Happy to be Working Out!

Time I Got Something Off My Chest


Six months ago I had surgery to have my breast implants removed.

I posted on Facebook the following status:


Today brings some *minor* surgery that marks a major turning point in my life. 10 years ago, I was so low on self-confidence and so high on seeking my self-worth in others that I felt I should get breast implants. To be honest, ever since, I regretted it. 
Rather than spend the rest of my life having them replaced every few years, today I am having them removed forever! This was the easiest decision I have ever made! For me, they were never the right answer and only now can I take action and just *be* as I am, naturally. 
I wanted to share this because I know many of you struggle with the way you are, and it took me 10+ years to get to this point.
All I can say is, no outer change has ever given me anything more. Inner change did. Inner change gave me self-acceptance on a good day and grace on a bad day.
Stop defining yourself by what you see.#giveyourselfgrace#lovetheunseen



After 6 months of adjusting to my new-old shape, I can now say that I love my body in a way I never thought possible. Even with chronic pain, even with less strength and muscle, and even with cellulite on my thighs I can say that I am happy in my own skin.

Did I arrive at this place immediately after my surgery? NO WAY! My boobs went from 34C to 34 -A (I know that’s not a size, but seriously, they were concave) . Here is a photo taken just a couple of weeks after the surgery:

Little Sunny climbing my ample chest

The most difficult aspects of this have been:

– Finding clothes to suit my new shape.

– Feeling confident naked … especially during those intimate moments with hubby.

– Really having boldness to be who I am without apologising or conforming.


So imagine how I felt to get a message from a man who felt it was his place to tell me:

“You had the perfect body before” and “Funny how you only did this AFTER you got married”

I don’t normally give “haters” much attention, but since this comment I have also received several messages and comments along the same lines – basically, telling me how I have not met *their* expectation of me.  

Well, here’s my response to you and anyone else who feels I have disappointed them in any way: by my looks, my words, my actions, my choices or whether I choose to blog or not (yes, there are people who want to tell me I have let them down in every area of my life):

Your expectations/opinions/judgements/pressures were exactly what I *used to be* controlled by.  I desperately wanted to impress you.  I thought my purpose in life was to meet your expectations of me.  And it mattered to me when I let you down.  It mattered to me when I failed to meet the mark.

Your kind is impossible to please because you thrive on being displeased, offended and angered by other people’s choices.  You behave like your way is right and everyone else’s is wrong.  The world is what *you* see.  

You weren’t seeking to understand me; you were judging me.  You only liked me as long as I ticked your boxes.

Well, I no longer dance to your tune.  I have more important things to worry about than whether or not my body or my blog annoys you.  You can send me your messages of disapproval, or leave comments telling me you’re leaving, but your opinion no longer counts.

The only person I seek to please is God. He is my security, He accepts me and, to Him, I am significant just as I am.

Here’s the thing that gets me.  We all fall into this trap in some way. Either we give in to the pressure or we are the ones putting others under pressure.  And, as was often the case with me, I was so worried about losing popularity or friends, that I’d compromise my values and fail to maintain good boundaries that I let people’s opinions have too much power over me. Anyway, my point here is, in the past I’d often worry about replying or even writing a blog like this out of fear that people wouldn’t like that I am putting my foot down.  Each one of us has a *unique* and *special* purpose in life and there are people and forces in the world that are set to oppress you.  Don’t let those forces water down who you are.  And for goodness sake, think twice before you start telling someone else how to be.

Part of me got my breast implants removed for the reasons I cited above; but another part of me – the bold part of me – opted to make a statement that I no longer wish to conform to what the world wants me to be.

