Welcome to Amazing Assets!
My name is Tessa and I am current full-time student majoring in Public Health. As I have gotten older, health, fitness, nutrition, and running, have all become true passions. Much of my life now incorporates these, and I am now trying to treat my body with respect, both in the mental and physical aspect.
As a Public Health major, I hope to utilize my interests in a way that not only benefits myself, but improves the lives of others. I am not trying to sound like Miss America or anything, but living your life to its fullest, fulfilling and happiest potential, is a goal I now work toward everyday. I change my mind on a regular basis of my exact plans post-college. Nursing school is a desired option, but the idea of nutrition education and counseling, or even physical therapy, could work as well. I probably should figure this out eventually 🙂
Although vast improvements have been made, I have (and still am) struggled with habits of disordered eating. Restricting, over-exercising, rituals around food, irrational “rules” I have made up for myself, are all negative things I am currently fighting to get over. Life is so beyond meals and exercising and I maintain this thought to finally make a peace with food.
I thought it would be helpful to give you a bit information about back ground, and how I got to where I am today!
My Journey (so far!)
I have always been an active person. This began when I was a young kid, where my play-dates consisted of building forts outside, swimming during the summer, playing in the snow in the winter, etc. I also have two older brothers who are about five years older than I, and keeping up with their active adventures was always a goal of mine. I turned my love for physical activity into becoming a member of our local YMCA’s swim team. I continued swimming competitively until the end of my senior year in high school, a point where I was simply tired of the sport and was ready for something different.
After graduating high school in 2008, it was time to move to college, a transition I was truly not looking forward to. I was very close with my friends and family and was not ready to separate from them, yet college was the next step. I moved to the University of Vermont in the fall of 2008, where I experienced the most miserable and homesick year of my life. This school was not a good match for me I desired to go home, but decided to stick it out for the year to see if things improved. Unfortunately they did not and I ended up transferring to my current school, UMASS- Amherst, one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Beginning To Run
Luckily, there was one benefit of going to UVM, I realized my passion for running, a sport I am continuously improving in to this day. To deal with my sadness, I went went to the campus fitness center as a way to escape for a few hours, while becoming healthier. I knew from my history with swimming, that exercising helped boost your mood, a feeling I was missing. However, the monotony of the elliptical began to bore me, so I decided to try running, an activity I used to hate.
I started at low distances, maybe a mile or two at a time, then slowly built up distance and speed from there. The summer of 2009, before going to UMASS, was a time I took to work on my endurance, participated in a few road races, and realized that I was actually pretty decent at this formerly hated sport. I contacted the cross country coach at my new school, tried out for the team upon arrival, and made it! Being a member of my school’s cross country and track team has truly made my time at UMASS an amazing one. The girls on the team and I battle difficult practices, but also celebrate victories and achievements together.
At this time I am still on the team, and about to transition into the spring track season, where I will be mainly raising 5ks. I am so pumped for this season, and am hoping it is an improvement from last years.
As I mentioned, beneath the surface I am battling internal struggles. I have been dealing with disordered eating habits since I was 13 years old. I have gone through bad and better times with this, but last summer I reached a particularly low point, resulting in the loss of friends, too low of a weight, and constantly obsessing about food. It was slowly creepin in and taking over my life, and these habits would have become dangerous if my family had not intervened. Now, with the support of my two older brothers, mom, dad, a nutritionist and therapist, I am developing a better body image, and realizing that life is so beyond a crazy focus on food and exercising.
That is why I have the word “balance” in my subtitle, I am determined to maintain my healthy life style, while also seeking the joys that life has to offer!