About the Pig
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 was born in Perth, Australia but I’m loving living in the UK! Ultimately, my hope is to combine my love of fitness and writing and work for a fitness magazine (or start my own!), but 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. I grew up as a dancer – specialising in jazz and ballet – but because of a dodgy ankle, I abandoned any dreams of turning professional. Instead, I taught dance for three years as I went through 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. I kept up with my dancing, but turned my attention to hip hop.
When I was 18 I went through a bad break-up, which somehow inspired me to start running. I could barely run one lap of an oval at first, but I gradually built up my endurance and morphed myself into a distance runner, averaging 10 kilometres every single day. I loved the freedom running gave me and it was a good way to burn up all that extra energy I had inside of me. So, unlike most university students who were busy gaining the “Freshman 15”, I was exercising for three or four hours a day and eating a pretty good diet.
I met my husband, Rob, in 2008. As a regular weight lifter, he tried and 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 it a chance. About a year into our relationship, I slowly started doing more resistance-focused exercise. I was still obsessed with cardio, but I had a few sets of dumbbells and resistance bands I used three times a week.
Eventually, my curiosity about weight lifting expanded beyond which I could explore in my own apartment and I decided to join a gym. From the get go, I’ve had a trainer to create specific programs to meet my goals. Only 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 has pushed back my competition date. Until I figure out my plan, I’m going to continue to train hard. I lift weights five days a week and now only do cardio when I need to. I love a wide range of exercise, including pole dancing, hot yoga and even golf!
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 follow a clean diet full of natural, whole foods. Back when I was a cardio queen, I ate a low-protein, high-carb diet with plenty of “low-fat” processed crap which I now wouldn’t touch. I don’t eat sugar or drink alcohol. I don’t even eat so-called healthy wholegrains or dairy. I’m confident in myself to not let others’ opinions bother me anymore.
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.