Natalie has been able to control her RA without requiring medications by fully dedicating to the Paddison Program For Rheumatoid Arthritis: today she shares her experience with us.

We discuss in this interview:

  • How Natalie got diagnosed with RA after experiencing muscle soreness
  • Her attempts with Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Remicade and Cimzia, with consequent side effects
  • How she came in touch with the Paddison Program For Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • COVID’s infection prevented her to have a Cimzia injection, but no change in pain levels came
  • Even after dental surgery, Natalie has been able to take pain levels under control by turning back to baseline foods
  • Food variety in a plant-based diet
  • Having a different view on life thanks to a healthy lifestyle
  • The power of exercise
  • Finding motivation

Clint – Good day! Here we go on another interview with someone who’s had a transformation with their rheumatoid arthritis. It’s Natalie, and she’s going to share with us and me, uh, because I have had no preparation for this interview. And you might think, come on like, that’s not very professional. No, it’s because I want to be surprised and excited and be on this journey with you. All I know is that she’s had tremendous, tremendous results. And so with that, let’s learn together. Natalie, how are you?

Natalie – I am doing great. Thank you very much.

Clint – Oh, awesome. Well, you heard my introduction. I don’t know what’s going on. Give me let’s start with the traditional classic here I was, and then here I am now. Can you give us a snapshot?

Natalie – Sure. Last year, uh, I took my last Cimzia injections on September 1st, so I was taking Cimzia, two injections every four weeks, and I was getting by with it. Side effects weren’t really too bad or anything. It was uncomfortable. Sometimes the day after, I’d be tired but it was manageable. But of course not the life that most people would like to live cost wise. People generally don’t like being on medication. And now the only medication I take, I want to say nothing, but it feels like nothing, um, low dose naltrexone just 2.5mg, uh, daily dental lozenges. And I use a Kirin Krishnan’s, megaspore probiotics.

Clint – Okay, awesome. Now, the million dollar question here. What did you do? You can answer that either step by step or if you want to give me the overview, I can then extract the details.

Natalie – Sure. Do you want me to start with back in 2017, when I was diagnosed or?

Clint – Yeah, whatever feels right for you.

Natalie – Okay. So I was a personal trainer and a fitness class instructor. I taught body pump cycle classes, had been doing that for a number of years. I used to be someone that, uh, weighed 100lbs more, I was very lethargic, discovered fitness, ended up going in that direction and changing my whole life and my career. And I started noticing, wow, I don’t feel good after exercise, and I had to exercise that was my job, right? So like four hours, three hours after teaching my classes, I would get that delayed onset muscle soreness, which should normally happen 24 to 48 hours after your workout. And I thought, this is weird, I’m getting the flu. So I’m like, okay, I better take a few days off, took a few days off, went back to my schedule, boom it happens again. Like this is not normal, this is not the flu. So I called my doctor, she ran some blood tests and said, um, you’re antinuclear antibodies are up. You need to see a rheumatologist. So I made that appointment, she drew a bunch of blood, tried to figure out what was going on, and, um, you know, we made the follow up appointment, and my partner went with me, and he was very supportive. And so she comes into the room, I’ll never forget this day, I think many of your followers, people that might be new to this, they remember this day, right? She looks at me and she grabs my hand. And she says rheumatoid arthritis is a very cruel disease. I was like, why is she telling me this? Like, what does that have to do with me? And then but she said in a very kind way, like she was being very empathetic, like, you know, and then I realized, wait a minute, she’s telling me I have RA. Like what? This is weird because I at that point was not having any joint pain or anything I was just having the fatigue and the muscle soreness. So for me, it manifested with muscle pain. And then she said, the first plan we’re going to do is we’re going to start you on a drug called Plaquenil. I tried that, but then encountered ringing in my ears. The muscle soreness had eased up, and then I started getting identical pain in both my pinkies. And I was like, okay, this is happening. So she said, we need to switch you out, Methotrexate. Methotrexate, nausea, fatigue, it didn’t work well. Again, I started experiencing more issues with joint pain, things were getting worse.

