By: Amanda Sandström Beijer
Photos: Philipp Fussenegger
Big biceps and a soft heart - Tischa ’The Tigress’ Thomas is the woman behind the 17-inch biceps. From New York to Berlin, Tischa talks to us about her journey into the subculture of female bodybuilding and the world of BDSM.
Current in the documentary film about her journey and strive towards the goal to reach number one in the world of female bodybuilding. The documentary film ’I Am The Tigress’, by Philipp Fussenegger of Fun Fair Films, lifts ’The Tigress’ who behind her huge biceps is also a vulnerable human being who struggles with self-doubt, discrimination and acceptance of others. With much admiration, Playful takes the chance to get to know Tischa better and be inspired by her incredible mentality, as well as her soft heart.
Tischa grew up in Bronx, New York with her mother and older brother. During her first year of college, she got pregnant.
”I had my first child, Jasmine, just before my eighteenth birthday – so I didn’t return to school. Two years later I met and married my first husband.”
I was at my lowest in my self-esteem and at my highest in bodyweight
Together with him she got two more children. They got divorced, Tischa got remarried and divorced again, something that took its toll on her mentally.
”At this time in my life, I was at my lowest in my self-esteem and at my highest in bodyweight reaching my peak at 300 pounds. I decided that I wanted to focus on myself and work on getting back to my high-school weight, which was half of what I weighed at that time. I hired a personal trainer who worked with me.”
”As I approached my goal of 150 pounds, that same trainer convinced me to enter into a local bodybuilding competition. It took nine months to prep for the show and on the big day I not only hit my weight-loss goal of 150 lbs, but I also won my very first show.”
My confidence and self-esteem were non-existent. Bodybuilding means so much to me because it taught me to love myself again
It took Tischa six years to go from amateur to pro in bodybuilding. A sport that has meant much to her, not only as proof of her mental strength, but also as a successful way to fight bad self-image and insecurity.