Tiffany Lee Gaston: Turning My Pain Into Power

Tiffany Lee Gaston on The Jeff Heggie Show podcast

“I wake up today with strength in my heart and clarity in my mind.”

Tiffany Lee Gaston has been through an incredible journey. There were parts that caused all sorts of pain. But she was able to turn her pain into power!

Do you feel like you’re stuck and you don’t know how to get unstuck..

Tiffany Lee Gaston has been there and I’m excited to share her solution with you in this episode. In this episode, You will learn what would make a fitness professional want to write a book and embark on an entrepreneurial journey.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Learn More About All of Jeff’s Podcast Shows HERE

Tiffany Lee Gaston: Turning My Pain Into Power

Bio:

Tiffany Lee Gaston is an author and highly published fitness personality, with appearances on television networks and contributions to health and fitness publications worldwide. She promotes her own unique brand of fitness, with an emphasis on the discovery of our own best-self and not a one-size-fits-all approach.Her passion for health and wellness began nearly 30 years ago when she discovered her love for fitness and truly believes it saved her life. Her memoir, From Broken to Badass, shares the story of the many unhealthy hurdles she faced during her early years and her ultimate desire to rise above her past. Tiffany is an advocate for those most vulnerable in the community and has served and worked closely with Chrysalis and the board of The LoveUp Foundation over the past several years.

Having competed as a high ranking national level figure athlete, she has additionally been featured on 11 magazines along with countless features in the likes of Oxygen, STRONG, Inside Fitness, Health & Fitness, Muscle & Fitness Hers and many more! She has discovered her strength and passion lie in motivating others to seek their own “inner badass.”


Tiffany Lee Gaston has been through an incredible journey. There were parts that caused all sorts of pain. But she was able to turn her pain into power! Do you feel like you’re stuck and you don’t know how to get unstuck.. Tiffany Lee Gaston has been there and I’m excited to share her solution with you in this episode. In this episode, You will learn what would make a fitness professional want to write a book and embark on an entrepreneurial journey.

“When you apply yourself and you chase a dream, when you show up for it, I’m no different than you. I’m no different than anyone else. We can all show up for things and make them happen and manifest them.”

Tiffany Lee Gaston is a former competitive athlete, fitness model, and writer who has been featured on eleven magazine covers and in hundreds of articles. She is the author of Broken to Badasses, a book about her journey from an eating disorder to becoming a successful entrepreneur. This is Tiffany Lee Gaston’s story…

I have always been a competitive athlete and started in gymnastics, then track field, and weight lifting in high school. I excelled in the fitness industry and became a well-known figure in the fitness world. I wrote a book about my journey and what it took to get to where I am today. I’m married with children and during the pandemic, I found myself struggling mentally. I turned to drugs and alcohol to cope and began to feel like I was losing my identity. I’m grateful to be alive and share my story in hopes that it will help others..
In this episode, you will learn the following:
1. How Tiffany Lee Gaston overcame an eating disorder by developing a passion for lifting weights 2. How Tiffany’s success in the fitness industry led to her becoming a writer for top fitness publications 3. How Tiffany’s proximity to successful people in the fitness industry helped her achieve her goals

Tiffany Lee Gaston: https://www.tiffanyleegaston.com/

The Peak Performance System for High Achievers https://jeffheggie.com/peakperformance

Follow me on:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jeffheggiecoaching/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JeffHeggieCoaching

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/JeffHeggieSuccessCoach

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeffHeggieCoach

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/jeffheggie

Website: https://jeffheggie.com

Loved this episode? Leave us a review and rating here: {https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-jeff-heggie-show/id1565604631}

Tiffany’s Book

From Broken to Badass: Turning My Pain Into Power

With a loaded gun held to her head, she knew she needed to escape. This wakeup call led to a powerful transformation that happened far from overnight. Years of abuse broke her spirit in ways that were difficult to overcome, but she fought to break the horrific cycle she was living. Having once struggled with body image and an eating disorder, she took her power back and transformed her life. With fitness as her escape and her ultimate therapy, she forged a determination that couldn’t be kept down. The belief in ourselves will carry us farther than anything else in this lifetime.  Knowing we are valuable is sometimes the hardest lesson we will ever learn.

