Author Archive

Marcia Brenner

Marcia Brenner

Marcia Brenner is an adjunct in the Fiction Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago. She has published short stories, essays, nonfiction, garnering awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and the Better Business Bureau. In 2006 she’d had enough with being overweight; she joined Weight Watchers, lost over 90 pounds, rediscovered her long-abandoned bicycle and fell in love with Pilates. She now combines her love of metaphors with bodywork by teaching Classical Pilates at Chicago’s Frog Temple, where she is a certified Pre and Postnatal Specialist. She explores the battle for life and health balance on her website,

Brain Stretch: Train Your Brain and Create Healthy Habits

Written by Marcia Brenner. Posted in Featured Posts, Think Features

“How do patterns develop and stick? What does my ability to make some good habits and struggle with others say about me? How can I break bad habits and create healthier ones?”

behavior patterns, end bad habits, brain plasticity, change habits, New Years resolutions, learn good habits Seven years ago, I lost 92 pounds. During the two-and-a-half-years it took me to lose the weight, I made many new healthy habits that I still have, like regular exercise and eating more veggies. In the past two years, I regained about seven pounds, and I was kinda okay with that. Then, this year, I added another ten.

The old “bad” habits I thought I had conquered—like emotional eating, rewarding myself with food, and portion control—had, to a degree, boomeranged back, while some newer habits, like tracking my food and going to weekly Weight Watchers meetings, had slipped away.

So now I’m back to counting, back to meetings, and back to asking the big questions: How do patterns or habits—the good, the bad, the mystifying—develop and stick? What does my ability to make some good habits and struggle with others say about me? Do I somehow lack “discipline” or “motivation”? How can I break bad habits and create healthier ones?

Editorial: Unpacking Michigan’s Chilling New “Rape Insurance” Law

Written by Marcia Brenner. Posted in Marcia's Blog, Think Features

Rape insurance, abortion rights, women's health“Prepare to be enraged,” a friend said, when I told her I hadn’t yet read all the details of Michigan’s newly passed “rape insurance” law.  When I got the basics—Michigan insurance companies would now only be able to cover abortions by offering a rider you paid extra for, and those still only covered in the case of incest, rape or endangerment of the mother’s life—I didn’t find myself enraged, just numb.

Chatting with Michelle Tea About Getting Pregnant and the Families We Create

Written by Marcia Brenner. Posted in Featured Posts, Meet a Ms. Fit, Ms. Fit Momma

Ms. Fit Editor Marcia Talks to the Author and Mutha Publisher

michelle teaAbout two years ago writer, editor, activist, and counter-culture heroine Michelle Tea decided she wanted to get pregnant. Approaching 40, single and queer, she started chronicling her journey on Since then has met the love of her life, located the very best fabulous drag queen-sweetheart-volunteer sperm donor money can’t buy, navigated the labyrinths of the homophobic American healthcare system, and become Bob Villa to her own uterus while tackling fibroids, hormones, coffee reduction, IVF, and a rotating selection of vaginal discharge, among other challenges.

Currently, she and her gorgeous Dasheill are engaged, planning a wedding, preparing to implant Dashiell’s fertilized eggs in Michelle’s uterus, and hoping the odds get on board. Michelle has built it; will baby come? Recently Michelle launched in order to fill the void she saw for moms in alternative families—those who have experienced pregnancies or motherhood in ways that might fall outside of Leave it To Beaver. Ms. Fit editor Marcia Brenner spoke with Michelle about her journey and her thoughts on family.

A Manifesto for Movement

Written by Marcia Brenner. Posted in Body Logic Features, Featured Posts, Think Features

born to move 2

Is Sitting Killing You?


Flapping his hands at the wrists, knees stomping to armpits, a boy of about three is chanting, “Banana! Banana! Banana!” He is a few feet from the bench where I am writing and watching him makes me—and all the surrounding adults—smile. His father blandly comments, “are you doing the Banana Dance?” Clearly, this is a repeat performance.

Kids move. Before we start telling them to “sit still” and “stop fidgeting” they will spin and twist and drop to the floor and kick and roll because children respond to their bodily instincts to explore, to learn, to move, without hesitation or ego.

kids dancingAs adults, sadly, our lives often demand we put our bodies in a “time out.” Despite the fact that our bodies were engineered for movement, about two-thirds of Americans spend most of their work days hunched over computers. On average, when you factor in television, internet, and sleeping, we spend anywhere from 6-20 hours of the day sitting or lying down.

And the sobering news: spending an hour or two at the gym every night doesn’t make up for the sitting you do each day. If you sit for an average of six hours a day, sitting is—literally—killing you. It’s time we made a Manifesto for Movement and got our Banana Dances back.

Marcia’s Blog: My First Century

Written by Marcia Brenner. Posted in Cycling, Marcia's Blog

There’s this movie, The Quick and the Dead, with Sharon Stone, that came out a number of years back. Sharon ends up in a showdown in cliché old west style with Gene Hackman who is some type of shooting savant, and just before they draw, he says, “You’re not fast enough for me!” and Sharon says, “Today I am.”

You can probably guess the end. Sorry if I ruined anything. It’s a pretty old film, but it’s also pretty standard in selling this idea: our body can summon superhero reserves when we really need and want them.

On Sunday, June 2nd I attempted my first Century, and my body said, “Not today.”

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