The Pendulum Swing.

Since I’ve moved from Chicago to California in 2016, I have become the byproduct of a massive pendulum swing. I’ve swung from one side of not only the country to the other but one life to the other with immense force. I’d be skeptical but I really do see a majority of my swinging as the result of both learning about the world outside of my Midwest bubble and from exiting a small confinement of unhealthy/abusive relationships, surroundings, and habits, and finally realizing It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way. I think it’s within the same vein as people changing after traveling and living abroad or experiencing a big life event in general. I just seem to have made so many changes that I’m not sure I very much resemble the person I ever was. It's proven interesting to say the least and one enormous step forward away from a lot of struggle and pain to being a genuinely happy person. One of the biggest changes has been in my health.

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To put this into perspective:

I was a pack a day smoker for 6+ years and quit cold turkey.
I was taking anti-anxiety medication, birth control, Meloxicam for joint pain, over the counter pain pills, antibiotics, and so on, and I stopped my intake of all of them upon the decision that everything that goes into my body from that moment forward would be natural.
Two years ago, I got really serious about my health and started taking products that would help to reverse the damage I’ve done to my body on a DNA level. 
I grew up on a processed, carb-heavy diet. Extra sugar. Enriched everything. White bread, Oreos, Spaghettio’s, McDonald’s and all. Today, I’m on a Slow Carb diet and eat primarily organic food, limited to no sugar, no processed foods, and no dairy. I’ve found unbelievable results in my health from making these changes alone.
I started ‘counting calories’, overexercising, and purposefully throwing up my food at 13, and I now have a more scientific and realistic understanding of fitness, the human body, how our diet affects us, and body image. Most importantly, I now possess a sense of self-love and now know in my heart that progression does not come at the cost of mental health.
I also stopped heavily drinking whiskey and Dr. Pepper with friends around a card table and now greatly limited my alcohol intake to a minuscule glass of wine whenever my husband picks out a bottle he thinks will pair nicely with dinner.
Impossible to skip over that—yes, I’m married. To the most wonderful, respectful, loyal, genuinely good man, I’ve ever known.
I grew up either an agnostic or an atheist, and I have found my faith. These are two of the most transformative, beautiful relationships I’ve ever committed my life to, and above anything else in my life, the most important.
And more, I’m certain. There’s more to the way that I behave, communicate, love, and commit. The way that I work, view life, money, business, people, and relationships. The way that I now take care of my friends. It is all different. I was, at a time, severely depressed with anxiety so bad that my high school counselors severed my schedule in half so that I wouldn't have to attend full days. I am now, usually, one of the happiest people in the room.

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I have to tell you that as someone who spent their entire life thinking that art and photography was their sole direction, you wouldn’t have been able to pay me a million dollars to even consider that health and fitness may one day possibly become something I’d additionally grow passionate about.

So, to keep what is supposed to be an introduction from becoming a small novella, I have a lot I hope to share with you. This insane journey of mine. The infections I’ve treated naturally. My misdiagnosis. A dramatic ER visit with a simple solution. Why I ditched western medicine and what I replaced it with. How I got turned on to gymnastics strength training. All of it. If I’ve learned anything in the last two or so years, it’s that so many of us are struggling with our health—uncertain what our options are. I really, really wish I would have known. And now that I'm in this, I can’t help but share with you what I've been learning.

Having all of that said, I so welcome you to ask questions. Let me know what you want me to share. What’s actually going to be useful to you? I'm all ears.

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Featuring: Nike (shoes), Onzie (pants), Champion (top/sports bra)
Photography: Spencer Backman