Welcome to Fuel, Sweat, and Science! To kick it all off, I’m going to share my story.
As it is for many people, it’s hard for me to talk about myself. However, I know it’s imperative that I do.
I want to build rapport, trust, and authenticity with all of you. I want you to know that I’m a real person with real challenges even while I’m bringing my education and expertise. The best way I know how to do that is by sharing my story–the ups, downs, and everything in between.
I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. As a young girl, I did lots of competitive sports at a very high level. I was given the opportunity and exposure to competition very early in life and fell in love with it.
In high school, I was the captain of most of my teams. Through this experience, I learned leadership, mentorship, discipline, drive, and work ethic, skills I still use today. Towards the end of high school, I had some back issues that sidelined me. So, by the time I got to college, I wasn’t really ready to jump into sports.
Taking away the sports community for a while was a blessing in disguise. I missed out on a lot of social things in high school because of sports and was burnt out towards the end. My back injury gave me a much-needed break.
At this time, I was also exposed to “exercise” for the first time. It was the first time I wasn’t getting my physical activity through sports. I loved what I saw as my body transformed from a typical “jock” body to more of a runner’s body.
My Professional Journey
When I began college, I was on track for sport’s medicine. However, my college discontinued that major my freshman year. As a result, I decided to move forward with a Bachelor’s in Psychology, knowing that would require graduate school.
I eventually got my Master’s in Sports Psychology and Kinesiology. The options from there were to go into a clinical setting and work one-on-one with athletes or go into the academic world and teach. I wasn’t sure I’d want to teach but I didn’t want to limit myself so I went on to get my Ph.D.
I got my degree in Health and Human Performance and this is where the fusion happened. Biology and nutrition sciences came into play. Since then, that rare skill set has served me so well. I can bring in sports psychology alongside the science of nutrition and exercise.
My Weight Journey
When I moved to Denver a little later on, my body got out of control. Not being in control isn’t comfortable for me so I tried everything to get back in the driver’s seat.
I was gaining weight even though I was training harder. Lifting weights was really popular at the time and I got into that. Overall, I was super active and trying to manipulate my food but nothing was working.
Finally, I realized that I needed help. I hired a coach who taught me about macronutrients for the first time. While working with that coach, I lost 20 pounds even though I was eating more and training less. That success gave me hope and a spurt of energy and led me to do what I do today.
My story is rare and unique. There are parts of it that I wish I could edit or delete. However, despite it all, it’s my story. If I can take just one piece of it, bring it to other people, and inspire them through what I’ve learned and experienced, then my story is complete.
If you want to learn more about my history and experiences, check out https://workwithdrtiff.com/podcast/