And what a victory this is:  I get to embrace a body I have never seen.  I get to leave all those old worries and distractions behind. Baggage I no longer have to carry!! I get to tell the world, in a way that’s personal to me, that I am not here to be easy on your eyes, I am not here to be “hot” or “sexy” or live up to your expectations (positive or negative).  My body and my purpose are given to me by God and I live to bear witness to Him.  That may be blogging (or not), that may mean being a stay at home mum, that may mean many things, but what ever that is I’ll embrace it because it is His plan …. and that is my choice.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2

Six months later :D

Six months later 😀

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57 Responses

  1. Neville says:

    Marianne, I’m really impressed!! A powerful decision you made, and a powerful blog about it!

    Learning to be truly happy in our own skin is the most difficult lesson for most of us, and one which I think must be learned and re-learned as we encounter new circumstances & new challenges in the landscape of our lives.

    You’re a beautiful woman, and what you’ve done sets a wonderful, courageous and righteous (in the sense of doing and being what is right and good) example – one that is much needed in our culture and our time.

    Thank you. May you, your marriage and family (if you have one) be blessed! 🙂

  2. Mickela says:

    Wow Marianne I have been following you for a very long time. You are blooming beautifully as a human, as a woman.

    I found your workouts refreshing in comparison to others out there, I loved the fact that you were not afraid to be a lady who can lift heavy, that was incredibly inspiring to me.

    Then you became more expressive in spirituality and wisdom which also inspired me.
    You are such an amazing role model, you are brilliant and most of all you are humble. Have you any idea how rare that is?

    Keep on shining keep on sharing

    P.S I am so glad I found your blog

  3. Oni says:

    You look great. I have said things publicly on my blog about plastic surgery and my readers all reacted negatively. I came to realize that they read me instead of watching TV because they want someone who isn’t afraid to be strong and unique. They were sending their daughters to my blog and having them meet me at events because they saw me as a role model for them. I think it is probably the same with you and the people who have issues with it – it’s frankly not their business.

    I just read your blog now and again before this without much thought but this post has made me really respect you. Not because of appearance – you look great no matter what. But because of your thought process. I would imagine that the young girls reading you would also think about feeling comfortable with them self also.

  4. Derek says:

    Well done Marianne! You are blessed and we’re being blessed! thanks for sharing!

  5. nicole says:

    Amazing! I think the most wonderful part of you doing this is sharing it with others. Hopefully all of us will see we don’t have to be what others might want, we just need to be who God made us. So great, thank you for writing this! 🙂

  6. Mark says:

    You look beautiful, because you look happy and because I know your heart. Your words convey your true self and it is wonderful. I love your nonconformity, and I wish you the best.

  7. Samil Yatkin says:

    Hi Marianne. I’m following you nearly for two years. I’ve been training for ten years and tried so many methods on body building. Even tried some kinds of steroids. However I realized that I was not training for my health and wellness after reaching ” great physique”. I was training to satisfy my friends my relatives my fans at the gym but not for my health. Also I fear to see the disappointment in their eyes if I loose my muscle size or my maximum weights decrease.
    Two years before my perception about life, money, body, career and all about world started to change. At this period of my life I found your website and videos. I saw the spirit in your heart, it was so different. Your training methods were quite different for me but suiting best for my new perception about sport. During these two years I was also trying to understand God’s message for us like you. We’re both trying to be his loved sons in our ways. There is just a difference I’m trying to be one of those “conscious of God” in the way of Quran.
    Now I’m training for a healthy life not for a great physique. I’m working to establish a rich company to help orphans but not to be rich. I was a bank manager but I quit my job a year ago. I established an engineering company with my friends from university. And I’m reading the Quran to understand the massage. My uniqe goal is to be one of his hands to help orphans, poors and disabled children till I die.
    You may think we are quite different in our beliefs but I’m sure we’re not. I hope you will be one of those who will be loved by God in both worlds. Go on in that way…

  8. Suzie&Harold says:

    Those are the best pics of you ever! There’s something just so wonderful about them (and it’s not just the kitten). Thanks for sharing your story as usual!

