My name is Tara Hurley. I have been a member of 212 for so long I don't even remember when I actually started. When I started it was called Punch and it was located on Broadway in East Providence. I have joined, left, and come back several times. This gym is like the family that always takes you back, and I always come back because I know there is no place like it. It is actually like home.
I have always been on a diet for as far back as I can remember. I never lived a healthy lifestyle, didn't even know what it was. I have done every diet you can name. I even did the phen/fen diet back in the nineties where a Dr. gives you pills that are essentially speed. That diet was stopped because people were dying from heart attacks. I look back at that now and see how messed up my mind was, I was always chasing after the wrong goal. All I wanted was to be skinny, I didn't care about my health, and I would have even sacrificed my health in the pursuit of being skinny.
I remember once, when I was a child, I went to my mother's doctor appointment with her. When the nurse asked her to get on the scale she said no. I was shocked and amazed. My mother turned to me when the nurse left the room and said, "You don't have to do what people ask or tell you to do." It was a little thing, but it stuck with me, it was somewhat a defining moment in my life. I don't think I got weighed at all throughout my twenties and a majority of my thirties.
At 35, I was the most unhealthy I had ever been. I would estimate I was close to 250 pounds. I lived on Newports, Diet Coke, and Cadbury mini eggs. Seriously, every morning I stopped at the store and bought a pack of Newports, a 6 pack of diet coke and a bag of mini eggs. My body, mind, and spirit were all in a state of constant pain. I was on medications for depression and seizures, so I blamed those meds for making me fat. There are side effects from meds, but my lifestyle was more detrimental than the side effects. I finally came to the conclusion that I needed to take personal responsibility.
Right around the time my daughter was born, it dawned on me that I needed a healthy lifestyle and not a diet. My world changed the day she was born. I wanted to set a better example for her. I don't want to give her all the body issues I have had. Also, being an older mother, I want to be healthy and active so I can keep up. I don't want either of my daughters to miss out on anything because I was old or out of shape.
212 has been the place where I came into my own. Not only has there been a physical difference, but it has helped my mental health as well. For one hour a day I have nothing on my mind, my only focus is on doing what I am being told to do. This hour, I take every morning, puts me in the right frame of mind to seize the day. I have to thank all of the staff and all the members. I am inspired by and appreciate being around people who are pursuing or maintaining this healthy lifestyle. I love to see success and growth in the people around me, and you all make going to the gym fun. I especially have to thank Cindy McLaughlin. I cannot skip a class without giving a valid reason to her. There might be a day where I got no sleep the night before, but I still show up because I don't want to let Cindy down. And last, and most importantly, I thank my wife April. I am allowed the time to go to the morning classes because she takes care of our family, and she takes care of me. She loved me when I was 250 and she loves me now. She cooks the healthy meals for me and she packs my lunches. I can honestly say she is the reason I am successful at any of my endeavors in life. I don't know what I would do without her or my 212 family. So thank you all for the support and picking me as member of the month.