Natalie – So then we went to Remicade. That was my first experience with a biologic, and it was working, but I started to gain weight and I started tracking it. And then I said, this isn’t good. And after being on it for a year and a half, I told her, look, I track my food, I work out, this is my job, a lot of people in the fitness industry, they’re so self-conscious about appearance because people judge, unfortunately, in this world. And I said, I know that it’s got to be the drug. So she said, okay, we’ll switch you and then that’s how I ended up on the Cimzia which worked. Uncomfortable injections but less side effects, the extra weight came off, I was able to and I thought, okay, this is my life now. So long story when 2020 happened, the gym shut down, so I left that job. I still train a little bit on the side, I’m also an intuitive eating counselor, but my primary job is working in a grocery store, actually, at Trader Joe’s. Lots of movement, lots of using your hands, lots of bending, picking, lifting. And, um, so the activity luckily does help my joints as you talk about movement is so important for managing rheumatoid arthritis. And I have a client and was trying very hard to encourage her to try a different plan, do something different to help herself get back on track. And I said, hey, do you want to do a day of juicing? And I had not really ever done this before. I don’t know why I thought I was like, let’s do it, let’s do a juice day. You pick the cleanse, I’ll do it with you to support you, and she was like, okay, we’ll do this. So, on that day while I was doing this, like seven days of different juices, and mind you, I have to say my diet was not the cleanest. I was having pastries in the morning and, you know, of course, but then I’d be like, oh, well, I’m exercising and I’m controlling it that way. I was looking for podcasts and information to listen to, to keep me on track, and that’s how I came across you. And so I was like, this is interesting. You know what? You can possibly go into remission without medication. Wait, what is this? So, I helped her through that day, we both did our juicing day. She was, like, not such a great fan. I’m like, oh, I need to check this guy out, I need to find out what this Clint Paddison has to say. That’s how I found your program, started September 9th. And at the same time added the megaspore, because I think you’re you had just had Kiran on, I had seen his recording as well. And um, yeah, that’s kind of how I found you and how I started.

Clint – Awesome. Okay, so, uh, just one question before we move on to the next stage. When you came up with the idea to do the cleanse, were you in any pain? Was this almost just an exploratory thing, or were you still having some symptoms whilst on Cimzia?

Natalie – I was still having symptoms on Cimzia. The flare that would get triggered by not sleeping well, anxiety, overdoing it. They were more frequent than they are now. I mean, it was it was it was a doable life, it was manageable.

Clint – Yeah. Gotcha. Okay, now what happened? So, just for newbies, if you just new to these interviews that we do, um. So the Paddison Program is an elimination plant-based diet as a dietary process. But then with a whole bunch of supporting processes, including exercise, mindfulness, stress reduction, some supplementation to improve the antioxidant status of the body, exposure to nature, a whole bunch of sort of important science-supported strategies to reduce inflammation. When I say science supported published medical evidence in peer-reviewed journals supporting the aspects that we implement together as a 360-degree approach. So this isn’t for someone who just wants to just like kick tires. This is for someone who says, you know what, I want to take responsibility for as much as I can and with my health. And I’m going to go hardcore based on stuff that’s proven to work. That’s what we do. So, you’ve begun the program, so you’re on a do-it-yourself plan, and what happened?

Natalie – So I love the way your program was outlined, very easy to follow. I was like, all right, let’s do this. Cucumber, celery, buckwheat, where do I find this? I’ve never had this before, you know? I got a rice cooker, okay instant pot. Maybe that will work, too. So, all the things that you recommend and, within days not only was I feeling better, but the phantom rash on my leg started to clear up the, IBS started calming down. I started reading everything I could on microbiome and how your gut affects autoimmune disease and the connection. And so I began with your program on September 9th, as sometimes things happen in life, the best laid plans cannot always work out. So at the end of September, I got Covid and it was when everybody was getting it right? Now, I had not stepped off of my medication yet for rheumatoid arthritis before starting your program, I did contact my doctor to ask her, what do you think if I do this? And she said the best diet is farm to table and just kind of, you know, Pooh poohed it and it’s fluffy or whatever, and but I thought, no, I’m going to give it a try, I know this is science-based. And when I got diagnosed with Covid, I contacted my rheumatologist and she said, you cannot get your neck Cimzia injection because that’s going to push your immune system down. You have to wait until you’re over the Covid, and then you have to get a blood test and make sure everything’s cleared. So October, the beginning of October comes when I should have had actually the end of September, when I should have had my next Cimzia I couldn’t get it. I had to wait two weeks, three weeks, got the blood test follow up with her at the end of October, and I’m like, my joints aren’t hurting. Do I need the Cimzia? And she said, how about we just wait until the beginning of November? And I was like, okay. And so then I waited a few more weeks and I thought why should I take a medication if I’m feeling okay? So contacted her again and said, you know, I don’t know if I want to take it. And she said, well, can we just finish through the get you through the holidays because the holidays are stressful, then we can talk about you coming off in January.