The Jeff Heggie Show: Tiffany Lee Gaston From Broken to Badass book

The Jeff Heggie Show: Tiffany Lee Gaston – Turning My Pain Into Power

The Jeff Heggie Show podcast with Tiffany Lee Gaston

Listen to Tiffany’s interview on The Jeff Heggie Show

[FREE Masterclass] The Peak Performance System for High Achievers

Show Notes:

Hey, welcome to The Jeff Heggie Show, where you will develop a powerful mindset and unlock your full potential. Let’s do this. Alright, welcome to The Jeff Heggie Show. I’m excited today to have Tiffany Lee Gaston with me. Tiffany and I have known each other for a while and she’s got an incredible story that I asked her to share with my audience. And we’re going to go through that journey that she’s been through from being in the fitness industry, being an entrepreneur, and going through a lot of different transformations and how that’s impacting her today and talking about some of her successes, her struggles, writing a book, all of these things. I’m excited to have her with me. Thank you for joining me. Tiffany, give us a little bit of a backstory about yourself, please. Well, thanks so much for having me on. Yeah, you and I have been working together for a few months now, and you’ve been a really awesome accountability partner for me. I needed it. So I guess you want me to take you back to where I come from as far as how I got into the space that I’m currently in. Yeah, I guess. Let’s begin. Let’s talk about how you got into the fitness industry and kind of that backstory to begin with. Sure. I would say from childhood I’ve always been a competitive athlete. I started in gymnastics, I was tracking field, and then going into my teenage years, I really developed a passion for lifting. And the high school football coach sort of turned me on to taking his weight training class because he really wanted a girl on the football team. That’s what I think the competitive school nearby, they had one. So I think he saw me as being that fit and I said no way. But at the age of 16, it developed a passion within me for lifting weights and that truly helped me overcome an eating disorder, something I had battled far younger, I’d say at the age of eleven or twelve. I had already come into some challenges with disordered eating and body dysmorphia, so I was already starting to struggle, I would say, during that timeline, but growing up and going into the weights. And then I found my way sort of in the fitness realm as far as competitive figure, bikini, that kind of stuff. So I went into that realm and it was a really great outlet for me. And at that time, my husband and my brother in law were operating personal training company under the umbrella of La Fitness. So nationwide, as they would grow, they would take us along with them and I would say through the mid to late ninety s and into about 2007, they grew it to about 250 some odd locations. I forget how many employees we had, but around seven is when La Fitness brought us out. So I was 29, my husband was 33, and we were retired people I know how funny that sounds, because at that age, you have so much life ahead of you. Are you an entrepreneur who wants to discover the breakthrough secrets that will produce the results you’ve been searching for, but you just can’t seem to figure out why you keep working harder and harder and you’re just not getting those results? I want to tell you about a new challenge that I’ve created just for you, the Business Domination Challenge. If you want to create the entrepreneurial lifestyle and the business you dream of, then this is exactly what you’re looking for. I created the Business Domination Challenge to show you how to grow your business exponentially and to become an optimal performing entrepreneur. What’s an optimal performing entrepreneur? It’s an entrepreneur who’s succeeding in all areas of their life. If I show you how to build a successful business, but your relationships, your health and everything else is falling apart, that’s not a success. It’s not about working harder. It’s about implementing the correct principles and becoming the person who can do the things that produce the results. Hurry and go to http://www.JeffHeggie.com/BusinessDomination and secure your spot today. What we really identified early on was if you’ve ever heard the curse of the lottery, it’s a double ended thing. So it was challenging because we are successful, success oriented people. We’re goal chasers. And now what? You could literally be set for life. Your children are going to be taken care of. You’re good. But what do you do? So what you don’t do is what I soon came to find out. You don’t quit peddling. A lot of the challenges happened when I quit pouring myself into the things that I’ve been so passionate about. And that came later down the line, I would discover. So with the sale of our business came a lot of really exciting new things. My husband took on a lot more golf. He took flight school, and he got 20 some odd hours deep, and then that kind of fell off. But now, ultimately, he is back employed, working in the multifamily real estate business mainly. We own, like, a lot of apartment buildings now, so real estate has been a great new addition to the things that we do. But I identified very much always, that whether I was actively competing in fitness or writing for the top fitness publications all over the world and being featured in them as well, which was awesome. If I wasn’t doing something, I’ve always had the tenacity to get in trouble. So fast forward to sort of like, 2019. My daughter is a musician, and what I’ve come to really identify is it’s pretty cool to see that when you yourself are so regimented in the things that you show up for. Ultimately, when you model that behavior for children, you end up having and raising some little mini badasses if you do it properly. And so they say more is caught than taught and I would say that the way we’ve operated and shown up and the expectations we’ve had over our children have been pretty powerful as well. So around 2019, my daughter was then 15 years old, she was reached out to