Our Health Journey
(written from both our perspectives)
When the two of us met, we thought we were the pictures of perfect health. We thought we looked good, were both fit, constantly in the gym, and consumed a diet of fat-free and only diet sodas (can’t even write that without shaking my head in disgust). Faith decided around that time that she was going to get even healthier .. so she became a vegetarian. And was for about 2 years.
It wasn’t long until the symptoms started.
Actually some of the things we were feeling had felt like “normal” for so long. It is only now, that they are gone, that we can look back and know they were actually symptoms of something deeper (hindsight’s 20/20, huh?).
Faith’s GI track shut down completely which lead to a myriad of colonoscopies, a diagnosis of GERD (also known as “we have no clue what is wrong”), hormonal imbalances, extreme pain during her cycle that we later found out to be endometriosis (you know, the disease where they tell you that getting pregnant isn’t an option) and extreme fatigue. One time, I woke up to hearing Faith crying and found her cradled around the toilet, unable to talk or move (extremely scary to find, as a husband). I had to carry her to the car and rush her to the Emergency Room.
Jonathan’s main symptoms were totally different, including extreme fatigue and joint pain (both of which he thought was normal), and just thought it was due to getting older and having a “real job” (at 26, mind you 🙂 ), irritability, low libido, chronic sinus congestion, infections, and the list goes on and on. Also, raccoon eyes (dark circles under the eyes) appeared constantly whether functioning off 1 hour of sleep or 10 hours.
At that time in our lives, Faith had been a color specialist in a salon and an educator for the product company Aveda. During the beginning of our health journey, God opened up a door for Faith where she became more passionate about what we were learning in nutrition than she was with hair, and she decided to quit the salon industry and totally change careers. I, Jonathan, said “are you sure you heard God right”, not wanting DINK (double income, no kids) to disappear, if I can be honest. That was my own insecurity. At that time, I used to joke that she was my sugar mamma, making twice as much as me while working half as much as me. She quickly received certifications in both nutrition and detoxification and eventually became a trainer for one of the leading specialists in cellular inflammation, which is when our eyes really started opening up to our own health.
Through this career change, we learned about the critical role of eating fat for your brain-health, cellular function and healing (SHOCKING new information for us). We were eating fat-free and sugar-free, like most everyone else. But then we learned of the role that toxins play in making us sick as well, such as estrogen mimickers in soy (which was the foundation of Faith’s diet being vegetarian), plastics, perfumes .. you get the gist. We quickly learned that these toxins were lurking in all of our personal care products. HELLO?! .. Faith’s career as a stylist was inundated here!
Additionally, the toxins were found in tons of food additives (you know, we were the healthy ones because we were drinking DIET cokes *still shaking our heads now*). But it got really serious for us as we learned more about heavy metals and Bio-toxins like Lyme and Mold (all of which became a much greater part of our health story, actually, as you’ll see below). And lastly, we also learned the actual DANGERS of sugar and GMO (genetically-modified) grains (Faith’s family history was centered around carbs, and has the health records to match it).
It didn’t take a rocket scientist to quickly discover our diet was COMPLETELY WRONG, and our lifestyles were totally toxic! Through much research and tests (Faith stayed up all hours of the night diligently seeking answers for both of our health), we both discovered extremely high levels of mercury and lead in our bodies that played a HUGE contributing part in many of our symptoms.
So we committed to making CHANGES. Lots and lots of them.
Our new diet (we prefer calling it a lifestyle choice) consisted of eating HIGH fat (yep, LOTS and lots of fat), moderate proteins (even animal ones) and low to no sugar (grain free mostly), and we removed all processed items with preservatives and additives. Our pantry cleanout included standing over the trash and shoveling our processed crap into the trash. There was no “let’s just finish it off and then start this new lifestyle”. We were committed. We had enough of being sick, especially now having the solutions right in front of us.
With our personal care products, we changed absolutely EVERYTHING. We still reminisce about the day where we chose to throw away all of our expensive and toxic colognes and perfumes (and thousands of dollars in professional beauty and make-up products that had accumulated over many years). We had SO MANY of these chemical fragrances that we were soaking our bodies with daily .. but that day especially was one of those pivotal days where we decided our health came first. Over time we got rid of all plastics and Teflon in our home, we quit microwaving (our microwave has been used as storage for a decade!), as well as removed aluminum, fluoride and synthetic fragrance products from our home. Our new lifestyle change also included adding proper supplement regimens (no more synthetic vitamins and supplements from the local bulk-food stores) as well as some intense heavy metal detoxing for both of us.
(Changing our lifestyle included eliminating the use of the microwave, so it's now storage. And yes, we love some Bone Broth Protein 🙂 )
Shortly after making these changes, Faith had NO hormone imbalances and NO endometriosis (note: our precious little HEALTHY angel is HERE, so TAKE THAT endometriosis diagnosis! 😉 ). She’s also consistently experiencing high-sustained energy.
Jonathan was somewhat better in energy (the 8 - 5 desk job no longer exhausted me .. yes, seriously, just sitting at a desk from 8 – 5 exhausted me), but the joint pain would still come and go and the other symptoms were still present. He would often “crash” every time we would try to heavy metal detox him. This is where we discovered his Lyme disease and metal sensitivity. More on the discovery of Lymes disease in a minute.
