Jessalin is a fourth year at University of Virginia in Charlottesville. She is a religious studies major “with a focus in dental hygiene,” and hopes to become a dental hygienist after attending VCU’s dental hygiene program next year. She is motivated by physical activity and has always been involved in a variety of sports throughout her life. The most exciting one being inner tube water polo, which is a UVA crowd favorite.
In high school, Jessalin experimented with dieting and successfully shattered her 18 year old metabolism, as well as the density of her strong bones. Although she lost weight and appeared to be skinny and happy, she knew that something wasn’t right. Was it really so great for her body to eat so few calories and play one or more sports every season PLUS be a regular member of her local gym?
It wasn’t until college that she realized her motivations were out-of-wack. She always valued being athletic and able to jump into any sport that was happening around her, but maintaining such an active lifestyle on so few calories was extremely difficult and very unhealthy. She began to realize that being strong and nourished was far more important than being skinny. And it was much more rewarding.
Focusing on her body as a gift from Jesus was the game changer. Previously, she had focused on her body as a burden that constantly needed to be deprived in order to flourish. Now as she is able to see her body as a blessing that allows her to move, breathe, exercise, talk and participate so fully in life, she is constantly in awe of its functions and abilities.
She is a member of her local gym and is regularly seen running through her neighborhood with friends. Currently signed up for the Anthem Marathon in Richmond, Jessalin and her boyfriend have adapted their workouts to prepare for the big day! She has enjoyed taking so many science classes in preparation for Dental Hygiene school because of how frequently she can apply her school studies to her daily life. In pairing her academic studies with her current passions, she has been able to learn a lot about exercise nutrition, proper rest, optimal nutrition and much more!
Jessalin enjoys creating workout programs for her friends and family (thanks to some exercise science classes at the University of Virginia) and cooking whole food meals and snacks when her friends come over. She is a member of the Food Babe Army and an advocate for overall health and wellness. She can’t wait to continue to have an impact on the health of others, through oral health education and preventative measures that dental hygienists are able to pursue!