustration with others that may share similar challenges. I am certainly not going to give up and I will continue to "start over" everyday. Feeling like this is just not worth it!

    Thank you,

  10. Ms. Marsha, in paragraph 5 you forgot to add option "E"..."whew! Thank goodness she is human and struggles with an imperfect life too---maybe there's hope for me!!!"

    Dont be so hard on yourself. Life is tough and knocks us on our butt sometimes. But you ate right, we have choices. Get up when we can, regroup, and decide which direction to take the next step to get us where we want to go.

    I applaud your honesty.....and your grit. You are an encouragement to me and I appreciate you taking time to write and post. I always look forward to reading what you have to say.

    Mrs. C

  11. So timely and relatable. I'm coming off a 2-year backslide myself. The struggle I keep facing is that I have felt like I was making an effort that entire time, but getting no results. I was trying to do everything at once (run long, lift heavy, lose fat, heal injuries, manage stress) - and failing at most of it. But once upon a time, I COULD do everything at once, hence this foolish belief I could keep that up. Since I couldn't, my perception of myself was that I was a failure. Backsliding is downright brutal on the self-esteem.

    Once I began to think in terms of treating myself the way I would treat others, having the *self-compassion* to recognize my daily efforts and focus less on the results...the results started to come. It's slow and grueling, still minor setbacks, nowhere near the once-easy ability to Do All The Things, but it's working.

    Talk nicely to yourself. Treat yourself like your own best friend. Love yourself.

  12. A bit late to make a comment on your post but thank you so much for your honesty. I've never met you but I stumbled came across your blog a couple of months ago when I did a google search for "Strong is the new skinny";-)
    You are truly a strong woman! I salute and encourage you to keep up the good fight.
    My divorce was finalised recently and I can tell you that if it wasn't for exercising in the last year, I would have lost my mind. In the beginning I started exercising because I wanted to lose weight but in the process I gained so much more than I had expected.

    By becoming stronger in my body I became stronger in my mind and could better deal with the toxic emotions, disappointments and hopelessness that I was experiencing in my divorce process. Despite the odds stacked up against me, I made it through, and I am sure you will make it through. I think starting over is a sign of strength and resilience. You are definitely on the path of becoming an even better and stronger you.

    Wishing you all the best from all the way in the UK.


  14. you need a new goal..

    being fit, you've been there, now you need a new goal, ...pick a OL or PL comp somewhere and go compete, then when you lie awake at night rather than think of how things were, and what you are missing, you will be thinking, "should I do box squats or good mornings", or should I do push jerks or push presses", much more productive way to spend the hours of the night ..

    also never forget that once you get "there" wherever "there" is the challenge is to just simply stay "there" .

    If you can do that, then eventually everyone else will pass you going backwards ..

    Terry Gibbs

  15. You rock! This is the kind of stuff that we need to SLAM HOME to our girls. You are an inspiration Viva La STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY.

  16. Thank you for being human. Sometimes it's hard to hear people rock out everyday, day after day! It is nice to know other's struggles. You are truly motivating! God bless!

  17. This was so incredibly encouraging. So often there's a focus on success with no mention of the small failures that paved the road to success. It's good to know that someone as fit as you are still struggles with old habits from time to time. Thanks for your honesty. It means SO much.

  18. There is no success without failure and more often than not mutiple failures. You are surly an overcomer and that is refreshing.
    Thank you!