RMNAAFA Member Spotlight: Debi Nault

Debi grew up in a family that moved around a lot while she was growing up. Her father worked for NASA doing satellite tracking and that sent the family trekking! When she was seven she spent three years living in Chili. There she learned to speak the language fluently and was even mistaken for a local. That may sound funny since Debi is so fair but much of Chili has a Scandinavian influence so there are many blondes that live there. With all of the transfers Debi attended five elementary schools, two middle schools, and three high schools. Debi graduated from Colorado State University in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in Social Work and an associate degree in fine arts.

In 1985 Debi moved with her family from Fort Myers Florida to Fort Collins Colorado.

Family is very important to Debi. She is the proud aunt of a nephew and two nieces. Debi is also taking care of her father as he battles with cancer. Our prayers are with her during this difficult time.

Debi is employed by the Larimer County Sheriff's Department as a Mental Health Therapist. She works at the Larimer County Detention Center where she evaluates the mental status of the prisoners, is in charge of crisis management and does suicide assessments. Her job is never the same from day to day and offers her many challenges. Hearing her talk about her work is a real eye opener much different then anything most of us have been exposed to.

Debi has many interests. As illustrated by her Fine Arts degree she loves art. She is a water colorist, which no doubt helps to balance out the stress she faces at work. She also loves to swim and is delighted with how much our chapter has incorporated swimming in our social events. She had her picture featured in Radiance magazine's 2000 swimsuit edition along with the other members of Rocky Mountain NAAFA that went to Glenwood Springs last February. Swimming is one of the many things she shares with her nieces and nephew. Being from Florida Debi says she gets "beach withdrawal" if she doesn't get back to Florida at least once a year. Her dream is to someday have a home in Colorado as well as one on the Florida beach. Reading is also a pastime of Debi's. She enjoys Robert Lewis Stevenson and is always up for a good murder mystery.

Debi first heard about NAAFA about four years ago. She saw an ad in a fat friendly magazine and joined. About two years later JeanMarie revived our local chapter and Debi joined the Rocky Mountain Chapter of NAAFA.

It has been great having Debi as one of our members. Her 1999 Halloween costume is legendary. For those of you that were not at the party Debi came as a dragon fly. The wings that she had handmade were awesome and had a span to match. I am still in awe that she put the entire costume together that day!

Debi has graciously invited us to use the clubhouse at her Fort Collins town home complex for one of our social events. It will be great to extend our social events north since we do have a few members up that way.

Debi is another example of what makes our local chapter so rich and strong. Debi says that what NAAFA has given her is a pure, safe environment were she feels completely excepted. She feels free and joyous at our gatherings with no worries about her size or how she may be different from others. Debi had a good self-esteem before but feels NAAFA has helped her there as well. I think we can all relate to those same feelings.

The Member Spotlight column is the work of Patti Kelly.

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