Clint – So she wanted you to resume it and then to stop it again.

Natalie – Yes. Yeah.

Clint – Because she was afraid that you don’t have the self-discipline to eat insane amounts of turkey and junk and Halloween candy, and then at Christmas time, indulge to the point of falling asleep on the couch at 4 -00 in the afternoon, because humans have no ability to self-control. That’s what she was suggesting.

Natalie – Uh, yes. Yes, that’s a fantastic way to put it. Yes.

Clint – My gosh, my faith in humanity, by the way, is vastly different. So I mean this is so fascinating. Okay. So then what did you say when she proposed having drugs to get you through the holiday period?

Natalie – I agreed, and then two days before my injections, I cancelled.

Clint – Wow. Well, when you just said you agreed, I’m like, oh, that’s such a twist, that’s a twist. I’m excited to hear, and then you cancel, okay? All right. And then did the world end?

Natalie – No, no, I mean. I want to make sure people know that’s not the, the preferred way on the Paddison Program to get Covid and not be able to take your medicine anymore. Like you, you know, you step down gradually, but it’s just kind of how it worked for me. And here I am free of so many other drugs to not even taking allergy medicine anymore. And I live in a part of the country where hay fever is crazy and everyone is around me, is complaining about their allergies, and I’m like, wow. Like I don’t even take over-the-counter allergy meds anymore. So yeah.

Clint – Wow, that is cool. So let’s just fill in the gaps there because we got to the Christmas turkey and Halloween and then now you don’t need allergy meds or some other things. Just fill in the blanks there for us. Did symptoms come back at all? What happened after you canceled with the doctor? Was she upset or accommodating? Just give us more information.

Natalie – Sure, absolutely. She was very kind, and she said, I’m still going to see you, she’s still my rheumatologist. I still go and get my blood checked. And on my last blood test, my C-reactive protein was less than one. Yeah, it’s it was it was thrilling. And she to hear her say you are officially in remission. So I made a promise to myself that at six months, I would get a tattoo to remind myself of a few things. I’ll be glad to show it to you. Elephants are my favorite animal. And so I eat with my right hand, so these are the leaves to remind me, vegan. The elephant catching the leaf as it turns into a heart. This is where I would get the Remicade, the IVs. Right. So this is so important to me. And it just reminds me, like, you know, as I reach for the food, I see, what are you reaching for? What? You know the consequences if you slip and, uh, and you don’t want that. So.

Clint – Yeah. Gosh. Natalie, this is incredible.

Natalie – And I did have I will say there’s another little twist to this story. I had to get a tooth pulled three weeks ago, and it was from a root canal that was missed. They had to go back in and do more roots, somehow the tooth cracked. And if people don’t know it, if you get a cracked tooth, it has to go because it continues to abscess and get infected because the bacteria can get in there. So I had a wonderful and dentist he was trying to, without antibiotics, get rid of the bacterial infection, but because it kept coming back, he said this is a sign that you have an abscess. So the scary thing about having a tooth pulled is you have to have antibiotics if there is an active infection going on, and this is going to be my first course of antibiotics since beginning your program. I’m scared, scared, scared, more scared of the antibiotics than having the tooth extracted. And they put me on the dreaded clindamycin. And my gastroenterologist, who is the one that started me on the low dose naltrexone, who also prescribes the megaspore biotics. I talked with her and she said, this is what I want you to take to help your microbiome. It’s one of the products that Kiran designed, I think it was the restore of Flora. She said, I want you to take it, take it like this with the antibiotic and it should help. And it did for the first time in my life. And of course, with the clean diet, of course that’s the foundation, right, is making sure that I’m having the correct diet and following your program and then adding the supplement did not have any stomach upset, did not have any of the other problems I would have when I took an antibiotic. After I went off of it a few days later, had an accident at work and ended up, um, going through some stress. And I had my first flare since beginning your program, and I panicked and I almost contacted you and said, I can’t do the interview, I had a flare, you know, and I realized, no, no, no, what do you do? Cucumber, celery, all the buckwheat, clean, clean, clean, start over, you know, and it lasted 36, maybe 48 hours. And I was so happy at the end of it all because it was a great proof to show myself things can happen and we can just pile on and pile on and pile on. And you may have a flare, but you can come out of it again without the use of medication. I mean, sometimes we have to have that right to calm inflammation down, but I was able to get it back on track just by going back through from, looking back on how it works when we’re having that situation.