  9. simon says:

    Hi Marianne,

    You know I love this quote.
    “Everything happens for a reason, live it, love it, learn from it!
    Make your smile change the world, but dont let the world change your smile.”

    My wife was seriously ill and is now an amputee and as a result her life has changed, but instead of thinking of this as a negative, we have used it as a positive and our lives have never been better and we have never been happier. That may sound ridiculous but its all about perspective. Every day we think of the positive things in our lives and count our blessings. The quote above is something we truly cherish and reading your blog made me think of it. You know a wise man once said to me, other peoples opinions of me are none of my business. I have always been grateful to my dad for that as it stops you worrying about what other people think. The only person that matters is you and the people you care about.

    Well done for doing something positive and thank you for sharing.

  10. Mike says:

    KINDLY DELETE MY COMMENTS. They’re clearly unwelcome, and the commenting system provides no option for me to delete them myself.


    • Marianne says:

      Oh now you want control over your comments? The irony here is that you have demonstrated perfectly what this whole post was about. Maybe you didn’t read it:

      “Well, I no longer dance to your tune. I have more important things to worry about than whether or not my body or my blog annoys you. You can send me your messages of disapproval, or leave comments telling me you’re leaving, but your opinion no longer counts.”

  11. Mike says:

    Before you bash on me, I’ll say that I always visited your site for the excellent training videos. You introduced me to kettlebells. I bought a set and used them to great effect. So kudos.

    Your charming, earnest delivery and obvious commitment are what made the videos worth watching, separated them from the narcissistic American YouTube kettlebell crowd.

    And I think it’s wonderful your faith became an important part of this blog. And it took guts.

    But while it’s great–and normal–to throw off an “old skin” as we get older, I don’t see why anyone should be angry about it. In our personal lives, we suffer no “oppression” except what we permit.

    And all of us have experienced the phenomenon of outgrowing our old selves. You run into people you knew years ago and they still think you’re who you once were…and you think THEY haven’t changed in all those years! That’s the human problem. We all face it.

  12. Mike says:

    As an addendum: your greatest strength was never your physique–it was your personality. You’ve got charm. You can see that in the comments of your fans. The world is full of great physiques, but not great personalities.

    I think (rightly wrongly) that your challenge is that you started this blog when you saw the world one way, and then you had a change of perspective. You outgrew yourself, changed. Like a rock band going country. We all do that, sooner or later. We grow up.

    But it’s always bad form to attack your fans–or your haters. Remember, the best stars have plenty of haters. Ignore the trolls. Don’t empower them by writing an entire post dedicated to them.

  13. Mike says:

    “You weren’t seeking to understand me; you were judging me. You only liked me as long as I ticked your boxes.”

    I think you have to decide what this blog is about. Really.

    If this is just a personal “here’s how I feel today” blog, then great. Well done.

    But if it’s a blog to help people, if it’s a business–because after all, you ARE selling services here–then it’s NOT about you at all: it’s about your audience and your customers. Right? That’s called “business”.

    And so far as readers of your blog having any “expectations”: YOU created them! You chose to put yourself in the public light, and you built a blog around physique improvement. And then you complain when people “judge” you?

    Do Hollywood stars spend time bashing “haters”? No, because trolls and haters are the tax on stardom. It’s just the cost of doing business. The best stars have hides like crocodiles.

    I’m not making excuses for trolls, but if this was a male bodybuilder’s website then it would be completely expected that visitors would comment on his physique. And many of those comments would be awful, gross and nasty. Awful, sad–but true.

    The answer is simple: don’t make a site featuring your physique. Or: censor the comments. But don’t get upset that you get some trolls. EVERY site has trolls. Why should your site be exempt? Can anyone in 2014 aim for a public profile and big audience and not have haters and disappointed fans?

    It’s great if this site is about your personal journey. Or your religious life. Or how to build muscle and get a bigger butt. Or how to lose weight. Or how to look ripped and muscular.

