“Technically, I could drop out of school and work at Iron
Works in a few months,” fitness and lifestyle guru Marissa Dorit PZ ’17 said.
Although Dorit will be certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) as a personal trainer in a matter of months, she is still unsure as to what the future holds.
But for now, she is content with her role as an online fitspo persona on Tumblr and
Fitness and health have been ingrained into Dorit’s lifestyle
since she started competitive horseback riding at the age of four, even
earlier if her parents’ tennis careers are factored in. After her 12-year
equestrian stint, Dorit maintained her active lifestyle in the gym. Even though she has been a self-proclaimed gym bunny for five years, it
wasn’t until she started college that she began to utilize social media platforms.
The road to her current lifestyle stemmed from an unhealthy origin;
like many young girls, Dorit struggled with body positivity. When she came to
college, she realized that she wanted to look up to an online figure who focused on body
positivity and offered lifestyle advice. She aims to make her Tumblr and Instagram safe spaces where people can seek anonymous advice about their own issues and Dorit can track her fitness and focus on positivity.
“I felt that it was my duty to be this
person and to create an online platform for others,” Dorit said.
The online fitness community is extensive and can be supportive—but there is also
a dark side. Movements like ‘thinspiration’ and ‘pro-ana’ encourage unhealthy
and potentially deadly behavior. Dorit does not
support these trends and even speaks out against them, believing that obsessively monitoring diet and exercise leads to unhappiness.
Dorit is undoubtedly a role model, but she also turns to
others for inspiration and guidance.
“The people that I look up to are the
people who hold my goals,” she said. “The girls that I follow on Instagram and whose posts
I read religiously are people who adhere to my lifestyle.”
On Instagram, Dorit stays away from Victoria’s Secret angels and
the like, instead choosing to follow women with strong, athletic bodies. She understands that everyone has different fitness
objectives and encourages people to follow role models who share those.
Physical health is important, but Dorit also focuses on
mental health. In addition to working out, which she likens to meditation, she practices yoga and emphasizes personal wellness.
“The key to mental
health is pushing my body to see what I can do, nourishing my body, giving it
everything that it needs, and just listening to it,” Dorit said.
Mental health and progress in performance rather than aesthetics help overall improvement.
Dorit compared this to practicing one action each day with the goal of being able to successfully perform that task and having an enjoyable experience and reflection about one’s progress.
At the 5Cs, Dorit thinks that people are generally striving
to do what is good for them, both mentally and physically. The problem is the
real world, where resources are not as available and misconceptions about
health are still alive and well.
Dorit said that people should consult professionals about health and fitness because health is science.
Magic treatments, like spot fat reduction, do not work and are ultimately
unhealthy and harmful in nature.
When I bumped into Dorit and her friend outside of McConnell,
the other girl urged her to become a life coach. Whether
Dorit professionally pursues health and wellness or limits herself to a social media
presence, she is an advocate of health and an open ear who wants others to join
her on the road to positivity.
“Her blog is about female empowerment, and she defies all stereotypes about female body types and does what she wants,” said Hannah Ginsberg PZ ’16. “Marissa inspires me to be a better version of myself, both physically and mentally.”