Meet Marisa Hochberg, Wellness Director at The Surf Lodge Montauk. Originally from New York City, Marisa moved and grew up in Montauk, sparking her eternal love for the beach town. Having struggled with her weight for many years, Marisa, a size 14 at the time, returned to Montauk to battle her own biggest insecurity. Now a size double zero, she is convinced that she couldn’t have done it without the magic of Montauk to keep her going. Hochberg has never been happier and decided to give back to the people of Montauk as The Surf Lodge’s Wellness Director, helping them reach their goals and live a happy and healthy life. Find out how Montauk helped Marisa on her fitness journey, what advice she would give to others going through the same, and what she has in store for The Surf Lodge’s summer Wellness Program! Talk about an inspiration!
What does The Surf Lodge Montauk’s wellness program offer, and who is it suited for?
The Surf Lodge Wellness Program is a 360 comprehensive take on wellness for the individual looking to start a new wellness routine, stay healthy while they travel or really look to seek expert advice from leaders in the health and wellness space on different topics ranging from nutrition to sleep to sexual health. We cater to all ages and even have some mommy and me wellness events slated for summer 2018! We have an amazing wellness café, Daily Dose so those coming for classes and wellness talks/panels can also grab a healthy bite and juice before/after class and tons of brand collaborations with leading wellness companies so attendees will always leave with the best wellness swag.
As the Wellness Director, can you tell us more about the program and the activities you have planned for it?
When curating the program I really did my research. I traveled a lot this past year and that included spending a lot of time in LA which is the mecca for health and wellness. I researched tons of classes and the latest wellness trends and brought to our wellness program what I felt was the best of the best for people to know in the health and wellness space. The program includes classes from leading wellness studios and instructors in the fitness space ranging from yoga to high intensity cardio and boxing. Additionally we have partnered with Be Well by Dr. Frank Lipman for a series of impactful talks that I hope will educate people in different areas of the health and wellness space and inspire them to lead healthier lives. I have partnered with brands that are leading ground in the health and wellness space and there will be many fun activations for people to partake in including Mindful Mondays presented by Carbon38 and RX Bars where people can come and recharge after a long weekend of partying out East. I hope the wellness program that I’ve built inspires people to take newfound knowledge that they’ve learned back home with them and in turn inspires them to do more research and live the best version of themselves even if it’s walking for an extra ten minutes a day or shutting down electronics before bed. Every small step makes a big difference towards a healthy lifestyle and we hope that change begins at Surf Lodge!
There will be a number of motivational talks as part of the program – can you give us a sneak peek on who will be speaking, and about what?
These will be super exciting! Max Lugavere will be speaking for us on the topic of brain health and his new book Genius Foods. Additionally, Bobbi Brown will be speaking for us about her new transition into the wellness space and her Evolution18 products. Dr. Frank Lipman will be speaking for us on a number of functional medicine topics including a special conversation he will be having with Deepak Chopra and Esther Perel. Stay tuned for lots more!
As Director of the Wellness Program at the Surf Lodge, what is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of my job is getting to be able to bring the gift of healthy living to my favorite place in the world, Montauk but more than that, to be able to inspire others to share in the journey I myself took just ten years ago. Ten years ago I didn’t try and even go to Surf Lodge because I was a size 14/16. On my own through a healthy diet and exercise, I lost 75 pounds and have kept that weight off since and now as a size double zero I proudly walk into Surf Lodge being able to bring my wellness programming to help other people live healthy lives. To me, knowing somebody left with a newfound knowledge of how to eat properly or prevent cancer is extremely rewarding.
Montauk holds a special place in your heart. What does it have that other places don’t?
There is something about Montauk… the air, the beaches, the people, the vibes, the bucolic setting that sets it apart from The Hamptons. When I get to Montauk I take a deep breath and I just can have my eyes closed but I know I am there. Maybe it’s because I grew up going out there and my childhood memories are there but something about this place is so calming. Additionally, I lost much of my weight in Montauk and Montauk sort of became like my best friend cheering me along every step of the way. Spend one weekend there and you’ll see between the beaches, the hiking trails, the people and the culture, there truly is no place like it in the world.
What is your personal advice for people struggling with weight loss?
Never, ever, ever give up. If anyone ever told me when I was struggling with weight loss that I would be in the doors at Surf Lodge let alone directing their wellness program and having worked with the wellness brands that I have, I would have called them crazy. Never give up on your goals and dreams. It might seem difficult today but each day even if you don’t see major results is one more step to a bigger picture and dream. Last tip, don’t let one day set you back. Okay so you ate that candy bar on Monday… doesn’t mean that the whole week has to be a failure. Finally, I tell everyone don’t lose weight for anyone but yourself. If you do it for anyone else, you won’t keep it off. Do it for you and be confident with who you are.
What is your number one wellness and lifestyle tip?
Be kind it helps you feel better. Spreading kindness makes you feel better about yourself and increases endorphins which in turn make you happier!
How do you define beauty?
I define beauty as one reaching their dreams be it personally in relationships, professionally in their careers, or in one’s appearances. To me, beauty is defined by dreams getting accomplished in life.
For more information on The Surf Lodge Montauk and its Wellness Program, go to www.thesurflodge.com!
Photos by Zev Starr-Tambor