I always try to bring you guys unique content and today I have the very special story of Mikey Perkins and Tiffany Ma, a pair of nutrition students who fell in love and were kind enough to share the journey of what it’s like to be romantically involved with a fellow nutrition professional.
The Appetizer ( How They First Met)
When we First Met: We were just a couple of freshmen figuring out our grand plans in a small liberal arts college nestled in the rural town of Oneonta, New York. We started off as “rivals” actually- we were both running for the same position, vice president of our freshmen residence hall. Tiffany ended up winning the friendly competition and it is definitely a moment we can both look back and laugh at. It didn’t take us much longer shortly afterwards to become good friends even though we shared different interests at the time. Tiffany was always a nutrition/dietetics major, but I started off college as a Theatre major. One commonality we did have was our love for health and wellness. My older brother and sister introduced me to fitness and healthy eating at an early age. Tiffany was captain for her cross-country team in high school and ran indoor and outdoor track. I began to grow an interest in her classes as we often had study sessions together. After realizing how much I loved what she was learning, I decided to make the big switch into nutrition. Tiffany can also say the same when it came to fitness. Through my guidance I introduced strength training into her workout regimen. I was there to witness her first deadlift of 65 lbs (she can now deadlift 280 lbs!).
Our Take Away: Be open to new people, friendships and experiences. We were each other’s best friends for a whole year before we realized we had feelings that went beyond that. There were points where we were even each other’s shoulders and ears while we were involved with other people romantically. We may have started on complete different paths initially; but somehow ended up on the same page. Our shared openness to take on new experiences together has greatly attributed to our relationship.
The Entree ( Where They Are Now)
Shaping Each Other: Both of us have always been independent and goal-driven individuals, which was what attracted both of us in the first place. Throughout college, we both held positions in different extracurricular clubs, and always supported each other’s efforts to make changes. Little did we know how much this would play into our relationship as we went from first-year students, to graduates, to dietetic interns and to now- almost registered dietitians. Over the years, we became hungrier together-mentally; which led us to competing in powerlifting competitions and being matched to competitive internships coming right out of our undergrad programs. The support we have for each other runs deep; emotionally first, and professionally second. Our relationship began as long-distance since we met in college and is still considered long-distance since we both are completing our internships in different states. Surprisingly enough, we thank our long-distance for keeping us on our toes; as individuals and as a couple. Having time apart gives us time to work on our own goals and plans; and when we are together, we get to dedicate all of our time on each other.
Our Take Away: It is important to shape yourself first, before trying to do so in a relationship. Give yourself the attention you deserve; whether it has to do with your personal health or your professional endeavors. We think a lot of the reason our relationship has remained so grounded and healthy is because of who we are as individuals. We may complement each other really well, and we definitely make ourselves stronger and better people; but we do believe we always strived to be our best versions even before we met each other.
Dessert ( The Future)
Endless Opportunities, Together: We consider ourselves pretty imaginative individuals so we are always looking for ways to ‘think-outside-of-the-box’ in everything we do. We dedicate the free time we have to reading new research in the nutrition, food and fitness world, as well as exploring new solutions to old problems and evaluating ways we can become better advocates to our audience. I tend to have more of a practical and technical perspective, and Tiffany tends to pay more attention to detail and creativity. Our weaknesses are each other’s strengths. We couldn’t be a better PEAR. Down the line, we both want to be owners of our own nutrition based businesses, tying in what we both love about nutrition, fitness, and overall wellness. A shared vision of making the world a healthier place for everyone will direct us towards reaching our future goals. Once Tiffany and I complete our internships, we plan to sit for the RD exam to finalize our pursuit of becoming nutrition professionals.
Our Take Away: We both firmly believe that learning is a lifelong endeavor and we think this makes our relationship the most exciting! Whether you want to learn more about nutrition, or something completely new and different, we say- go for it. Learning something new everyday; whether it be small or big, prospers knowledge that lasts a lifetime. Having someone special to share this with is an added bonus, but we do have to say… it makes reading evidence-based research and cooking healthy recipes with SO much more fun.
What an awesome read!!!
I just want to thank both Tiffany and Mikey for contributing this awesome article to my website.
I loved reading it, and I hope you guys did too.
Andy De Santis RD MPH