    But choose, yes? And be realistic about what each choice entails.

    Whether you like it or not, the fitness-physique business is built on people showing off their bodies to fans. Ask any bodybuilder or “physique contest” participant: they’ll tell you that is the whole game. Not many people want to do that, which is why those fields are small.

    You don’t have to play that game. It’s wonderful if you’re re-calibrating your site and aiming in another direction. But if (non-troll) visitors to this site had “expectations” of you, who created those expectations?

    • Jonathan Fass says:

      Mike, I’m quite curious about something here: exactly who are you and where does your position of authority concerning Marianne’s choices come from? Did she perhaps hire you as a business consultant, or consult you as a ghost-writer for her blog? Because it seems like you have a lot to say about issues that you shouldn’t by any stretch of the imagination have the first shred of knowledge about.

      Why would you feel entitled to provide your opinion here? It is clearly irrelevant. I must conclude that you apparently think highly of yourself to repeatedly provide it, believing that it is valuable. I’d like to clear up that mistake for you so that hopefully you will be able to adjust your behaviors accordingly: it’s not valuable. Not in the least.

      If Marianne decides to write a blog about sprinkles on cupcakes or the price of a barrel of oil, that’s her decision. If you don’t like the post, you don’t read. It’s easy enough to figure that out. Your patronizing responses to her content, veiled in a thin cover of concern in order to mask your self-righteous emotional attachment to what you apparently believe you are “owed” for your self-appointed loyalty is neither appropriate nor necessary.

  14. Katheryne says:

    Absolutely inspiring. I am going through this self acceptance transformation currently and I am feeling amazing, thank you so much for sharing this. I love your blog.

  15. Kim says:

    You are amazing! You actively write your own story and prosper from the result of your decisions! You are not afraid to make 180 degree turns in your life…I like you although I don’t know you. BTW, I’m the same size and love it. Nothing getting in the way from my doing what I want, LOL!

  16. Vaughn says:

    You and every person (man and woman) who cherishes their body the way it naturally is should be applauded. There are scores of examples of ways that we humans have used our unique ability to judge in a way that harms others. You were formed in the womb to be just what you are. There are people who have decided their idea of “perfection” should be followed, and there are industries that feed off those same prejudices. It’s time we put all those on mute and just follow our hearts.

    Another point, Marianne, is that you started your blog and YT feed in order to offer your expertise to people. You are a fitness expert, not a model. The display of your image in photos and video is part of the package you present to potential clients as a result of use of your fitness expert skills–not as an object of viewing pleasure. If some man doesn’t like your breasts then he should probably ask himself why he went to a fitness blog looking for boobs…LOL. It ain’t for that anyway baby!

    Anyway, take care and keep feeding us your knowledge!

  17. Stacey says:


    Your courage and faith is admirable, I’m sure it’s likely something you’ve worked hard at along your journey….I’m fumbling my way through my own ‘stuff’ and still distracted by a lot of ‘noise’ …probably mostly my own noise

    • Marianne says:

      I think it’s a great point in the journey when you realise what noise is your own. I’ve been wading my way through my own stuff too 🙂 It’s about how we finish.

  18. Kate says:

    Bravo! Very inspiring.

  19. Naomi says:

    Still admire your bravery both in your decisions and in sharing your process. This is exactly why you will make an incredible mom.

  20. Angela says:

    You are beautiful, inside and out! Wonderful post. Your honesty is refreshing.

  21. Garry says:

    I applaud you, Marianne, for being strong and living YOUR life the way you want and not letting someone else try to dictate to you. We are only here for a short time….enjoy your life and be happy. 🙂

  22. You got a terrific result! And yeah WTFF about the whole “It’s my job to judge you — it’s your obligation to please” garbage from total strangers. That attitude is usually just a form of bullying even from well-meaning close contacts. Congratulations on the getting the best revenge 😀

  23. Tracey says:

    This is such a beautiful and power post. I have always been waiting for my breasts to come..lol…always wishing for more then a handful. Thank you for reminding me that I’m here for a greater purpose xoxox BTW: Good lord you have an amazing figure!!