Clint – Yeah. fantastic. It’s interesting with all the confidence that you’d had over a period of several months where you had things under control. And it just goes to show that one little sort of that one, almost like the hair on the back of the monster, you just see the hair and it’s so scary. You haven’t even seen the face of the beast, but you’re like, ah. So it’s interesting that it can be so concerning. I understand completely, and I’m sure everyone can understand completely that just the sense that something’s worsening again or coming back is it’s like life threatening, almost like because you just project immediately into, oh, no, what does this mean? What does this mean? It means talking to the room. It means things, it means bad future, it means pain, it means bad sleep, all the bad. And so when we see the hair on the back of the beast, we go into concern quickly. But well done, quickly cutting it off at the roots, doing what you did. And that’s what I call the complete confidence and control that we’re looking for. It’s not a cure, what it is, is having this ability to be the puppeteer and to control your own symptoms. And if something if the little puppet falls off the front of the stage, you’re bringing back on with the string. So that’s what you are able to demonstrate.

Natalie – Thank you. It’s interesting because I feel like I know how bad it can be. I was very lucky that I never had as severe symptoms as what you went through. I’ve not had to have surgery over it. I’ve certainly had that getting out of, like, dreading to put your feet on the floor, not being able to open things. So much fear around my job, being able to pick up a weight or lift a weight or move and the fear of it progressing and getting worse. But I’m thankful that this program exists and I can manage feeling these like, uh. Oh, here it comes, here it comes. And then. Oh, no, like, it’s going to be okay.

Clint – Okay. Some ways to also reduce the feeling that it’s just below the surface. Thus, it drops further and deeper in a way out of conscious awareness to almost a subconscious-like suppression. It’s not constantly running through your mind. Is it close by? To become as diverse in the diet as possible. We have those different phases of which we’re updated. Since you started in September of last year, you’ll have noticed that in the members area, we’ve got some updated versions of the reintroduction guide, the daily plan, and a few other things. Now, what you want to do is, if you haven’t already, you can tell me to be able to eat right through into the Group C food range. The bulk of the diet is early through Group A and Group B, that’s where we eat most of the time. But also there are some foods in Group C that we do want to be eating. We want to be eating nuts and seeds. Also, we want to be eating fermented foods, and we want to get to those. Where are you about your food diversity and covering the full portion of that document?

Natalie – I love all the foods like my typical breakfast. By the way, I laugh and I have to make a little side note of people saying, now you need to have like 30 different plants in a week. Then I’m like, oh my gosh, I have 60 different plants in a day.

Clint – What? Wow, okay.

Natalie – I start with a mix of steel-cut oats and the other kind of oatmeal and sometimes some amaranth mixed in there as well. I put in shredded carrots, zucchini, squash, and then all the berries, strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, or raspberry. In short, that’s my breakfast. Then I’ll have, like, two walnuts and a cashew and two or three almonds. I laugh when people say, don’t eat nuts because you’re not going to be able to stop. I mean, that’s just it’s a wonderful, tasteful compliment that gets me the healthy fats that I need. The walnuts are so good for us in a controlled way. I look forward to it and I don’t feel restricted.

Clint – Yeah, I think. These flippant statements like, don’t eat too many nuts if you’re worried about weight gain because you have unheeding poor healthy habits or poor eating habits on your other three meals. However, that’s not an issue that we all face in our community because we eat so much fiber that this is just a weight management strategy in and of itself. We don’t have to worry about it. Thus, we’ve got all this fiber coming through. Yes, we just want to be eating these nuts and seeds and then these high-fat foods once we graduate from them. If you’re doing the program early on and in baseline group A, fine, that’s great. That’s where a lot of inflammation reduction comes from, but don’t stop there. The healing happens as you get like the healing doesn’t reduce as you go further into the number of foods. There are more benefits to reap the rewards of these additional foods, different fibers, more diversity, and so on. Just as you’ve done, Natalie. So fantastic. I can see why you’re feeling so good because you’re eating all these foods and tolerating them great, which shows a great microbiome.

