Hello amazing you,
Thank you for visiting my health coaching site! My name is Joan (pronounced as Joanne) Joyce Manalo. Most people call me Joyce. I'm a five-foot tall 38-year-old health coach who is also a diabetes advocate and an aspiring registered dietician and nutritionist.
In 2015, I was the most depressed and heaviest I've ever been. Emotionally, I felt trapped in my job, my city, my house, and my body. Physically, I weighed 125 lbs and had nearly 40% body fat. I knew that if I wanted to continue to live, I had to find happiness. Thankfully, my friends, family and Laura Marr, helped me get to a good place. I regained my self worth.
At the end of that summer, I quit my job, started to run and practice yoga again. I visited farmer's markets, talked to people in the open-air, picked the most unique in-season vegetables and was re-inspired to cook.
I realized that shopping and cooking healthy for my family gave me great joy, especially when my mother enjoyed it. She has Type 2 Diabetes and seeing her eat more greens and vegetables made me happy. This simple act of love -- caring for my mom through food -- led me to explore health and wellness.
In one month, January 2016, I found a new job working for a dentist who treats patients susceptible to sleep apnea, obesity and diabetes; connected with a kind and health-conscious gentleman into build a promising relationship with; and took a leap of faith to study at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
Three months later, I took a selfie (shown) at the end of my brother's Zumba class. This portrait is what I looked like eight months after surviving my personal earthquake. At that moment, I felt strong, beautiful and 18 lbs lighter. These trail markers tell me that I was and still on the right path.
I was happy and excited for my future then, and even more so now. (July 2016)
Now it's 2018, professionally, I'm a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach; Licensed Community Health Worker; Diabetes Peer at Baylor Scott and White Health and Wellness Center at Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center; and Advocacy, Education and Mission Committee Chair for American Diabetes Association's annual fundraiser Tour de Cure.
As far as personal growth, I connected deeper with my family; moved from New York to Texas with the love of my life; incorporated meditation and physical activity to my lifestyle; and committed to plant based cooking and eating.
No, not everything is perfect, it never will be. I accept that and I am truly happy.
Sharing my transformation is not easy. I'm grateful for all the support I received and the lessons I learned from digging deep and doing the work. Most of us are capable of effecting change, we just need to believe and love ourselves.
I'm excited to hear your story to find out how I can best support you to be the strongest and most resilient version of yourself.
To our happiness and health,