Hi friends! I’m so excited you’ve found your way to this page and are interested in following along with my journey to a healthy life. First, because it means someone other than my mom and aunt are reading this. Second, because I think living a healthy life is much better when it is shared with others. I am by no means a professional in any way, shape, or form when it comes to health, but wanted to share what I have learned in hopes it might help someone else along the way.
If we haven’t met yet, hi! I’m Jackie, a single twenty-something living in Downtown Raleigh. I am born and raised in North Carolina and love it here. I went to Elon University and lived in Costa Rica for a semester during college. I have to say I love traveling just as much as being home. (Fun fact: I set a goal for 2017 to take 30 flights… and I did it!) Nashville is my current favorite place to visit, and somewhere tropical is on my to-do list ASAP. When I’m actually at home for a weekend, you can usually find me baking cookies (or more often protein muffins), going to Boxcar (the local bar + arcade), or spending time with my family (I have 16 cousins under 10). I like to say yes to adventures, try new restaurants, and incorporate healthy habits into my every day life.
My journey to a healthier life started pretty unhealthy. Around Christmas of 2015 I got what I thought was a sinus infection. In February of 2016 I was on a ski trip had suffered from terrible headaches and asthma issues that were worse than normal. (This picture looks fun, when in reality I was on the struggle bus.) These two events started what was probably the hardest year (mentally and physically) of my life. I proceeded to go to doctor after doctor and my symptoms got worse and worse. During 2016 I saw my primary care doctor more times than I can count, an asthma specialist, an allergy specialist (I now know I’m allergic to cats and dogs), an ENT, a neurologist, a dentist (I now have a mouthguard), an optician (I now wear glasses), a physical therapist, and a chiropractor. I was on SO MANY rounds of antibiotics and steroids, had blood drawn way too much for someone who passes out with needles, got a CT and MRI, and did a lot of really weird really random “physical evaluations.” During this year my energy was down, I was cancelling plans with friends left and right, I always had a headache, I always wanted to sleep, I always felt nauseous, my motor skills were off (like I couldn’t put a lid on a water bottle some days), and I just knew something wasn’t right. As I saw more and more doctors with no answers I was more and more open to trying alternative ideas. I went gluten free for a month, dairy free for a month, vegan for a month, cut out all chemicals (cleaning supplies, make up, preservatives in food… I now love essential oils), and was open to anything.
Once I was open to anything it was my physical therapist and chiropractor who finally cracked the code. Many don’t consider these “real doctors” but I now swear by them and would do literally anything my chiropractor said to at this point. It was the chiropractor who brought up my leg length discrepancy. This is an issue I “dealt with” when I had surgery in 5th grade. Long story short my right leg is longer than my left leg. There was almost a 2 inch difference, I had surgery to stop the growth of my right femur at my knee when I was 11, now there is under a 1 inch difference. This causes functional scoliosis where my spine isn’t bent, but it curves due to my legs and hips being uneven. It turns out… I didn’t totally deal with it when I was 11. The slight difference was causing nerves in my spine (I have no idea how to explain this, but like I said my chiropractor rocks), my muscles on my right side to be in constant spasm, and these issues went all the way up my back into the base of my skull… thus causing ALL the issues I had been experiencing. I guess my knee, and hip, and back pain had ultimately been linked to all the craziness.
Once we figured this out I spent a lot of time (and money) with my physical therapist and chiropractor, and was able to get myself back to something that resembled normal. Except this was a new normal. I now knew that everything I did or ate or thought affected my life. I had cleaned up my diet, detoxed my apartment, and found comfort in new active living routines. As the new normal was starting a friend introduced me to Tone It Up. I was all for a nutrition plan (your girl here loves Taco Bell) and fitness community, but I definitely said over my dead body when it came to a fitness Instagram account. Well guess what… here I am. Instagram account, and now blog, on my journey to being healthier and happier. Tone It Up helped make my new normal the best normal I have ever had. Tone It Up opened the door to an active lifestyle and optimistic outlook. Life now is so much more than being sick or doing Tone It Up. It is about living life. I have made friends, learned I love foods (like brussel sprouts!), and opened up a whole new side of me… and I’m excited to share it with you.
DISCLOSURE: I do work with select affiliate programs. If you click certain links or purchase items through links on the blog, I may make a commission. I will always disclose if a post is sponsored, and I would never lead you to products I don’t believe in.