Marcia’s personal journey and struggle with weight control, and self-esteem issues, combined with her desire to share her story with the world and help others to find a path to a better, healthier “never give up!” lifestyle has inspired her “say it loud and say it proud!”
Click on the photos to see VIDEO of Marcia in action!
Marcia is available for personal workshops for individuals or small groups, (fees upon request). Here’s a current sampling of topics she’s workshopping right now, inspired by her new book, The Goodbye Cookie:
- WANT TO, NOT HAVE TO: In order to make change and sustain change, most of us have to come from a place of “want to” not “have to.” We can all point to a time when we “had to” lose weight for a wedding or an affair, just to start putting the weight back on again as soon as it was over. That was a “have to.” Or when someone wants us to lose weight, we may be able to lose it “for them” but more than likely, we won’t sustain it unless we are internally motivated.
- HER BODY, NOT MINE: So many of us want what other people have- their body, their career, their lifestyle. And yet, if we thought about them in the gestalt, we wouldn’t want to be them. So, as my sister-in-law, Donna, taught me: if you’re going to wish for what someone else has, you have to take their whole package. And pretty soon, no one’s whole package looks as good as mine. So I stopped coveting and began appreciating what I have: the good, the bad, and the ugly. For today, I have an “attitude of gratitude”, a real acceptance of all the things in my life today so much so, that I rarely even fantasize changing places with anyone else.
- MY BFF, FOOD: Food was my comfort, my best friend, my “go-to” place when I felt sad, lonely, angry, jealous, frustrated, bored. The irony was, that even when I was excited or happy, I went to food, too. It seemed, in the moment, to solve all of my problems, to take me away from my reality, to numb my feelings, to be a salve. But I learned, from one bad experience after another, that food never solved my problems for more than a nanosecond. Pretty soon, I’d go from “just one bite” to the whole bag, and believe me- there was nothing soothing about that. It just led to more loneliness, more anger (this time at myself), more guilt, more shame, AND a great big extra problem mounted on top of the original problem. Because when I emerged the next day out of this ostensibly self-soothing little session I had with myself, I was often a few pounds heavier and now I had 2 problems: the original one I was eating over, and the extra one I loaded on myself in a very short- but long-lasting, illusion of comfort.
- THE “UGH” DANCE IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR: Women often spend lots of money getting an education and learning career skills, and yet we persist in doing the “ugh” dance in front of the mirror, no matter how beautiful we may be. Ugh this, ugh that, the self-loathing eats at us no matter how talented we may be. So often, we turn that negative body image into a negative self-image and every time we pass a mirror- instead of being joyous to see the loving, hard-working, intelligent, accomplished, woman in the mirror, we go right to the “ugh”- ugh, my fat thighs, ugh my big ass, ugh my jangling arms. We can “ugh” ourselves to death in a very hot New York minute. And in that time, we have negated all our goodness, all our inside beauty, and- believe it or not- all the things we feel good about in our bodies. The way we walk, the way we operate in the world, the way we engage in relationships- it becomes all about our hips, our chin, our hair. And it’s not a positive thing-it’s usually about what’s wrong, rarely about what’s right. Is this really how we want to live in the world? Is this really how we want to be talking to ourselves much of the time?
- SELF-TALK OR SELF-BALK? I once heard a statistic that in the Northeast USA, people talk at a rate of about 125-200 words per minute. We are capable of listening at about 400 words per minute. And yet, how many words a minute do we engage in self-talk…that little voice inside our heads? The story goes that we are capable of speaking to ourselves at the rate of 650 words per minute. If we’re going to be talking to ourselves that much, we better hope that we can replace our critic with our ability to soothe and love ourselves.
- WHATEVER YOUR ADDICTION OR AFFLICTION—NEVER GIVE UP HOPE! You may feel frustrated because you have tried everything to lose weight and it hasn’t worked. Or it worked and then it stopped working. If you keep at it, keep trying new interventions, eventually something will hit. You may need a break between “rounds” but enlist the help of people you love and you will get there one day.
