RISER of the Month July 2023: Jess King
In January 2021, Jess King decided to participate in her first RISE Challenge. Committing to the Challenge mostly out of curiosity, her expectations were exceeded when she saw how the Challenge solidified and aligned with her own pillars of wellness.
As a physician assistant in interventional pain management and a lifestyle medicine practitioner, Jess saw how her professional background and alignment in wellness goals with that of could be a win for the whole RISE community. “I asked Carin (Fanter) if the team wanted any help in the fall of 2021 and the rest is history,” says Jess.
While Jess started as an extra set of eyes and brainstormer, her role quickly grew. “I am now enjoying my role as a Challenge Lead,” she says. “I curate the Rise recipe book, share nutritional content, develop relevant new material to present and help organize meetings and parties. I ensure our programming is consistent with the most up to date nutritional science information.”
In addition to leading RISE Challenges, Jess made a fast (and we mean fast!) impression in RISE classes. From bootcamp to barre, she puts in a full effort in every class she attends and has made RISE classes a regular part of her fitness regimen. To date, she has made it to over 600 RISE classes in a few short years.
We’re beyond appreciative and feel beyond lucky to have Jess as a part of our community. Congrats Jess on being named RISER of the Month. Read on for more on why Jess chooses to RISE.
Tell us a bit more about why you decided to make nutrition and wellness a career path. By chance, in college, I was surrounded by people that grew up in nutrition and “food as fuel” focused homes. One of my then roommates is of Italian descent and grew up with home cooked, made from scratch meals. She introduced me to so many fresh, easy, delicious foods and meals. Before I met her I thought the only type of cheese was American. My husband and I met my sophomore year and when he took me to the farm where he grew up, his mom and I bonded over farm fresh food and meals. I was hooked on learning more and becoming a better cook. After my sophomore year, I changed my major from architecture to food science and human nutrition. I worked in food science after graduation managing food safety and quality assurance programs for different types of clients. After a few years, I decided to go back to school and get my Masters degree in Medical Science and Physician Assistant Studies. Being a perpetual student and having my own battle with autoimmune disease led me to recently obtaining an additional board certification in Lifestyle Medicine. I have seen that there are so many facets of wellness that should be utilized in conjunction with modern medicine and really try to work that into my practice.
What is your No. 1 hope for RISE clients and Challenge participants?
My goal is to motivate Challengers to continue evolving on their wellness journey. I hope Challengers walk away knowing that making small sustainable changes will reap incredible benefits.
What’s your athletic background?
Growing up, I was a competitive gymnast and dancer for many years. In high school, I was a cheerleader and swimmer/diver and also played field hockey and tennis. I went on to play varsity tennis at University of Illinois.
What’s your best healthy living tip?
No excuses on the good days. Give yourself grace on the bad days. Love yourself always.