Real Life Fitness Stories: Meet Martha

March 1, 2019

What is your name and what town are you from?

Martha McGinnis from Dunwoody, Georgia.

Who makes up your family?

My husband, Earl, two cats, Dickens & Karma, and two grown daughters, Amelia & Molly.

Tell us about your struggles.

I went on my first diet at 13 and it triggered an obsession with food and my weight that ruined high school and college. I ended up regaining what I'd lost, plus another 60 pounds, even though I tried all kinds of exercise and diets along the way. I was in complete despair by age 20 and thinking of suicide.

What was the turning point that made you change the way you care for yourself?

I finally realized that the fat wasn't making me miserable, the misery was making me fat, and that it had all started with that first diet. I quit dieting, and gradually developed the habits, mindset and skills needed to reach a normal weight and stay there. I've been at what I call a "happy weight" for more than 30 years now, gained normally through two pregnancies, and lost the weight after -- without dieting.

How have you implemented your new habits with your family?

Our children adopt the attitudes and beliefs we model, so I have always been super careful not to judge or criticize our daughters' weight or their bodies -- anyone's weight or body, for that matter -- and not to criticize my own. I encourage them to listen to internal signals of hunger and fullness and to eat real food that their bodies can handle. Today I help others make peace with food and reach a happy weight they can sustain.

Martha and her granddad

*We want to hear from you!*

If you've jumped on the bandwagon, you can inspire others to do the same. Whether you're a personal trainer or play Wii Fit with your kids, you're part of the family fitness revolution. If you've made fitness a priority for you and your family, we want to know about it. I want to feature your story, your successes, challenges, and tips.

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