  24. Tim says:

    So honest, inspirational & great role model to all of us Marianne! You have your eye on #1 and He looks down in love on the beauty of His perfect creation.
    So great to hear of Jonathan’s love, in not just letting you do what you feel was best but also ensuring it was for the right reason & lining up with your core faith & values. A real man!
    I have always loved what you share, but this took even more guts to share & went right down to your core belief, values & identity.
    You have taken that step to be a non-conformist to the pattern of this world, but are transformed by the renewing of your mind. You are testing and approving what God’s good, pleasing & perfect will is for you.
    What a truth you have highlighted from God’s word. That verse in Romans has spoke to me today, through your blog, to renew my mind again & again! What a ripple effect your story & these truths can have from each person that reads & heeds.
    Thank you so much Marianne!!

  25. Virginia says:

    You are beautiful inside & out. We have to live in the world — but not be of this world. You’re doing a great job. Towanda!

  26. James says:

    I will never read this blog again.

    You have a panda phone case…..

    Seriously though, I have a feeling that Jonathan is a lot more concerned about how you feel than your cup size. And any guy that isn’t supportive of what his wife/partner needs to feel good about themselves doesn’t deserve to be in a healthy relationship.

    • Marianne says:

      Hahaha, everyone should have a panda phone case 😉

      I happen to agree with you about Jonathan. I told him about wanting to have them removed before we got engaged and decided to do it before I moved to Saudi. Right from the start, he was supportive and he only cared about how I felt. Not once did he mention how it would affect him – other than saying that my happiness was all that mattered. He made sure that i was doing it for reasons that aligned with my values so I didn’t make the same mistake in getting it done because of some pressure.

      Thanks for commenting!

  27. Devon says:

    You continue to be an inspiration! Living an authentic life…letting go of unnecessary baggage…seeking strength and approval only from God. I really applaud you and thank you for sharing.

  28. space says:

    Marianne, you look amazing the way you are.
    As a man, i never liked false boobs anyway. It’s something too easy, unnatural. Building a body & mind like yours is something that requires effort & dedication. And that’s Inspiring & Empowering for yourself & others.
    A Greek fan.

  29. Rachel says:

    Marianne, first and foremost, you are beautiful, not just because of how you look but because of the person you are. Generally I avoid reading blogs by other females, yes it is strange and that is something I have to contend with, I tend to find that they all seem so together and like nothing is ever wrong for them in life and I sit here and think to myself why can’t I be like that? What is wrong with me? Why am I not holding it together? This is of course no reflection on other women who do have it together, it is a reflection on me and my insecurities. However there are the occasional few blog posts that seep through the cracks for me and this was one of them and I am glad that I have read it. To know that somebody as good looking, as healthy, as happily married etc etc as you can have something that also makes you feel similar to how I feel gives me the strength to keep plowing on, to know that everything doesn’t have to be perfect all the time and to know that I am not a failure just because everything isn’t perfect. I am so glad to read that you are comfortable in your own skin now and that the opinions of others don’t affect you like they used to. You rock and you are a real inspiration, not just to me but to so many people. Thank you for being open about your struggles, it really means a lot. Keep your head held high and always do what is best for you.

    • Marianne says:

      Thank you for your honesty, Rachel. I know what you mean about feeling worse after reading some blogs. I felt that way for years and it was because I was unhappy, uncomfortable and unfulfilled in my own skin (and in many areas of my life) that I felt that way. But what brings many of us together is sharing our troubles and our victories. Feeling safe to be as you are, without feeling less because you don’t live up to some arbitrary expectation. Even if it is something positive, we still don’t need to feel bad if that just isn’t us.

      There is a great freedom in being unapologetically yourself; weaknesses as all.


