Woman’s weight loss journey improves health, changes life

Tara Martin – after

Published in: Weekly News
Written by: Joanne Oostveen
Photo by: Gail Kanasevich

Tara Martin was dying a slow and sad death.

It was 2009, she was 40 years old and trapped in a 270 pound body.

Morbidly obese, she was already dead on the inside – mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

She knew she had to save herself. But she didn’t know how.

“But one day I decided that was enough,” she said. ” I am not going to do this anymore. This is not who I want to be.”

Thirty seconds away from having lap band weight loss surgery, she got scared.

“That surgery was too final. There had to be another way.”

In her hometown of Tacoma, Washington, Martin began her life changing journey in December 2009, one calorie at a time and one step at a time.

She started to take the stairs, park further away, counted her calories and most importantly started to believe she deserved to be healthy.

The weight started to come off.

“And I had a revelation of sorts, that inspired me. In June of 2009 I watched my then husband begin his transition. His journey encouraged me to follow mine.”

Watching someone you love, stand up and proclaim not only to themselves, to their families and to the world that the physical body they carried around did not match the spiritual body inside is an amazing thing, said Martin, and it helped her to define exactly what she wanted with her own life.

“And first walking and now the running took care of the depression, and finally got me to set goals, enter running races and work towards change.”

As Martin’s body changed, so did her entire life.

“I thought it was only weight that I was losing, but slowly as my body started to change on the outside, how I perceived it also started to change. Not change, but become more clear.”

She no longer wanted to be in a relationship with someone who would be mistaken as a boy, or be married to someone that had fully transitioned to male because she didn’t want to be placed in a role that she was no longer comfortable with.

Martin began to blog about her amazing weight loss (a total of 120 lbs) and life change. And she began to follow the blog of another gal who

was losing weight and gaining a healthier life here in Halifax.

They became close friends through chatting online, supported one another and then decided to meet in person.

“Meegan flew out to Vancouver and we met. We feel in love, it was totally unexpected.”

The couple got married in Vancouver last July and Martin settled in Halifax in November with her new wife.

Tara Martin – beforeĀ 

When she knew she was moving to Metro she looked up running groups online and found out about Heart and Sole Running Club, based in Dartmouth.

“I like to be a part of things in the community and joining the club helped me to get to know the people here. Running in general is good for our health, spirits and our souls.”

She has completed a few running races since moving here and said running all over town has helped her to become comfortable with her new home.

Her second marathon this year will be at the Maritime Race Weekend in Eastern Passage and Cow Bay on Sept. 15.

“The first time I ran it was more than hard,” she said. “But knowing I can now do 26 miles is amazing.”

Co-race director of the Maritime Race Weekend, Stacy Chesnutt, says she also moved to Halifax for love.

“I am from Tennessee and moved here six years ago, my husband Tim is from here. And it was through training for another Ironman Race that I got to know folks from the Halifax Triathlon Club, Halifax Running Club and Fast Company and got to know the city.”

Chesnutt says she is proud to have Tara Martin competing in the Maritime Race Weekend.

And Tara Martin says she is proud of herself, too.

“My mission is to move forward and build an army of people that care about who they are. To care about themselves and in turn to care about you. To feel loved and deserving of happiness and then to turn that loose onto you because even if you think you don’t deserve it. I know you do.”