The Courage to Tri: Marilia Brocchetto

Marilia Bocchetto has a successful career as a writer, editor, and producer for CNN. She is also a triathlete, having finished the NYC and Chicago Olympic triathlons as well as other sprint triathlons and running events. She has also had bariatric surgery and lost over 100 lbs in the process so far.


In 2014 the producer found herself weighing over 300 lbs. She had always been heavy and weight problems ran in her family. Although she went on various diets and exercised sporadically, she struggled to keep the weight off. But she knew something had to change.


From my own experience, you can’t be healthy and 300 pounds at the same time. I try to run, I try to hike, and yeah I finish my workouts, but look at my numbers on paper. I’m much slower than anyone in my age group, my blood work and blood pressure aren’t always stellar and I’m at a much higher risk for diabetes and other weight-related diseases than my thinner counterparts.


It was only after making the life changing decision to have bariatric surgery that Marilia had her turning point. After getting approved for the surgery in
2015, she started making the diet and exercise changes required by the physicians. By her surgery date, she had already lost weight and changed habits in preparation for her post surgery lifestyle.


Marilia at the GA Peach triathlon this summer

After having the surgery, she began to shed the weight and in 2016 completed her first triathlon as well as the NYC Olympic Triathlon. “Signing up for triathlons helped me to stay accountable and on track with my weight goals. Having a target race and setting up small attainable goals helped me to focus and celebrate weight loss milestones.”


After struggling to complete the Chicago Olympic triathlon, and thinking about quitting multiple times, Marilia cried as she crossed the finish line. “You never know how far you can push your body, “ she said of her finish. “ I certainly have a lot more grit than I ever thought I did.”


What advice would she give to someone in a similar situation? “Don’t make the same mistakes I made, “ she advises. “I let my weight dictate the things I did and didn’t do. Weight can be a limiting factor when it comes to workouts, but it should never be a deterrent.”

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