Fitness Expert Dempsey Marks Battled A Serious Illness With Fitness

If you can learn from your suffering, and really come to understand the lesson you were taught, you might be able to help someone else who’s now in the phase you may have just completed. Maybe that’s what it’s all about after all…”

dempsey marks

Dempsey Marks uses her experience in fitness to overcome a serious illness (and now keep it in check), which also led her to pursue a career in fitness – that she now enjoys.

Dempsey grew up loving sports, but her active life was unexpectedly halted when she was sidelined by a strange disease. She was shuffled from doctor to doctor for tests, eventually landing at Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic where she was diagnosed with gastroparesis, a disease that paralyzed her digestive system. Unable to eat solid food, Dempsey was weak and frail – a shell of the vibrant young woman she had been.

Today, Dempsey is healthy and happy. While she still struggles with her stomach, it is through fitness and healthy eating that she keeps herself in good health. She is a passionate, avid competitor, running in half marathons and other races, competing in Ironmans and more – often to raise money for causes she supports.

Women Fitness is #CelebratingWomen this International Women’s Day, with a new story of an inspirational woman going out every day. Lets check out the next one about the Fitness Expert Dempsey Marks, who battled with a serious illness but stroke it off with fitness and healthy eating.

Women Fitness:

How did you react when you first diagnosed with gastroparesis?

Dempsey Marks:

It probably sounds strange but initially it was a relief. The process for finding an answer had gone on for so long that having a diagnosis finally meant some peace. Obviously that comes with mixed emotions though. As the reality of the diagnosis set in and I realized how drastically my life would change, I was devastated. I remember thinking life was so unfair. That I shouldn’t be that sick at such a young age. But after awhile, you have to end your pity party, make a plan, and get on with your life the best you can! And Ultimately there are others that have worse problems.

Women Fitness:

How has running helped you in dealing with the disease in a better way?

Dempsey Marks:

Aside from helping my digestion, it was beneficial mentally and emotionally. Running has always been meditative for me. It’s served as a great tool to release any anxiety I have and help me zone out and get out of my own head.

Women Fitness:

Introduce us to your PREGAME FIT program.

Dempsey Marks

Dempsey Marks:

PreGame Fit was developed to make fitness and healthy living as streamlined and fool-proof as possible. When creating the program, we (my business partner) asked ourselves, “What are the biggest barriers that prevent people from living a healthy lifestyle?” And we came up with the philosophy about time, space, and money. On the regimen you only workout 5x a week for 30 minutes a day. All the workouts can be done at home, so they don’t require a gym membership or pricey equipment. We wanted to show people that fitness and health don’t have to take over your life. They can become a seamless part of your life.

Women Fitness:

Share with us your top 4 tips to have the most of your home workout.

Dempsey Marks:

  • Commit to a certain amount of time. Whether it’s 20, 30, or 60 minutes, be sure to set aside that time for yourself and really commit to it. Because you’re working out at home, it can be easy to tap out early so making that commitment is key.
  • Minimize distractions. Your house is the easiest place to get distracted (that’s why a lot of people who work from home go to coffee shops). Put your phone on do not disturb and, if you live with roommates, your significant other, or kids, make sure they know it’s workout time and not to interrupt you.
  • Have a plan. Follow a program, write down a workout, or watch a video so that you know what you’re doing when you start. Without fitness equipment at home, you don’t have the luxury of walking into a gym full of machines and equipment without a plan of attack. This will also allow you to get through your workout quicker!
  • Play music! Working out in silence is a sure fire way to kill your mojo! Unless you’re doing a yoga sequence, I recommend putting on your favorite workout playlist to get you in the zone and ready to sweat.

Women Fitness:

This International Women’s Day, what advice would you like to give to the women out there?

Dempsey Marks:

Always try to focus on the positive. This applies to every area of your life. Terrible things happen all the time, but that’s the case with everyone. It’s about how you react to those situations; how you take something that could be perceived as a set-back and use it to find strength and happiness.

For more such real inspiring stories on this Women’s Day, click here.


The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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