GWAS Girl In Media - Jessica Ainscough

Girl In Media – Jessica Ainscough, thewellnesswarrior blogger; journo; former online editor Dolly

After being diagnosed with Epithelioid Sarcoma (an aggressive and rare cancer) two years ago, Jessica Ainscough left the ACP building in Park Street and headed home to the Sunshine Coast to concentrate on getting well.

Exchanging "Puberty Blues" for health and nutrition tips, this former Dolly online editor now blogs at The Wellness Warrior. An endless source of information and inspiration, Jess is a force to be reckoned with. She talked to GWAS about her formative influences, career and working online after returning from a treatment stint in Mexico...

Deprived of brothers and sisters, I kept myself entertained by reading, painting and dreaming about owning a purple-horned unicorn. When I was about six or seven, I decided age-appropriate books were uninspiring and so began my obsession with Sweet Valley High novels. I spent so much time with my head in those books that one morning I woke up and thought my name was Jessica Wakefield (one of the book’s main characters). My parents saw that as a sign it was time to wean me off them. For that, I am eternally grateful.

My other childhood obsessions included the short-lived girl band Girlfriend, Kylie Minogue (in her "I Should Be So Lucky" days), The Baby-Sitters Club, Beverly Hills 90210, Clueless, Spice Girls, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Callan Mulvey, and Dolly and Girlfriend magazines.

Bente, the lady who worked at the local library in Walkerston, my home-town, introduced me to my first, longest and most loyal love – books. I went to that library every afternoon after school and stayed there until it closed. Nerd, I know.

My two year 12 English teachers were amazing and helped me discover the joy of writing. I went straight to university after high school. I did a bachelor of communications with a major in journalism and a minor in politics and international relations. At the time I wanted to grow up and be just like Liz Hayes from 60 Minutes. That was until I discovered how much more fun it is to write about girlie stuff.

In my last year of uni I flew to Sydney and did a three-week internship at Nine to Five magazine. I flew down again a couple of months later to fill in for their editorial assistant while she was on holidays. I was then offered a job as soon as I finished uni. After working for Nine to Five for two years, I applied for the online editor job at Dolly and was lucky enough to get it. That was a career dream come true.

At Nine to Five I got to do a bit of everything – from assistant tasks to writing, researching, searching for images, editing and reporting on the Sydney social scene (by far my favourite part). I learnt so much about the publishing world during that time. At Dolly my job was to create and edit all the content for their website. I wrote stories, quizzes, created slideshows and put together the weekly e-newsletters.

A day in the Dolly office involved music, lots of chatting, dress ups, hair curling, makeovers and A LOT of food. Dolly was an awesome office to work in. We worked hard, but for some reason it never felt like a chore. The atmosphere was just as you would expect for a teen mag. The magazine and the website were very much in sync. We worked together closely on special events and promotions. I had a producer at Ninemsn, but he was awesome and gave me complete editorial control over the site.

A magazine website should have content and articles that you won’t find in the magazine, loads of competitions and an easy to navigate yet visually stimulating design. It should also be updated daily. Teen mag websites have their own unique role in the media market and I think they will continue to grow in popularity, but I don’t think they will take the place of the magazine any time soon. Magazines and their websites have a co-dependent relationship. I think they both need each other equally to survive and thrive.

For the past two years I’ve been dealing with cancer and treating it with all natural methods. My life has been consumed by health and healing. I figured a blog would be the perfect way to share everything I’m learning while at the same time keeping my friends and family up to date with my progress.

Most of the content is born of my personal healing journey. I write about different things I’m doing to enhance my health as well as things I think will be interesting to people with cancer as well as those who are just interested in natural healing. I would love The Wellness Warrior to be a go-to website for anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer or just has an interest in taking control of their own health. A place where you can find natural healing tips and everyday healthy inspiration.

Every day, I wake up at 6am for my first coffee enema (don’t knock them ‘til you try them). At 8am I have breakfast and my first fresh veggie juice. Throughout the day I have a juice every hour and a coffee enema every four hours. In between that I meditate, prepare my food, research and write my blog, write freelance stories (if time permits) and play on Facebook.

Jess' top 5 go-to websites and blogs
1. Girl With a Satchel -
2. Natural News -
3. Crazy Sexy Life -
4. Daily OM -
5. Facebook -

Yours truly,
Girl In Media


Bee said...

What an inspiration you are Jessica! I really hope you get better soon.

You made getting a job in Sydney sound so easy but I'm sure it was lots of hard work on your part. I hope everything works out for you.


Dianne said...

What an inspiration - thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

My first thought: inspirational. Go Jessica. Keep shining and the blog you write looks amazing. The coffee enemas sound hard work?!

Lizzie said...

Thanks Erica - a great, inspiring media related post, that somehow doesn't quite seem like typical media :)

Rebecca said...

Inspirational interview. However, I hope people won't be encouraged to do coffee enemas after this! They deplete the body of potassium and therefore cause an imbalance in electrolytes with cases of death reported in the scientific literature. I assume Jessica is taking potassium supplements to combat this and is monitored by a health professional.