My name is Marisa and for as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to help people. Growing up, I was always into sports and I spent a good portion of my adolescence competing in gymnastics, swimming, and diving. While I have always been athletic, I, unfortunately, suffered a serious knee injury when I was 10. This led to numerous knee surgeries and a few back injuries along the way. In my mid-late 20s, I found myself overweight and depressed. I didn’t know what to do or where to go to feel better, I felt so lost. I began to read books about food and how food can be used to heal. In August 2017, I had injured my back again and finally had enough. My doctor told me to strengthen my core and my back pain would likely go away. What started as a journey to heal my back quickly became a journey to lose a bit of fat and gain some confidence. While I took that journey much further, it made me realize how I can help others who feel lost just like I did.
Over the last few years, I have worked hard at achieving the body of my dreams and the mentality to match! I now have multiple coaching certifications, health coach certifications, as well as becoming a certified energy healer. Because of this, I have quit my 9-5 job and created a special guided coaching service to help people who were just like me. It is my mission to help as many people as I can to get out of the “rut” they are in because if I can do it, so can you.
North Salem, NY.
Freelance IT Consultant, Holistic Fitness/Wellness Coach.
I always strive to maintain a balanced lifestyle while in prep or in the offseason. My current goal is to build more muscle to be competitive in the new wellness division, turn pro, and ultimately compete at the Olympia.
This changes every three months or so (during prep I will lift and do cardio 6 days per week):
- Day 1: Glutes/Hamstrings.
- Day 2: Back and Biceps.
- Day 3: Rest.
- Day 4: Glutes and Quads.
- Day 5: Chest and Shoulders.
- Day 6: Rest.
- Day 7: Rest or high volume day on a body part that isn’t sore.
Repeat for 3 months.
Thoughts on HIIT, Powerlifting, TRX, Yoga, Bodybuilding, others?
- HIIT: HIIT workouts aren’t for everyone however, I love HIIT workouts for myself and some of my clients. I find it keeps the cardio interesting and fun.
- TRX: TRX has been awesome to add to mine and other clients’ programs for at-home workouts. There is so much you can do with TRX training, especially for beginners, and learning pistol squats.
- Yoga: I think yoga is underrated. I love yoga for stretching as well as pairing some poses with energy healing, I incorporate yoga stretches for myself and my clients and I recommend everyone do some type of yoga stretches as often as possible.
- Powerlifting: Powerlifting is intense. Sometimes in my off-season, I feel like I should join a powerlifting meet, then realize how much dedication is involved here too. It’s just as important here to fuel your body correctly and lift safely to reach your max weight, and it’s really cool to see how far you can take your body with lifting.
- Bodybuilding: I’m a bodybuilder, so I tend to prefer this lifting over everything else. Being able to lift heavy to build muscle and change it up a bit for prep to chisel away is one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed happen to my body. As a competitive bodybuilder, nutrition and lifting are very important but what we’re competing for is a look not overall strength like powerlifting. I commend every bodybuilder and powerlifter because of the dedication and discipline it takes to compete.
Nutritional & Supplements:
I am a fan of macro counting. I love finding the best way to make the foods you love fit your diet. I successfully created a macro-friendly Big Mac! As for supplementation, in my offseason, my supplements are:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- A cortisol reducer
- Dandelion root
During prep I take the same supplements plus:
- Fish oil
- Fat burners
- Digestive enzymes
- A multi-vitamin packet
I have the ability to light up a room and make people believe in themselves again. I’ve also been known to walk near a computer or printer that is having technical issues and it magically starts working again!
What do your parents mean to you? What did they teach you?
My parents are very special and important to me. Not only did they give me great genetics, but also two sisters who are my everything. Our parents taught us from an early age about work ethic and sportsmanship. I was a competitive gymnast when I was in my early teens and my parents always showed me love, support and taught me how to work hard for something I truly wanted. This 100% created the discipline I have today.
What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
I believe that what separates Status from other fitness magazines is doing things like this. Getting information out about the wide range of the fitness world that is out there. Fitness isn’t a one size fits all approach, and Status lets their community know that.
What would it mean to you to become the next Status Fitness Cover model?
I would be so grateful for that opportunity as it would mean so much to me to become the next Status Fitness cover model. Not even for myself, but for everyone else who looks to me for inspiration. My reach to others would be that much further. To be able to touch the lives of more people through health and fitness by being a cover model, I’m not sure there are words I could even say for the gratitude of that!
If you meet Status Editor-In-Chief, Rodney Jang, what question would you ask him?
I would ask him if this is what he saw himself doing years ago. And if not, what did he see himself doing then, and how does that compare to the position he is in now?
6 things people would not know about you?
- I’m a computer nerd – I can fix the majority of hardware/software issues.
- I have my master’s degree in information technology/web design.
- I quit my full-time IT job to pursue fitness coaching.
- I used to coach gymnastics and diving.
- I LOVE rocks – I have a serious rock and crystal collection.
- I taught myself to play guitar in high school and had an all-girl band.
Who inspires you?
The men and women in the gym who I see, looking a bit timid/scared to have a full workout. I know what that feels like, I started in their shoes and I respect the hell out of that. They showed up and tried, and the inspiration I get from that fuels me to continue to be a better person in and out of the gym.
Who do you wish to inspire?
As many people as I can while on this beautiful planet. Regardless if I inspire one person or thousands of people, I want everyone to know they are unique, deserve love, and can do whatever they set their mind to.
Back in 2017, I went to my doctor with a back injury. This wasn’t my first time with that injury. He told me, I could have surgery or hire a personal trainer to strengthen my core, but the choice was mine. I went to a local gym and did just that. I started out weighing 146lbs and not loving myself whatsoever. After a few months of training and eating better, I started to see results. Over the next two years, I learned so much about my body, my food, and my mind that I decided to compete. I won 1st place in my first bikini competition in March 2019! I competed several more times after this, each time doing pretty well. My last competition was in March 2020 at the Arnold Sports Festival. I placed 5th and was thrilled. I had come so far from where I started and was so proud of myself. Then COVID happened. I made the decision to take time off from the strict dieting and fix my mind because sadly, I still didn’t love myself or my body. After months of getting certifications, helping others, and doing some deep inner work, I am now 10lbs heavier than my original start of journey weight, with less body fat, SO much love for myself, and the entire world in front of me.
My life goals are to help as many men and women as possible find their inner confidence while guiding them with health and fitness. If I can go from 2017 me to 2021 me, anyone can!
5 lessons you have learned:
- Not everyone is my friend.
- People will only change (lifestyle/habits) when they truly want to.
- To wait for recognition – not to go out and seek it.
- The truth will hurt and piss you off, but it will ALWAYS be better than lying.
- Everyone is different in their own way, and that is a beautiful thing.
Music and artist you listen to while training?
I listen to a variety of music during my lifts from Hip Hop to Rap to Rock to music from 2000. I do keep a theme with the music I listen to and the songs are mostly about overcoming hardships or winning, for example, Champion by Carrie Underwood!
Favorite actors/ movies:
Chris Evans and all of the Marvel/Avenger movies. I love watching the final battle scene in End Game while doing fasted morning cardio. Nothing sets you up better for the day than some inspirational heroes saving the world! Also – I love Wonder Woman.
Favorite books and authors:
I love all of the Harry Potter books and any book that has to do with astrophotography; as well as a few books by Dr. Joe Dispenza, especially Becoming Supernatural.
5 most important attributes you see in a person?
- Work ethic
- Family values
“Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford.
“Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – Lou Holtz.