Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your story.
A: My name is Teresa. I’m an educator, a mom, content creator, and a storm of positivity and self-love that helps others become the best versions of themselves. I started my weight loss journey in 2015. It was a journey that taught me so much more than how to read the number on a scale. It led me to become an advocate of health, fitness, and living a balanced lifestyle.
Q: What does it mean to “come as you are?”
A: To me, “come as you are” means to present yourself to the world in all of your flawed beauty. To be unapologetically yourself rather than try to fit into society’s standards, to fit a mold, or to be liked. Be real, be vulnerable, and be the person who is not only relatable, but that can inspire others to also come as they are.
Q: What would you say to someone who is unhappy/unsatisfied with their body?
A: Life is too short to spend it at war with your body. Perfection and beauty are subjective and you will never be able to please everyone. Instead, I ask that you take a look at yourself – inside and out – and find the beauty that already exists. Perhaps you have stunning eyes. Maybe it’s a mind so captivating that people love hearing your opinions. Maybe it’s the way you love deeply or the sound of your laugh. Find your beauty and cling to it. Honor it. When you focus on and celebrate what you love, you’ll find you have little time to worry about the things you don’t. You’ll also learn to find the beauty in others and lift them up.
Q: How did you get into fitness?
A: I struggled with my weight since I was a little girl. I’d go through periods where I was heavier and periods where I was very thin. Once I entered my late teens and early twenties, I was a single mom, working a full time job, and had a full load of college classes. I lost myself and never made time to take care of me. I developed an emotional eating tendency that led to depression, which led to more eating, and a vicious cycle that I couldn’t see an end to. After an embarrassing experience during my first year of teaching, I hit my rock bottom and was determined to turn my life around starting with my health.
Q: What do you love about being a trainer?
A: I love empowering women. So often we get lost in our roles as mothers, wives, and caretakers. We want to make sure everyone is well taken care of, but forget ourselves. Working with women allows us time for them to pour into their cups so they can in turn pour into the other parts of their lives. I preach that self-care is not selfish, but rather a necessity in order to love ourselves and others.
Q: What does it mean to be “only human?”
A: The only label we should carry is that of human. We are all made up of skin, bones, organs, and consciousness. There is no greater race or identifying marker that makes one better than the other. We are all only human and we should love each other as the humans we all are.
Q: What is your personal journey with your body?
A: For a long time, I felt that my size was holding me back. I thought that if I was thinner or smaller, I’d have more confidence or self-love. I thought many doors would open for me. I lost the weight and even had skin removal surgery, but soon realized that none of those physical changes would change the way I thought of myself. It wasn’t my body holding me back; it was my mindset and self-worth. Through counseling and doing the inner work to heal, I’ve learned to accept and love my body at every stage. This body gave me a son, it allows me to move, it carries me through life, and gives me the opportunity to connect with others. It’s MY body and I love her for everything we’ve been through together.
Q: How would you encourage someone to go on a journey with their body and self-acceptance?
A: Start by taking a look at your environment. Are you surrounded by people who shame your body whether directly or indirectly? Take a look at the social media content you consume and think about how it affects the way you see yourself. Surround yourself with people who uplift each other and celebrate each other’s courage, determination, hard work, friendship, and all those other things that have no effect of body size. In doing so, you’ll also celebrate those things in yourself.
Q: What are your thoughts on body size is not equal to your worth?
A: I believe wholeheartedly that your size does not determine your worth. The size of your jeans doesn’t determine how worthy of love you are. We are all worthy of love and acceptance but it starts with you.
Q: What does it mean to “love every body?”
A: It means to literally love every body. Every shape, every size, every color, every ability. At the end of the day, these are just bags of skin that carry us through life. Take care of the one you have and love everyone else in the process.