- NOW AND ZEN: I’ve tried everything: prayer, meditation, acupuncture, green tea. I keep trying to get “Zen”. I want to be like those white-haired medicine women sitting atop a mountain with great tranquility speaking to the wind and the spirits. But instead, I’m this overly enthusiastic, fiery, overscheduled cross between a type A career woman, a soccer mom, and an occasional prayerful, meditative Zen type. So I guess I’ll settle for “now and Zen”- it’s a step in the right direction.
- INSIDE/OUTSIDE: I’ve felt like an outsider for so long, that I have forged my identity as an outsider, thus making me an insider when I’m outside. I mostly live with a foot in both worlds, whatever those two worlds I may be straddling. I’ve come to find out that even the insiders confess to feeling left out, misunderstood, lost, often with bigger problems than we would ever attribute to them. So I think the boundaries of inside and out are amoeba-like and whatever circles I’m in or out of mostly exist in my head. That’s good news because I can change them whenever I want.
- YOU DON’T DROWN BY FALLING IN THE WATER: You drown by staying there. Many of us feel like we’re drowning in our obsessions or our addictions or we’re drowning when we fall off our particular wagons. Hell, we all fall off the wagon sometimes. It’s not about falling off, it’s about whether we want to wallow in it, or choose to get out- by admitting our vulnerabilities, asking for help, or finding a new way to cope. If you prefer a ladder analogy, if we stumble, we don’t have to go all the way down the ladder. We can catch ourselves at the next rung and choose to climb back up.
- “YES, BUTT…” My husband often reminds me that I am the world’s best rationalizer. Every other line is, “yes, but…” At first I thought he was commending me on my creativity but soon I realized that he was calling me out on my need to justify my behavior all the time. I have created an encyclopedia of great excuses and brilliant machinations to justify my irrational or sometimes annoying behaviors. I just wanted to feel OK about myself so I would make everything OK in my head, even though I knew in my heart my actions might be illogical or annoying. Now I know that all the guilt and the “yes, buts…” just earned me one big butt.
- SHAME ON YOU, SHAME! It’s bad enough to feel bad about being fat or unhealthy, or your last binge, but when you add a lifetime of shame to the mix, that just changes the whole complexion. Shame is so pervasive, so dark, so ominous, that even if you can forgive yourself this last transgression, you still have this 800-pound gorilla following you around making you feel crappy about yourself. Even when you don’t feel bad, or especially when you don’t. Shame loves it most when you’re feeling good and successful and happy, and it can take you down in a nanosecond. Shame on you, shame! It’s our time to shine!
- HIT THE KEYBOARD INSTEAD OF THE CUPBOARD: When I feel like eating and I’ve just had dinner, it’s usually because there’s some kind of feeling I’m eating over- anger, boredom, jealousy, disappointment, anxiety, guilt. Rather than hit the cupboard, which usually comes up empty in the end, I hit the keyboard, where I write out my feelings and allow myself to be raw and honest. If I don’t get them out, I will substitute food for the feelings. If I get them out, I can generally acknowledge what is going on beneath the surface, and then let it go. The kitchen doesn’t call to me any more.
- LONG, LONG AGO, AND FAR, FAR A-WEIGH: For most of my life, I was (in this order): chubby, plump, fat, average, busty, voluptuous, thin (for my wedding), fat, fatter, obese, morbidly obese, super-thin (after my first weight loss surgery), svelte, heavier, heavier, heavier (then my second weight loss surgery), then rapidly thin, super thin, too thin, heavier, heavier, and back to plump, maybe chubby, maybe just middle-aged frumpy. So now I want to go back to what I weighed 5 years ago when I was svelte and it seems almost impossible, like a fairy tale of long ago. Maybe the answer is to accept where I am now? Yo-yoing can’t be a good thing. Maybe I yam what I yam?
- “DO ONE THING EVERY DAY THAT SCARES YOU” – Eleanor Roosevelt: So, Mrs. Roosevelt… how about writing a 300 page book about all your deepest darkest secrets and then publishing it for the world to read? How’s that?
- W.A.I.T. – WHY AM I TALKING? What can I say?