I started training in the gym at 18 years old. I was inspired by the women I would see in fitness magazines. They appeared so strong and beautiful that I wanted to be like them. Despite my efforts, I trained for many years without achieving this look. My outcomes considerably changed by age 28. At the time, I was struggling to overcome a drinking problem I had developed after surviving a serious attack in 2013 ( I was stabbed 18 times by my ex and left for dead..). Going to therapy helped reduce my alcohol consumption but it wasn’t enough to keep me completely sober. I needed something to keep me accountable outside of my sessions. Something positive is to fall back out when I would experience boredom, anxiety or be faced with temptation. I needed a process that would keep me sober long enough that I could build the habits that would lead to long-term success.
That’s when I decided to compete, a decision completely transformed my life. In only 3 months of working with a professional coach, I quit drinking (now 4 years), my body changed like never before and I was happy for the first time in years! 6 months later, I stepped on stage & won my first competition! This experience shifted my life in a completely different direction. I ended up quitting my corporate job, starting my own business and winning my pro cards several months later. Today, I live in Mexico with my fiance Ludovic. We are both passionate about fitness and helping others transform through conscious choice.
Founder of TinyTfitness. Transformation expert – Naturopath.
In your opinion, is weight loss more of a fitness issue or a health issue and why?
They are interrelated. Some people MUST lose weight to improve their health as others will set specific weight loss goals to improve their physique. Either way, the benefits are experienced interchangeably & when the focus is HEALTH FIRST FITNESS WILL FOLLOW.
If you have 100 tokens in total and you could apply them to the following categories, how many would you apply to each?
- Fitness level: 20%
- Health level: 80 %
Focusing only on fitness can lead to making poor health decisions that will delay progress. (low-calorie diets, excessive training, PED). If we chose to prioritize our health with our fitness goal in mind, our body will reward us.
Thoughts on HIIT, Powerlifting, TRX, Yoga, bodybuilding, others?
Every activity has its benefits. If the individual has a SPECIFIC GOAL they SHOULD HAVE A SPECIFIC STRATEGY that aligns with it (for example if a woman is seeking to look like a fitness athlete, she should be spending the majority of her time resistance training or not spinning). However, overall, the most important thing is to stay active and enjoy what we do. So we keep doing it and live more abundant lives.
What was the biggest challenge you faced on your journey?
During my second competition, my body resisted my prep (metabolic shut down) I experienced many health issues such as swollen lymph, exhaustion, and food sensitivities. Despite these challenges, I kept pushing… The same week of my competition I had an allergic reaction to the sun, and hives all over my body. My coach advised early on that I should quit. Looking back, I probably should have but I’m glad I didn’t because I actually won my pro cards at that comp. The downside of it all, I suffered the consequences for nearly 2 years afterwards. Hormone havoc, low progesterone, missed periods, bloating, weight gain, weight loss resistance. I saw many doctors and underwent many tests. No one could give me answers or help me. This shifted my attention in a different direction. I wanted to understand more about the female body, hormones and natural healing. I went back to school in naturopathy and with time, I was able to get my body back in balance by using a holistic healing approach.
Share your unique training/coaching methods?
I believe that weight loss is simply a positive consequence of proper lifestyle management. I focus primarily on nutrition and lifestyle strategies that keep our hormones and body in balance. This involves eliminating toxins (sugar, sweeteners, processed food, alcohol) and fillers (food-like substances) and implementing food that supports the body’s functions (whole foods, fibre, vitamins, minerals) along with adequate rest and stress management.
Do you prefer to take and recommend all-natural (no sugar, no artificial colours/flavours/sweeteners) supplements or supplements with artificial flavours and sweeteners? And Why?
I don’t recommend any of the above
- First, they are endocrine disruptors (they cause inflammation in the body which causes weight loss resistance)
- Many women struggle to stay consistent on a diet due to cravings. Artificial sugars cause more cravings!! They are 100% sweeter than natural sugar and they trick the brain by giving the sweet taste without the serotonin boost. This leads to seeking more sugar and often overeating!! Sugar is not a better option for someone who is trying to lose weight due to its impact on blood sugar. It increases insulin resistance and makes it very difficult to lose fat.
- They are toxic and have been linked to many diseases including obesity and cancer.
