My name is Tiffany. I'm a 31-year-old speaker, author, & lover of coffee and beautiful things. I'm also a woman who has battled an eating disorder and an awful dating relationship. For years, I hated myself, but I didn't want to tell anyone. I didn't think anyone would understand.
I had gotten out of the controlling relationship and was in the middle of a 7-year journey toward recovery from my eating disorder, when I took a mission trip to Costa Rica, working with girls rescued from human trafficking. My team leader asked me to share my testimony with the girls. She had no idea what my testimony was; she just knew I loved public speaking. I went back to the dorm room and prayed, "Lord, what do I share with these beautiful, broken women?" The answer came: My struggles with beauty, disordered eating, and low self-esteem.
I was nervous. No one on my team knew my struggles. Would they judge me? Would they understand?
As I shared, the girls leaned forward in their seats. I saw tears in their eyes. Afterwards, several pulled me aside with the translator to share their own stories of poor body image and eating disorders. That was ten years ago, and I was hooked.
Turns out, I was not alone in my struggles; I was one of millions. According to NEDA, 80% of women are dissatisfied with their bodies, while 30 million people in the US have struggled with an eating disorder at some point in their lives.
I came home from that Costa Rica trip, and other people started asking me to share with their inner city teen moms, or at their MOPS group, or their conference for college students. Each time, people were gripped with the story. Woman after woman, girl after girl, came to share their own struggles with me.
Turns out, stories are contagious. When we become vulnerable, it gives other people permission to become vulnerable. Stories create connections. Stories spark change.
And that became my goal: Each time I speak, I simply want my story to start a conversation. I want each person to go home and talk with someone they trust, someone who can walk with them along the journey to freedom.
I spoke about once a month, while getting my master's degree in music therapy. For my internship, I had the opportunity to work with teens hospitalized with eating disorders.
In 2012, I released my first book, "The Insatiable Quest for Beauty," and started off on a crazy adventure proposed by my dad: travel around the U.S., while speaking anywhere that would have me. It was me, God, and my little hatchback piled with boxes of books.
And the stories started coming in: From parents whose child opened up about their struggles with bulimia after hearing my story. From girls who stopped cutting and purging, or who checked themselves into treatment for their eating disorder. From guys who wanted to treat girls differently, more respectfully, in the future.
Since then, I've spoken at more than 250 events spread out over 36 states, and I've treasured every story I've heard.
In 2015, I married a man I've known since childhood. He is good and kind and I find myself falling more in love with him every day. We started speaking together on friendships and relationships in high schools and colleges.
2016 brought a change of pace. I kissed my last tour goodbye (for now, anyway), and started a YouTube channel. I'm still flying out to speak at events, but I'm no longer touring like I used to. Now, every Tuesday I sit down for "Tuesday Girl Talk" with my viewers, delving deeper than I ever could in a one-hour seminar. I love those girls -- my YouTube girls -- and I pray for them regularly.
This is the story of "The Insatiable Quest for Beauty" girls' ministry, and how it was born.
We exist to help young women learn they are loved just as they are. We do this through books, speaking, YouTube videos, and our free resources.
Our goal? We want every woman to know that she is loved, and to have the tools she needs to remember that truth all day long, every day.
And we would love to partner with you to help accomplish this goal as well.