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“I have really put a priority on my health. Having cancer changes your priority on everything.”
Kirk Nurmi has walked through an incredible journey over the past few years. After being assigned to represent notorious boyfriend-killer Jodi Arias, Nurmi’s life, at times, seemed like a reality TV show. One that he never wanted to be the star of.
Nurmi was thrust into the center of a media circus as he tried to save the life of one of the most hated women in America. And that is just the beginning of the story. Along the way, Nurmi very publicly lost 75 pounds — and found out he had cancer.
It was August of 2015 when Nurmi became concerned about a growth under his arm. A month later, he received the news no one wants to hear. Cancer. The diagnosis was Stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“I came forward about it is because so many interviews I’ve heard inspired me in terms of the people who had gone through it and survived it,” Nurmi says. The diagnosis came just months after he was finally freed of his responsibility as Arias’ attorney.
“A lot of people thought I wanted to be there, sought her out as a client, wanted to be in front of the cameras.”
This is how Nurmi came to title his book “Trapped With Ms. Arias”.
In his book, he writes that he was forced to represent a manipulative and intimidating client who was sexually inappropriate and “very disturbed.”
What is Jodi Arias really like as a person? “That is probably the million dollar question,” Nurmi says. He likens it to “dealing with a really intelligent 5 year old.”
“You know that children are impulsive, narcissistic, and short sighted in their thinking. Imagine dealing with that every day,” he says of Arias who is now serving a life sentence for killing Travis Alexander.
“To fully get a visual of what Ms. Arias did to my brain you would have to find some fecal matter, throw it into the pan, add a chopped up dead rat and scramble the whole mess up. Once completely cooked this concoction would then approximate the effect that Ms. Arias would have on my brain.”
When asked about the most shocking moment during the high-profile trial — which was live streamed to the media every day — Nurmi says he was shocked to hear someone had sold their ticket to sit in the gallery (for two hundred dollars).
It was officially a three ring circus.
The trial and intense media coverage took an emotional toll on Nurmi and his wife. In between trials, he lost 75 pounds. Not because of stress, he says. Rather, he made a commitment to some major lifestyle changes. Perhaps one way to gain a little bit of control in a world that was wildly spinning.
Nurmi says he lost the weight “the old fashioned way” with a calorie reduction plan. He reduced his daily intake to 1200-1600 calories and increased his activity. He believes no fancy diet plan is needed. Nurmi wrote a book about his weight loss journey in which he encourages people to “create their own idea of what might work” and “be invested in that program.”
For Kirk Nurmi, weight loss was just part of an ongoing battle for better health. At the time of our interview, he was about to undergo his final chemotherapy treatment, and was looking forward to the next chapter in his life. One he says will focus on education, enlightenment, and moving forward.
“I wanted to define myself because there were so many misconceptions about myself as Jodi Arias’ former lawyer. I am more than that.”