Introduction – Nani

I was 5 years old when I started to gain weight. Looking back, my frequent indulgences in the Standard American Diet (SAD) including regular consumption of cheeseburgers, fries, soft drinks and shakes did me no favors. While eating large quantities of food like that was unusual for a child in the early 1980’s, it has become commonplace in today’s day and age… And as a society, our growing waistlines prove it.

By age 8, I had reached 125 pounds and my parents started me on my first weight loss program… One of many in my life that failed me. At some point in my life, I resigned myself to accepting the fact that I was going to be the weight I was going to be, and that was that. It wasn’t until I started pushing 300 pounds on my 5’5” frame that I got concerned.

In my mid 20’s I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. A year or two later, I found myself experiencing severe and debilitating joint pain which was later diagnosed as Arthritis, Secondary to Crohn’s. Though the miracles of pharmacology, my doctors and I were able to find a combination of medications that put me into medical remission and I was able to resume a normal, pain-free life. Sadly, after 10+ years the medications slowly stopped working, and I found myself again living with excruciating and debilitating pain.

It’s been extremely frustrating to watch myself deteriorate from someone who in my 30’s was able to complete the BolderBOULDER 10k as well as become a Triathlete by completing two separate Sprint Triathlons (proudly participating as a Chunky Triathlete) into someone who currently is barely able to walk some days and needs to use a mobility scooter during times when I know a lot of walking or standing will be involved. Despite having a disability, I refuse to consider myself disabled.

The dizzying cocktail of medications my doctors currently have me on thankfully helps to keep me physically comfortable and functioning well enough to allow me to continue working full time. Regardless, I’m learning that ultimately what I put in my mouth is the deciding factor as to whether or not I experience pain the day or for weeks after.

My ultimate goal is health. I’m of the belief that if I’m feeding my body the correct nutrients, getting enough sleep and engaging in daily physical activity; my/the body has the ability to heal itself- physically (including losing weight and becoming pain-free), mentally and emotionally.

Unfortunately, like for many others, striving for this seemingly beautiful utopia is an ongoing struggle. This is a real-time, evolving journey for me. One filled with successes and failures, as well as ongoing experimentation to learn the direct cause and effect of my actions and behaviors. Don’t judge me, I’m just living my life, the same as you and every other individual on this planet. I’m not one to take things at face value. I need to understand the how and why before I can fully buy into something. This a very personal journey for all of us, each of us with our own unique goals. I welcome you with open arms and am absolutely delighted to have you join us in our journey as you move forward with your own.

~Nani M.

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