One scroll through Tiffany Underwood’s Instagram page will show you that she is a woman who is passionate about breaking a sweat. The 27-year-old Birmingham native works as a financial consultant by day, but her life in the gym as a trainer and fitness enthusiast is what earned her the bragging rights of being our February photo contest winner.
Keep reading to get to know the former University of Alabama cheerleader who is in our stunning homepage photo a bit better.
Tell us how your winning photo came about?
I wanted to do a photoshoot to capture images that highlighted my fitness journey thus far. The last two years have been very challenging for me mentally and physically so I decided to take pictures to document how far I’ve come and to celebrate the place I’m at in my life right now. This photo not only represents physical strength, balance, and poise, but also the mental stamina that I’ve had to endure recently. This is much more than just a photo, but a true representation of beauty from ashes.
Please briefly share your fitness journey with us.
I have been involved in sports and exercise from a very young age. But it wasn’t until I stopped cheerleading and began working in corporate America where I really had to take control over my physical health. Things weren’t as easy as they were when I had scheduled workouts, practices, and even a nutritionist. I was extremely sluggish, tired, lacked energy, and didn’t like how my body felt. So I was determined to make some changes and adapt to my new corporate America lifestyle. Initially it was extremely challenging to stay on track – I would work out occasionally, maybe even go to a few different workout classes periodically but nothing consistently. Once I made the decision to regularly exercise and eat healthy, I began seeing physical results.
Working out not only served as a physical activity, but also helped me mentally. In 2018, I experienced an extremely difficult break up from a long term relationship that hit me in a way that words cannot describe. Throughout this break up, I experienced depression, lack of drive and motivation, stress, anxiety, and my emotions were all over the place. One day I decided to go for a run to clear my head, and I realized that my overall mood was better after I finished. I decided to take it a step further and hire a personal trainer. He served as someone who held me accountable, pushed me, and encouraged me, which was exactly what I needed at this time in my life. Working out then became my way of releasing stress and clearing my mind of all negative thoughts. Coupled with physical exercise, I also decided to focus on my mental wellbeing as well. I made it a point to implement some form of self-care each day.
Now, after remaining consistent, not only am I in a better place mentally, but my body is the strongest it’s ever been! I feel amazing and it’s a bonus that I’ve simultaneously shed a few inches during the process. All of this started with a choice. You make a decision to change your lifestyle. You choose to exercise. You choose to eat clean and healthy. You choose to make self-care a priority. Everything begins with a choice, you just have to remain consistent and it will eventually become a part of your lifestyle.
We believe fitness + friendship = FUN! What is your favorite group fitness workout?
My favorite group fitness workout would have to be one where I’m surrounded by all of my girls in the gym, powering through a heavy leg and glute day!
While working out is important, so is eating the right foods. What is your go-to pre-workout meal? How do you refuel after a workout?
Diet is one thing that I really focus on along with my workouts. I usually work out in the morning so I do not eat much prior to exercising. However, my favorite post workout meal is egg white muffins (with veggies) and turkey bacon! I am a woman on the go so this is my go to when I meal prep. Not only does it taste amazing, its super easy to prepare.
What is one item that is always in your gym bag?
I always have extra hair ties and Nike headbands in my gym bag. A pet peeve of mine is when my hair touches my neck or back when I’m sweating, so I always have extra hair ties just in case one breaks or I forget one.
What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
People would be surprised to learn that in 2013, I competed with Team USA in the Cheerleading World Championship where we took home first place!
What are your top three goals you hope to accomplish in life?
Through telling my story, I hope to lead by example and help encourage other people pursue their passion and determine their “why” in life. I also hope to constantly remind people of the importance of self care. We get so caught up in the normal day to day and doing things for others that we sometimes tend to forget to take time to tend to ourselves. And lastly, a near term goal of mine is to continue to grow in my fitness journey and eventually begin fitness modeling.
What does PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT mean to you?
To me, PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT means collaborating with other women to provide a sense of community and encourage one another to live a healthy lifestyle. I believe everything is easier when you have support, collaboration, and encouragement!
Since PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT, what is your favorite deodorant?