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Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely people!

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TaraFitness
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2011/03/13 23:48:16 (permalink)

Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely people!

Hi everyone!
 
Been meaning to pop on here for a while and say hi but I knew that when I did I’d end up writing nothing short of a novel and didn’t any spare time in which to do so!
 
So anyway, here I am now saying hello to you all!
 
So, where to begin...
 
Background
Well, back in early 2009 I decided that I’d had enough of the weight that had been creeping over the past few years so decided to set myself a goal to motivate me to lose it.
 
I decided to enter the Maxitone Body of 2009 competition.  At the time, Maxitone didn’t exist and it was just the “Maximuscle Body of...” but with a female category.  I saw an ad for it on the tube and thought – this is for me!
 
Over the next few months I overhauled my diet and started eating really well and taking on board extra whey protein.  Unfortunately I didn’t cut down my portion sizes and ended up *gaining* more weight!  Nightmare!


 
After a few months however I managed to reach a balance where I was still eating healthily and enough to keep me satiated but producing a significant deficit such that I actually started to lose the weight I wanted to!
 
I actually made it through to the finals of the competition (you can read more about me here: http://www.maxitone.com/tarastevens.html) but unfortunately didn’t win.
 
While I’d been dieting my interest in weight-training really took off and I was thrilled with how my body was not only shrinking but also changing shape and becoming firmer.
 
Early last year I’d hit a weight plateau and realised I needed another goal to spur me into action so I entered the FAME UK 2010 championships.  I had fabulous fun but it was also one of the most stressful experiences of my life as I was totally underprepared both shape-wise and also my preparation was seriously lacking also!
 
Here are some pics from the competition.  I was lucky enough to have the fabulous UKBFF Fitness Champion Irina Cotton make my bikini (the green one):
 

 
I took a break from competing for a good few months afterwards as my partner and I bought a new house which needed (and still does!) a lot work doing to it (hence how we could afford it!) and didn’t have time or money to devote to entering competitions.  During this time however I did become a qualified gym instructor which is useful as I help out with the gym at my work which helps ease the tedium of working in front of a computer all day!
 
A friend of mine told me that the UKBFF had brought in a new bikini division and persuaded me to enter the UKBFF Stars of Tomorrow 2010 competition.  I agreed and started training and dieting for it without much success initially.  I also realised I couldn’t afford a new bikini so I set about making my own one from some cloth I’d purchased online.
 
Like with the FAME show I was quite underprepared and turned up at the theatre late, with my tan smeared all over the place and missing my bottle of Jan Tana!  I’d left it at home – d’uh.  Fortunately one of the other competitors was a doll and lent me hers otherwise I’d not have been able to compete (yes, it was *that* bad!).
 
Anyway, long story short I came fourth out of four girls – TOUGH, very tough :-( but then I’ve looked at the pictures from the show and can see why, too heavy in the lower half, definitely need to lean up.
 
Here are a couple of pics of me looking a little sad as I had to stand while the other girls got photographed with their trophies – quite like these pictures though so not all a total loss!! ;-)






I was so impressed by the UKBFF’s organisation and how seriously everyone was taken.  I love my medal, nice and weighty :-)

So, onto this year, and I do want to compete again but I had ankle surgery in January and it’s not gone as well as I hoped.  It’s early days yet though so I’m just keeping up my training (what I’m able to do) and keeping my diet in check too.
 
About me
I work and live in London with my teenage son, boyfriend and 2 cats. 
 

 
Although very busy and a bit impersonal at times I do love this city, have lived here my entire life and can’t imagine ever leaving it... well, until I’m too old to enjoy it anyway ;-)
 
I have a busy job in IT for a very large retail company.  It’s not what I want to be doing forever though so trying to gain qualifications elsewhere.  I have a level 2 Gym Instructor qualification and I’m hoping to start a PT Diploma soon, money permitting!  My main interest lies in nutrition though so sometime in the future (when the mortgage payments are a bit less!) I hope to start a part time Human Nutrition degree.
           
I used to use the forum a bit back in 2009 under the name of BrokenYoYo (which was the nickname I was using as my blog at the time was anonymous).  I have also kept a blog since then which is here: http://www.tarafitness.com
 
I try and blog when I can but life really has a habit of getting in the way and often (as I train at home as well as at my work gym) when I have to choose between blogging or training, my dumbbells always win! ;-)
 
Diet
My diet is pretty clean.  I take on quite a bit of protein during the day, mainly from food sources like tuna and chicken, and tend to get the bulk of my carbohydrate from vegetables.  I try to limit my alcoholic intake (which is touch as I'm so so fond of red wine!), I don’t eat junk food, neither does my boyfriend or son – I am very lucky to have a teenager who actually *enjoys* eating salads, vegetables, soups, wholemeal bread etc.
 
Exercise
Weight training makes up the bulk of my weekly exercise.  I train separate bodyparts and have done for the past 18 months, it really suits me, particularly as I use my work gym during my lunch break and like to get in and out as soon as possible so my workouts rarely exceed 45 minutes!
 
Cardio-wise, when I’m able to I like to run, walk, row, cycle, use the elliptical trainer, climb, play netball – anything active really! 
 
My favourite form of cardio is Boxercise and I hope to teach it one day too, spinning comes a close second ;-)
 

 
Future ambitions
Obviously I’d love to win a competition but for now it would be fabulous to just place! ;-)
 
I’m not sure what category I’ll enter the next time I compete.  At the moment I’m not lean enough for Figure/Bodyfitness but I do really value my muscles and wonder if I have the right kind of attitude for Bikini – not sure I have enough ‘swagger’!
 
