Maile’s Triumph: From Lupus Struggles to Thriving at 50

I’m excited and honoured to share Maile’s story of nutritional optimisation. 

Maile first caught our attention when she topped the weight loss leaderboard in our August 2023 Data-Driven Fasting Challenge with a massive 15 lb (6.8 kg) in just four weeks. 

She then returned in our Macros Masterclass and Micros Masterclass to optimise her diet for satiety and nutrient density with remarkable consistency and tenacity. 

She started her first Macros Masterclass with a satiety score of 60%.  She continued to follow the numbers week by week to improve her diet, increasing her satiety score to a super-impressive 88%. 

She returned in the Micros Masterclass to incrementally fine-tune her nutrition to get all the minerals and vitamins her body needed, ending up with a spectacularly high diet quality score of 100%. 

Maile’s micronutrient fingerprint chart below shows how she packed all the essential nutrients into her daily energy budget.

As she focused on nourishing her body, She also got the results she sought, with 40 lbs (18 kg) lost between the middle of August and Christmas 2023!  

Read on to hear Maile’s story in her own words. 

My Why 

Hi, I’m Maile, from Honolulu, USA.  My current goal is to be the healthiest version of myself possible.  

I was diagnosed with Lupus in high school and have been battling flare-ups and inflammation ever since.  I saw my parents pass away from a stroke and cancer at a relatively young age.  

As I approach 50, I’m happy to say that my goal has evolved from “staying out of the hospital” to “thriving every day.”

How did you find Optimising Nutrition? 

I initially watched a podcast between Marty Kendall and Ted Naiman, which interested me in learning more. 

What approaches have you tried in the past?

I tried Weight Watchers to lose weight in elementary school, but dieting at such a young age was very confusing.  

Later, I tried veganism for about six months.  But I felt exhausted most of the time, and my husband felt deprived.  

Eventually, I arrived at a lower-carb approach, which I have followed for five years.  I found lowering my carbs was highly effective in reducing inflammation from Lupus.  

For most of my life, swelling in my feet and joints had often prevented me from being active and was chronic and painful.  My focus only solidified once I discovered a direct link between what I ate and how I felt.

How has your journey with Optimising Nutrition been different?

Optimising Nutrition has been different in that, rather than merely trying to deprive my body, I truly feel I am being nourished.  

I appreciate the positive and supportive community and Marty Kendall’s non-judgmental approach.  I also value the customisation of the programs and being able to start wherever you are.  

The programs are flexible enough to fit each person’s lifestyle while being well-informed and engaging, making the learning process fun. 

What did you learn that surprised you? 

In my first Data-Driven Fasting Challenge, I was surprised to learn I had been both under and over-eating.  

What I had been considering an intermittent fast was really a form of excessive deprivation.  After trying hard to restrict my food intake for a time, I would inevitably over-indulge to over-compensate, undoing so much of my hard work with less optimal food choices.  Data-Driven Fasting helped me to find the right balance that allowed me to make long-term progress without overeating when I broke my fast while also focusing on nourishing my body. 

Next, in the Macros Masterclass, I was surprised to learn that some of the low-carb salads I thought were “healthy” were full of unnecessary fats.  If I wanted to lose fat from my body, I learned I needed to eat less dietary fat and nourish myself with nutrients, which would allow my body to deplete its stored fat. 

Finally, in the Micros Masterclass, I learned which nutrients I consistently lacked, what foods were good sources and how to get them.  I was surprised that I could have an extremely nutrient-dense lunch, tolerate a more family-friendly, smaller portion for dinner, and still maintain a relatively high Diet Quality Score.  This allowed me to cater to the tastes of eight family members while slowly trying to covertly improve the quality of their diet, too.

What positive changes did you see?

I now see the world and food differently, with new eyes.  I now look at food based on the nutrients it will provide me with.  I can now confidently make more nutritious food choices—whether in the grocery store, farmer’s market, or from a restaurant menu or party. 

What was most memorable? 

The encouragement from fellow Optimisers, the Support Crew, and Marty Kendall was most memorable.

What was your favourite part of the process? 

My favourite part of the process was learning about myself, what nutrients are in various foods, and quantifying my diet with numbers rather than morality.  I no longer see food as good or bad or something I must deprive my body of. 

What were your measurable results?   

The chart below shows my diet quality score. 

After some trial and error, I worked out how to consistently achieve a high diet quality score to ensure I nourished my body. 

This next chart shows my premeal glucose/trigger chart from the DDF app through two rounds of the Data-Driven Fasting Challenge.   The DDF app gave me precise guidance about when to eat, so I used up my stored glucose and body fat without pushing my body so hard that I had no choice but to binge. 

Finally, this chart shows my weight since starting my journey with low carb and fasting.  After starting at 325 pounds, I lost over 80 pounds with low carb and fasting.  However, this eventually stalled out until I started with the Optimising Nutrition programs, and things really got moving again!

Food Photos

Here are a few photos of some of the meals I created to maximise my diet quality score and ensure I nourished my body and stayed incredibly satiated!   It’s astounding how large and filling these nutrient-dense meals can be while allowing my body to continue to shed the excess fat. 

What were some non-scale/data victories? 

I am feeling more vibrant and able to consider new goals.  I am also glad I am now able to wear some of the rings I inherited, fit comfortably on an aeroplane seat, and not worry if I can get up from the floor or if I will break a beach chair.  

I no longer dread narrow parking structures or fear if I will fit between two cars.  I am also grateful to be starting to look in the regular clothes department rather than the awful “plus” section, which was often dowdy and depressing.

Which tools helped you understand the course materials, and how did you apply them?

The Your Perfect Day (YPD) reports in Macros and Micros have been invaluable.  I believe they turbo-boost my weight loss process.  They’re a fantastic supplemental report that compliments these classes’ focus on protein and satiety.

Maile used the Perfect Day Reports with dedication and ferocity, improving her satiety and diet quality scores more each week.  These reports show our Optimisers how to incrementally evolve their current diet, starting from what they normally eat.  We don’t care how you eat, but we figure the best place to start is to emphasise the great things you already eat to crowd out the less optimal foods in your diet. 

You can check out a few of her reports here to see how her diet evolved: 

  1. Macros – 24 September 2023
  2. Macros – 1 October 2023
  3. Macros – 8 October 2023
  4. Micros – 29 October 2023
  5. Micros – 7 November 2023
  6. Micros – 7 November 2023
  7. Micros – 14 November 2023
  8. Micros – 3 December 2023

Why did you choose to join this class specifically?

  • I joined Data-Driven Fasting specifically for weight loss.  The concept of having a fuel gauge made the process easy to follow.
  • I joined the Macros Masterclass to see how I might improve what I was eating.  
  • I joined Micros Masterclass to learn more about food and its potential health benefits.

What is the next step for you?

My next step is to “keep chipping away” at my trigger, to “focus on protein”, and to maximize my nutrients until this becomes a new way of living. 

What advice would you give to someone just starting? 

Be patient with yourself and the process.  Make the best choices available to you each moment, and have no regrets.

Next Steps

Congrats Maile.  It’s been a thrill to celebrate your journey as you have optimised when and what to eat and reaped the results! 

If you’re interested in following in Maile’s footsteps, we’d love you to jump into our Optimising Nutrition Community to check out all the free resources (i.e. food lists, recipes and meal plans) to help you get started on your journey of nutritional optimisation. 

When you’re ready to take the next step, we’d love you to Maile and our amazing community of Optimisers in our guided course: