I’m Tessie Tracy. Born and raised in small-town Colorado, I grew up as an outdoor kid and three sport athlete in high school. I went on to cheer competitively for the top 10 nationally ranked University of Colorado Boulder Cheer Team, and after graduating, I competed at the CrossFit Games Regionals on a team, and won a body building show in the figure category. Now, I’m a Certified Eating Psychology and Mind Body Nutrition Coach, and an Emotional Intelligence Specialist.
My journey from athlete to coach includes going through my own journey with food and body. In high school, I lost my best friend, and found myself waking up in the middle of the night to eat a whole box of dove ice cream bon bons. I look back with empathy for myself now, but at the time I was crying. I was ashamed and in pain. I didn’t know how else to deal with that deep sense of loss and confusion. I gained weight. People asked if I needed help. I would say no. This behavior of turning to food in times of stress and emotion became an ongoing habit from that point forward.
After college, I was out of competitive athletics for the first time since I was 4-years-old. I decided to break the withdraw and hired a team to train me for a body building show. Red flags started popping up along the entire journey. For instance, someone very close to me who had been in treatment for disordered eating didn’t support the decision, and it got to the point that we did not really communicate the whole time I was training.
In my (stubborn) opinion, I had a “good head on my shoulders” and didn’t feel I was susceptible to taking it too far. I simply saw it as another sport.
Slowly but surely, I became more and more obsessed with following every rule on my diet. If I had a piece of gum, I would account for the five calories on the treadmill. Another red flag was that I agreed to taking supplements like a fat burner, which messed with my natural appetite and hormones, as well as 1,000mg of caffeine.
Now, this is a red flag not just from the mental standpoint of my drive to look a certain way, but also because I have a congenital heart condition. If I had told a cardiologist that I was taking a thermogenic and that much caffeine each day, they never would have ok’d it!
The final red flag came after I competed and won the whole frickin’ show, after feeling “fat” on stage! Total body dysmorphia. I didn’t know how to slowly get off the strict diet, and ended up bingeing and getting sick and depressed for a long time after the show.
It wasn’t until I began studying Eating Psychology that I fully realized what I was going through with these experiences––emotionally and physically.
Using food as a coping mechanism for pain was actually very valid as food does set off our pleasure receptors and makes us feel better, at least in that moment. It can be very easy for food to be somewhat of a comfort, and that is why I’m so passionate about helping women understand what this is for them and work with it, not against it.
From my experience after the body building show, my body had physically been in such restriction for a long enough period of time that it was physiologically starving for certain nutrients, as well as fats and sugars.
The physiological component, combined with my emotional connection to using food as relief, was an awful combination when the restriction and control were finally lifted. This journey immediately led me to want to help other women who use restriction, shame, dieting, counting and other “rules” with themselves, to find a more intuitive way of eating, and a more balanced structure to nutrition.
6:05 a.m. –– My alarm goes off. Immediately, I have a highlight and lowlight of the day. Highlight is, I love my alarm song. It’s Coaster by Logic. The lowlight? My phone was across the room so I had to get up… to hit snooze.
6:20 a.m. –– I hop in the shower to wash my mangled curly hair (this happens once a week.) I tried the new tea tree oil shampoo from Trader Joe’s that my hairdresser recommended to strip product build up!
I also listened to “I am“ affirmations with binaural beats while in the shower.
I have almost all of my clients create “I am” affirmations to build up their internal environment of self-acceptance, confidence, and self-belief. I’ve recently learned it’s best to say affirmations first thing in the morning or last thing at night because our subconscious, which holds more than 90% of our limiting beliefs and negative thoughts, is least active at those times, meaning we are most likely to break through that wall of limiting beliefs and create new ones!
6:45 a.m. –– My darling fiancé Bruce has made me a chocolate mocha protein shake with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, progenex protein, frozen banana, and cocoa powder. Even though I said I wasn’t sure what I wanted to eat, he made extra for me, because he knew I needed something and he knows me so well! It was perfect.
7:05 a.m. –– We are out the door, because we have an event we are both going to tonight. My fiancé and I share a car. I work from home, and my fiancé works on the Westside. Long story short, the plan is for me to drive him to work. Enter grumpiness because A.) Tessie has not had her coffee, and B.) Our plan was not very well thought out, because I had work to begin and the commute was taking longer than expected.
9 a.m. –– Grumpiness subsides as I get home in time to make my coffee and prepare for my Facebook live at 9:30 a.m.
9:30 a.m. –– I hop on Facebook live on my Facebook page called Food and Body Breakthrough to share three things most people don’t know about my food journey. Many of us as eating psychology coaches have been drawn to the work partially through our own challenges with food and body. I love sharing about my journey because I feel that it is can be inspiring to people who might be able to write relate to it and are looking for healing themselves. And since you are reading this and you might not even know me at all, I’ll share them briefly here.
1. I began emotional eating in high school after losing my best friend and boyfriend. I shared about this in my intro, so you actually do already know this one. But just to sum up, I later learned how food, especially sweets, can easily become somewhat of a coping mechanism because our body physiologically responds with pleasure when we eat them. So the ice cream was literally taking my pain away.
2. The first time I really remember thinking “I need to go on a diet“ was after studying abroad in Spain for 6 weeks. I had ate, drink, and not worked out. I probably gained about 10 pounds and had no idea until it was almost my last week there. I had a blast there.
