I don’t think I’ll change too drastically over the next twelve months, and from what I can tell, I am still thinking along the same lines as ever. But, I do have goals that I’m still working towards – some changes, but overall, still the same me

  • Complete all university assignments prior to due date
  • Raise CGPA to 3.5 or higher
  • IF; 16 hour fasting state, 8 hour nom window.
  • 24 hour Fast Jan 31
  • Complete a Whole30 challenge Feb 1st- Mar 4th.
  • Recommit to the lifting/cardio work out plan @ Planet Fitness beginning NLT Jan 17
  • Utilize Piyo as a back-up
  • Yoga to my heart’s content
  • Continue to learn Russian (duolingo/lingtwins)
  • Revitalize Spanish fluency


See… same old Tess, even if it is a new year.

I’d been on the fence about how to approach my health this year. I’ve come to accept that 2016 was a year of transition, of challenges, and I realize that because I was distressed the majority of the year, the way I handled food was more reactionary. I used food, the wrong foods, as a stress reliever instead of yoga, which I’d used previously. I’d considered forgoing healthy habits and fitness because “I have so much on my plate right now.” I have the same amount of stuff I’ve always had. I’ve always had work, school, children, and friendships – so that excuse is bullshit. I’d considered embracing my new body, and giving up the fight for health because of “body positivity.” BoPo is a GREAT movement. I encourage and applaud everyone involved and all who are cheered on by what proponents do – however, body positivity encourages a healthy relationship with food, movement, and yourself and those involved typically love and embrace their bodies. They are happy with their bodies and find ways to encourage inclusion in the mainstream. Even at my lightest, I may still be considered just left of the mainstream – but I digress. I am not positive about my body right now. I am positive about my body when I nourish it, when I move it, when I don’t fill it with garbage. I know what makes me happy, and how to treat myself when I’m happiest – whole foods, yoga, dance, and a normal exercise regiment. I gotta stop kidding myself.

And maybe, possibly, part of my habits and mindsets are part of an underlying mental wound that has never and will never fully heal. It’s not pleasant, but being a victim, whining about it, and doing nothing changes nothing. It’s up to me to take care of myself, to heal myself. I’m rebuilding in 2017. Greater than ever.

It’s up to you to do the same. Save yourself, from whatever ails you – be it food, drug, alcohol,  or unhealthy, unloving thought patterns, behaviors, and relationships. Another day spent spinning your wheels isn’t worth the pain, frustration, and despair. You don’t have to be perfect, the situation doesn’t have to be the best, and you don’t have to have all the information right this second – learn as you go, change as you go. But don’t wait. You have now. Make the most of it.


Not My favorite Time of the Year

The proceeding words are written by a person who becomes seasonally depressed. I’ve not yet been formally diagnosed. I only know my history, my patterns, and my experiences. I’ve been cautious to really go out on a limb and say that it is what affects me every fall and winter, but considering that this is my third fall in a row where I am indescribably sad for no good reason, it seems to be the only logical conclusion.

For the past three consecutive Septembers/Octobers, I’ve become dejected, moody, uninterested, and uncharacteristically sad. I thought that because I am in a new place with no one I know nearby that perhaps I was just dealing with a minor bout of the blues due to small twinges of isolation. But my friends and family are readily available by phone and I can communicate with them whenever need be. It is usually satisfying. After one such phone call today, I cried a bit, and then it struck me. It’s officially fall, the weather sucks, and it’s been a good seven days without any kind of sunlight. Hi, SAD. You’re a jerk. Go away.


Sometimes, naming the thing helps. Other tactics I will employ:

  • Vitamin D.
  • Omega- 3 (or maybe just eat more fishes)
  • Yoga (yeah, buddy)
  • Melatonin (for the sleeps)
  • Phototherapy (major lamp action)

I may be a bit of an Eeyore and that may suck, but I’m not going to just sit here and take it.



Truth: Being alone is hard.

I don’t do it well. I mindlessly spend money, distract myself from the tasks at hand. I wander aimlessly through my quiet, lonely apartment. I eat for consolation. Hell, I eat out of rebellion. I am not one that enjoys the solitude because the solitude brings thoughts that I can’t bear.

