Welcome to Think Right, Eat Well: Thrive!
My name is Joe Romano. I am a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and Precision Nutrition. I’m also a husband and a father of three kids, Franco, Lorenzo and Gianella. Think Right, Eat Well: Thrive (TREWTh), was born from my struggle. For years I battled depression, anxiety, weight gain, acne, fatigue, addiction, and yo-yo dieting. For years I ate my problems away. For years I was a corporate slave. I know there are people out there that struggle and that can relate. I know there are those who want to live a better life. TREWTh is for those people. For those who struggle to feel and look good despite their best efforts. For those who have lost touch with themselves and are caught in a perpetual cycle of unhappiness. For people who are stuck holding onto the past and paying for it day after day. For those who are sick of burying their problems under food and/or drugs. For those who are sick of bullshit supplements and fad diets and expensive gym memberships that lead to no results. For those who are sick of the dizzying amount of conflicting health information on the internet. For those who are sick of "bro science" and "life hacks." Who are sick of falling for the seemingly endless health fads. For those who seek happiness, but keep hitting a wall of despair because happiness "hacks" are a dead end. For those who are sick of it all. For those who are ready for real and lasting change. If that sounds like you, then welcome. Welcome to the TREWTh lifestyle. I am here to teach you to dig deep, regain control, and conquer life.
This is my story. I'm telling it because I am real. My story is real. My struggle is real. TREWTh was born from this struggle; it is my system for a better life. Without it, I'd be an absolute mess.
Since I was a kid my life was a struggle. My father wasn't around. Big coke head. Ties to the mafia. An abuser. My mother left him when I was 3. Single mom. She scrapped to make ends meet. We were on welfare. Government cheese and food stamps. Then she met a man, they fell in love. He had a dark past. He used to do heroin. By the time he and my mother started dating, he was all cleaned up. He put that life behind him. He was a good man. We loved him and he loved us. I called him Dad. We were a happy little family. I had a normal childhood for a time: tee-ball, birthday parties, friends, summer camp, family vacations, and lots of piggy back rides. One day, it all came crashing down. He was diagnosed HIV+. Those days dabbling in heroin and sharing needles came back to rear its ugly head. He handed my mother a death sentence. From husband to executioner. I was 8 years old when this all happened. They told me it was cancer. Know one really understood the disease at the time, let alone how to explain it to a child. He was dead within a year. My whole world started changing fast. Soon after his death, my mother started to deteriorate. I watched her wither away from a robust, beautiful woman to a frail skeleton draped with skin. Eyes yellow. Hair thin. Voice weak. She was emaciated. A walking corpse. I watched her die before my eyes. It was a slow and painful death. AIDS is a nasty bitch. She was dead shortly after I turned eleven. Both of my parents were gone. It hurt deeply. I would cry myself to sleep. I was angry, alone, scared, and lost. I was a ward of the state.
Fortunately, my Godmother (my mother's sister, my favorite aunt) and her husband took me into their home to care for me as one of their own. I was fortunate. I could've ended up in the foster care system. I moved in and adjusted to my new normal. My new life. New neighborhood. New friends. New school. New parents. New siblings. New bed. A new normal. Round peg in a square hole. I managed. I played the part. They made life comfortable for me. Things were good for a while. Good school, good neighborhood, good friends. I played sports, I learned an instrument, had girlfriends. Got in trouble. They helped me get my first car. They helped me get into college. But, under the facade of normalcy, there was darkness. My uncle was tough—old school I guess you could call it. Proud. Ego-driven. Hard guy to be around. Street smart. Strong opinions. Strong fists to back it up. A true Alpha. He had his demons. A career criminal. He clocked cars for profit. The Feds eventually caught up with his scheme; he served 6 months in Fort Knox penitentiary. Karma's a bitch they say.
My aunt struggled with alcohol. We'd say she was an alcoholic, but she'd deny it. Classic. They fought a lot. It was ugly. The fights were brutal. She'd get drunk, he'd get angry, she'd get defensive. She'd sleep it off and wake up the next day like nothing happened. This was their normal. This was my new life. This became my normal. I missed my old life. I missed my mother. I was angry still. I was alone. These people seemed crazy. I was scared and confused. I was 17. It was the early 2000's. The family was a mess. The shit had hit the fan. I had to get out, it was toxic. They needed to sort their lives out. So I took out every loan I could and went away to college. I was scared, but excited. Life seemed promising. I was fearless. I was 18. I was pure potential.
After college I got a job doing pharmaceutical marketing and management. Great money, great benefits, corporate slave. I married my high school sweetheart. We bought a house. We started a family. My wife opened her own beauty salon. We were living the American Dream. In the background, my aunt's drinking got worse. She refused to get help. Her addiction was affecting everyone around her. It was bringing everyone down. She always played the victim. I couldn't handle it. I shouldn't have to handle it. I shouldered enough pain. This was someone else's burden to bear. It was time for me to let go. It was toxic. I had a new family to care for. I had a career to focus on. We grew apart.
How does any of this relate to my pursuit of health and wellness? Well, my story is real. This is my life. It sucked at times, but I persevered and made it through the darkness. I could've let it destroy me, but I managed to turn negative to positive. We all have a story to tell. And some of us didn't fare so well. Some of us got beaten down and stayed down. Some of us developed nasty habits to cope with the sadness. Eating, drugs, alcohol, etc. Some of us hate the people we've become. And some of us care enough to do something about it. Maybe that's why you're still reading. Maybe you want to change. Maybe you're ready to change. Ready to let go of the past and embrace a new, healthier lifestyle. Maybe you don't know where or how to start. I am here to help you regain control and take back your life. Because it's never too late to change. It's never too late to take the reins. It's time to start seeing life through different lenses. It's time to stop making excuses and start doing what's necessary to save your self. It's time you choose you. It's time you embrace the TREWTh. It's time.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” —Lao-tzu
I hope that through my complete transparency I am able to inspire and motivate you to take that single step towards a better, healthier, happier and more fulfilling life. A life that you're excited to live. And a life that enables you to pay it forward.
The TREWTh will set you free.