Let’s start the blog where I started the podcast. All the interviews on The Fat Yogi Show will be a back and forth interview with fat yogi’s. My name is Tiffany Crociani, I am a Fat Yogi. I decided that for this episode, I would just interview myself, or tell my story. If you didn’t know, my name online is Tiffany Croww, double W. I said I started yoga 10 years ago, but it was more like 17 years ago (crazy how time flies!). I just recently became a yoga teacher in January 2020. I took a 200hr certification through a local yoga studio in Fresno, CA called Tower Yoga. I loved their classes, and the head teachers. I had wanted to take a YTT forever, so I decided to jump in with both feet!
I noticed there was a fat yoga community on instagram. I am very active on instagram. I love posting things about being a Fat Yogi. I love listening to podcasts, and love the fat yoga community on instagram. I felt that there was a need for this type of podcast. A podcast that talks about Fat Yogi’s. Talks about relationships with your body, and your yoga practice. Anyone who has ever practiced yoga, or has tried yoga, and has fat on their body, can related to the stories that will be told on this podcast. That’s the backstory, or part of the backstory.
Going deeper, I was sitting in my very very hot bathtub. Sidenote, I have an almost 2 year old daughter who is very clingy, so I have to sneak away to find time to take a bath. It’s literally like, husband please occupy the child for 2 seconds while I go take a bath. If she sees me sneak away, meltdowns occur. Insert closed eyed emoji face here.
Back to the bath, because who doesn’t like talking about baths. I love to take 20-30 minutes to myself for self care. It’s very important to me. I like to ramble too, so here’s this part. I don’t get to do this every day, but when I do get to do it, I try to make it a “thing”. When I say “thing”, I mean I literally make sure the bath is very very hot, there are salts, there are bubbles. The candles are lit, relaxing music is playing, my eyes are closed, and I’m focusing on my breath. I’m lucky if I can do this once a week, and more than once a week means I am having a really really good week. On this particular bath, I am sitting listening to my ambient music, just breathing and meditating. I like to meditate and think about things in the bath. Things are coming up I don’t want to think about, so I begin counting, and breathing, and taking the thought somewhere else. Then another thought comes up. A thought I hadn’t thought about before, a thought of “what am I going to do with my podcast?”. I am growing a small listenership, but I know I am destined to create a community. I am the consumate organizer of so many things. Why couldn’t I be the organizer of this Fat Yogi show. Where people can tell their stories. I have a few podcasts where there are interviews, and those are my favorites. I love to hear about those types of things, because I can relate to them more.
I am sitting there, meditating, and thinking about podcasts, podcasts, podcasts, then this image pops into my head. FAT YOGI, FAT YOGI, FAT YOGI. I stopped in my bath, and thought, “Tiffany, you have to do this, this is it!!”.
The very next day I put a call out on Instagram to get some of this amazing community together to talk about Fat Yogi’s. CALLING ALL FAT YOGI’S!! I had immersed myself into the fat yoga community, and loved being in that community. I felt like we needed more. We need a podcast, I AM HERE FOR IT!
HI, welcome to the show!!!
Beginning with how I grew up, I grew up in Napa, CA. Literally graduated from Napa High School. I thought I had a good childhood, but looking back realizing that maybe I didn’t. I have been overweight forever. I had some trauma when I was growing up. If you are triggered by this, keep in mind I won’t go into any details. I am just simply sharing this, because I feel like this is where my weight came from. This is something that many women and men have had. Just the fact that it did happen with me. It happened with 3 different family members. I’ll leave the story at that here on the blog, I did discuss a little bit more on the podcast.
I remember there was an Oprah episode, and I was about 14, there was an episode about traumas. I vividly remember writing in my journal, “I am fat because of these people who had molested me”. It was interesting to me, for me to have that memory come up.
I know why I am fat, I like to eat. I don’t choose the right or healthiest options. I also was very sedentary. In my 20’s I decided I would start moving my body. I have tipped the scales close to 300lbs. I will share that right now, I am over 300lbs. I have had a crazy year, I ended up sharing more details on this later.
