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Tiffany Lee Gaston

Where do I begin? These past weeks have been nothing short of incredible for me.  The joining together of determination and hard work, have yielded an overall figure win at a very big show as well as two top 5 placings.  I couldn’t have anticipated the outcome of any of this, I just pushed hard and put in the work.  I am very grateful that it has payed off!

I’m grateful for the opportunities ahead and to have continued passion burning within me, despite how hard it can be some days.  This passion may not have otherwise been possible without some time to play hard as well.  Having just returned from the island of Turks and Caicos hot off the Jr National stage in Chicago, some R&R was much needed, both mentally and physically.

The week following my New York show was super hectic.  Due to adrenaline and nerves, I dropped 4 pounds from the time I landed Sunday night to Tuesday morning, even with a mega cheat meal Saturday night after the show and again Sunday morning.  In an effort to correct it, my coach had me eating every hour on the hour.  My metabolism was working overtime and I knew this was no time to get too lean.   I literally had to set timers to remind myself to eat because I would otherwise not get enough calories in.  It seemed to work and my weight began holding steady with the changes fortunately.

Not only did I have the excitement of the preceding week’s big win running through me, I also had the major task of packing up the entire family for two legs of a 10 day trip.  Who’s brilliant idea was this?  I think we must’ve been drunk or crazy to schedule these plans in this way, but I’m glad we survived it.  I knew if I could just get all of us on the plane Thursday morning, I would be able to breathe.  Once seated calmly on the plane, I cried a few tears of relief to have made it and the burden of the week felt a bit lighter.

I should also mention that none of it would be possible without my rock star hubby who stayed up the entire night prior with my youngest who was vomiting all night long.  Now you understand why I literally cried to have made it to the airport.  It was nothing short of a miracle as I considered every possible scenario during the night as to how it would play out with my poor, sick little boy.  I always wonder why these types of things happen at the most inappropriate times, it never fails.  Just remember, they are a true test of ones character.  “Keep calm and clean up puke,” was the motto of the evening.

Taking some time this past week to bask in the sun, romp in the sand with my kids and enjoy some forbidden food and drink has allowed me a renewed sense of  drive and determination.  I admit I struggled to relax for the first half of the trip, since learning to relax is very difficult for me when I’ve been in this mode for awhile, but I’m glad to say I figured it out pretty quickly.  We all must get it out of our system from time to time in order to appreciate our clean and healthy lifestyle.  Beyond the alcohol, I did make better food choices most of the time.  The endless array of food and drink could make anyone crazy, but I did the best I could and still had my share of goodies.  Typically I have all my food with me so a small part of me panicked without it.  The sodium in the food alone caused my body to freak out, but getting back home and back on track has quickly righted my wrongs.

If you fall off the wagon over a weekend, not even a whole week like me, just get back on track and be better.  We cannot change what we have done, only where we are headed moving forward.  Don’t let the guilt consume you, just be optimistic about getting real.  Tomorrow is a brand new day!

Though it may not have been ideal to go away for an entire week mid-season, I have no regrets, as my family is still my top priority among all else.  I needed to be with them and soak them up to the fullest.  My kids are young and growing up quickly and missing out on any part of that is too much.  They needed their mom back temporarily and I think everyone’s love tank (and tummy) is pretty full now.

Since getting home, I’ve made the last minute decision to compete at Team Universe…see ya when I get back!