- Editor's Note -

Our Lives in These Pages

How the Experience Life team’s real-life experiences influence our coverage of healthy-living topics.

headshot of Jamie Martin

In “Fearless Health” of the December issue of Experience Life you’ll hear from contributing editor Jill Metzler Patton about how her breast-cancer diagnosis a decade ago changed how she makes healthy choices. She no longer does it out of fear, but as a way of further embracing life, despite all its ups and downs and what-ifs.

“Strong Body Strong Mind: My Favorite Workout” reveals senior editor Maggie Fazeli Fard’s current go-to workout: a glute-building superset that is fun and accessible for most people, whatever their fitness level.

Make your way to “Jane Meronuck’s Success Story” to read production director Jane Meronuck’s firsthand account of her rare cancer diagnosis — and her road to recovery. Her struggles and triumphs over the past two years have had a profound effect on our entire staff.

In any given year, many of the articles you read in these pages are inspired by the real lives of the Experience Life team — the good, the bad, and everything in between.

Other articles, while not directly about our team members, come out of their latest research, interests, and, let’s be honest, obsessions. Take these four examples from this issue:

  • “The Joy of Cheese” was born out of features editor Courtney Helgoe’s personal passion for this oft-vilified food. Cheese does, she emphasizes, deserve more credit and ­— for many of us — a place on our plates.
  • “A New Leash on Life: Rob Kugler,” this issue’s cover story, was pitched after dog lover and senior editor Heidi Wachter read Marine Corps veteran Rob Kugler’s inspiring and heartbreaking memoir about his yearlong road trip with his beloved canine companion Bella.
  • “How to Avoid Knee Pain” is the result of several team members sharing stories of friends and family who are dealing with knee problems — and facing tough choices about how to address those issues.
  • “Why Touch Matters” is one that senior editor Kaelyn Riley repeatedly advocated for based on recent research about how a lack of touch affects our health and well-being. It’s a sensitive topic and we hedged on it for a while before striking the just-right-for-us angle to handle it.

When I look back at the 2019 issues of Experience Life, I can spot articles inspired by every single member of our team. It’s one of the things I love most about working at a publication about experiencing life: We’re all doing it, day in and day out, with our unique histories, perspectives, passions, and approaches.

And we bring all of that to the table with every planning and review session. Like all of you, we’re leading real lives, facing real challenges — and needing real answers.

Yes, we report on the latest trends (nutrition topics like CBD oil and the ketogenic diet, for instance), but our primary goal is to cover the subjects that we know are affecting our readers in their daily lives. And often, it’s because we or someone we know is dealing with that issue, too.

Though it can sometimes seem that we’re alone with our challenges, there are others out there who are experiencing something similar. In these articles, they just might find the information and inspiration they need to make a change, ask for help, or try something new.

Stories have the power to connect all of us, reassure us, and give us hope — and that’s why we share ours with you. One issue at a time.

is Experience Life’s editor in chief. Follow her on Instagram @jamiemartinel.

Photography by Sara Rubinstein

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