Anyway, at the moment I’m just happy to be able to hold my own in the weights section of any gym I encounter and see the progress in the mirror.
 
I love weight-training, it’s hand-on-heart been the best thing that’s happened to me in terms of improving my health and changing my self-image, I can’t imagine a time when I won’t be lifting and I definitely don’t intend to ever let age be a barrier.
 
So that’s me – told you I go on a bit!
 
I’ll be starting a training log on here hopefully soon and might post progress pictures too if I get round to taking some.
 
Hope to speak to you all soon!
 
Tara x



#1

19 Replies Related Threads

    RedHotF
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    Re:Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely peop 2011/03/14 09:03:06 (permalink)
    Hi Tara - welcome to MT.  Great to read all about your story, thanks!
    #2
    TaraFitness
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    Re:Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely peop 2011/03/14 11:10:18 (permalink)
    RedHotF

    Hi Tara - welcome to MT.  Great to read all about your story, thanks!

    Thank you very much, Fiona :-)
     
    It was good to get it all down actually, especially as I just found this picture from Valentine's Day a couple of weeks ago:

     
    It's the same top that I'm wearing in the picture from my 30th birthday meal - *slight* difference in the size of me though :-) Very pleased with my progress, it has been slow but steady and always the right way!
     
     
    #3
    NXTGEN
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    Re:Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely peop 2011/03/14 19:21:17 (permalink)
    Welcome :)


    #4
    Wilks
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    Re:Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely peop 2011/03/14 20:43:18 (permalink)
    Welcome.

    A great story and introduction too.  See you on the threads :)

    #5
    TaraFitness
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    Re:Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely peop 2011/03/15 18:36:20 (permalink)
    new image supplements

    Welcome :)



    Thank you :-)
    #6
    TaraFitness
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    Re:Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely peop 2011/03/15 18:36:43 (permalink)
    Wilks

    Welcome.

    A great story and introduction too.  See you on the threads :)



    Hi, thanks very much for that :-)
    #7
    James
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    Re:Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely peop 2011/03/15 21:46:59 (permalink)
    Welcome - good to have you here
    #8
    dirtyvest
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    Re:Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely peop 2011/03/15 21:50:22 (permalink)
    Welcome to MT. Fanstatic change in you, really well done. Look awesome.

    Limits, like fear, are often just an illusion: MJ 12/9/09
    My journal
    #9
    TaraFitness
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    Re:Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely peop 2011/03/15 23:09:34 (permalink)
    James

    Welcome - good to have you here

    Thanks James, it's good to be here!  Not sure what took me so long to be honest! :-)
    #10
    TaraFitness
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    Re:Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely peop 2011/03/15 23:11:11 (permalink)
    dirtyvest

    Welcome to MT. Fanstatic change in you, really well done. Look awesome.

    Thank you very much :-) and to think - I owe it all to weight-training, how many women can say that?!  Seriously though, if it wasn't for recent dumbbell obsession I wouldn't have done things like start reading articles and magazines like Muscle & Fitness and start getting interested in the nutrition side of it all too!
    #11
    jango
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    Re:Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely peop 2011/03/15 23:20:19 (permalink)
    Hi Tara, good to have you here. You look great.
     
    You say you have cats? Photos please, it's the MT way.
    #12
    Yib
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    Re:Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely peop 2011/03/15 23:50:00 (permalink)
    Hi Tara - welcome to MT - It's nice to have you on the forum!
     
     


     
    "I don't like misplaced apostrophes"
    #13
    TaraFitness
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    Re:Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely peop 2011/03/16 00:08:23 (permalink)
    jango

    Hi Tara, good to have you here. You look great.

    You say you have cats? Photos please, it's the MT way.

     
    hehe, fair's fair! ;-)
     
    We have two cats..
     
    Bella:

    and Solo:

    Both very sweet and soppy as anything:

    Cuddly...

    ...if a little clingy!

    and most DEFINITELY high maintenance!!

    :-)
     
     
     
    #14
    TaraFitness
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    Re:Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely peop 2011/03/16 00:09:10 (permalink)
    Yib

    Hi Tara - welcome to MT - It's nice to have you on the forum!



    Thank you! :-)
    #15
    jango
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    Re:Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely peop 2011/03/16 00:10:50 (permalink)
    Awwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!
     
    Bella and Solo are adorable.
     
    Thanks for posting.
    #16
    Yib
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    Re:Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely peop 2011/03/16 00:26:47 (permalink)
    lol the last pic is great!


     
    "I don't like misplaced apostrophes"
    #17
    TaraFitness
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    Re:Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely peop 2011/03/16 10:06:46 (permalink)
    jango

    Awwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!

    Bella and Solo are adorable.

    Thanks for posting.


    ha! no probs, I confess I have a slight obsession with photographing my moggies, I've got well over a thousand pictures of them, they're just so cute!
    #18
    TaraFitness
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    Re:Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely peop 2011/03/16 10:08:35 (permalink)
    Yib

    lol the last pic is great!


    I know!  They both do that, it's a way of getting attention, they realise that all they have to do is stand on their hind legs and wave their paws in the air and we'll stop whatever we're doing and stroke them!
    #19
    Northerngal
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    Re:Introducing... MYSELF! ;-) Just a brief (ahem) message to say hi to all you lovely peop 2011/03/16 14:59:31 (permalink)
    Hello thee, what a great great story!!..wowwwww.....luv it...brave lady, and you look gorgeous...but...ahem...I'm luvvin' the putty cat piccies ...lol...I'm a sucker for puppy pics and moggy pics...aweeee.....noice!...
    #20
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