Natalie – Thank you. I appreciate all of the resources that you provided. Like Chef AJ, Doctor McDougall, Doctor Goldner, and Doctor Klapper. I mean, my lunch is usually a big old smoothie, kind of listening to Doctor Brooke Goldner and how she’s helped people with autoimmune putting in three different power greens; kale, spinach, chard, frozen banana, and whatever different fruit I want to put in there. Then, I would also put a big sweet potato. I don’t know if you have access to any of the Japanese sweet potatoes, but my favorite thing to do is to boil a pot of them and put them in the refrigerator for the week. Then, you can just pull one out and eat it cold or warm it up in the microwave. I’m just eating it like an apple and drinking this smoothie. It’s the best and it’s so delicious, and I know it’s so good for my gut. Then, dinner is going to be buckwheat and quinoa as the base. More so coming off of this last flare, that’s not what I have every night. However, I would say five nights a week because it’s super easy to make ahead of time to take to work for my evening meal. After all, I work in the evenings. Then, I can just mix it up by putting different spices different sauces, or different kinds of vegetables. Sweet potato usually is in there as well, but then you can mix up the flavors by just what you top it with. It’s so easy and it’s so good, and the freedom of like not counting for anybody. This has to count calories or track macros or anything. When I’m hungry, I eat and there are so many delicious wonderful things to choose from. I’m like wow, people will say, oh wow, how can you do that, or how can you be vegan? When you’re on the other side or fully embracing it, it’s kind of like, how can you not if that makes sense?

Clint – For so many reasons and not just the foods as we are with the health like. Our community is all about health because when you’ve lost it, nothing’s more important. Then, a lot of people also have an environmental or animal rights argument, which is just as strong and just as wonderful. But yes, if only we all focus on the health aspects. Then, you can become very passionate about it because you don’t know. Unless you’ve been through the gates of hell with this disease and lived a life that we feel we could do more with and make the changes. This is our trophy and it’s celebrating amazing foods, feeling better not having the brain fog or not having the allergy response, and all that. Can you tell us what else has improved? I want to hear your sort of top 4 or 5 tips for other people. Then, I’m going to ask you, what does it feel like now? Not just like an airy-fairy, but like how do you think now without sort of being consumed by a heavy disease state? What are your dreams, goals, aspirations? What does life look like for you now? But let’s start with, first of all, the first question and I’ve confused myself.

Natalie – I do that too. Well, I want to say just comment quickly on what you said too, about when we’re eating for our health. When I had that accident at work they sent me to the clinic. Then, I told the doctor that I’m vegan and she said, that’s very difficult. I looked at her and I said, pain is a great motivator and that was pretty much all I had to say.

Clint – Yep, slam dunk. Let’s go into your most important list here.

Natalie – It’s like sitting next to someone on an airplane. They’re about to get off the airplane. They turn to you and say, Natalie, it’s been great chatting with you about work and all that sort of stuff. I haven’t told you I’ve got rheumatoid. Then, they say you can get off the plane now, what would be? This is not a promotion for our program and let’s go deeper than that. What are the main aspects of lifestyle that you would convey to that person?

Natalie – It’s almost like you forget you have rheumatoid arthritis. It’s a whole new lease on life. I don’t know if you’ve encountered other clients that maybe they get the diagnosis. Then, they start looking at lifespan or what will happen to them in the future. My rheumatologist was like, now you have to see a cardiologist or now you have to see this eye doctor. Now all of a sudden, I’ve got all these specialists I didn’t have before. It’s quite scary to think this is what your life is going to be. Then, having this other lease on life now that. It’s almost like I want to say I’m cured, but I know I’m not and it’s remission. I now planning on living a long, healthy, active life, and not worrying about making plans. I need to have a shower with a seat in it. The doors need to be wide enough for a wheelchair. The preoccupation that sometimes people can have when they have a debilitating condition, just knowing that that that does not have to be a part of my future, and that’s so freeing.