Back to the childhood stuff, growing up, always very aware of my body. There were many times where I was very self conscious of my body. I remember always wearing a sweatshirt in high school. It could be 100 degrees outside, and I would still wear this sweatshirt. I didn’t want anyone to see my body shape. I remember feeling like I always had to cover up. I didn’t want to show anything. I would sit on the couch, and grab a pillow, ALWAYS, I never sat down without a pillow on my lap. I remember sitting on my bed one night holding onto my belly, and saying “I’m so fat”, and my mom saying “oh my god, I don’t want you to think that of yourself, you’re too young”. I was probably 10 at the time I had those thoughts. Her thinking that whatever her issues were with her body, were pressed onto me.
My mom was overweight for as long as I could remember. My mom is only 4’10”, (im 5’9″ btw), she was very thin growing up. I saw pictures of her in a bikini, and she was very thin, maybe a size 6 or 8. Then after my mom and dad started dating, she went on birth control. She had purchased her wedding dress, and then taking the birth control. She went in for a fitting, and had gained 40 pounds. The seamstress had to sew in panels because the dress didn’t fit. My mom says this was from the birth control. This was in the 80’s, and birth control was different. I was born in 83′, my mom was married in 82′. She probably started birth control that previous year. I think that my mom’s weight gain might have also happened because of being more comfortable with my dad, and then came the nesting. There may have been 100 different reasons she gained weight. She was planning a wedding while going to college, and was only 18 at the time. That sounds pretty stressful. My mom was married to my Dad on November 20, 1982. She looked beautiful on her wedding day. And then I was born on November 20, 1983. She was married, and then went off of birth control right after, and I was conceived shortly after, and born (to the day) on the 1 year wedding anniversary.
My dad is deaf, and his birthday is on November 21, and side story, every year he texts me on his birthday “happy birthday”. Then in turn I wish him a “happy birthday”. My dad passed away last year. Where ever he is at, he is looking down on me. I actually just acquired his remains. Another side note. I haven’t really thought about him in the last few months. Then after I acquired his ashes, and now I think about him a lot. We are having more conversations now, than we ever have before. Since he was deaf, it was very hard on me growing up. I never had a conversation with him growing up. That probably contributed to me gaining weight. Not having the ability to communicate with my father. It was just different growing up. My dad was thinner bodied, and never really overweight. He had a passion for bowling, cars, and coca cola. My mother was hearing, and translated for us. The signs I knew growing up were “Mom Wants You”. One more side story about my dad. He married another woman about 5 years after my mom and dad got divorced (I was 16 when they got divorced). The woman’s name was the same as my mom’s. The FIRST AND SECOND name was the same. My dad called her SHERRY#2!!!!! Not kidding. She was also deaf. You’re welcome, he was such a weird guy. I never had a relationship with my dad. he just existed in the home with me. You grow up, and have these deep, important conversations (maybe you don’t want to hear them, but you have to, because they are your parents), life changing even. The language barrier, was too much. He couldn’t speak to me without writing it down, or finger spelling everything to me. There is no possible way to have a relationships with a person, if you can’t communicate with them. Simple things like social cues are completely lost on them, and it’s just impossible. I had zero patience with this, to the point I only contacted my dad (when I was an adult) when I needed help with my car. He came around maybe once a year or less.
My mom is the strongest woman I have ever known in my entire life. She runs her own business, and is just brilliant. She is just so good with business stuff, she can come up with ideas off the top of her head. My mom is a marketing genius, she should be doing 100 different things. She is just one amazing woman, she was my father and my mother. She raised me alone, even though my dad was there for the first 16 years. I lived with my mom full time when my parents divorced. My dad was on his own, and im not sure what exactly happened. But I feel like it was partly, he didn’t have the space for my brother and I to visit him on the weekends. And it was partly he was ok with working hard, coming home, sleeping, and then working again. He never reached out to me to say “let’s go have lunch” or “we should go bowling together”. Looking back I guess my dad just never knew how to be a dad, and in my eyes had no desire to be a dad. I don’t think him being deaf had anything to do with it. I think he was content with living with out his family. And then you have my mom who worked HARD, she provided everything for us. Kudos to my mom, she was such an amazing role model for me. I feel very very blessed to have that as my role model.
