Teresa has been a wonderful ambassador of Dive Bars and a great friend of ours at Dive Bar. We had plans to meet her in California, but her sudden TikTok popularity had us so busy we had to put the trip on hold - we can't leave the office/warehouse for long enough to visit!
We had been planning a spotlight with her for about 2 months, and the week that this was to publish, Dive Bar HQ was struck with Hurricane Ian. While we were blessed with virtually no damage to our structure or equipment (and team!), the power was down for over a week, creating havoc on all of our awesome Fall plans for Dive Bar. Fortunately, we had begun planning a pancake bar as soon as Teresa stated that she wishes she could formulate one! So... Without further adue... please enjoy this Q&A which occurred last month, prior to the hurricane!
Can you tell us what your relationship with food was like as a kid and into adulthood? When did you begin to take control of your health and wellness?
As a child, my relationship with food was really unhealthy. I was put on diets from the age of seven and was made fun of in school for being fat. As an adult, I began binge eating fast food and junk food, often consuming 10,000 to 12,000 calories daily. I ballooned up to nearly 600 pounds and became almost totally immobile. After having two heart attacks and being diagnosed with several other obesity related health issues, my sister urged me to seek medical treatment. My wake-up call came when the doctor told me that if I did not lose weight I would likely die within a few years.
I decided that it was time to take control of my health, so I began practicing meditation and slowly started to change my eating habits. I taught myself how to cook and bake healthier versions of all my favorite foods. At 600 pounds moving my body was challenging, so I focused on what I could do and over time I built up to being able to walk around the house, and then eventually down the street, and now I can walk for miles!
What is your primary method of staying on course these days? Are you a fan of a particular method or phone app? Counting anything (cal, macros, smartpoints/personal points)?
My primary method for maintaining a healthy lifestyle is remaining consistent with my organization, meal prep, self-care, and exercise routines. What I have learned throughout my 367-pound weight-loss journey is that being organized and prepared is the key to my success! I also track my calories and protein daily with the MyPlate app. For me, prioritizing self-care is non-negotiable. I always make time to meditate, take a walk with my dogs, and write in my journal everyday.
What is your day like? Are you home or in a workplace? And what are the benefits and challenges of being there?
I work at a high school as a roving teacher, so I am on the go all the time. This is awesome because I usually walk between 3 to 5 miles while I’m at work. One challenge of working at a school is that there are always lots of parties, which means that I am surrounded by junk food all the time. The way that I manage to keep myself from making poor food choices while at work is by making sure to pack plenty of healthy protein packed food options in my lunchbox, like Dive Bars!
You have recently found a whole new audience on TikTok. The app began being known for nutty 10 second videos, and in a way, showing us real, 3D jokes/memes. What prompted you to post your content there, and was it a tricky change from IG?
Making the transition from Instagram to TikTok was a bit intimidating at first, but I have found that the more I push myself outside of my comfort zone, the more I grow as a person. TikTok has enabled me to share my journey with a wider audience and has helped me to inspire others to be successful with their own health and wellness journeys.
One of Teresa's inspiring transformation pics!
Is it wild to find so many folks enjoy your content on social media? Do you have to hire an assistant or add a new email account? Is the phone beeping with alerts every 30 seconds???
It is totally wild to me that so many people are enjoying my content on social media, and it’s even crazier to me that I am approaching 250,000 followers on TikTok! I finally feel as though I have found my tribe of amazing weight-loss warriors, and I am so grateful! The overwhelming amount of love and support that I receive is incredible. My TikTok alerts are constantly blowing up! In order to keep up with all the questions, comments, and opportunities related to my social media I had to hire my sister, Mary, to help me manage it all.
Finally, we have known you for a few years now. Where do Dive Bars fit in your life? Is it a daily snack? Meal replacement? What do the bars do for you in your wellness journey/lifestyle?
Dive Bars came into my life in 2019, just after having weight-loss surgery, and when I was really struggling to hit my daily protein goals. Since then, I have eaten Dive Bars daily, as both a meal replacement and a midday snack. I literally eat one every single morning (instead of coffee), and they help to keep me full, feeling energized, and satisfied for hours. Dive Bars have truly played a key role in helping me to stay on track throughout my weight-loss journey. This is why I tell anyone and everyone who will listen to me that Dive Bars are changing the game when it comes to protein bars!
Teresa and her Pancake bar imagery - we are so proud and honored to work with her! ... and to see yall now follow her... yass!
Last question…If you could create a bar or bring one back from the many experimental flavors of the past…What flavor?!!
It would be cool to make a bar that reflects my love for breakfast foods. I’m thinking of something like a maple flavored pancake or waffle bar, and of course it must have chocolate chips!