Keep that New Year’s Resolution!
Weight-loss expert, nationally renowned businesswoman shares tips for success
Jan. 1, 2009
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – Looking for some real motivation to stay true to your New Year’s health and fitness resolution?
You’ll find it in Phi Sig sister Marcie Sothern Gorman – a nationally renowned authority on weight loss and former owner of one of the largest Weight Watchers franchises in the world (not to mention a Beta Psi sister).
For more than 30 years, Marcie not only inspired tens of thousands of people to lose weight as a celebrated businesswoman and high-profile Weight Watchers spokesperson in Florida and Alabama, she herself dropped nearly 50 pounds at one point – and has kept the weight off for decades.
Her advice: Make smart choices about food, exercise as you’re able and, most importantly, approach any health and fitness regimen as a permanent lifestyle change – not a temporary diet.
“It’s hard for people to accept, I know – but we can’t just eat everything we want,” Marcie says with a heartwarming laugh familiar to sisters, family and friends – one that’s contagious, almost musical in its appeal, and full of life.
The secret to staying slim, she says, is no secret to most of us: Choose nutritious, lower-fat foods, eat smaller portions and indulge moderately – all things we’ve heard before. But Marcie says the key to success in keeping our resolutions – whether for fitness or anything else we want to accomplish – is being disciplined and acting on what we know is right in order to improve our lives each and every day.
Indeed, that’s Marcie’s personal philosophy for success in a nutshell – one she’s embraced since her years as a collegian at the Beta Psi Chapter at University of Florida, which she helped found with more than 45 of her Phi Sig sisters in 1967.
Back then, she dreamed of being a teacher and starting a family. Along the way, she lent a helping hand to her mother’s growing business, a string of Weight Watchers operations in the south that were among the first franchises established nationwide.
When her mother suddenly passed away in the mid-’70s, Marcie faced a difficult decision: Teach or take up the reins of the business in a crushingly competitive market.
Her business experience was limited, she knew. But she had the confidence that comes with being a Phi Sigma Sigma sister, an iron determination to succeed and a willingness to make a positive impact on people’s lives.
And that she did – in a big, big way.
Marcie started building the business by using her teaching skills to educate Weight Watchers clients how to eat better. She then focused on training employees – some who’d never worked before and had self-esteem issues – on how to develop their own talents for professional success.
Drawing from the performance skills of her youth, when she attended New York City’s High School of Music and Art (known to most of us as the “Fame” school), she began speaking publicly on health and women’s issues, and over the years became the TV face of Weight Watchers in Florida – a regional business celebrity.
By the time she sold her franchise last year to pursue new interests, Marcie had built a multi-million dollar business and earned too many professional accolades to count – among them Who’s Who of American Women and Who’s Who of the South.
These days, when she’s not spending time with her childhood sweetheart Dr. Stan Althof, her two sons or three granddaughters, Marcie can be found teaching once again – coaching gifted students at the internationally acclaimed Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach. “I love it,” she says. “It’s like coming home, in a way.”
Helping people of all ages has been the great joy in her life and the true measure of her accomplishments, she says – no matter where her career path has taken her.
“I have this plaque on my desk, and I keep it there to remind me: ‘Success lies in doing not what others consider to be great, but what you consider to be right,’ ” Marcie says. It’s among her most cherished beliefs – one she says she learned, in part, by being a Phi Sigma Sigma.
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