To get back to my mom’s weight, she was overweight, and I know that was an influence on me gaining weight. She was always on a diet, she was always trying to lose weight. Diet culture was strong in my house. If my mom was on a diet, we all were on a diet. Richard Simmons and I were besties growing up. We did Richard Simmons tapes all the time. He really is the OG to body positivity. I have done every single Sweatin’ to the Oldies. My cousins, uncles, aunts, and pretty much everyone in my family was overweight. Over the course of the last 15 years, 5 people in my family have had the gastric bypass or sleeve operation to help them lose weight. All of them except my mom, has gained most of their weight back. This surgery helped my mom lose 250lbs, she was probably around 350lbs when she had the surgery. And remember my mom is 4’10”, so she was a giant round meatball. She lost all this weight, and then my brother passed away. She gained and lost some, she is maintaining a healthy weight. She is around a size medium. She still can’t eat very much, and had the surgery over 15 years ago.
I ended up meeting my husband, while working at Petco. I worked full time at Petco, and going to school at the same time. I met Jason at work, about a year after I started working at Petco. He smiled at me while I was putting away a shopping cart. He said “Hi! I’m Jason, nice to meet you, I’ll be the new manager of the store”. This guy, Jason, was so handsome, and so cute. There was this spark. I was a chunkier girl, and totally remember saying “I’m single, but I don’t date”. I never had a boyfriend, never really had any boys who were friends. I didn’t even lose my virginity until I was 18, going probably too deep. But I was a late bloomer. It was because I was overweight. I was overweight all the way through high school. I had no boyfriend, no holding hands, no kissing, no nothing, all the way through high school. That wasn’t a thing for me. I was so self conscious of my body. I was so aware I was fat I didn’t want any attention from anybody. It was like, I had my guard up, and it could have been from the trauma I had when I was young. It was a lot of “stay away” vibes that I put off. I meet this guy. I had always said “I don’t date” and there was something different about him. I would come to work, and work so hard, so he could see what an amazing worker I was. I had such a huge crush on him. And I was going to leave Petco at one time, he convinced me to stay. He got me this job promotion. He came over to the store, and started asking me some personal stuff. I didn’t think much of it. Mostly because I had received a phone call from someone calling herself “Mrs. ::jason’s last name::”. Well I had thought he was married. That’s his wife. So for a while I thought he was married. Later I move to this other store, I find out that person was his mom. He’s single. So I become more interested. I think he’s cute. So then something happened where he went on a few dates with a friend. And it didn’t work out. Then we were hanging out more. And he kept talking about this friend. Then I finally said “I really like you, can we talk about me, I think we should hang out”. That’s how our relationship started.
I am a pretty bold person. I have to say what’s on my mind. If I have something on my mind, and I don’t speak about it, it will ooze out of me in 10 different ways. I will have stress, I will start lashing out at people. Whatever is in me to say, I have to say it.
I am so glad I said that in that moment, because now we have been married for 15 years in September. He loves me exactly the way that I am with my fat body. He supported me with every single thing I have ever done. I have ran marathons, I went through a phase where I ran a half marathon every month. I would love to get back to that sort of shape. I think my lowest was 180. I was still considered obese at 5’9″. My goal weight for BMI should be 160. I was a size 12. 12 for me is pretty small. Right now I am 300lbs, and a size 22. It was a different time. I feel so happy in my body right now in this current weight. I like this weight more than any other weight, and I am feeling really empowered.
I have had 2 children with my husband. My husband had a son with a person from a previous relationship. My stepson is 20, and my children are 6, son, and almost 2, daughter. We have a blended beautiful family. I feel so blessed. My children are my everything. I feel like my son is my spirit animal. I know he has my soul inside of him. My daughter is this loud mouth crazy girl, and reminds me of my mom. Who actually drives me nuts, but is this brilliant beautiful soul. And my husband is this amazing supportive person who has always been there for me. I feel really thankful for my family.
After the crazy running journey, I had this blog . It was called “drink run yoga”. I would drink, run, and do yoga. I don’t even remember when I started doing yoga. I think my first time was on a video. I thought it was dumb. I was like ” i don’t get it”. I started reading all these running blogs, that was encouraging cross training. And I was trying to figure out what cross training meant. So I found this yoga studio in my town. I was looking up yoga studios, and called this one little yoga studio. She told me to wear some looser fit clothing, and told me not to eat for 2 hours before class. This yoga studio was in a loft space. You had to climb some wooden stairs to get to the yoga space. The whole building looked like a log cabin on the inside. You could smell patchouli, there were persian rugs on the floor, tie dye on the walls. Every single class was maybe 5-6 yogis. I loved this teacher, I thought she was amazing, but she taught the same class every single class. Looking back, it was kind of annoying. I was 220 at the time, and was welcomed with open arms. I practiced every week for 2-3 times per week.