Clint – Yeah, wow. That’s powerful, isn’t it? That’s powerful. What about some tips for other people who have not yet had the results you’ve had, or are thinking about starting the program? What aspects of what you’re doing do you think are the most valuable to you to maintain your health?

Natalie – I researched before I started the program When I started it, I told myself it’s probably not going to be easy. I believe I heard you and other people say it takes a few weeks for your taste buds to acclimate for cravings to pass. It’s because our gut craves what we eat. I knew I was going to have to be patient with my body, so I would always say, I’m going to do this for now. It was never like, I have to do this forever. After all, if I felt a lot of discomfort, I didn’t want that to discourage me because I had been watching your podcast. Like, going on your YouTube channel and then after getting your program, looking at the conference and, listening to people’s testimonials and knowing that it works for people. I didn’t want to lose the opportunity for the program to work for me by getting impatient or even if I fell off the wagon, which I knew was a possibility. Knowing that I was going to commit to it because I wanted to see if would this work for me, and if I didn’t give it a good amount of time, then I would never know.

Natalie – The other thing I did, and I still do today is I keep you in my ear along with chef AJ. When I’m doing my chores, when I’m doing my meal prep, or when I am going about driving. I’m listening to all of the good reasons why being vegan and eating this way is the best thing for us, for the planet, and for the animals. In the process, I consider myself an ethical vegan. Now, I look at the dairy industry, everything is much more different than I used to, and I’m thankful for that. There was one other thing I wanted to share with people other than the food is delicious. Doctor Klaper, said something excellent. When you see something that’s not on your plan, you say that’s not food. It is because I work in a grocery store in a very good grocery store. I see a lot of tempting things that I would eat before. When I’m ringing them up or at night after we close and they’re like, we’re going to try this delicious thing. We do have a lot of delicious food. I just say to myself, that’s not food and it really helps. It’s simple and it keeps me on track. It’s a good mantra and then when it comes to preparation, it does take longer, like it’s more time-consuming to eat this way absolutely than it was before. Maybe maybe three hours a week or four hours a week in the kitchen than what I was doing before. So what I did was I looked at how much money I was spending to keep myself in remission using the Cimzia, the injectables, and the doctor’s visits. I did the math and it was about $7,000 a year. So if I take that and divide it by the hours that I spend in the kitchen to make the buckwheat the quinoa, get all my vegetables shredded, and do all my meal prep. It’s like someone’s paying me about $22 an hour. I’ll take it because I would much rather give up that time and not have to take that medication. To have this freedom, oh my gosh. The freedom. Yeah. Absolutely.

Clint – Yeah, that’s how I think of breaking down stuff to hourly rates and all that. No, that’s fantastic. Just in case anyone’s concerned about any anti-medication sentiment, you haven’t provided that, Natalie nor have I. We’ve just wanted to share with everyone that if you focus on your health. You in a way that’s in a way that’s not conventional and it would be. By that I mean taking full responsibility for all aspects of your life, not just eating less processed foods. This is a full-on transformation program, right? If you do that, then your blood markers improve your symptoms, and reduce them in most cases. Therefore the doctor is going to appropriately medicate, and provide treatment plans for you to match your symptoms. Thus, that may mean for you less or in the case of Natalie, no medication. That’s not the goal and it’s not what we’re targeting. It’s an outcome of better health and I just wanted to clarify that. Natalie, this is this has been amazing. What do you do on exercise? I just wanted to ask you if this has exercise been a strategy for you that we haven’t touched upon, or have you done all this just with everything but exercise?

Natalie – I’m very fortunate because I was a trainer before I developed the disease. I still do a lot of the exercise I was doing before, but I do a little bit less. Body pump is a program that I taught. It’s a one-hour weight resistance program, and there’s a lot of reps involved. I cut that down to about 45 minutes. I do 1 or 2 days of strength training in the gym, but I focus more on the pulls than the pushes. It’s more on how to keep the joints safe. Also, I need to do the Bikram yoga. You’ve talked about that and I need to explore that. I’m pretty good about stretching after working out again because of my education in that area. I have an elliptical at home and I’m very fortunate. I had someone give gift me an elliptical. Thus, I have that at home in my little gym room with a TV. I have a stationary bike and I’ll spin on that, and I do about six days. Then, one day off, and then my job is on my feet the whole time and moving. Movement is so important when you have rheumatoid arthritis. When my doctor diagnosed me, I said, I’m a trainer. Then, she said that’s good. I was like, I’m a trainer like this and I can’t have a disease that’s going to affect my joints. Then again, to the eye doctor, to the cardiologist, and each person would say, you’re a trainer. I’m like, no, you don’t understand. I can’t have anything that’s going to affect my body. Now, I do understand because exercise is so important for your gut, your joints, your mental health, and your well-being. Yeah, making sure that I don’t overdo it because I do sometimes wonder if the amount of exercise I was doing did contribute to the onset of rheumatoid arthritis because I was really into it. Even too much of that can be a bad thing.