by the voice, and I did end up going away for her to audition multiple times for the show, and through that I was gone, living in a hotel with her on and off, cumulatively, for about three months. I hadn’t even been ever to this point, we’re almost married 20 years at this point. I had never been away from my husband for more than a week, so that was a really challenging time. But my sole responsibility was to keep her healthy, keep her on time, and keep her doing everything she can do to make it. She was top 40, she was narrowed down from 4000 people to 40, and they came looking for her. So this was important, it was exciting, she was passionate about it, and as a minor, I had to be with her. So that was a really exciting time. And I didn’t realize how much that during the secrecy of the show, I really put myself on the back burner. And of course I’m managing her music career, and I’m taking a little bit more of a step back from the fitness realm at that time. And I think I really started to lose a little bit of my passion and identity for the things that I show up for daily, in light of other responsibilities, which I wouldn’t change for anything. But when I have to look backwards and understand how I came to be where I found myself, unfortunately, about a year ago to the day, father’s day of last year, I see how I got here. This was inevitable. So through sort of like, losing a lot of the things that I was continuing to push hard for and be passionate about, whether I needed to show up for them or not, it’s part of who you are, I think. A lot of anxiety, a lot of depression prepped on, and I would say the turning point would be my husband and I after the show, when her season was about to air, we were on the other side of the world. We were in dubai, we were in the maldives celebrating 20 years of marriage, and we came back to a world march 19 that was completely shut down. And I apologize, it might get loud here for a second, but I think something happened. And I sort of began to feel what I identified as depressed. And I spoke to my husband about it, and I said, I just can’t put my finger on it. I want to tell you I feel depressed, but this is not like depression. I can’t quite comprehend it, but something is wrong. And so all the while I was doing anything I could to sort of stuff it away. Drugs, and alcohol became a daily resource for me. We’re living during the pandemic and lockdown and now I’m teaching my children, I’m home schooling my kids. Life was a party we were forced to lock down for two weeks, and we all know what that turned into. And I really began to have a mental shift and it became a shift to an absolute negative mindset and one in which I became a very sort of like victim mentality. Like I was leading with something that I had only ever identified in others and found repulsive. And I always said, I know everybody looks at what we have and how I show up and thinks that it’s just easy. And that’s why I wrote a book about what it took to get here, because I think people need to see the good, bad and indifferent. But ultimately the demise came when I quit showing up for me, and everything that has now ensued for this past year has been really hard to put back together. But I’m so glad I’m still here because there were days that I wasn’t sure. It’s been definitely an incredible journey that I think a lot of our listeners can learn a lot from. I’ve learned a lot from our relationship, plus your book, and we’ll talk more about that in a minute. But for those that are watching this on video, from Broken to Badasses, the book and I strongly recommend it, I’ll put links in the show notes, but we’ll talk about more of that in a minute. As Tiffany and I were talking before we began, I told her that the people that listened to this have a lot to learn from her because we have a lot of entrepreneurs, have a lot of athletes, and so she’s got a lot of different stages of her life that I think can help everyone that listen. So let’s take a step back for a minute and talk more about the fitness industry because you really excelled in that. Talk about, what was it? I believe you’re on eleven covers of magazines. Talk about some of the things, what it takes to get to that level because I think that helps in an entrepreneurial and an athletic standpoint. Yeah. So I feel like and I wish the landscaper would go away. I apologize. Keep on moving out of high school and being a competitive athlete going into my teenage years and sort of meeting a trainer that saw a genetic ability within me to push myself and be sort of someone that would excel on stage, opened my eyes to that whole arena of competition. And I really did excel in that. And I think one of my greatest things was I’m a real taskmaster. I like to check boxes, I like to feel productive no matter how big or small. And for me it was like my goal at that time was I want to win a show, I want to win an overall title, but really I want my pro card. And a lot of what that meant for me was I’ve longtime chased relationships with a lot of these editors that I do freelance writing for a long time as well. And so as a writer going into the fitness space, I really started to gravitate towards the magazines that I looked up to as a young girl very much during those high school years where I felt different. The muscle that I identified on my body when I was seven, eight, nine years old, that by eleven and twelve I began to not knowing what the word anorexia meant, I began to try to starve the muscle off my body because I looked different than my friends. And no matter what I did, I just was going to be different. And I got attention for it and not understanding it at that time, and it became so young and even being I wrote there’s an excerpt out of my book where I’m in the hardware store with my dad, a young girl, I remember like it was yesterday, and this grown man I’m with my father, and he was complimenting my legs and I was like eight years old. It’s weird for a lot of reasons, but that kind of attention for my external appearance came early. And when you don’t know what