I think about writing. I think about what it would be like to have finally accomplished the book I’ve been working on. I console myself with knowing that some of the greatest works ever published took years. It’s just another thing to keep me from doing what I don’t want to do. I have to get inside myself and find a way to love this woman as she is, instead of how she might be or could be. I have to love myself, not my potential.

I have to come to terms with the fact that my children will grow up, that my lover will either one day die or leave, that my friends will move on with their lives, and I will still have myself to contend with. I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to be in myself at this moment and love the person here. Am I worthy of my own love? Of my own dedication and commitment? Love me, so that I may love me? When will I be out of this cycle?

I’ve listed the many ways that I am worthy of love. I’ve detailed my supreme qualities. I’ve been equally doted on and dismissed, and yet all I can do is focus on the many ways that I’ve been dismissed. My, how we humans love to self-castigate. For what reason? Is the religious doctrine we’ve been pummeled with for centuries? If I hate myself enough, if I am good enough, perfect enough, sinless enough, God will love me, people will love me. I’ll never be alone then.

But it isn’t true. I’ve treated people with a surprising amount of tenderness, love, and consideration. I’ve placed the needs of other above my own, time and time again; only to have been left to fend for myself, by myself. Solipsistic, maybe. But it’s all I’ve ever known.

Am I a Late Bloomer…?

When I was a kid, my grandmother would often remark how mature I was. I was routinely picked to handle responsibilities and friends would often comment on my emotional strength when faced with difficult events or situations. I was the voice of reason, the one with the clear perception of the world for much of my childhood and teens years. Isn’t that insane?! But it’s true and I kind of relished it – until I didn’t and then I lost all sensibility.

What happened?

Oh, love. And it happened in such a big way, my persona couldn’t handle it.

I didn’t actually fall in love or anything until I graduated high school. All the puppy-love and cute hand-holding stuff didn’t compare to what I found myself in around the age of 18, months after I’d graduated high school and right smack in the middle of the awkward period of my life when I didn’t know what to do with myself or my time. I made a silly, heartfelt decision (which I now stand by because I’ve been blessed  in unimaginable ways) to not develop who I wanted to be and in doing so, I lost my strength, my sense, my self.

We are imbued with many, many stories of the women who have lost herself in love, been destroyed by love, only to rebuild herself from the wreckage of a past life, from the destruction of once lovely existence. I relate to these women and I want to say, “I am one of you.” I don’t know how many times she has had to rebuild or for whom or what reasons.  I do know that rebuilding for yourself, for that great person you are who wants to be heard and seen and celebrated, is the best reason to rebuild.

I lost myself, and then I lost myself again. I’ve lost myself so many times that I’ve finally tired of losing this magnificent person and I just want to hold on to her for the rest of my life. Am I late bloomer? Maybe. I’ve developed this sense of who I want to be and I’m working towards her every single day.

Listen, though I’ve gone on about romantic love, this isn’t all that I’m talking about. We can be in love with an idea – the idea that being super thin and glamorous will make us happy, the notion that chasing that corporate job will bring us everything we’ve ever wanted, or that being ultra religious and conservative or even not religious and super alternative is the path to freedom – we can be in love with the idea of some thing as much as we can be in love with someone and make all the same wrong decisions for who we really are or who we really want to be.

Life is cyclical and for every season, there is a destruction phase and rebuild phase. We instinctively fear the change because we don’t know what’s around the bend – but what if we decided what it was? What if we stopped fearing it and started embracing it, with, at the very least, an idea of what we wanted?

I’m in the midst of a destruction phase. I’ve gone through the appropriate grief channels – I’ve been in denial, been white-hot angry and fighting mad to change it, and then utterly depressed. I’m reaching acceptance, coming through the other side of fear to rebuild my life into something better, something greater, something that is so much more mine that I am overflowing with creativity and inspiration to get started. It will take time, it will take perseverance, and a steadfast desire and faith that this is what I want for me.

And if I find that I am no longer in love with this idea, if I find that this really not for me and who I want to be, then I can change again.