“I love the connection of living in a place I grew up in, having lifelong relationships with people. Also, I really think Rome has revamped areas like downtown to be a great place to live. If you go downtown at night and see all the people walking around, or to Ridge Ferry Park to walk, or the fountain at The Forum, it just seems like Rome is getting better.”
So is Tara, 51, who earned the No. 3 spot in Health Quest this year. She lost almost 40 pounds, or 16 percent of her body weight, and admits her weight-loss journey is not over.
“I have to continue my weight-loss journey. I still have quite a bit to lose. I plan on continuing exercising and doing a low carb diet. It is the combination that finally started working for me.”
Hour-long spin classes at the YMCA are helping her succeed. And while she’s committed to staying focused on her health, she also plans to enjoy life.
“I love to go riding in the convertible with my husband on a cool fall day with the music playing loud, singing off key to oldies. I also love taking ‘girl trips’ at least once a year. ... There is nothing like the laughter we share. Men just don’t get our sense of humor. I love to read and go to movies too!”
You don’t have to be around Tara, a special education parapro at Rome Middle School, long to notice she’s funny. She’s got a quick wit that she often directs at herself.
When asked what her dream job might be, she responds, “Swimsuit model? Not possible. Surgeon? No, don’t like blood!”
What’s on her bucket list? “I feel like I should say something very profound like jump out of an airplane or climb some big mountain or something. That is just not me,” says Tara. “I like really simple things in life, so it would involve travel with my family and friends to beautiful places I haven’t seen. Oh yeah, and to have my laundry completely caught up, washed, dried, folded and put away. Talk about dreaming the impossible dream, now that is one for my bucket list!’
Her counsel to those on the same weight-loss journey as she is: “I am sure not one to give advice on how to do this, because I have tried and failed so many times. All any of us can do is start over until it finally clicks in our head and pray for the strength to keep trying.”
Take a behind-the-scenes look at the Magnolia portrait photo shoots