to do with it or it makes you feel like, different and in a way that it’s not unique and cool. It’s like, you’re the oddball. You don’t know what to do with it. It wasn’t until my teenage years that I began to gravitate towards some of those publications where I saw women that looked like me and I saw a place that was like, I could really excel over here. And instead of trying to starve that muscle off my body, I could embrace it and I could be an example for young women and young girls like me. Like, wow, I fit that mold, there’s a place for me. And I dreamt of meeting the editor of Oxygen and writing for her. And so in 2014, it was like such a surreal AHA moment. Standing in Beverly Hills in the studio doing a photo shoot for Oxygen magazine, and it was like, I don’t even know what possessed me. But around that time I had a goal to maybe get a magazine cover where every magazine cover that I got, I was at least in my mid 30s into my forty s. And these people that I looked up to now, I was emailing them and calling them on the phone and were friends, and I’m writing for them. Hey TIFF, I need a piece about this. Can you research it and get it back to me in two weeks? It was like, holy crap. When you apply yourself, when you chase a dream, when you show up for it, I’m no different than you. I’m no different than anyone else. We can all show up for things and make them happen and manifest them and it became like I look backwards and it’s wild that I did that because I wanted the pro card so I could be recognized in that way and what I identified is that I was showing up in that way and I didn’t need a pro card and I didn’t actually fit in that arena with those women that were altering their bodies and taking drugs to artificially enhance and change their body in a way that they weren’t meant to be and I don’t want to look like that I kept chasing the goal on stage to win but I never wanted to look like that and when I was done with the competition I didn’t want to be out in the world walking around maintaining that amount of muscle that my body was never meant to carry so it was not long after 2013 14 that I quit the stage altogether and I went right hardcore just into all the magazines I was writing for them, I was in hundreds of articles, I was in features, I was on the cover and it’s like I did that and that was wild because when we think we need this to happen first or a certain order of things sometimes when you just apply yourself and you just rinse, lather, repeat and you believe the inevitable will happen in a way that is least expected however it comes by way, it might catch you completely off guard but that’s how the brain, the mind learns to be completely caught by surprise. So that was wild and I was chasing those things left and right back then but it was when I really stopped showing up like that girl that the fire was no longer lit the things changed and I see so much today why I’m a person that is motivated by a lot of that and it could be done in a lot healthier way and a lot more simplistic ways I don’t have to be chasing down magazine covers but I see how relevant that is to me and my mental health now. One thing that was interesting, you said pretty soon those people you were chasing where your associates, your friends, the people you are talking to on a regular basis and talk a little bit about the power, proximity, the importance of who are around and how do you open up to get into those circles? Yeah, I think I’ve been in the beautiful position of having platforms and being able to use my voice and nothing was more powerful to me than using it for the right ways. I know so many people get endorsement deals and they partner with brands and it’s all about look at me, look at me, look at me and it’s a very very vain industry and I am so aware of that and also what the pitfalls of that can be but what I really identified was that I just totally lost my train of thought. I’m still that girl. It’s so true. Like, we spoke about this recently. I read about it. Every guru we listen to, every personal development book that we read promotes you are who you hang around. And that’s for better or for worse. I’ve watched how my husband has operated in business over the years. I would say that I only have a personal development background of 20 plus years because when he came into my life, he exposed me to some of the OGS like the Great and Tony Robbins and Tom Hopkins and on and on and on. And the power of making your car, your university on wheels was so ingrained in me. It’s like we don’t drive down the street and listen to music. We’re not bumping along to music. We’re, like, filling our brain with good stuff. And I can’t tell you, not guilt but anytime I’m driving along and I’m listening to just 104.7 or whatever, god, you love John Jay and Rich. But you don’t want to hear the same music over and over again when you can be feeding your soul and feeding your mind. So I soon began to see how staying in that lane and operating that way obviously some people will gravitate towards you as you begin to level up and then sadly, we identify some relationships that you got to trim some fat. Sadly. I’ve been in that position a few times over the last several years and I’ve downright outgrown people and it’s a painful thing to have to go through, but it’s a very true thing that some people are part of our world for a reason, a season or what have you. But, yeah, I think I began to operate from a place of you know, they say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, it’s the who, not how. And that is so true because when I can surround myself with people that are even better than me, I’m not threatened by it. I am so empowered. I am so encouraged. I am so motivated by it. And I’ve been very fortunate to keep a lot of people like that around me and I look to them for guidance all the time and I think we grow from each other and I think that’s an important thing to recognize, too. And I don’t remember who I heard this from, but actually, I’m not even going to say the quote because I don’t remember exactly how it