Helping people reach their goals

Local trainer inspires others


When Joe Marro first started his weight-loss journey in 2017, he went through a lot of ups and downs, and learned what practices worked for him and which ones didn’t click.

Marro, who lost 128 pounds beginning in 2017 and throughout the pandemic, said it could be a very frustrating process. He had always wanted to lose weight, but it wasn’t until he went to the doctor that he started a plan.

“The doctor told me, ‘If you don’t make a change, there’s potential that you could be a goner,’” Marro said. “I was on my way to diabetes, all my vitamin levels were messed up, I had thyroid issues and became allergic to a lot of things very suddenly.”

“It wasn’t a good feeling at all to feel that my life could be taken away. And I really thought I was doing the best that I could do to take care of myself to the best of my ability.”

Marro, who has been a music teacher for the last 14 years, said that he absolutely loves teaching, but for a period of time he was so committed to his work that he wasn’t committed to himself.

But once the doctor warned him of the path he was on, he started to make the change.

“It started with getting a gym membership and taking a few classes on a regular basis, and from there I learned how to cook my own meals,” Marro said.

Marrow noted that the pandemic afforded him the opportunity to learn more and to work with someone individually to help him learn what he didn’t already know. For a while, he would lose weight and then gain it back, which was incredibly frustrating. It took some time, but once he had a formula in place of eating well and exercising, he started noticing a pound or two coming off a week. Even better Marro, said he enjoyed the exercise he was doing as well as the food he was eating.

Today, Marro is a proud personal trainer to clients at Gold’s Gym in Islip. He said that his personal-training journey began as he was losing weight and documenting his journey on social media. Over time, he started helping others who reached out to him before becoming a full-fledged trainer.

One of his clients, Britney Golden, who is 25, travels all the way from Miller Place to the gym in Islip to train with Marro.

“I fell in love with the gym,” Golden said. “I fell in love with him as a trainer. He just has that fantastical motivational personality.”

Golden, who has previously worked with a personal trainer, said her favorite thing about working with Marro is the motivation he can provide. “He makes sure that you stick with it,” she said. “He makes sure you can do it. He does the best kind of pushing you.”

Golden even convinced her friend Leilani to tag along with her as a client of Marro’s, and the two now do buddy sessions with him as well as individual ones.

Heather Saladino, the district manager for the Gold’s Gym in Islip as well as the one in Middle Island, said that the reason people love Marro is because of his amazing motivational story and his ability to push people in a good way.

“I make sure I hire people that actually want to be here, and they live and breathe the product,” Saladino said of her employees. “It’s not just a job to them.”

For his part, Marro said that his after-school job as a personal trainer has never felt like a job.

“I enjoy what I do here,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like work.”

His advice to others trying to lose weight: “Don’t give up. There’s ups and downs throughout the whole process. Keep going. It’s part of the process. At least it was for me. Find the exercise that you like to do and start out with that first, and gradually build over time.”

To learn more about Marro and his journey, visit his Instagram at @happyandhealthy4you.


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