Good afternoon! My name is Charles Nutt, and I live in Magalia, California, which is in Butte County. I am a self-advocate, Chair of Far Northern Regional Center’s Self Determination Advisory Committee, and Chair of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities North State Office’s Regional Advisory Committee.Image of a man wearing sunglasses, wearing a green polo like shirt with green suspenders, standing in front of a garage on a sunny day with redwood trees in the background.

Several years ago, I weighed 400 pounds! I started having health issues, so I knew I needed a change. I did not think I could change, but with determination and consistency, I was able to get myself down to 300 pounds. That brings us to the point in December of 2020, I was experiencing health problems and lots of pain.

I went to a kidney specialist, and I was diagnosed with Diabetes. The kidney specialist told me that I needed to lose more weight. So, I needed a plan to lose weight faster. So, I prayed for a solution, and I heard about a new service model being offered through the regional centers called Self-Determination and decided to sign up for this new kind of approach to my services.

I got involved in this new Self-Determination Program and learned about it through the Far Northern Regional Center and the State Council on Developmental Disabilities. I was appointed to the Self-Determination Advisory Committee, and now I’m the Chair. I put my name in the “soft rollout” and was eventually selected during the second round of the rollout.

Through the Self Determination Program, I created a plan to accomplish my dreams. Through my goals and planning, I developed my budget and spending plan. Through the budget, I was able to choose what I wanted. What I wanted was to purchase exercise equipment, including a treadmill, exercise bike, and BowFlex machine. I was also able to hire my own staff to help me with my goals and was able to pay him a decent wage out of my budget.

Through the support of my previous independent living skills worker, Steve, he helped me get from 400 pounds down to 300 pounds. By walking long distances, but that took us a couple of years. I needed more, so through the Self-Determination Program, I received my exercise bike and BowFlex machine, and my wife has bought us a treadmill.

Now, I needed structure. Through planning, I was able to have support from a health coach through my wife’s health insurance. The health coach gave me healthy ways of changing the way I eat and exercise and ways to live a more productive life. Through the coach, I was able to become accountable for the activities around losing weight.

In December of 2020, I found out that I needed surgery for a hernia, and the doctor was not going to do it until I got myself down to 255 pounds. Through the help of my staff and support through my Self-Determination Program and my persistence of accomplishing my goals, I was able to get myself down to 250 pounds. I accomplished my goals, and you can do it too.

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