said. But if you are the biggest person in the room, if you’re the hot shot in the room, you’re in the wrong room. You’re in the wrong room because you’re going to grow when you surround yourself by people that are going to help you get up to their level. And so I think that’s great, and it’s very true, and it’s hard. You know, you and I have been in a group coaching environment in the past where we talked about this, that sometimes those people that you need to either stop spending the time with or start spending less time with are people you love, are people that are close to you. And those are tough decisions and it doesn’t mean you have to cut them out of your life, but you’ve got to recognize how you’re going to deal with those things. Absolutely. That’s so true. And that’s the hardest part when it’s family. And yeah, I would say through a lot of my mental health struggles over the last two years, that really ruptured, I’d say about a year ago, well, mainly last November. There’s a big family element to that and I’ve had to learn to just say, you know what, bro? You on your own journey. And it’s sad when it’s family because the divide that it has created is tough, but this too shall pass and I’m here to write it out and be supportive of the ones that I love in light of certain things that are going on. So it’s hard, but it’s like the frequency and energy that we put out is what we get back. And man, you just can’t hang around all this low hanging fruit because that’s what you’re going to get more of. It’s true. Yeah, absolutely. And you know what? That’s where it gets hard sometimes is as entrepreneurs, you get ideas and you are all in and you’re excited about it and you just can’t wait to start sharing ideas and then all of a sudden you share an idea with someone and they shoot it down and just point out all the negative and stuff. And that’s hard to deal with because that’s where your own limiting beliefs start coming in. And so that’s why you need to be surrounded yourself by the people that are going to say, you know what? That’s incredible. This is something I’m going to get behind you and give you that support, whether it’s an entrepreneurial journey, an athletic journey, whatever it is. So, yeah, the people you’re around are so important. It’s true. And I would say, please lean into those people. Don’t be like me. I wasn’t too good to give up the pain. I wasn’t too good to share my struggles, but man, I truly backed myself in a corner because I didn’t when we think that we can just handle it all on our own, all you do is create separation and that is the most dangerous thing there is because then you’re not allowing someone else to really identify there’s a problem and this person needs help that they don’t know their way out on their own. And I found myself there, so, yeah, I can speak from that place now, too. Let’s go there a little bit to the level you’re comfortable with because that’s the other part, is we need to surround ourselves by the right people, not only for our growth, but also for the support when we do hit rock bottom. Yeah. So do you mind just talk about that a little bit in your experience? So, I would say about June of last year, some unfortunate events took place that I don’t care to go close to, and that’s out of respect for other people’s privacy. But I was very much diagnosed with a PTSD disorder, and I think it was a month or two before I actually received it. Like, ingested it, swallowed it, sat with it, and went, Okay, now what? I didn’t believe it because I’m like, I’ve known something’s wrong. Okay. But I keep saying depression, anxiety. I’m a kid that I’ve been powered by anxiety my whole life. I’ve been highly productive, I think do, in part, to some extent, with my anxiety. When I took that seriously and I started chasing down a picture frame that needed to be broken and put back together again a little bit differently, that’s when it got messy. I hit rock bottom in November, and I’ve never drank so much so often daily, from earlier and earlier every day to chase it away, whatever it was, and I didn’t know what it was. And obviously, if you’re aware that alcohol is a depressant, and when you are finally made aware that you really, truly are depressed and pretty high up on the scale, you’re not doing yourself any favors. So, out of desperation, I reached out to one of my doctors and I said, I’m not right. I’ve got this thing going on. I have been diagnosed with PTSD by my talk therapist, weekly talk therapy. I mean, I’ve done so many things to navigate it, and it just didn’t feel like I could do it alone. And I said, I really want some training wheels. Can you please put me on something? I was begging to be put on medication, and that medication ended up having very negative impact. And as a result, after two weeks of being on it, I wanted to take my own life. So then I had a complete mental breakdown, and I think it was needed. And I think that when you’re drinking excessively while you are taking antidepressants to chase whatever it is that you don’t understand under the hood, it only leads to that. And so I needed to have a breakdown, and I needed to have a breakthrough. And I began treatment in early December, and I knew I wasn’t going to fix myself before Christmas, but I wanted a freaking head start. My husband was very supportive. I had been doing research on ketamine infusions up to this point, and I had been seeing very positive results from people that had utilized this modality in a way in which medication is not beneficial for people. Maybe 50% of people actually receive some sort of benefit from antidepressants, and if even that much. And so I thought, I don’t want to slap a bandaid on this. I need to face this. And I need to work through this, and I’m going to be stronger because of it, but this is where I need to start crossing the river now. And so I identified some doctors here in Arizona, advanced Wellness and Pain, and Doctors Latham, Sharma and Wong are my heroes because I began my Ketamine infusions in early December, and I did six total treatments upfront within