Obese mom breaks three treadmills in her quest to lose weight – but look at her now!

23 July 2017

"Being overweight runs in my family so I thought I was destined to be big all of my life.

Can you imagine working out so intensely that you burn out gym equipment?

Well, 35-year-old Tara Kavanagh actually has. Since she began her weight-loss journey she has burnt out three treadmills running in front of the TV.

The formerly obese woman from Rapid City in South Dakota tipped the scale at 138 kg before the death of a close friend shocked her into changing her life around.

When she began her quest to drop the kilos, she vowed to herself that she would not watch TV unless she was working out – and she did just that.

"When I first started losing weight I made a deal with myself that I could only watch TV if I was walking on the treadmill, even if I wasn't walking very fast," said Tara.

"I burnt out three treadmill motors that way but it definitely helped me lose weight because I used to watch a lot of TV.

"It took me a year and a half to lose 66 kg and I did it all in my living room on my treadmill and doing at home DVDs.

According to Tara, it was emotional eating to lead to her obesity.

"I remember in grade school being self-conscious because I was bigger than my friends," she said.

"I was never very active and was a big emotional eater, so that also was a big factor in my weight gain over the years."

“Food was what I looked forward to. It made me feel good."

Read more: This guy lost 118 kg in just two years

"My favourite foods to eat growing up were macaroni and cheese, double cheeseburgers, and any baked goods. I loved to bake and made cookies all the time," said the mom.

Soon, her weight began to influence her social life and she realised that it limited her from truly living.

"Being overweight was always on my mind."

"It held me back from doing activities with friends, trying new things, even going to school."

"I had terrible depression and anxiety from worrying about my weight. I avoided social situations as much as possible and declined offers to do fun things because I was ashamed of my size."

"When I was big I felt I was just existing and not really living my life."

Her turning point came when her close friend died and she began realising that life is too short for her to not live it to the fullest.

"It made me realise life was short and we never know when our time is up," said Tara.

"I didn't want to die young from obesity related problems. I wanted to be a good example for them and be an active, healthy mom.

"I didn't want to spend the rest of my life being miserable about my weight and worrying about my health."

When she first started on her journey, she was prescribed metabolism boosters and an antidepressant to combat emotional eating which she took until she had healthy habits in place.

Read more: ‘How I quit drinking – and lost 24 kg’

She said, "I used these medications short term to teach me how little to eat and how much I needed to move to lose weight."

"Then as the weight came off I learned more about healthy eating and started swapping in more nutritious food.

"I kept track of my calories and made sure to burn more during the day than I consumed.

Now the stay-at-home mom is a trim 72 kg and hopes to coach others too.


Photo: Magazine Features

"I don't let my size hold me back from doing things I want to try anymore." she said happily.

"I've done some amazing things I would have never been able to when I was bigger, like skydiving, swimming in the ocean, traveling, going to yoga retreats, hiking with my family and more."

Read more: ‘How I lost 36 kg in a year’: YOU reader shares her story

She also admitted that she has become addicted to working out.

"It is a habit for me just like brushing my teeth. I can't get in the shower unless I'm a sweaty mess first."

She added, "Losing weight has changed my whole perspective on life.

"When I look at old photos I wish I could have told that girl everything I know now so she would have made these healthy changes earlier in life.

"But back then I would have never believed I would look and feel like this.

"It definitely makes me want to help others to realize there is hope and you can always take control of your health, even if you think it's impossible.

"The smallest change can make a huge difference. You just have to start somewhere.

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