Hi, I am “WARRIOR” Jill, the BIG PICKLE here at Chronically Fit Canada, and the host of THE PICKLE JAR PODCAST.

I have had a unique journey in life that has given me a perspective that has inspired my passion for Chronically Fit Canada.

At the age of 24, I was thrown into the pits of grief after the devastating death of my husband when I was pregnant with our son. That experience shattered me in immeasurable ways but I was also able to see the beautiful gifts I received in the kindness of others and I found a way to move forward in my life.

Five years later I lost my dad at the age of 56 to a rare auto-immune disease, Addison’s Disease. Taking the lessons I received from the death of my husband I furthered my degree in Applied Human Nutrition and became a personal trainer. My fire for wellness was re-lit and ready to burn bright!

Fast forward 6 years, I am 35 and a busy mom of 3 kids, a son and twin daughters with an in-home fitness studio. My instincts told me something was not right with my body. I knew I wasn’t well.

I slowly started to put the pieces of the puzzle together. I had joint pain, extreme fatigue, body temperature regulation issues, depression, salt cravings, and hyperpigmentation of my skin. I never felt rested despite sleeping 15 hours a day and realized over the course of a year I was sleeping an extra month. Something was seriously wrong.

I was quickly diagnosed with Addison’s Disease and started daily hormonal replacement.

With my experience with fitness and nutrition, I knew it was essential to take care of myself as best as possible through my fitness, nutrition and mental health. Despite everything I was “losing control” over, I knew there was a lot I still have control over. I refused to be told my quality of life would be compromised by my illness.

The last 12 years have had a lot of ups and downs as I learned to manage my illness. I now use a subcutaneous infusion pump, originally designed for diabetics and insulin, to supply my body with life-sustaining hydrocortisone (cortisol replacement therapy) 24 hours a day.

Along this journey, I have also discovered unconditional self-love and deepened my passion help others feel EMPOWERED in their own health.