Two years ago, Tiff famously threw out her bathroom scales. And she still hasn’t replaced them. She gave the scales over to her husband, comedian and radio host Ed Kavalee, who either “hid them or maybe he ran over them”, she would later jokingly tell the crowd at her TEDx Melbourne talk. Back then, though, she wasn’t laughing.
If you don’t already know the story, here’s a recap. The high-profile fitness star – who had spent years building a fitness career that saw her going from the tiny-shorts-clad athlete Angel on the TV show Gladiators to the much-loved taekwondo instructor on The Biggest Loser – had gained 30kg after giving birth to her son Arnold. She thought it would mean the end of her business, TIFFXO, which itself was still in its infancy. “It was the first time I looked in the mirror and thought, ‘You are not a leader in the health and fitness space – look at you.’ I had lost my sense of self,” she tells WH. But Ed helped Tiff to see herself differently; he helped her love the strong body that created their “little ninja”, Arnold (now aged two). And, instead of ending her career, her honest account of taking the next 18 months to slowly “bounce forward and come back stronger than I had been before Arnold”, by prioritising self-care, healing and recovery, brought her more fans than ever.
“I’m so happy I don’t weigh myself anymore. The scales don’t measure your personal best, or that I’m trying to nail the 540 kick in taekwondo [FYI: it combines three kicks in one 540-degree spin!], or whether my boxing speed or dead lift has improved,” she says. “The scales don’t measure confidence, self-esteem and how comfortable I am in my new body that has changed since Arnold, with stretch marks and loose skin and wider hips. I wouldn’t change it for the world, because they’re reminders of him and how strong my body is for giving birth.”
Read our full chat with Tiffiny in the February issue of Women's Health, on sale now.