Want to see a “Real Ordinary Person” Featured on the Cover of a Fitness Magazine?

Voting for the Underdog: I made it to the TOP 10 in an international contest for Hers, Ms Health & Fitness Magazine!

Author update (as of August 21): After writing this story and posting it on a few community Facebook groups I belong to, the night before the Aug 20 Top 5 Voting deadline, as well as my regular daily reminders to my own FB page, I moved from 6th place and I’m now 4th place and made it to the TOP 5 ROUND!

Thank you everyone who voted for me to get me this far!

Voting for the “Group Winners” is on now until August 27th. Please vote (hopefully for me!) here: https://mshealthandfitness.com/2020/mary-chang

I still can’t believe it, but I made it to the TOP 10 in an international contest I entered for the chance to win 20K and be featured on the cover of Hers, Ms Health and Fitness Magazine! 

If I’ve inspired you by reading my Six Word stories or made you laugh, reflect or encourage you in some way — if you read my fitness journey story, https://marychangstorywriter.com/2020/06/11/something-about-mary-guts-glory-the-grouse-grind/, I hope you can please vote for me DAILY until August 20 to help me reach the TOP 5 round, by clicking my profile link below for your “free daily vote”:


I rediscovered myself through persevering with exercise for the past 19 months and in the process I lost 19 pounds and gained strength and self-empowerment.

I can do cartwheels, cross monkey-bars and mastered my first yoga headstand at age 50 this summer!

I’m a kid at heart. 

I learned I’m never too old or too late to start working on myself by carving space for my health by making exercise a part of my daily life. 

When I was depressed, suffering anxiety and feeling “useless” when Covid-19 overwhelmed our lives at the start of spring break, I knew that I needed to find some self-purpose and find a way to make life brighter.

In April, I decided to help others better their health during the pandemic by forming and leading a free online Facebook fitness group where our members were invited to participate in various monthly fitness challenges, check in daily with their progress and encourage each other with positivity.

Leading this group saved my mental health.

During the process, our fitness team formed a healthy online community built on connections through exercise, perseverance, encouragement, laughter and support.

I’m not extraordinary like some other competitors in the Hers Ms Health and Fitness competition, but I have great admiration for fierce athletes.

By entering this contest, I feel like I’m “keeping it real” because I’m one of the underdogs.

I don’t have humongous muscles, although last week —two 9-year old girls at the playground told me my right bicep is “SO BIG!”



I don’t excel in any sport or fitness activity, and don’t work in the fitness industry, but I love promoting health, wellness and exercise, especially when it’s free!

I don’t have a whole lot of Facebook or blog followers, I’m new to Instagram, and I’ve never entered a fitness contest like this before. I didn’t understand how to use a hashtag or what it meant — until last month! It’s awkward and uncomfortable for me to ask people to vote for me, but I do it because stretching out of my comfort zone makes me gutsier and doing scary and new things make people stronger.

I’m sometimes clumsy and uncoordinated but I’ve been trying hard to stay active, continue to be a healthy partner for my husband and a strong role model for our 9-year old son.

In the process, I rediscovered my feisty spirit, and boosted my confidence and found my inner shine. To me, that counts!

Please click below to vote for free DAILY until August 20 with your Facebook account! Click “IN HER GROUP” to see the competitors in my group phase. Every daily vote counts! Please share my profile link on your Facebook page and social media.

You can also help me be on the cover of Muscle & Fitness Hers while also helping support Homes for Wounded Warriors in their mission to build and remodel handicap accessible homes for disabled veterans by donating $1 Warrior Votes in Mary Chang’s name. These votes count too!

Please vote for Mary Chang, an underdog and a free-spirited 50-year old kid at heart who loves encouraging and inspiring people, and keeps trying. Help her be on the cover of a fitness magazine so she can show other ordinary people that it’s not an impossible goal!

Thank you with cartwheels, monkey bar crossings and headstands! View my complete profile and all my fitness photos in my profile link.


(Fitness photos courtesy of Natalie J. McMillan, Christine B, Judith R.M, Joanna Y and Chelsea)

To make a comment or to contact the writer, please visit the
"About the Writer" page or leave a comment below.