a two week span. And ketamine is not a magic drug, but it’s also not a bandaid. It’s not going to fix it. It takes very much like your perspective and allows you to really see what’s going on. So you can start to identify that. You can shift your perspective. It’s not going to change your problems, but you can change the lens by which you’re viewing those problems and challenges. And so for me, it was very helpful. And I was still working with my therapist, and I also had an integration coach, and it took a damn team, a village. And I participated in a study of PTSD with a lot of other, like, firefighters and people that had trauma that looked a lot like maybe that kind of trauma. And mine was different, but mine has been stacked trauma from childhood things as well. So I think what we don’t heal through and deal with properly at the time and we serve to jam down as far as we can and run from will come back to bite us in the ass. And that was the beginning of all of this for me, was before the complete breakdown, which was last November. It was we could go back a whole year before that. And I had severe back pain. I was going to the Chiropractor like three times a week, which is ridiculous, because if you’re not getting a result after that, after several weeks of that, she wanted to see an MRI. And I had multiple bulging discs, and I had a ruptured disc in my L five S one. I’ve never been in an accident. I didn’t fall. Nothing made sense for that. But it was the anger, the toxicity, and the negativity that I’ve been harboring inside my body. There’s a book called The Body Keeps Score. Check that out. It’s true. We make ourselves ill. A lot of cancers come to be this way, things like that. So I began on a journey, and I utilized a lot of the teachings of Dr. Joe Dispenza, and I went away to a week long meditative retreat. I became an advanced student of his, and I learned how to shut all of this out and go within. And meditation became something that I never thought I was a person so flighty that I could sit and do. But I began sitting in hours, I kid you not, hours of meditation every day, because I didn’t want back surgery. And I was aware that people had done some insanely, incredible things simply with the power of their mind. And when people have had inoperable brain tumors and they’ve been able to work their way out of things like that, I thought, you know what, I’m going to play around with this little disc in my back. And I was successful. But through that, I had a spiritual awakening. Then I began to question everything around me. Then the state of the world is upside down and, you know, we go into this freaking war of politics and COVID and people starting to fight. And as much as it was upsetting me to see people operating out of a fear based response to a lot of these things, and I’m someone that’s worked in the health and wellness space for darn near 30 years, I was calling BS left and right, and I was mad. I became so angry at people for feeling the way they were feeling. And I’m thinking, use common sense. Like, just do the right thing. And it led me to a path of feeling like I needed to argue with people and improve myself in a way that was just stealing my energy. So not worth it. And I began showing up that way, and that was sort of the beginning of my downward spiral. And I was observing my own erratic behavior. And that’s when I had to walk away from social media, and I went through treatment, and I didn’t know if I’d ever want to show my face again. But when I came back, I’ve come back in just a totally different capacity, and it brings me joy. And I want to show up how I want to show up now, not how everybody expects me to show up. So that’s been the greatest shift, I think is it looks different and it’s okay. So it’s a tough subject because so many people don’t know the answers. And when we look at mental health, especially over the last few years, what we’ve gone through the last two years, I think is ridiculous on the mental health skill and what it’s done to people. But even with myself coached my daughter through her whole basketball career, and she was dealing with depression, anxiety, and mental health issues, and I didn’t know how to deal with it as a coach. I was suck it up, get on the line, let’s run. And I think there’s a lot of people that are either one going through it themselves and don’t know how to deal with it or know someone and don’t know how to deal with it, don’t know how to advocate for it or anything. So what would your advice be to anyone, whether they’re dealing with it themselves or they want to help someone that’s dealing with it? Yes. I just would encourage you that I know how scary it is to raise your hand and say, like, I’m not okay because I’ve not been okay for a while, but it’s okay to not be okay. And you need to take it from people that you see on magazine covers that look like they have it all figured out, people that have written a book because they’ve got it all figured out. So I would say it’s from broken to badass back to broken again. And I’m writing the next several chapters right now. So I think when someone asks you for help, you have to take them seriously. And if you’re not qualified or comfortable giving that type of help, you do the research and help lead them to a place that can assist. Conversely, I have been very outspoken as I’ve gotten more comfortable with it. And I see people that I know well, I’ve observed them see it from afar and not reach out. And I understand that it’s also very much like either I saw that happening and I wasn’t sure what was going on with her or I’m not right. I don’t want to address that because it might point to me or I’m really uncomfortable with the subject and I just don’t know what to say. So there’s not a right or wrong thing to do, but turning your back on someone wouldn’t be the right way, obviously. I just think there’s so many incredible resources available that it’s not enough to know anymore. We have the innate ability to know how just take it to the computer, go to Google. The world is there and there is no excuse