Optimum Wellness LLC  - "Life is not merely being alive, but being well. " Martial
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Jackie Mart
 

My journey is of self-love.  I struggled with negative body image, weight issues, and an eating disorder for 12+ years. It was a vicious cycle of anorexia, binging/purging and over-exercising (an addiction). I would look in the mirror and despise what I saw. The first time I remember hating myself and my body was in third grade after I got glasses. I thought I looked ugly and started comparing myself to my friends. This carried over into high school and college where my eating disorder took over my life and continued on until I hit rock bottom 3 years after getting divorced. I was in and out of the emergency room and hospital a few times and was ultimately killing myself. My lowest weight: 103 pounds = skin and bones.  I felt horrible and worthless and wanted to die. Being a model didn’t help the problem…constant criticizing and pressure to be “thin.” 

The turning point: my 30 birthday. When I realized I needed to change or I would be dead before I was 31. No family, no career, no future, no children of my own. I took a stand and decided I wanted to change. I could easily blame my disorder and issues on my perfectionist personality or lack of a positive female role model in my life, but that would be wrong. We make our own choices in life. Just because you grew up in an unhealthy and unfit family does not mean you have to be the same. Take charge of your life! :-) Am I 100% fully healed? No, I take things one day at a time = a work in progress.

My holistic health/wellness path began in 2006 when I was first introduced to organic food and alternative medicine in the small town of Carroll, Iowa. I was very involved with establishing a local food cooperative there by volunteering as the Secretary of the Board of Directors, Member Services Director, Editor and Creator of their monthly newsletter, Healthy Happenings. I am a holistic nutritionist, life coach, certified group exercise and indoor cycle instructor and have worked with gyms, private personal training studios, natural food co-ops and chiropractic/wellness clinics. I also have experience working as a health and body care manager and marketing assistant for a natural food store in the Twin Cities and as well as teaching community education classes and corporate wellness programs throughout the state of Minnesota, Twin Cities Metro area, and northwest Iowa. 

 
I believe the best way to take in nutrients is how Mother Nature intended - through the foods we eat.  I focus on Traditional Healing Foods (avoiding modern food processing) as much as possible because organic whole, nutrient-dense foods support health and healing.  Food should be viewed as fuel and nourishment for our bodies; what we put into it should reflect the love we have for ourselves.  Many people use and abuse food to distract them from their emotions and life. (Myself included)

My mission:  EDUCATING while offering a positive support system.  I measure success by the number of lives I’ve positively impacted! The road to health always begins with self-love! 
 

 

When I am not working I enjoy running, biking, rollerblading, snowshoeing, yoga, outdoor activities, coffee shops, red wine, acoustic music, art, movies, making up-cycled jewelry, modeling, volunteering, blogging and reading. 
  
 





Education and Training:
 
Holistic Nutrition Consultant Degree, Global College of Natural Medicine
Bachelor of Arts in Education, University of Northern Iowa
NETA certified Group Exercise Instructor 
NETA Indoor Group Cycle Certification
BOSU Integrated Balance Training
BOSU Complete Certification
CPR/AED certified
Hopi Ear Candling Certification 
National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) registered public speaker


 
Memberships:
 
National Association of Nutrition Professionals