When I returned home, I remember seeing a picture of myself in a sports bra and thinking, “Oh my gosh I’ve lost my athletic body, I need to get it back. Who am I without that body?“ now one of the most important mindset shifts I work on with clients is learning to love their body all along the journey.
Our body morphs and shifts depending on our season in life; things you can’t control, life events, etc. All we can control is the practice to love ourselves and our bodies, and be grateful for everything that they do for us every day.
3. I still experience emotional eating and days where I don’t feel great in my body. I used to think that as a coach that I would need to be “perfect“ and have everything figured out. But the truth is, I know the people that I look up to and follow are the most vulnerable, transparent, and real.
Just a few months ago I was very stressed out about creating content for my online seven week program Food and Body Breakthrough, while sticking to my consulting job, and also starting a new workshop company.
Second long story short, I was at the store that day, saw the pop tarts and ate the entire box of pop tarts. But the tools I now have allowed me to relax into that process, be aware of what I was choosing, and not beat myself up about it––truly! I used to be on a vicious cycle of bingeing and then feeling guilty and thinking I need to exercise more. This time, I was able to just go back to routine and balance.
10 a.m. –– I had an awesome call with my business coach, and my takeaway was that I get to create the outline for my first book! It’s going to be a personal development workbook about why weight doesn’t matter when it comes to the most important “measures of health” and how we can start focusing on the things that truly matter.
11 a.m. –– I log into a consulting job part-time, so this leg of the day is a bit… well, not super exciting. But I wanted to be transparent about having a consulting job I currently do alongside my coaching business, because it’s my truth right now. While the consulting job has more components that feel like a job-job than my coaching career, I still like doing it and appreciate that I can log in from anywhere!
1 p.m. –– I stop to eat lunch. I get six meals a week right now delivered from Territory Foods in Los Angeles, so I ate one of those. Today it’s chicken meatballs with marinara and zucchini noodles. I heat it in the microwave for about two minutes and we’re good!
I love cooking, but honestly, I’m not the best at it (yet) and I don’t currently have the luxury of time in my schedule to focus on it more. And I’m okay with that. It’s a someday thing. The Territory meals help me to not have decision fatigue around food, and I know it’s going to be a healthy balanced meal, which for me is most important around lunch time.
4:30 p.m. –– I log out to check in on some other business. I have a workshop coming up with Carla Romo and Paris Coleman called Fall into Love & Wellness, and I need to update the attendee list and reach out to one of the sponsors. I also posted to my instagram at this time @tessietracy holla at ya girl lol and I checked in with a private coaching client.
5:30 p.m. –– It’s time to log out of work and head to the event, which is a Trainer’s Night at Bulletproof Upgrade Labs in Santa Monica. They invited like 40 personal trainers and group fitness class coaches to come try all the biohacking technology for physical, mental and internal wellbeing.
7 p.m. –– I arrive at Labs, and immediately go for the butternut squash soup and avocado toast (#freefoodplease). It was delicious. Bruce my bae is a trainer there, and he led the entire tour and explanation of the machines before we got started. I was definitely giddy with pride, like “yeah, that’s my fiancé!”
7:30 p.m. –– I did cryo and the PEMF for recovery, as well as a red light facial. I’m not going to even try to fully explain everything that these all do. But in general, cryo helps us generate blood flow and healing to all areas of the body by putting us in a -200 degree small room, for three minutes. I listened to the Maroon 5 song Girls Like You to pass the time faster!
When you get out, as your body works to heat you back up, it helps reduce inflammation, boost metabolism, and flush lactic acid. The PEMF is pulse electromagnetic frequency which helps regenerate cells to their healthiest form. Infrared light helps stimulate collagen production and helps rejuvenate the skin.
8:30 p.m. –– Although I was there by myself and didn’t know any of the other trainers, I ended up striking conversation with another health coach and we have been in touch since. I love it when my introverted self actually talks to people and makes friends. It always feels nice.
10 p.m. –– We get home and start winding down for bed. My nightly routine is not “perfect”, but I am pretty good about getting off of my phone.
I wash my face, use my new Rose Water facial toner, also from Trader Joe’s because TJ’s is life. I have some amazing night cream from dermalogica (I lucked out and my friend who owns the blog beautybunny invited me to one of her influencer events.)
I usually sleep in loose leggings or sweats, and a loose long sleeve shirt. I like being slightly cold when I sleep with the option to be cozy under our big fluffy white comforter ( #funfact: for most of us our bodies rest best at about 65 degrees).
I get into bed and flip through The Knot wedding magazine, even though we are pretty sure we won’t really do the whole traditional wedding thing, it’s helping me figure out what we do want it to look like!
11 p.m. ish –– I drift off to sleep. I am a very deep sleeper. I would probably even sleep through a roaring train right by my window… although I’m glad I don’t have that sound testing my sleep deepness every night.
Overall, this was a pretty average day. My takeaways from a day like today are:
1. I feel extremely joyful and fulfilled when I get to share about myself and use my creativity on platforms like Facebook Live, Instagram, my blog, or in creating workbooks and services for my clients.
2. I am excited to always be working toward increasing my impact and creating my career. I might have parts of the day that are for “somebody else” but I was reminded today that even these… less desirable responsibilities are something to be grateful for, and they simply serve as reminders of where I want to continue growing.
3. The trainer night was a huge highlight. Labs gave us all unlimited cryotherapy for three months, and I was grateful to be able to have a night with some networking, self-care, and being with my boo!