Then I fell off the yoga train. I got married, then the yoga instructor moved the location. It was on the water front, tons of windows, natural wood flooring. It felt like a really warm and inviting space. I went to a class one day, and the class had closed down. At one point she had suggested that I should take the ytt she was offering. Unfortunately I couldn’t make the time work. The schedule was all over the place for me at the time. It wasn’t the right timing for me.
fast forward a few more years. I feel like a yoga practice in a studio is the most comfortable. The energy in a studio is warm and inviting. The teachers usually know your name, and a gym is just not personal. You can feel the vibe of the teachers better, and the teachers are more accomodating. Fast forward, I start running hard core, I lost a ton of weight. This was when I dropped down to 180. I started attending more advanced classes. I began attending classes almost every day of the week while I was running a ton. I learned how to do side crow, and was beginning to learn handstand. I started doing more advanced yoga postures. I could stretch and move my body in ways I never had seen before. This was the days before instagram became huge. I had never seen “crow” pose before my teacher showed me in a yoga class. It wasn’t like I was trying to get in these poses. They just opened up for me. It wasn’t like I even knew where I was going. But these yoga instructors were helping me get to these more advanced places with yoga. They were seeing me blossom. I would go up to them, and thank you for showing me this. And then the injury happened.
I was training for a 2nd marathon. I ran 17 miles, 22 miles, and then 17 miles. This was in 3 days. I wasn’t following any training logs, I just thought I was invincible. THis was the worst idea ever, because I ended up doing some nerve damage to my back. It literally took years to repair. IF you are feeling strong and fit, but just remember injuries are a thing, and it can take years to repair. Then I tried to do more yoga, which made it worse. So I went to physical therapy. I did physical therapy for over a year. Then I got pregnant.
I gained a little bit of weight with my son. I may have gained 30-40 pounds. He went to 42 weeks, and was a 10 lb baby. he was huge!!! After I had my son, I got a little bit lost. I was on this health kick. But then couldn’t do the health thing after I had my son the way I wanted to. Then i began to do yoga again, and lost 25 lbs. Then I decided I needed a project.
The project was me going out with my friends once a month doing paint nites. Then I decided after a few paint nites I would buy my own canvas, and paint at home. And of course, the competitive side of me decided to become an artist for paint nite. hahah. I was an instructor for over a year. It was a good experience. I learned how to speak to large groups of people. Then I decided to quit. The paint nite people scheduled me for an event on my son’s birthday. I got to the point where I was angry, and not having fun anymore. This was supposed to be a fun side gig. I am working full time btw. I gained maybe 40 pounds over the course of the year. This entire time, so it was really not worth it. So I gave it up. Next up was another adventure in selling clothes
Sometimes I don’t know what I’m thinking. but for this adventure, I just had to hold on tight, because I was addicted to selling. And this whole thing blew up. I was riding this train, and making 20-30k a month. But also working 100 hours a week to do this. It took over my life, I had no time for anything else. I was giving up everything for money. That might have been the first time I valued money over my life, and realized it. So I gained around 60 pounds in a year. I gained almost 100 pounds in a year. I just decided that I was going to make myself a priority.
Then some struggles start happening with my marriage. My therapist says you really need to connect. And we did, and I got pregnant. It was a one shot deal. That was a super fun surprise. My daughter was a surprise, in the very best way. She is now 2. I didn’t know my family wasn’t complete. It’s complete now, because I had my tubes tied after she was born. I gained more weight. And now around 300lbs. I am still breastfeeding her, and I think some things will change when I stop breastfeeding. I need to focus on drinking more water, and not eating garbage. I don’t want to lose weight. I want to be healthier. I make healthier choices 1/2 of the time. I am fat, but also fit, and also beautiful. I gain all this weight, and I’m not feeling the best of myself.
So here I am finally getting on track with my marriage, my family, I don’t have any extra projects. What happens next? I go to this family reunion. My cousin moved to Fresno 2 years prior. His kids are the same age as my kids. When I was growing up my cousins (5 of them) and I all grew up together. We literally all lived in the same apartment complex, we would play tag together every day. We would swim in the swimming pool every day. We would be together every day. Those memories are my very favorite growing up. My relationship with my cousin is stronger than ever because of it. We come to Fresno, and realize my kids are missing out. They need this for their childhood. So we sold our house, and purchased one in Fresno, and now my kids see their cousins every single day. I love it. I love the relationship they have, and the closeness. This happened over the course of a month for that decision.