to being ignorant. Besides, it’s a choice now because it’s out there. So that is where when I felt those rumblings, I was sort of doing that research. And when I heard about what Ketamine was doing for people, not just Ketamine, but like ayahuasca Ketamine, I can’t remember all of the different ones and a lot of which they’re not legal in the States yet. Ketamine is ketamine was previously used in the or. It’s an anesthetic and so it’s a totally different use and in a totally different way. Dosing is completely different. But it had this ability to really open my eyes and give me the gift of perspective. And I think that is why I’m talking specifically about what that did for me because I didn’t just slap a bandaid on it. This is going to be something that I might do touch ups once a quarter. I’m not going to say that I’m great for life because this is a mental health hygiene that I now follow. It’s daily meditation. It’s moving my body daily. I’m so active because I really think I have to be. I think it’s my anxiety, I think journaling, I think an accountability partner, a therapist, like whatever that looks like if you don’t have that person in your life. My daughter struggled with something and I felt like for it to come from me wasn’t the same as if I hired someone and it could be a safe space too. And I’m completely on the outside letting her have the floor and so it can look so many different ways, but there are resources everywhere and I always encourage, if you don’t know where to go, come to me and I’ll help you find it. And I think because I’ve opened myself up in such a way, I have women that when they know someone in danger, they come to me. If it’s a domestic violence situation and I’ve connected them with the shelter that I collaborate with here in Phoenix, Chrysalis, they do an incredible job. Again, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. And it’s the research that we can all be capable of doing that can help. Yeah, thank you for sharing that. I think it’s just one of the biggest things you said there is. It’s okay not to be okay. You just need to be able to reach out and get that help. So let’s switch pace a little bit and talk about pivoting out of the fitness industry and that story. Yeah, so, like, I’ve done fitness since forever in the competition and writing in that space and just all the different ways I’ve shown up, it’s nice to not be showing up where I’m sort of expected. It’s. Like I’m infusing that into the other things that I do, but I’m a multidimensional person like everyone else, and so I think it just got so stale for me. It’s like, if I want to learn how to go spelunking and I want to put up a page and do that, I’m going to do that next. I don’t care. I’ve got to do the things that make Tiffany happy and Tiffany show up for one more day now. So, I mean, I see such value now, and what the pandemic did is it really backed me into a corner. Worse, I was already feeling that way. And then it’s like to go out in the world and we were no longer under a mask mandate. But then the man in the pack and Chip store screamed at me like, yo, lady, do your part. And I’m going. Just remember, he’s older and he’s scared because I just wanted to take people out and I thought, this is not healthy for me and this is getting me worked up and I need to learn how to not be that reactionary person. So, yeah, just a lot of that changed how I was showing up. And I think ultimately, it’s been really refreshing to learn new things, connect with new people, namely women in the makeup and beauty space. The most supportive, incredible female relationships have been formed over here. It’s been just such lovely feedback to get people who didn’t even know I was doing this or what I was doing. So I’m seeing a lot of your new content and, like, you look so happy, like you’re having the best time. And that is like, nothing is better to me than that right now because it’s genuinely true. So fitness will always be a huge part of who and what I am. But I see now more than ever that there’s a nice benefit of being in shape, and that’s great. But I see now that if there’s, God forbid, a tragedy or something that happens, I want to be built to last. I want to be made of something that will bounce. And the way people take care of themselves these days, the junk food they’re eating, obviously, if I were eating as healthy and well as I was, but I’m drinking excessively, I was living a lie. And so I’ve brought a lot of that to the light now to say I was struggling and I was using that as my sort of release, and it was pouring fuel on the fire, quite literally. So I just think, do what you want to do. Show up where you want to show up, whether you’re qualified or not. Jump and figure it out on the way down. That’s my philosophy. I’ve said a few times, but it’s scary. But I got so complacent and comfortable and I could but I was like, I saw what that did for me. Nothing great happens in your comfort zone. Like, all the good stuff is happening now that I’m squirming. Actually, that’s something I love reading. So just to give you all a backstory, but Tiffany at the beginning mentioned working together on accountability with my mindset questions. One of the things that I ask her every day is, how are you going to step out of your comfort zone every day? And so that is something that’s one of the first answers I read every day when you send me those questions, because it is such an important thing to do, to step out of your comfort zone, not just to be out of it, but so your comfort zone is growing every single day. So that’s awesome. That’s a huge, I think, one of the greatest components in all of this for me, and just taking me more seriously and just pouring back into me and seeing that I deserve love, it’s not something I think, and I think that’s where I hit a downward spiral. And I really think we have to always be learning. It didn’t matter if I was still that 29 year old girl that retired and I could sit on my couch and eat bonbons all day. What joy is going to come out of that? What good health is going to come out of