Tiffiny Hall, Founder of TIFFXO.COM has had an inspiring return to health and fitness since welcoming her son Arnie into the world in September last year. Tiffiny gives us some insight into her life as a new mum, her journey back to strength and her tips for mums to bring happyfit into their lives.
How did you find the adjustment to motherhood? What have you found the most surprising part of the journey?
I don’t think there was time to slowly adjust, for me it was like being hit by a truck. We had a reflux baby and I was back at work and the sleep deprivation was more torturous than I could ever imagine but I loved every second of it and wouldn’t change a thing. The first 6 weeks were a magic time for Ed and I and seeing this baby I had dreamt about, be finally in my arms, it was overwhelming how much I loved him. I was surprised by how something that just drinks milk and sleeps could steal my heart. It was love at first sight.
As someone who is immersed in the fitness industry, how did you cope with the changes in your body that come with pregnancy?
It was hard to lose my strength and fitness during a sick pregnancy. I struggled with that. I didn’t care about the physical changes as much, I am a trainer who has transformed people’s bodies for over two decades so I know how to bring about change with weight loss and toning up parts of the body and I knew when I was ready, I could get results. I put on 30kg being unable to exercise, eating different foods to what I’m usually accustomed to in order to cope with severe all day sickness, and I really struggled with puffing as I went up the stairs, or feeling out of breath talking on the phone and losing my strength. For me training has never been about looking a certain way, it’s always been about how it made me feel – strong and powerful. Losing that strength and power was a struggle.
Has having a baby changed your approach to your own health/fitness? And how you work with your clients?
Absolutely. I’ve always believed that you can you train effectively in a limited time. I’m the queen of creating fast effective workouts, and since becoming a mum I’ve become even more efficient in training smart and love sharing with my members of TIFFXO. I stick to Hiit training, 20 minute workouts and offer my members 10 minute options if 10 minutes is all they have. I also prioritise self care far more than I used to, if I have a bad night with Arnold being awake (my rule is if I’m up to him more than 3 times in the night) then I won’t do intense training the next day. I’ll do a stretching FLOW or a walk with Arnold in the pram. I think having a baby has also made me more flexible. I now have to have a plan A/B/C. If plan A doesn’t work, say a 20 minute TIFFXO workout, because of Arnie then I switch to the plan B a 10 minute workout, and if that doesn’t work because life happens then I switch to Plan C and that might be a walk with the pram with some ankle weights!
What does a typical day look like for you?
I don’t think typical exists with a 6-month-old baby does it? When I’m filming TIFFXO workouts, or The Living Room the days are very different and Arnold comes with me or is babysat and brought to me for breastfeeds. On a non-filming day, this is how we kinda roll although every day can be different:
I wake up at 5am every day and have lemon in water. I do my oil pulling whilst I boil the kettle then take spirulina and turmeric supplements. I then take Arnold’s solids out of the freezer to defrost, I pre make all his food. He eats the TIFFXO recipes blended and frozen. He loves the TIFFXO slow cooks.
6am Arnold wakes up and I breastfeed him. At 7am I go for a run with Arnold in our running pram and I grab a long black coffee on the way home. Then Arnold and I have breakfast – he usually has smashed banana and avocado. I’ll have TIFFXO overnight peanut butter oats or a TIFFXO smoothie.
9am Arnold goes down for an hour nap and I work catching up on emails, or writing the TIFFXO program. I film lots of new workouts for our members every month so I’m constantly writing and evolving the fitness system. I’ll pop into the TIFFXO community and motivate my members to press play on a workout and answer questions. Then Arnold is up for his 10am breastfeed. We play and he does his tummy time whilst I do my workout. Sometimes this is 10 or 30 minutes depending on Arnold. I chromecast the workout to the TV in the living room and workout.
11:30 is Arnold’s lunch, today he had blitzed chicken, sweet potato and apple with steamed pear for dessert. I’ll have my lunch then too. I do meal prep for Arnold and I on the weekends so usually I grab one of the TIFFXO Caesar salads I’ve pre prepared.
