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“Fitness has given me a clearer mind and stronger sense of self“ - Tessa’s story


Tessa’s journey with fitness has been one that is deeply rooted in identity. Through fitness, Tessa found a sense of balance amidst her stressful life, reconnected with her body, and delved further into self-discovery. She learned that by consistently showing up for yourself, you can discover how strong you truly are. Here’s her story:

“When you perform as a drag queen, you get to create an entirely new identity, persona, alter ego. Spending too much time in this other world can make you feel a little lost sometimes, especially when you’re young and don’t really know who you are.Since performing in drag is so incredibly physical, I needed a counterpart to balance out such a hectic and exuberant lifestyle. Fitness helped me find a way back into my body – I became more grounded and also got to know Lorenzo a little better.”


Navigating demands of performance art

“Drag mostly happens at night and there are a lot of unhealthy habits involved. Drag in and of itself isn’t the most healthy – I mean, think about it. You can only spend so much time in 8-inch heels, a tightly laced corset, tuck, duct tape on your head, and a face plastered in 4 liters of acrylic paint. It’s very easy to burn out when you don’t have a steady and grounding routine to bring you back to Earth.”

Developing a stronger sense of self through fitness

"Fitness has given me a clearer mind and a stronger sense of self. I’m able to recover faster from drag stunts and my posture has improved.

And the effects of fitness on my mental health, particularly as an ADHDer, have been profound. Having my daily routine to cut through the noise of constant overthinking and being intentional with what I’m feeding my body has provided so much mental clarity and emotional peace.

And there has been a deeper, more profound satisfaction with myself that I hadn’t anticipated. About how far I’ve come and how I’ve stuck to achieving my goals. That feels pretty rad."


Perseverance over perfection

“I’m not gonna lie, I would feel pretty hypocritical if I tried to sell you on good carbs and no sugar, because to be honest, I struggle with good nutrition from time to time.

I feel like what has helped me get back on track the most is realizing that fitness is not a race – it’s a marathon. Fitness is not about that snapshot physique. It’s about showing up for you. Choosing to do something good for yourself and your body every day, even if you feel like shit.

I have compassion for myself and take it with a little bit of humor when I’ve skipped a day, but reminding myself to do better next time.”

My advice: don’t give up.

“If you are new to this journey, make sure to get a good mentor or coach and stick to the plan!”

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