Name: Marlo Signoracci
From: Port Washington
Live currently: Hicksville
Occupation: General Manager Econo Lodge Hicksville
Married to: Paul Signoracci
Child: William (12 Years Old)
Thank you for this opportunity Lou! Very excited to be your warrior of the week. I have a lot to share over the next week. Hope I can bring some inspiration as I will share some of my inspirations with you. But first I need to introduce myself.
I was born and raised here on Long Island. Born in what is called Winthrop Hospital today to Frank and Alice Vigliotti. I am the baby of 4 very different children. We all live on Long Island but have gone in different directions. Sometime I think we are on 4 different continents. But I should thank my parents as they have raised four very successful independent children who I know they are proud of.
I started my hospitality career at the age of 16. I worked in a family owned restaurant where the owner took me under his wing. Working every weekend through high school, kept me out of trouble, started my college fund but opened my eyes to what would be my career today. As the owner became my mentor at that time, he guided me in my college selection, introduced me to his hotel administration college friends, which gave me the sense of direction I needed and assurance that this was the right path for me. Working for Marriott International, then dabbling in the assisted living communities for a few years, just drove me back to the hotels. But with that said, I think I am missing a calling that will touch on later in the week.
Being overweight, and having to watch my weight started at an early age. I was always the puggie kid who was always told you need to lose a few pounds at every doctor visit. That was hard, when your grandmother worked in the school cafeteria and always filled your plate. I was also brought up in a house where you had to finish your plate before leaving the dinner table. As you can tell, habits were being formed that had to be changed.
Unfortunately, I enjoyed food but too much of it. The first leg of my weight loss journey started in the 10th grade when my mom took me to Weight Watchers for the first time. While I had some weight loss success during high school, the pounds came back when I went to college. When I married Paul in 1995 I was over 200 pounds and with my continued love for food and a husband who was a Restaurant Manager with a hobby of cooking, I continued to gain weight during our first 8 years of marriage.
I also proclaimed myself the “drive-thru queen”. I did not cook, and although my husband Paul was in the food service industry, he became busy at the restaurant where he worked – so I just ate what I could easily pick up.
With weight loss, always on my mind, and then thinking it was better, turned to frozen processed “diet” foods because they were also easy to grab and go. Of course, this did not help, since these items are packed with sodium and artificial ingredients that do not assist with weight loss.
When Paul and I decided to start a family, my doctor suggested I lose weight and once again I turned to Weight Watchers. Although this was another successful step in my journey, during my pregnancy I gained 80 pounds. I just ate whatever I wanted and used my pregnancy as an excuse.
After William was born, I weighed 275 pounds and decided to turn back to Weight Watchers – and tried going to the gym. I started to lose weight slowly and I lost 30 pounds but it continued to be an uphill climb. Finally, the pivotal moment happened for me in early 2010. My workplace started a “Biggest Loser” Contest. I went to the gym and took spin classes, did aerobics, weight trained– and watching what I ate won the contest for the NY division and came in 2nd in the company. At the start of the contest I was 240 pounds and at the end contest 210! This was the significant successful weight loss I needed and was hooked – now I wanted to keep it going.
Timing was on my side now – it was May 2011 when I was the Executive Director for a Senior Living facility. I had a working relationship with the owner of the PT Company that was assisting my residents. I struck up a friendship/work-out partnership when I mentioned that I seemed to have plateaued after my 30-pound weight loss and was desperate to figure out what to do next.
“Have you tried running? ““No”. I went on my first run that May and it was a disaster. I could not even run one block. But I was determined and kept at it with his encouragement. In September (4 months later) I ran my first 10K, Cow Harbor (6.2 miles). And that is how my journey began….