Several years ago I made the decision to invest myself into being a photographer in the health and fitness industry. Up to this point I had merely dabbled with a few photo shoots with athletes and fitness competitors but had not made a focused effort. But if I was going to do it, I had to fully immerse myself in the industry. I chose to start that year off with a full day photo shoot with a variety of fitness talents. It was my first of many efforts to grow and brand myself as a photographer in this industry and as such I personally picked out talents I could work with. One of those talents was Tiffani Bachus. Flash forward a handful of years and Tiffani and I are still working together. She was one of the first fitness talents I ever had on camera and it has been a wonderful experience to watch her brand and businesses continue to grow and thrive. As such I wanted to interview her for the last feature talent of the year.
James Patrick: Let us pick things up with your entry into the competitive fitness industry. At this point you have transformed your life, but what inspired you to take it to pursue something in that industry?
Tiffani Bachus: I have always been drawn toward the health and fitness industry, not only for my own personal goals, but to help others as well. I have a degree in nutrition and was teaching group fitness classes as well as personal training, before I began entering competitions. Fitness and nutrition have been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember, and it was an easy and natural transition for me.
JP: Share with us a little about your professional journey in the fitness industry shortly after competing. What did you find yourself investing your time and energy into?
TB: Shortly after competing, I was able to use my experience and transformation to make an impact on my friends, clients and other moms who were looking to feel healthier, get into better shape and improve their overall health. As I became more focused upon my own advancements, I realized that I was a role model for my clients who were searching for improvements in their own health and wellbeing. I knew it would be my pleasure to help them reach their fitness goals and achieve greatness-physically, emotionally and mentally.
JP: You’ve been a contributing writer for RKP magazines such as Oxygen and Clean Eating for quite some time. What generated your interest in that and how did you go about building those relationships?
TB: In 2008, after celebrating the birth of my third child and recovering from reconstructive ACL surgery, I competed at the Fitness America Pageant and was introduced to Diane Hart, Editor in Chief of Oxygen Special Issues. We kept in contact throughout the year and in 2009, upon winning the Fitness American pageant, I mentioned to Diane that I was a licensed dietitian and willing to contribute to the magazine. Diane connected me with Nutrition editor Helen Vong, who invited me to write for the Easy Does it section monthly. This opportunity to share my expertise, knowledge and love for nutrition to the readers of Oxygen Magazine is the biggest highlight of my career. To have my own nutrition column in Oxygen and Clean Eating magazines is a greater goal than I could have imagined!
JP: After you started getting work regularly published, you were then featured on an Oxygen special editions cover. Can you share a little about how that came to be?
TB: Throughout my transformation, I documented my progress. I kept it along with my bio and current TV segments and shared it with the Oxygen staff. My story of overcoming weight fluctuations and struggles from multiple pregnancies, battle with chronic bronchitis, and recuperation following reconstructive ACL surgery to become the winner of the Fitness American Championship, inspired them to do a success story for the Off the Couch issue. I was happily surprised when they asked me to fly to Canada to shoot for a possible cover of the Fat Loss issue. I was even more ecstatic to learn that I was chosen to be the Cover Girl for the 2012 Fat Loss Issue! What an honor and an incredible opportunity to know I can inspire, motivate and encourage other women to overcome obstacles to reach their dreams. After-all, I was a 39 year old mother of three kids and if I could do it, anyone could choose the options to live a healthier, happier life. I say, “Go for it and don’t hold back!”
JP: You launched an online site and program called Total Balanced Body. What was the inspiration behind this?
TB: As a busy mother of 3 kids whose schedules demanded more and more of my time, as well as writing for Oxygen and Clean Eating magazines, taping regular segments on Good Morning Arizona KTVK-Channel 3 TV and co-authoring a breakfast cookbook (with my U Rock Girl partner, Erin MacDonald), it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to keep in contact with my out of state clients. I developed my signature online program, Total Balanced Body (TBB) to be able to accommodate this need. However, as my release date approaches for the cookbook (early 2013) I have begun to cut back on out of state clients.
JP: In what ways do you market U Rock Girl?
TB: U Rock Girl is a website dedicated to promoting wellness and a healthy, balanced lifestyle. My cousin and co-founder, Erin MacDonald, is also a registered dietician who shares my passion, and together we promote using every media opportunity we can. Media drives media and using it to my advantage is the best way to market my company.
JP: You and I have had many conversations about authenticity in a brand. For the audience, can you discuss your views on a talent or a company’s brand and the message it shares?
TB: My brand represents ME. Everything I believe and stand for. It’s my passion, my way of living, my philosophy, my experiences… people have to know who you are and what you can do for them. I’ve spent many years (yes, more than a decade) establishing who I am as a person and what I believe in. I am confident, grounded and honored to be a mom, wife, friend, mentor, role model, and expert in the nutrition and fitness field. Authenticity in a brand means it’s genuine, real and trustworthy. Most important to know about developing your brand is be YOU, don’t try to be anyone else.
JP: Often times in a journey, there come moments where one has to dig even deeper than they thought to achieve something great. How have you, in your journey, dug deep and found the energy and motivation to achieve what you have accomplished?
TB: I think everyone finds their strength and motivation in different ways. I know deep down inside what I want in life. I want to be my best version of myself. I want to get better every year (stronger, healthier, and wiser- emotionally, physically and mentally). I love feeling my best! I’m motivated and energized when I carve some time out to take care of myself. I reap the greatest rewards when I eat well, exercise, get plenty of rest, practice yoga, and surround myself with the people that I love. To achieve what I’ve accomplished took clarity, awareness and a willingness to take risks. I also realized early on in life not to hold onto negativity – it only brings you down, making it more difficult to dig deep and find the strength and motivation to progress forward. I never beat myself up when things don’t go the way I planned. I just find the strength, feel grateful for what I have accomplished and then move on. I never compare myself to others. I know to be true to myself.
JP: Lastly, what are some of the top lessons you’ve learned as a talent in the fitness industry that you can discuss with readers?
TB: As I mentioned, you need to be yourself. Don’t look to others for your self-worth. Surround yourself with people that love you unconditionally, support your dreams, and let you be the person that you were meant to be. Be tenacious; never take “no” for an answer. Things always change; life is constantly evolving, so go along for the ride. And lastly you must live a fulfilled life beyond fitness. Like anything, there are ups and downs in this industry, so it is important to be well rounded. Look at life through eyes of gratitude and you will appreciate your blessings as you strive to realize your potential. Don’t cheat yourself- as the great Shakespeare once said, “To thine own self be true!”
Special thanks to Tiffani Bachus for being a part of this interview!