In 2002, I (Jonathan) had an extensive surgery to correct an under bite. It’s pretty intense (called Oral Maxillofacial surgery), where they completely sawed and removed my upper jaw from my skull, broke it in three places, and then put it back in a new position with 3 plates and 16 screws. Sounds lovely, right? Sorry for the graphic image. My recovery was extensive, including wasting away to 160 lbs (at 6” 4’) and not having feeling in my face for 9 months while the nerves grew back together.
Fast forward many years, we discovered that I was allergic to the metal(s) that they placed in my mouth .. meaning, what they placed in my skull, that close to my brain, was slowly killing me (the surgical notes even stated that my body IMMEDIATELY began to fill with mucous and react/reject to the metal materials that were being placed in, but they just stitched me up anyway). Knowing this was killing me and destroying the quality of life that I had, it was a no-brainer to have a follow-up surgery and get those plates and screws removed immediately. When I had the metal removed, I told Faith on the ride home “I can already breathe better” .. just 10 minutes after the surgery. I have had NO more congestion and chronic sinus infections since!
(picture above shows plates and screws on X-ray and Cone Beam scan, and bottom right image shows the plates and screws after being removed)
.. two weeks later I crashed. Hard. Harder than I ever had, actually. I had massive extreme fatigue and joint pain, and an overall malaise and irritability. I just felt downright awful. I was very active daily, and in the gym 5 days a week. During this time, I couldn’t squat (with no weight) without falling to the ground. My knees would just give out on me from weakness and pain.
This was when we discovered Jonathan had Lyme disease (a silent epidemic). The numbers of cases each year is mind-boggling, yet they are very rarely diagnosed properly. One problem is that Lyme can mimic over 22 other diseases, so many people have been treated for one disease, when in actuality it has been Lymes Disease. We believe we will be hearing a lot more about chronic Lyme in the coming years, as more and more Doctors as well as the CDC are paying attention. Jonathan was at a point where he said he wanted Lymes Disease, for the sole fact that at least we now knew what we were working with. Having Lymes meant we no longer had to search for the root cause. We were confident that we could eradicate it with the Doctors and resources that we now had in our lives.
We put him through an intense protocol (almost 12 months worth) and he still does some maintenance today, but we are so proud to report that ALL SYMPTOMS have reversed! Jonathan says so often that each day he gets older, he actually feels younger and feels better (physically) than he did in his teens and 20’s! No fatigue, NO joint pain and his muscle tone is better than ever (hubba hubba 🙂 ).
All of this spurred our passion to help people that were like us and that had NO CLUE how much better life CAN BE! We’ve heard too many people say “this is just life, and this is just how you feel”. What we learned was that just because we THINK we are healthy, doesn’t mean we are! I, Jonathan, ate fast food for 3 meals a day during college, and stayed skinny, so I equated health with how small my waist was. I had no clue how sick I was and the path that I was on.
Often times we think that when a diagnosis is given to us, it JUST happened, when in reality it has been building for YEARS and we just didn’t know it. This was one of the drivers that lead us to create Fortified Health Club, where we offer wellness programs for corporations and individuals to teach more about the topics mentioned above that literally had changed (better yet, SAVED) our lives. We have had some AMAZING testimonies! Gah, that has been the most fun for us, seeing people’s lives change. That drives us daily!
But one thing we learned that SHOCKED us totally was that, in general, people do not care to make changes unless their symptoms are presenting bad enough. Sad but true. We’ve watched countless individuals not make those changes until their health was so bad, that they knew they needed to then. Many times, unfortunately, it was too late. The disease or damage done was just too much, and the body couldn’t recover. Our bodies are created amazingly, and God knew what He was doing in the intricate design, but there’s only so much abuse it can take. We are big advocates of the PREVENTION of disease, but realize that we can’t make others care about that. We have the tools to help others, but it takes the commitment and desire from others for change to occur.
Our mission has not changed. We are STILL in the business of helping and educating people on their health and wellness, because we have a passion for the next generations. But now, we just go about it differently.
And this is where essential oils come into our story.
We decided instead of trying to get folks to make massive changes that they just aren’t ready for, we can simply meet them where they are. We share the power of essential oils as a bridge for them to go from “mainstream” to understanding a more traditional and non-conventional approach to health.
We wish we had the power of doTERRA essential oils back when we were fighting our illnesses; however, what we see today is still blowing our minds. We know we are healthy, but LIFE STILL HAPPENS .. we’re still prone to the headache, colds, cuts, scrapes, gas, burns, ant bites, yada yada yada, but we are seeing incredible results with essential oils and can’t help but share them with family, friends, loved ones and strangers.
And THAT is how most people that have partnered in business with us start with us .. with the LIFE stuff first. But, once we sit down and create a wellness plan for them and they get to see the true therapeutic action of these powerful tools working, their lives are changed. THEN, they are willing to listen to us on some other changes that can help them get the health freedom they ultimately deserve.
We don’t believe that the suffering from our sicknesses was in vain .. we know that God has given us wisdom, knowledge and authority due to these health challenges, for the sole purpose of sharing our knowledge with others and helping bring them to freedom.
Thanks for listening, and thank you to the many of you that supported us during these trying times. We would be honored to walk your wellness journey with you.
Want to hear why we chose to partner with and use doTERRA Essential Oils? That's a fun, interesting story. Read more about that story here.
You Might Also Like ..