  30. Serena says:

    you’re awesome girl. I’ve always had it in the back of my mind I would like to have bigger boobs, but my husband is totally against it, loves me the way I am and hates the thought of anything unnatural in there, but your story, has reinforced my decision to never go that way and to embrace the beautiful strong body I have:) you’re a great inspiration and good on you for sharing your story:)

  31. Jim Foeller says:

    Marianne you are maturing more and more as you get older. I told you a long time ago to live life as you see it and not how others want you to be. Following you for all these years, I believe you have found yourself in a way that follows the path of the Lord and I can’t compliment you enough on it.

    • Marianne says:

      Thanks, Jim 🙂

      Bit by bit, I close doors and keep moving forward. I am so grateful for the path I have walked. He reaches us where we are at and speaks to us in our unique situations.

  32. Laurie says:

    You have always been special Marianne! And now you know too 🙂
    Laurie, Canada

  33. Jess says:

    Theres a great peom by Charles Swindoll that says at the end….
    We cannot change our past…
    we cannot change the fact people will act in a certain way
    we cannot change the inevitable
    the only thing we can do is play the one string we have…
    …our attitude
    I am conmvinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I respond to it….we are in charge of our attitude.

    Just wanted to say great post and I like your attitude girl!!!!

  34. Nia Shanks says:

    I love you, girl!

    You’re so strong, brave, and absolutely beautiful. Keep on being YOU.

  35. Jennifer says:

    I am so inspired by you! I have always been a little uneven and on the flatter side. And, there have always been thoughts of getting implants to make getting clothes easier and to look better and more even. I just never could pull the trigger. It just felt so unnatural. I thought I would be the first woman in history yo wake from the surgery and demand the surgeon remove them right away! This inspires me because you are letting go of what everyone else thinks and are living powerfully. Thanks for sharing just what many of us need to hear!

  36. I am so happy that you are happy with what your body is and that you were able to work through what had to be worked through to get there. Love seeing you blog, hope to see more… 🙂


  37. Mindy Schmidt says:

    You are an amazing woman, I love following your blog. Good for you for being true to yourself, as a small busted woman I have also wondered what an enhancement would be like, to actually have clothes fit better, but I have remained as God made me and I will be happy with that as well. I have followed you for the past 5 or so years and will continue to do so because you have been and continue to be an inspiration. Thank you for sharing such a personal journey.

  38. Jason says:

    You’re a role model. And now even more beautiful.

  39. Lisa says:

    I loved this story. I have always wondered what it would be like to be bigger breasted and if I would feel any different. You have made me realize I’m the way I was meant to be. I’m so angry with people commenting on blogs and complaining about what they see! Those people are truly unhappy in their own skin. I’m so glad your husband shared your story.

  40. Adi says:

    If only every little girl could grow up to be as smart and beautiful as you. Your words should be posted for all to read.

  41. Kristy says:

    you inspire me with this and I’m just so glad I was able to read it. After having 3 kids and hating the way my breasts look for so long now this has really made me think that I shouldn’t care that much. I live in Las Vegas and it seems like I’m surrounded by fake people. Made me really want to fit in and have that little “confidence boost” but now I realize how rediculous that is! Anyways thank you for sharing and I admire you for it!

  42. Peter says:

    It is hard to find words to express myself but I think you are truly great.

  43. Marilyn says:

    somebody telling you what they would prefer to see? whahahhahahhaahha!!! Why are they so arrogant to think that their opinion of you matters anyway?
    Glad you are happy now. And I do have an opinion on what I think looks best. Everybody makes that up in his/her mind, you can’t stop that. But I will not share that with you as my opinion is completely irrelevant. What matters is how you feel about yourself.

    • Marianne says:

      Very true. We can’t stop the forming of those opinions, or even their decision to share it. But we can decide to let it matter. I struggled with that for so many years. Just nice to give my opinion on their opinion LOL

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