“All the things that challenged me before are becoming habits”

            Tessa Tschida-Jones

tessa tschida-jones | don wheaton family ymca


The last few weeks have been difficult in terms of journal entries. I’m having a hard time coming up with interesting reflections to pass on.

My work outs with Damien have been challenging yet rewarding. My progress is slow, yet steady. I feel like the anti climatic nature of these past few weeks is a good indicators that all the things that challenged me before are becoming habits.

 I got a step tracker this week, it’s been interesting to have some data on my steps/ heart rate.



Note to Self!

Don't tell your trainer you have a personal goal of doing a chin up - they will put you through cruel and unusual punishment.

I'm only kidding… partly!

I know Damien is helping me with MY goal, but boy am I going to have to suffer to achieve it. I guess that will make me all the more satisfied when I am able to see over top of that bar.

Also this week I looked down at my hands and started to see callouses forming. I guess that means I'm pretty hard-core now!  LOL!



This week’s session with Damien really kicked my butt!

Our new warm up is now on the Jacobs ladder. Very efficient, very exhausting.

I’ve also found lots of ways to work out at home too. I’m at a point where my day doesn’t feel right unless I get in some activity and finding things I can do at home allows me to make time for an activity everyday.

One of my classes has become very invested in my chin up goal. Each morning our group comes in to class and tries to beat their chin up record from the day before - and also check in and see if I can do my first chin up! I haven’t done a chin up yet, but I fall a lot slower now!  They don’t notice the progress but I do and that’s what matters!  



This week I found my self back out on the track, which is my first crack at running since moving back to Edmonton.  It felt good to go running again!

One of my greatest accomplishments this week was on Saturday, while killing time in London Drugs  prior to a 9:30 showing of “I Tonya” at Cineplex. After exhausting the make-up section we wandered over to the pharmacy. I decided to take my blood pressure/heart rate in one of those automated machines, while my friend got fitted for some custom Dr. Sholl's custom orthotics.

While I normally have low blood pressure, my resting heart rate has always been in the high 80s low 90s, which was a concern of mine. However, much to my surprise I had a resting heart rate of 62! I wasn’t sure whether to believe it, however a random stranger in the store informed me that it was a very reliable machine – Ok!  It must be good!  LOL.

It goes to show, there are many benefits to a healthy lifestyle, other than just the numbers on the scale!



Luckily for me this week at work was a little slower than usual so I had plenty of time to spend “up in the gym workin’ on my fitness” to quote the ever eloquent Fergie.

I went to check out a new YMCA location, William Lutsky, and I caught a surprisingly topical episode of “Family Ties” while sweating’ it out on the elliptical. What an indulgence to watch Alex P. Keaton struggle with the nuances of modern (80s) feminism while getting in your cardio for the day!!

This week I set some new goals for myself.

This semester my new classroom comes equipped with a chin up bar - I would like to be able to do a single chin up (maybe even more) by the end of my three months working with Damien.

Additionally I’ve really been enjoying the Yoga sessions at the YMCA, so I have some new personal goals there as well with strength and flexibility.  



Balancing work, social life and making time to be active has proven to be a challenge, but this week was all about making small sacrifices to make it happen.

This week I could feel my body adjust to the new routine and I found myself really looking forward to my time at the gym training. Saturday was a different experience, as we had a camera crew at our group session. I felt like a celeb with all the cameras present for the work out - it definitely helped me focus on my form. We got to try out some “trendy” exercises like the TRX, tire flip and battle ropes, which was cool.

Outside of the gym I’ve realized that when you put in all that work exercising it makes you more conscious of what you put in your body. I was definitely more cognisant of my food choices this week and found myself craving healthy, nourishing options.

Looking forward to the upcoming weeks!



Week one! This week I got to meet my trainer Damien who I really look forward to working with.

After our first one on one session I saw a yoga class was about to start. The previous yoga classes I've taken at this location have proven to be a relaxing way to end my workout,  this was not the case on this particular day. This class was constant movement, core work, and pushing our bodies to the limit! Needless to say I was exhausted afterwards.

I also indulged in the luxuries of the steam room and hot tub all week as they were a welcome relief from the freezing weather outside. Looking forward to the upcoming weeks.

Also a huge thanks to my coworkers for all their luv and support this week. #appreciative 



Hi!  I'm Tessa!  I'm so excited to begin this wellness journey! 

A little about me.  I'm a high school teacher.  I just moved back to Edmonton from the Dominican Republic.  I love traveling and being with the people I love; my family, my friends.

Being a teacher means I am super busy and don't have a lot of time or extra cash.  This makes it hard to stay active.  It's also so hard to stay motivated in the winter.

I'm hoping this challenge will help keep me invested throughout the new year.  Of course, feeling and looking healthy would be amazing too!