The Joy of Playing Outside

Sunlight, forests and oceans are gifts for living life, making human connection and exploring the vibrance of Earth’s beauty. I play and exercise outside whenever I can. It lifts my spirit and makes me feel connected to nature, family, friends. It boosts creativity, sparks joy and heals.

If I’m feeling down or tired, a hike in the woods, listening to the ocean or feeling the sun warm my skin does wonders. Playing in nature revives mind, energy, calms my being and brightens the day. Six words tell my truth.

Running through forest oxygen for soul.

Version 2
“Forest run”  Photo by Natalie J. McMillan.

Splash of puddles walking in rain.

Version 2
“Rain walk”  Photo by MC.

Sunlight on skin in dancer’s pose.

“Sunlight on skin”  Photo by Natalie McMillan.

Swimming cold seas makes skin tingle.

Ocean Sechelt 2018
“Ocean friends” Photo by MC.

Sound of snow crunching beneath feet.

“Snow steps”  Photo by MC.

Climbing up mountains toughens me up.

“Hiking Stawamus Chief”

Wind kisses cheeks as I pedal.

MC Bike 2005
“Cycling the river, 2005” Photo by Jason Skelton.
DB Bike Art
To make a comment or to contact the writer, please visit the
"About the Writer" page or leave a comment below.

Going with my Gut in Six

Sometimes an urge overcomes me and I want to play the way children do instinctively; without holding myself back. I’m tempted to act, but don’t because of fear, nerves or risk of embarrassment. Sometimes, I free my spirit and go with my gut. Six words tell my truth.

Bif Naked 2005
“Bif Naked, live 2005” Photo by MC.

Sing out loud like a rockstar.

Cry out loud until body trembles.

Laugh until I pee my pants.


Forest White Light
“Sunshine through forest…scream, run, dance”  Photo by MC.

Scream out loud to the forest.

Run free, fast until I’m breathless.

Dance the way my soul dares.

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”
– Albert Schweitzer

(Featured photo: “Balancing on Rock”, Photo by Natalie McMillan)

To make a comment or to contact the writer, please visit the
"About the Writer" page or leave a comment below.

Featured in Elephant Journal: “How Magic, Meditation & a 9-Year Old Child Awakened Me during the Pandemic” By Mary Chang

Originally published on World Meditation Day, May 21, 2020 in Elephant Journal: “it’s about the mindful life, an online mindful life magazine”.

Read my debut article on EJ posted here: Elephant Journal: How Magic, Meditation and a 9 Year Old Child Awakened Me During the Pandemic

My writer’s heart will dance if you click on the “heart” on the bottom of the Elephant Journal article page, leave a comment or follow me on EJ, my own blog here or share my story to show that you believe in me, writers, community and the beauty of true encouragement.

We’re all human beings supporting each other in some way — in our village, earth, universe. Gratitude for reading. Feel free to leave a comment below.

Mary Chang Meditation taken by my son IMG_6953

Read here: Elephant Journal: How Magic, Meditation and a 9 Year Old Child Awakened Me During the Pandemic

Beauty, Self Care & Love for Others in Six Words

I continue to self-reflect, take time for self-care and transition. Six word stories tell my truth.

Cherish the basics – sleep, water, sunshine.

Be true, give freely to others.

Take pleasure in moments for you. 

“Tea, for me.”  Photo by MC.

Discovering something new about old friends.

Accepting, embracing change, transitions, the unknown.

Finding vibrant life in unexpected places.

IMG_1061 Beauty in a pile of dirt
“Beauty in a pile of dirt.”  Photo by MC.

Eat chocolate cake, not every day.

Make way for love, play, laughter.

Play outside – rain, shine, snow, thunder.

“Sunshine and snow.” Photo by MC.

February Meaning & Symbolism

“Coming just after January, the month of new beginnings, is February. From the Latin word Februarius, meaning “to purify“, February was known as the “Month of Purification” during ancient Roman times. It is a transitional time, finding itself just after a month of reflection and new year’s resolutions.”

Source: https://www.sunsigns.org/february-meaning-symbolism/