Once we moved here, I decided I would go to yoga teacher training, and get my certification. IF you think ytt is just learning about yoga, you’re wrong. You do learn about yoga, but the journey of the self is the harder one. And I am so glad I went through the training, because I needed to take that journey.
So that’s why it’s been a crazy year, moving, ytt, and new everything.
My final I get to teach a yoga class. It’s a free class, and 15-20 people show up. I welcome them, and I say “I’m your yoga teacher”, and they gave me this look like “you are?”. These were people I didn’t know. It was a free class, and they were there to check out the studio. At the end of the class, every single one of them asked me where they could take classes with me at the end. I talked about things that were on my mind. Accomodations in different poses with your larger body parts. All people loved it, because it’s how I practice. They saw me in my element. I don’t even see it as a modification. That’s my yoga. I want to empower people to say “I’m a Fat Yogi”. Not “I practice a modified version of yoga”. I PRACTICE YOGA. That’s really important to say in your mind. I was in a place where I spoke freely, I was feeling really playful, and encouraging, and finding joy. I think people loved it.
What did I like about yoga, I loved how I felt in my body after yoga
DId you go to a yoga studio? Yes, and the instructor greeted me with open arms
favorite yoga pose? forward fold
favorite length of class? 75 minutes, i do like my current studio is 60 minutes. Is perfect for where my life is now
favorite type of class?vinyasa
favorite thing about being a fat yogi? I love being an inspiration for people. If people see me practicing yoga, and they like it, they tell me “thank you, you’re an inspiration”
what’s my relationship with my body right now? I love my body, and that’s all that matters
what do I hate about my body? my cankles
what do I love about my body? I like my curves and waist and arms
how do I feel about the word fat? it can be used in a derogatory way, like any descriptive word. however you can say it in a positive or neutral way
fat yogi goals? get the podcast in the ears of anybody I possibly can. If you are a woman or a man, and have practiced yoga, you may have thought “I am fat”, my goal is to have people say “I am a Fat Yogi”. and empower them.
getting any poses? forearm stand, so close!
any words of advice to people who have a bad relationship with being fat? it’s ok to be fat, fat doesn’t equal ugly, you can love your body exactly the way it is today, and you don’t have to lose weight to be loved.
favorite tv show-90 day fiancee
favorite book-How Yoga Works
favorite instagram account- fringeish
favorite way to spend a day off-spending quality time with my kids, yoga, eating dinner together
coming up for me- retreat coming up with namaste together!
Let’s kick off the Summer right, with an amazing yoga retreat!
Pack your bags, let’s go on an adventure! This retreat will have all of your favorite things, and more
Your retreat will include
-Yoga under the stars
-Nature hike to the river
-Namaste Together yoga flows
-Cooking Class with Sam
-Craft Class with Tiff (Candle and or smudge stick)
-Down time to enjoy the beautiful scenery and unplug
-Accommodations for 2 nights and 3 days
-Dinner the night we arrive, all meals on Saturday, and Mimosa Brunch on Sunday
Our goal is to leave you feeling relaxed, and recharged! Every activity will be included in an itenary, and is completely optional. We want you to enjoy your retreat!
We will be staying in a cozy cabin in kernville at the edge of the Sequoia National Forest, about 3 hours from Fresno, or Los Angeles. It’s the perfect place to disconnect. Private? VERY! Cozy? YOU BET! This cabin has been in Sam’s family for the last 25 years, and she is excited to share this amazing family space with you. She wants to welcome you to this rustic and homey space, and feel super cozy.
Details about the space :
Knotty pine interior, wood burning fireplace, located less than 2 miles to downtown (Breweries, Kern River & Lake, fishing, boating, hiking, antiquing.)
**Please note **
*$499 rate would include Twin bed with single occupancy
*$899 rate would include Queen bed with double occupancy
(2 available) First person to book will receive a private room.
*There are a few spots at a discounted rate of $350, as spots are limited, and you don’t want to miss out. Please email us for more details on this.
The $350 rate would include air mattress accommodations,
*2 beds will be double occupancy, this would be perfect for you and a friend or spouse! Otherwise, you can book the entire bed for the double occupancy rate. Please email us for more details on this.
Cozy Cabin in Kernville