12:30 Arnold goes down for another nap and he’ll sleep for 2 hours. If Ed is home from work I’ll leave and go to the gym to rehearse TIFFXO workouts or to do some training (I’m still building up my fitness for filming multiple TIFFXO workouts!). I’ll come home and tend to do stuff with the business. Arnold wakes and I’ll breastfeed him at around 2:30.
Then in the afternoon I’ll work whilst Ed has son and daddy time and then 4pm Arnold will have another nap before his dinner at 5pm and then it’s into the Bs – bath, book, breastfeed, bed. Arnold is in bed by 6:45pm and then Ed and I sit down to have dinner together and hang out.
You were so honest and transparent when Arnie was born about sharing your post-baby body. What inspired you to do that?
I was fed up with seeing bounce back photos during my pregnancy that made me feel rotten and put so much pressure on mums. My friends who were new mums would fall apart seeing celebrities in bikinis 3-6 weeks after giving birth. It’s not realistic or honest. I wanted to help women by showing them that even one of the fittest women in Australia who had trained her whole life couldn’t fight a sick pregnancy and putting on weight and body changes during pregnancy. I wanted to encourage women to take the pressure off returning to their pre pregnancy body and to soak up every newborn minute and to prioritise self care.
What has the journey back to fitness looked like for you?
I’ve been focused on the happyfit. The happy is just as important as the fit. I’ve really enjoyed the return to fitness. From starting out doing a few minutes of TIFFXO with the low impact modifications, to building up to doing HIIT again and Taekwondo. I’ve loved it because I’ve had the wonderful support of my ninja community.
What does happy fit mean? How can mums get a happy fit mindset?
Happyfit is about enjoying your fitness, not depriving yourself of food and flicking off the diet mindset and not punishing yourself with exercise. It’s about integrating self care into your fitness regime so you feel nourished, energised and effervescent. Not depleted and flogged. It’s about finding support, taking it in inch-pebbles not milestones, and celebrating the non-scale victories – being able to do a pushup, or perfect a front kick or work out and involve the kids. You have to get rid of the all-or-nothing mindset and instead embrace doing your best in the time you’ve got. It’s great if you can have a plan set out for you like TIFFXO with the support. If you make it up on your own, just be sure to integrate rest and recovery days and time to recharge.
What advice would you give a mum who is wanting to fit her health goals back into her life around her kids?
It doesn’t take a massive effort; small steps consistently can achieve great results. 10-15 minutes a day over the course of a month will help! It’s never a matter of not having the time, but a matter of not having your priorities straight. Prioritise your self care – a huge part of self care is fitness and health. Set manageable, realistic and measurable goals. Find support and make your goals known to your friends and family so you have the support. Do some food prep on the weekend to take the stress out of the week, find recipes that are family friendly. On TIFFXO for example, you’re not cooking 3 different meals for your partner, you and the kids, we make sure one meal is delicious, easy and satisfying for everyone. Arnold eats TIFFXO blitzed in the blender and Ed is never hungry.
What is your go-to breakfast, lunch and dinner when you don’t have time to cook and want to eat well?
Breakfast is a quick smoothie – I’ll put it in the blender the night before in the fridge so I only have to blitz it in the morning.
Lunch – I pre prepare on the weekend TIFFXO soba noodles with beef. Or TIFFXO Caesar salads so I can grab and go.. Great for Ed to have for work too.
Dinner – I’ll do a TIFFXO slow cook and that’ll give us a couple of meals! Always have a slow cook meal in the fridge or freezer.
Tiffiny’s tips for fitting exercise around the kids
Join TIFFXO! You can do it at home any time around your kids’ naps and routines. There’s also a community of women who will support you to reach your goals who are all in the same boat.
Home gym is fun. I do laundry basket squats, letterbox laps (walking from the back of my house to the letterbox) whilst taking work calls, sometimes I’ll set a timer and do 30 squats every hour, or whilst I’m waiting for the kettle to boil or something in the oven I’ll hold the plank.
If you have a baby, go for a walk with the pram and invest in a pair of great ankle weights to tone your legs. Find some hills to challenge yourself.
If you can’t get a workout done at home, everyone has those days, take the kids to the park. Use the monkey bars and park bench to do some exercise – squats on the park bench, dips, pushups, pull ups on the monkey bars or a game of tag with the kids.