On the latest episode of our Women's Health Uninterrupted podcast, Tiff opens up about her battle with epilepsy – a condition she’s been privately coming to terms with since the age of 14.
“I do have a form of epilepsy that is very hard,” she says. “That's probably the biggest struggle day-to-day for me in terms of managing medication. [And] at times doctors saying to me, ‘Hey, full combat sports, gym, this is not for you.’”
“It’s been all my life and sometimes I felt like it's held me back,” she admits. “I always have carried this sort of sadness and grief in thinking, ‘Oh, if I didn't have this, imagine where I would be. Imagine what I could do.’ It’s something that makes me very tired and exhausted.”
Despite these mental and physical challenges, time has helped Tiff come to see her diagnosis as a blessing. “It's made me a fighter and there's nothing I haven't done. I just have to put my mind to it,” she says. “I am so dedicated and passionate about health and fitness because I know that eating well and moving has a direct effect on my brain. Whereas stress, eating sugar, these are things that can trigger episodes for me.”
Self-care is now non-negotiable for Tiff, especially since becoming mum. If she gets run down or too exhausted, she’ll quickly feel the effects.
“I have had to say no to things. And using that ‘no’ muscle, being assertive, has been a great life lesson because I've always been the ‘yes’ person.”
As for her message for other women going through adversity?
“You can do it. But it just does take management and support,” Tiff says. “I go about life with an attitude of, ‘Hey, this is my little thing that makes me a fighter.’ And I feel really quite blessed that I have been able to do the things that I can do. Because if it ramps up or if things change, maybe there's a chance that I won't be able to.”