Please describe the importance of mental health?
We can’t do good unless we feel good. Aside from providing us with a body that makes us feel good, exercise and nutrition stimulate hormones that improve our mood, attitude and overall outlook on life. We all deserve to be happy and have the potential to be. We must learn as a society to be more active in our healing rather than passive, relying solely on medication. The medication may help buffer the symptoms but it does not address the underlying cause. Making nutrition and lifestyle changes will help an individual resume quicker to optimal health and build the foundation for a more fulfilling life.
Take us through a typical day in your life for you?
I wake up at 4-5 am every day. I like to listen to a positive podcast on Youtube to nourish my mind as I get ready to work out (Tony Robbins, Oprah, Michelle Obama). I either go to the gym or give a class in my virtual studio 5 times a week. Once I’m done training I usually work until 5-6 pm (it can be longer, I’m obsessed with work, I actually LOVE TO WORK and I have to force myself to stop). Once I managed to force myself to stop I will do something to bring down my cortisol from a busy day (yoga, jumping in the pool, taking a bath Epsom salts). Then I make sure I read every night. Reading is my favourite thing to do when im not working or training. My habits are rituals. I do my best every single day to compound on actions that will contribute to my success.
What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
Status is supporting coaches and helping everyday people build confidence by sharing their stories. They are giving back by using their own success to impact other people in positive ways. I truly think this is amazing.
If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor in Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be?
I would love to be more implicated with Status magazine, share my knowledge and support their readers. In the future, if you think I’m a good fit for the right articles think of me. Umm, that wasn’t really a question. Love you, Rodney
Status Fitness Magazine runs model searches across North America including the largest one at the Arnold Classic for the Status cover. As part of the Status family, you will receive a special participation invite. How excited are you about this opportunity?
I think that’s extremely exciting news. Over the last few years, I have prioritized my clients’ goals. This required that I put any personal projects on hold (competing, etc). It will feel great to do something for me again. Thank you for the opportunity.
Describe your coaches and the impact they have on you?
I see my coaches as strategic partners. They help me stay on track and contribute to my personal and professional growth success is never achieved in isolation from others.
Do you have a sponsor? List them and what they mean to you?
BIOEDGE is my partner. The only one I chose to deal with. Their products are 100% natural, toxin-free and they taste fantastic. But most importantly they don’t want to manipulate their clients to buy more by using addictive
ingredients. They want to grow organically by providing quality products that actually make a difference.
Can you share with us your goals for fitness and life?
For fitness: I want to keep improving my shape and eventually compete on a higher level. Before Covid, I was preparing to go to Vegas for World Championships but the reality is even my body wasn’t in a great place at that time. Now that my health is better I’m starting to reconsider this goal.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
Success is simply the positive consequence of aligning ALL OF OUR BEHAVIORS WITH OUR GOALS. We are all capable of amazing things… It’s not our circumstances but rather our actions that determine our outcomes
5 most important attributes you see in a person?
PASSIONATE, AMBITIOUS, DRIVEN, HARD-WORKING, DISCIPLINED. I would say these are great attributes to succeed in time.
If you could inspire one person, who would that be? And why?
My mom. I put her through a lot as a teenager and she always did the best she could to get me back on
track. I’m grateful for my mom in so many ways. She taught me the values and work ethic that made it possible for me to overcome some of my biggest challenges and accomplish my dreams. If I’m living my best life, thanks to her being a great mom.
Who inspires you? And why?
My clients. They are such strong-minded women who have accomplished amazing things while balancing their busy life and career. They are truly amazing.
What is your number one tip for people on their fitness journey?
Fitness is a lifestyle. To achieve a body that makes us feel good physically and mentally, we must align our behaviours with that goal. I know it can be hard to give up toxic habits that give us pleasure. But in order to succeed, we must remind ourselves of the amazing life we are gaining rather than focus on the small things we must give up. The best strategy is to get help from someone who has done it before!
What does success look like for you?
Success is living a fulfilling life. A life where we feel happy. We are content with our career, and our relationships and experience an overall sense of peace. Success is creating the life you truly desire.
What is your favourite quote to live by?
It’s not our circumstances but rather our actions that define our outcomes.
Connect with Tara: IG