Clint – Yeah. In statistical terms, it’s called a U-shaped curve. You may have come across this. Thus, your symptoms will go down as you exercise more, but then you get to a beautiful bottom of the U-shape. If you exercise excessively then we’re talking about ultra-endurance marathons and people who are doing high-level exertion competition for many hours and stuff. Then, oxidative stress comes back up again. It is because the body just doesn’t have that recovery period to adapt. So yes, I believe that potentially that wasn’t helping you in your ability to avoid the onset of the condition. If it was a ranking system, I wouldn’t point the finger towards that as much as some pastries for breakfast and maybe some other things. About what you just said, I want everyone to pay close attention to this. Natalie has just told us in a very casual that’s all I do kind of phrasing. However, she’s working out hard. We’ve got cycling during the week. Then, two resistance training workout sessions where she’s doing physical body exercises, back exercises, and all sorts of things. However, you’re doing a lot of exercise, like way more than the average rheumatoid arthritis patient. Therefore, this has dramatically helped you with your ability to get to where you are now. I’m really glad we went into that because I have yet to interview someone who only used diet. It’s not a diet, it is a lifestyle transformation. I’m glad because you are almost the first. No, you’re fit and strong as well.

Natalie – Thank you. I think finding the exercise that brings you joy is really important. If you try something and you don’t like it, you’re less likely to do it. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, it’s super important that you find an exercise you like. You find a way to make the resistance training fun, whether it’s with a partner or a trainer or in a class, listening to a book, or whatever you need to do to make sure that you get that in. Then, also do the fun stuff whether it’s cycling or hiking. I know some people do this rucking now where they put like weight in a backpack and walk around with that. I need to give that a little try. Although pretty soon it’s going to get hot here. Thus, it might not be I don’t know though or maybe it would be still fun. In short, exercise is so important. When you find the kind that you like, you look forward to it. At least I do being able to not have that taken away from me. Clint, I was so worried that I wasn’t going to be able to do something that brought me joy. I was like, how am I going to mentally deal with this? It is because when you find a movement, you love it’s an antidepressant. Then, the thought of I can’t do it. If it’s taken away from me, how am I going to handle the mental part of that? It is nice that I don’t have to worry about that.

Clint – Yeah, that was one of your big whys; why do you have to apply yourself so fully? It is because you want to be able to exercise still. Everyone’s why is lean into that when you have to wash the juicer again or if it’s having to skip on the pizza that everyone’s ordered on a Friday night. We are very much aware of that or we smell the way that it’s made. Oh, it smells good. But you know, what’s the why? Why are we wanting to get well? If we have that really at the front of our minds, we can achieve anything and make that why just so desirable. I even hang out with the children and we do this all the time. If you achieve that, then you can have and I always insert one of 50 things they’re always begging me for and then they make it happen.

Clint – Yeah, you’re why and that’s very important for sure. That’s hilarious. I can see that’s a good story.

Clint – All right, let’s leave it there. Natalie, I value your story today. It’s just so reassuring to have you tell this story for people who maybe just need that little bit of a boost. Another good story and it might take someone 50 stories like this before they’re willing to make that commitment to change their lifestyle habits. Also, it might be just your story today. Your story could be the conversation that someone needed to say. I can make the changes that I need. Thank you, it’s going to help a lot of people.

Natalie – Thank you especially for your program and for taking something that happened in your life, turning it around, and helping so many people. It is because it’s wonderful that you do this and that you provide this service for so many people. Thus, thank you.

Clint – Thanks, Natalie and that’s kind. Have a wonderful rest of your day and we’ll see you again soon, everyone. Thanks for watching or listening to this episode if you like it. We have more to come and have a wonderful day.

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