008-745452271-1574649364805.jpgTell me a little about yourself and your background.

My name is Tara and I am a 36y/o wife, Mom and Optometrist! I have owned my own practice for the past 11 years. I grew up playing sports and transitioned to the gym and running once I started college. I have done many ½ marathons, the Chicago Marathon, Sprint and Olympic triathlons, mud races, duathlons and NPC Bikini competitions. I thrive off of challenges and love to push myself in new ways. I am also a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. While I absolutely love health and fitness, my number one priority is my family and being a Mom!

What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?

I love that I have the ability to choose health and to truly build and transform my body through training! The gym is my “ME” time every morning. It’s my release. Fitness has allowed me to grow physically and mentally and transform into a strong and confident woman!

How long have you been into fitness?

I have played sports since childhood and all through high school. Once I started college, I got into running and going to the gym to replace sports. I have truly worked out 5-6 days a week since I was 18 years old (now 36).

How did you get into fitness?

As previously stated, I started with sports at a young age. For as long as I can remember my parents always worked out in some way and I seemed to follow suit. I started in the gym and running once I went to college and have continued ever since. In 2015 I made the big transition from “cardio bunny” and long-distance runner to bodybuilding!

What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?

Truly, I have always taken fitness seriously. I have started my day running or in the gym 6 days a week for the past 18 years. I love structure and routine, so it’s just a part of my day and has been for many, many years! However, once I started competing in the NPC (October 2015) is when I dove into nutrition as well. This is when I truly learned how to fuel my body with the proper macronutrients and micronutrients.

How has fitness impacted your life?

Over time, I transitioned from long distance running to bodybuilding. This was the game changer for me. I was a huge runner up until 3 years ago when I decided to take on the new challenge of competing in the NPC Bikini division. As I started lifting and decreasing cardio, I noticed incredible changes in my physique. I also started learning everything that I could about nutrition, which helped tremendously. I am the healthies that I have ever been, both physically and mentally. I have developed a great relationship with food and have found the true value in fueling my body properly. I have also had the ability to share my passion with others and help my amazing clients transform in wonderful ways. I am SO passionate about health and fitness and teaching others that it can be done without extremes, restriction or elimination! Fitness has lit a fire in my soul and truly makes me so happy. I am strong, happy, healthy and confident!

What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?

Just START! You are never going to have the perfect plan or all the answers. If you’re able, hire a Coach or reach out to someone for help! You can learn along the way. Research and google exercise videos to learn proper form in the gym. Do it for YOU! Don’t worry about anyone else. If you just start, you’ll be amazed when you look back after 12 weeks, 6 months, 1 year etc. We are all beginners at some point, but that’s the joy in the journey!

Instagram: @focusedfitnesspt


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