In the face of adversity, Marisa Thomas has achieved some impressive accomplishments since she embarked on her fitness and wellness program. A medical office specialist, Thomas was crowned Mrs. Jacksonville United States 2009 in November, Mrs. Florida Global U.S. 2009 in May, and Mrs. Global America U.S. 2010 in June.
To achieve her weight loss goals, Marisa decided to lose the natural way and take a holistic approach in her eating and physical habits. Starting with a ten-day total body cleanse to get rid of toxins, she then incorporated healthier foods into her meals by cutting back on high-sodium foods, carbonated drinks, and high-caloric sweets. For her workout regimen, Thomas exercised at her employer’s gym (having the monthly dues taken out bi-weekly on her paycheck was a BIG motivator!) before going to work each day.
When asked what encouraged her to take the initiative to start the weight loss process, Thomas replied that back in 2006 she went to the emergency room two times because of chest pains. When the triage nurse weighed her in at 229 pounds (5’5"), Marisa was startled. Growing up she was fairly healthy, thin, and never had to worry about what she ate. After high school, she obtained jobs that required little or no physical activity. At age twenty-two, she got married and admits that the following eight years was a long, hard journey as she experienced depression, obesity, abuse, and homelessness. Yet, it took the second ER visit at age thirty before it sunk in that her health was in poor condition. To make matters more serious, Marisa was an adopted child with no background knowledge of her family history.
Determined to live out her life at an old age, Thomas prayed for spiritual guidance in getting healthy again and sought professional medical advice. In addition, she did countless hours of research in learning healthier alternatives in regards to weight management. As the weight came off, Marisa continued to eat right and exercised for the next two years. In the fall of 2008, she weighed in at 142 pounds and had fifteen more pounds to lose in order to be at her healthy weight mark. However, she noticed that she was staying stagnant at that weight for several months. Fortunately, in October 2008, her employer had started a comprehensive wellness program called Healthy for Life, which was designed to help employees live well and stay well by promoting health, identifying health risks and helping to prevent disease. In the program, she learned that she had reached her target weight and received guidance in coming up with a healthy personal strategy to lose the extra fifteen pounds over the next six months.
In November 2008 Marisa was referred to a pageant for married women by a friend in regards to her amazing accomplishments. Marisa went on to receive the Mrs. Jacksonville United States 2009 title in December and became an avid volunteer for several outreach projects in her community. By May 2009, Marisa celebrated a double success of reaching her weight goal of 127 pounds (losing 102 pounds altogether in two and a half years), as well as receiving the state title of Mrs. Florida Global U.S. 2009. Impassioned more than ever to motivate others through her health awareness platform, Thomas used her past experiences dealing with obesity, homelessness, depression, and abuse to go throughout the state of Florida and volunteered her time with numerous organizations in order to assist with these serious issues. Making an impressive community service-involvement of forty-two civic appearances by June 2009, Marisa celebrated another success in the same month when she was crowned the national title of Mrs. Global America U.S. 2010 at the Landmark Resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Today, during her current reign as the 2010 Mrs. Global America U.S., Marisa, along with her husband of ten years, Eric, are recent founders of two non-profit organizations: For the Fight Against Cancer and For the Fight Against Poverty. Driven by her personal motto, “Compassion reaches the heart…and empowers the person within,” Marisa hopes that her dedicated service involvement will impact others to rise above their circumstances through education and perseverance—until success is reached in living out their destined purpose in life.