that? Like, I see very clearly now that I need things on the calendar to look forward to. I need trips to get excited about. I need to sign up for a class. I need to take you on as a business accountability partner, as a coach, to just tell me you’re screwing up here, you need to do this, and tell me like it is. These are the things that I am now chasing. And it feels good, as awkward as it is good for you. That’s awesome. Now, again, for those that are watching on video, this is it here. But tell us a little bit more about the book, the experience of writing the book, what you’ve learned from writing the book and does any of the thoughts you want to share about the book? I think I wrote that book for young women everywhere. Mainly I was talking to my young self, who I fell down a lot in my early years. And I shared all of that because I didn’t ever just want people to see the glossy, polished, post production version of Tiffany I wanted people to like. And also in that space, a lot of the women, they just want to be in the magazines. I wrote for those magazines. I created a lot of the content you read in those magazines. I made up recipes. I did all these things. I really wanted people to see that when you think or you assume that someone had it easy to arrive at those places. In fact, I really wanted to teach you otherwise. I wanted you to see all the ways in which I struggled all along the way. And that through that, I figured it out. I found out through starving myself that, no, I want to fuel my body healthfully, I want to train properly. I want to appreciate my god given body for what it was. I’m not going to be what I’m never going to be. But I can learn to embrace me, who I am, and I can give that gift to the next person that needs to hear that. And it was always me speaking from a place of when I get the feedback, like, wow, that’s so powerful. Thanks for sharing that. I needed to hear that today. I was like, you’re welcome. But I said that for me. And the more I talk to myself like that, but I openly share it, I really feel that that vulnerability gives that gift to others to then pour that back out. And I’m starting to learn how this works. Me being the hard ass, the tough ass, the badass, and being so strong and having it all figured out as I think I’ve taught the world to view me was all just weaponry to guard myself from who I really am and how I was struggling. And that’s why I wrote that book. And I thought through writing that book that I healed so many pieces of that. And it wasn’t until this happened this past November and I’m coming around the mountain now in June, July this year, that I really look backwards and I go, you never did the work. This was always going to happen. So, yeah, there’s more chapters. You’re right, for sure. Well, I mean, you were definitely vulnerable in the book and shared a lot that I think a lot of people can learn from, even if it was for your own journey. But, yeah, I’ll definitely put all the links in the show notes so people can find out how to get the book. But now it’s Tiffany’s story going forward. Tell us what’s in the future. Oh, gosh. I’m taking one day at a time still. But I really just keep wanting to show up for me, and I see that my kids see how hard I felt down. And so it’s prideful for me to stand up and just keep taking another step, another day, and just keep pushing hard. And I see the growth, I feel the growth. I’m challenging myself in ways, and it’s bringing what I identify as just genuine happiness. And it made me realize that I haven’t felt that way for a long time. I’ve been always very outspoken, but this is the stuff that I think I’ve needed to be shouting from the rooftops for a while. It’s never too late. So now is the time for me. That’s right. For those that besides the book, that want to follow you, that want to connect with you, how do they do that? I guess Tiffanyleegaston.com is probably the easiest way to find me. All my links are on there. I’m active on YouTube. I’ve got a fitness channel, but I shouldn’t say it’s active any longer. But I do have a lot of home workouts there. And then I’ve got my Instagram and all that linked, so you can find me on Tiffanyleygaston.com. Okay. And I will put that link in the show notes as well as the YouTube, Instagram and all that as well. Tiffany, thank you. I appreciate you. I appreciate you being willing to share your story, share your experiences, and help others to get through their own stories by understanding how you did it. Thank you so much. And I’m very grateful to you, Jeff. You’ve been a big part of me coming full circle and the daily work that I do and just showing up to make sure that you don’t press on me. You’re meaningful. So thank you. Why do some people succeed at levels beyond their imagination while others struggle? The mind is the key to your success. Even the best strategies won’t matter without the right mindset to implement it. For those who desire to be great, to do amazing things and have an impact on the world, the Bigger Future coaching program is designed to take your life and your business to another level. If you’re ready to make big commitments, be held accountable, and develop the success mindset that will take you beyond your wildest dreams, join us today. Go to www.JeffHeggie.com/groupcoaching to find out more. Athletes put a ton of time and effort into the physical aspect of the sport. It’s something they have to do to be great. But one thing that’s often neglected is the mental game. And the mental game, it’s just as important as the physical. And that’s why I developed the Confident Athlete Program. In the Confident Athlete program, I work with athletes at all levels and we work to develop their confidence, their mindset and really tap into their full potential. So if you want to really take your game to the next level you want to develop to your full potential, check it out at www.JeffHeggie.com/ConfidentAthlete

High Achievers Accountability >>


Published by D. Jeff Heggie

Father, Husband, Coach & Entrepreneur

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: