NAME: Tiffany Haddock
OFFSEASON WEIGHT: 145lbs
CONTEST WEIGHT: 133lbs
DIVISION: Bikini CONTEST HISTORY: -2015 NPC Max Muscle Mid Atlantic VA/DC, 5th place, master’s bikini 40+
I have always had an interest in competing and always told myself that I would do it “one day”. I have always been active in the gym, but wasn’t as keenly interested in competing until I found myself in a position where I couldn’t dream of stepping on stage. A few years ago, I was bed-ridden with a severe case of Lyme disease that kept me from driving, working and even taking care of myself on my own. The disease devastated nearly every system in my body from impairing my vision to reducing my cognitive abilities. There were days that I could not remember what day it was and did not know how to find the answer; a calendar meant nothing to me. I had neurological symptoms such as blinding nerve pain and emotional instability that would leave me inconsolable on most days with deep sadness and sometimes rage for no reason. My blood pressure was unstable and my kidneys were not working properly. My entire body was in a toxic upheaval, with a medication regimen consisting of over 50 pills a day. Luckily, I found the right doctor who slowly brought me back to health.
During my recovery and seemingly endless days at home in bed, I happened to see a former high school friend on Facebook doing a physique competition. The photo was of Tammy Christman, competing in figure, and I was struck by her commanding presence, confidence, beauty and strength. I needed a goal and some hope to help me restore my health, so I contacted Tammy and asked her a few questions about competing. The next thing I know, Tammy was in my living room helping me stretch and assessing whether or not I could do a single sit-up. I had a LONG way to go and suffered many setbacks while on this path, but made reaching the stage a goal that symbolized finding my health again.
Tammy told me about TWW. She developed an evolving plan that slowly monitored my progress with the eventual goal of entering a competition. I have known Tammy for years, so I was instantly comfortable with her but NOT with the process. Tammy helped empower me every time I made progress and understood that my prep wasn’t really about placing in a show, but more about reclaiming my health and getting my life back. She was patient, kind, enthusiastic, funny and a total motivator rolled into one. Tammy has such a genuine ability of knowing when to push me and when to switch things up in my program. I was an atypical client and I know she spent a lot of time planning an attack for me as well as educating me on the various phases of contest preparation. There were plenty of days in the beginning where I wanted to cancel a training session but didn’t because I knew she believed in me. She is amazing!
The hardest part of prepping for a show was being critical of myself. I have made tremendous progress, but I had a tough time allowing myself to use that perspective when I looked in the mirror. I knew that I was not in the same shape or level of conditioning as other competitors and nearly backed out of doing the show. I also did not know how hard I could push myself during the last eight weeks or so and did not want to risk getting sick.
During difficult times, for motivation I would actually look at old emails and lab tests from my doctor from just a year ago to remind myself of how far I have come.
Everyone has a reason for competing and I found it helpful to keep my reasons at the forefront of my mind, especially when I was tired or had a hard day at work. You need to have a meaningful reason so that when times are tough and you ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?”, your reason will keep you focused and moving forward. You WILL ask yourself that question, so have a good answer!
During my prep, I learned that I am capable of much more than I give myself credit for and that the commitment to contest prep is personal. We all do it for different reasons that resonate within ourselves. I learned that I will always be committed to lifelong health and that the ability to compete is one of the rewards.
First on my list for thanks is Tammy Christman!!! Tammy is always professional and clearly makes it a point to understand me as a person, not just one of her clients. Her personal attention makes her one of the best in the business. I cannot thank her enough for her support, expertise and friendship. Shawn Hektor-Lewis designed my bikini and helped me with some posing tips and several pep talks during my phases of self-doubt. My family and friends were behind me 100% and supported my goal every step of the way. My Mom and Dad actually cried at the competition because they knew how much this meant to me and how far I had come.
Moving forward, I am planning to compete again, it was such a meaningful and personally worthwhile experience. I have a LOT of work to do, so the next few months will be all about building muscle!!!! Now I know what to expect and am excited to see what I can do next.