My name is Tara, but my friends call me Pig (in a loving way, I swear!). I moved to London, England in March 2012 to pursue a career in personal training, after leaving my job as a financial journalist in Sydney, Australia behind. I currently work as a personal trainer and operations manager of a boutique personal training studio in Kensington.
Ultimately, my hope is to combine my love of fitness and writing and work for a fitness magazine (or start my own!) or open my own training facility. For now, this blog is where I share my thoughts on my daily training and new-to-me ideas.
I’ve always lived a very active life, but never saw any significant changes in my body until I began weight lifting. I grew up as a dancer and also taught for three years as I studied at university. Like many ballerinas, I suffered disordered eating habits when I was younger so I tried my hardest to promote positive body image among my students.
When I was 18 I began running, and was soon averaging 10 kilometres every single day. In total, I was exercising for three or four hours a day and eating a generally healthy diet. Yet my body never looked the way I wanted it to.
I met my husband, Rob, in 2008. As a regular weight lifter himself, he tried to get me to go to the gym with him and lift weights. But I equated gyms with those torture devices called treadmills, and never gave them a chance. About a year into our relationship, I slowly started doing more resistance-focused exercise. I was still obsessed with cardio, but I owned a few sets of dumbbells and resistance bands I used three times a week.
Eventually, my curiosity about weight lifting expanded beyond that which I could explore in my own apartment and I decided to join a gym. From the get go, I hired a trainer to create specific programs to meet my goals. One month into my training I saw my coach compete and that’s when I knew: I was going to enter a figure competition.
My original plan was to compete in May 2012 but our international move pushed back my competition date. I had been planning to compete in June 2013, but being diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in October 2012 put a stop to that.
I am now lifting weights with the sole goal of getting stronger. I have been writing my own training and nutrition programs since January 2012 and also offer my services online, where I currently train approximately 70 people with various abilities and goals.
I lift weights four days a week and now only do cardio occasionally. I love the confidence lifting weights has given me, and I love knowing I can out-lift a lot of men! It also helps that my body looks significantly better despite the fact that I’m eating a lot more than ever before, and exercising a lot less than I once was.
I love teaching women about the benefits of weight training (and the perils of excessive cardio, which I have now almost completely given up!). Even more so, I love proving to women that you can eat seven decent-sized meals a day and still lose fat!
I am currently following the Paleo diet to attempt to manage the symptoms of PCOS. I do not recommend this style of eating for everyone, but it is recommended for hormone regulation.
The majority of people have such big misconceptions about diet and exercise, and the aim of my blog is to address some of these issues. I hope my journey is not only personal, but informative. I have a tough love approach and I’m not afraid to be brutally honest. If you have any specific questions or issues you would like me to cover please let me know. Thanks for stopping by.