Badassery Magazine Issue 5 October - Page 26

Then, finally, I got a diagnosis - metastatic thyroid cancer - and struggled to move on physically, mentally, emotionally, and professionally. About the Author I was told thyroid cancer was the “easy” cancer and that once you have surgery and get on the medications, it’s pretty much a non-issue. Well, that wasn’t how it worked for me. I struggled immensely. I began to get sicker and sicker - I had hit my rock bottom emotionally, physically, mentally. I hated this cancer, this job, this life! But then, I found nutrition. It sounds crazy but that was the beginning of a huge change for me. I started to feel better, crazy better, while changing the way I ate. No more swelling, bloating, headaches, joint pain, stuffiness, irritability, or depression. I wanted to learn more and go back to more school but I had already done enough of that, I thought. I continued to have ups and downs in my cancer management and the stress of that while doing the job I had once loved proved to be too much. After much angst, I resigned. I enrolled in another master’s program but for nutrition this time. I started a nutrition consulting business. Me, a science teacher, starting a business. But the fact of the matter is, if I hadn’t received that scary cancer diagnosis and been so sick, I wouldn’t have pursued this passion for nutrition. At times, I hate this story, my story, but it is what brought me to where I am today. These things life threw at me have become MY story. My WHY. And now, that relatability factor I had with my students, I bring to those I help in my business. Because I’ve “been there,” I am able to help people who have either hit their rock bottom or help those trying to avoid hitting it. This story has helped me push through the comfort zone of teaching and out into the entrepreneurial world. And so far, I’m loving it! 25 Tiffany Flaten is a board certified (CNS) and licensed nutritionist with an MS in Nutrition & Human Performance as well as a an MEd. She is owner and CEO of Rock Bottom Wellness, a nutrition consulting business that specializes in finding nutrient deficiencies that cause symptoms and disease. She helps people when they’ve hit their rock bottom and also guides people who are trying to avoid it. Tiffany resides in Minnesota with her husband Steven and two daughters, Allison and Olivia.    