A YEAR AGO, I WASN't LAUGHING


I can vividly remember a year ago. The unknown health challenges crept in and like most of us, I chalked it up to fatigue, work-related stress, trying to prepare for the holidays, family obligations, etc. I might not know the original trigger or source, but I do know one year ago I wasn't laughing.


Instead, I was hiding under the covers (watching season 1 of Virgin River), sleeping a lot, praying for the pounding in my head to stop, and finally get off the boat - the constant bobbing and swaying was the worst.


To think these headshots were taken almost exactly one calendar year from the start of these mysterious symptoms amazes me. At my worst, I didn't think smiling, feeling "normal" or healing holistically would be in the cards for me.


Friends, I'm here to tell you...


becoming dedicated and intentional with your health + wellness,


being intentional,


creating boundaries,

eating incredible well

(hello, plant-based gluten-free living),

and crowding out the

things,

people,

places,

and conversations


that no longer add value will help

"heal" you better than any medicine.


Yes, this sounds too good to be true, and let me tell you, if I didn't experience this first hand, I would agree. Yesterday, I had a 3-month checkup with my neurologist who was very pleased with my current status. My results from 3-months ago to now are off the charts, an improvement of about 25% simply from a change in mindset, diet, and supplements.


This wouldn't have happened if I remained the same person I was back in March of this year during the peak of my symptoms. I could be found crying, pleading with God and the Universe for a quick fix, instead, the right people were put in my path because I took action every single day to heal.


I aligned myself with a holistic health coach to transition to plant-based eating, I committed to daily journaling, walking 3-days a week with my dad no matter how cold, I turn off social media when the noise becomes too much. I maintained routine appointments with my chiropractor to make sure that my body was in alignment and could support me. My neurologist supported my transition to plant-based without hesitation or pushing prescriptions. And, my vestibular therapist, I am convinced is an angel. And to my family + friends, who didn't get annoyed, frustrated, or upset when all I did was cry, cancel plans, or have an off day.


None of this would have been possible if I "waited" for my health situation to change, I had to decide to change it.


I sure as heck am on a soapbox as I write this, but I truly believe in giving yourself a fighting chance. Do the dang work, put down the burger, fries, and shake and eat your vegetables, healthy carbs +fats. (FYI, 97% of humans are not getting enough fiber in their daily diet, just saying!)


Stopping being obsessed with the lives of strangers on the internet

and

become insanely obsessed with your own life.


At one point, I thought that I'd never pick up a camera again, feel like myself, or even attempt to work out, and here I am doing it all (with a tiny set back with the workouts and minor flare of symptoms) but I refuse to let one day go to waste. I truly hope that I never had a major health scare in the future, but know that should that happen, I am ready to take it on and keep on smiling.

Photo Credit + HairStyling + Makeup


I need to give a special thank you to my incredible friend, hairstylist, makeup artist, and photographer, Erica Colon. When you have felt so down in the dumps for a year, having a day of pampering, seeing your own beauty again, and a spark of confidence is an absolute gift. Erica, thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me an absolute day of pampering and glamour!