Marci Marciano, 54, is a “real estate girl living in a fitness world with a competitive nature.”
Although she’s been into fitness since grade school, Marci Marciano has gone through a few different phases. As a kid, she ran track and cross country. Then she completed a few triathlons, which she got into to overcome her fear of drowning. More recently, in her late 40s, she won a free week of personal training and her trainer told her he could get her into bikini shape for a fitness competition. “I had no clue what he was talking about.
I always thought of fitness competitions as Arnold Schwarzenegger-size, huge manly muscles and I had never wanted to lift weights because I thought lifting would make me look manly,” says Marciano. She realized how wrong she was and once she started lifting weights and seeing the changes in the shape of her body, she was hooked.
This new home sales counsellor and associate broker now looks back and realizes her fitness and diet routine has changed dramatically since she started on her journey. “I had never lifted weights and was super nervous about going to the gym. I didn’t know how to properly navigate the gym and I felt uncomfortable. But it was my own insecurities,” she says. Now, she knows there are so many ways to train the same muscle groups and finds it fascinating to learn that just a small tweak in posture or body position can make a huge difference in how it affects the targeted muscle group.
As for her diet, meal planning and meal prepping were something she added to her lifestyle. “I found that with my busy work schedule, I did not make the time to meal-plan or prep.” To stay on track with her meals, Marciano found a few different meal prep companies. “Now, I meal-prep three of my five daily meals.
No longer fearful of getting too muscular from training for fitness competitions, they’ve actually become her favourite sport. “Being able to have six-pack abs after having a baby and when I was in my late 40s has been such a fun experience!” she says.
That baby, her son Nicolas, who’s now 16, is now one of her biggest supporters, along with her parents, sisters and friends from grade school and work. “Nicolas is always there for me, especially when it gets close to show/stage time! Nick would go with me to the gym, and he even ate healthy meals with me,” she says.
And that same support system of friends and family became even more important during the times Marciano felt her perseverance wavering. Like when she was going through her divorce. She refused to beat herself up over faltering through tough times. “I just knew that I needed to put forth the extra effort the following day. Staying consistent is key, but if you have a bad day, it does not have to define your long-term,” she says.
More recently, Marciano faced another significant obstacle. “I had a near-death experience this June. After CT Scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds, doctors found that I had a blood clot in each lung, a blood clot in my upper left leg and another behind my left knee, along with a mass on my pancreas and a non-obstructive kidney stone,” she shares, adding that she feels very lucky to be alive today.
And that’s because she knows she’s made it through some difficult challenges, from her divorce to becoming a single mom. “I curled up into the fetal position for about a day, then the following day, I got my shit together and was on a mission to not let anyone take away my happiness or my future!” Marciano also wanted to show her then-seven-year-old son that bad things or unfortunate obstacles will happen in life. “But it does not have to steal your life goals and happiness,” she says. “The best advice I’ve been given is to love yourself. Keep grinding and trust the process.”
Photos by James Patrick