9/11 and My Health Journey


  1. Searching for Someone Who Looks Like Me
    1. Another Example: Addiction
  2. Story Time: My Twin Towers Memory
  3. Tragedy Reveals the Best of Humanity
  4. How is 9/11 Related to My Health Journey
  5. Sharing Our Stories Empowers
  6. A 38 Day Fast Kickstart

Searching for Someone Who Looks Like Me

Every time I would see weight loss success stories, the thought that would often be in the back of my mind was, “I wonder if there is a female who has a build, shape, and ethnic background similar to mine who has done this and has been successful?” The type of success stories I have viewed most often throughout the past two and half years are the stories of those who follow a ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting.

I looked, and searched, and searched, and looked, for someone who “looks like” me. I have come across people who are close, but not close enough. I tried looking for a Polynesian female who has attempted the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting and has achieved success, but I have not come across one yet. I’m certain that there are Polynesian women out there who have achieved and maintained great health and fitness results, but they may have chosen to keep their journey private.

Nonetheless, there is something inspiring about seeing someone who looks like you, or who has had similar struggles to yours, be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, come out of whatever rut they were in…victorious! In contrast, say you’ve just heard an inspirational story from a person whom you share nothing in common with. Although this person’s story may be inspirational, it may not have the extra umph it can have if the person was similar to you in some way. Disney has figured this out and is making tons of money by creating characters of different ethnic backgrounds, therefore reaching people from all four corners of the world. (i.e. Moana, Coco, The Princess & The Frog, Mulan, Pocahontas, etc.)

Another Example: Addiction

Imagine that I am trying to help out a friend whom is struggling with an addiction to drugs. I offer them the best words of encouragement that I could think of. However, my words may not hold as much weight, or have as much flesh as the words of a former drug addict who is celebrating 20(+) years of sobriety.

I have never struggled with an addiction to drugs. Although, I can give my friend the same exact advice that the former drug addict will give, my friend will, more likely than not, be extra motivated and inspired by the advice from the former drug addict simply because he or she would know what it is like to be on the front lines of their struggles.

Story Time: My Twin Towers Memory

We could also look at this from a global point of view. There is nothing that unites humanity more than pain and suffering. It doesn’t matter whether someone is rich, poor, African, Italian, Asian, Polynesiasn, Spanish, American, fat, skinny, a blogger, a model, a janitor, homeless, a prisoner, a priest, a doctor, a child, a teenager, or an adult.

Every person has or will experience suffering and trials. What is considered suffering for one, may not be considered suffering for another. Needless to say, suffering is suffering, and everyone can relate to that.

The event that immediately came to my mind, was the first tragic event that I was alive for. In 2001, there was an attack on the World Trade Center. Many of us know this as “9/11.” I was in first grade at the time. I remember getting ready for school, and once I was dressed, my parents gathered my siblings and I in the living room to watch the news. My aunties, whom are both teachers, stopped by the house to pick me and my brother up. We all watched as the footage of the Twin Towers collapsing, and people jumping out of the buildings, rolled on our television screen. Even as a child, I remember feeling a tremendous sorrow the whole day.

As we drove to school, my aunt’s eyes watered the entire ride. In class, when we stood to say the “Pledge of Allegiance,” tears and restrained sobs escaped the being of my teacher. I remember teachers and their assistants walking down the hallways wiping away silent tears, embracing, and comforting each other on that day. This event is one out of the millions of tragic, blood-filled events that paint the pages of every country’s history around the globe.

9/11 Memorial & Museum

Tragedy Reveals the Best of Humanity

Although these events are tragic, it is during these times where we often see the best of humanity. It is during these times where we witness our self-made, imaginary walls and barricades fall. It is during these times where people become effortlessly vulnerable with each other. It is during these times when selfless charity becomes the sole medication that soothes the wounds of our brothers and sisters in need. I am certain that you can think of an event that has not only impacted you, but the communities of people surrounding you.

However, one needn’t think globally to recall a time of suffering. We need only to look at the events of our own lives. It could be something that took place within our family. Perhaps, it took place at work. Maybe you lost your job, your sister died, your mother was diagnosed with cancer, your spouse left you, you are in massive debt, or maybe you’ve learned that your family of 5 will be without a home in three months because “pay check to pay check” isn’t enough.

How Is 9/11 Connected To My Health Journey?

My reason for bringing up my memory of 9/11 and mentioning the impact that a former drug addict can have on a current addict, is to point out that human beings identify with each other best when we know that the other person has walked a mile or more in our shoes. With 9/11, people from all over the globe whom had already lost loved ones, identified with the families who lost their loved ones tragically on that day. People from all over the United States, worried for the lives of friends and family members who lived in, or were in that area.

Sharing Our Stories Empowers

When we share our stories and talk about the trials we’ve been, or are going through, we bond more quickly. When we share our stories honestly and transparently, instead of acting as if we have our lives together all the time, we empower and encourage others to share their own. Suffering, although most of us would prefer not to suffer, is undeniably unifying.
I will be sharing my physical and spiritual struggles in the hopes that it can be of service to at least ONE person, whether he or she is Samoan or not. In other words, for some of you, we may not look alike on the outside, but perhaps the demons you face in private, look just like mine.

A 38 Day Fast Kickstart

About 2 Months ago, I decided to do a 7 day fast. I allowed myself water, coffee, and tea. During that week, I was reading stories about men and women who have completed 14-21 day fasts, as well as a few who have done 30-40 day fasts.

Also, I am a practicing Catholic who knows that biblical figures such as Jesus, Moses, and Elijah fasted for 40 days. I figured, if these people can do it, then maybe I can too! Needless to say, I was intrigued by the idea of completing a 40 Day Fast.

By the end of the 4th day of my fast 7 day fast, I pushed all my chips into the pot and said to myself, “All in.”

I decided to track my whole experience (mind, body, & spirit) in the form of blogs and vlogs. As you can see by the title of this section, my 40 Day Fast was cut two days short. Why? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

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