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Personal trainer aims for balance in life

Cathy Dobson Tara Newman embraced the benefits of a regular workout and eating right while she was at college and swamped by the demands of a new life away from home.
Tara Newman of groundZERO Training & Nutrition; Cathy Dobson

Cathy Dobson

Tara Newman embraced the benefits of a regular workout and eating right while she was at college and swamped by the demands of a new life away from home.

“I became really stressed when I moved to Toronto for school,” says the 23-year-old Sarnia woman. “You’ve heard of the Freshman 15?” she asked, referring to the weight gain many first year students experience.

“Well, I gained the Freshman 25.”

Newman, an accomplished athlete during her high school years at St. Clair, soon discovered that exercising every day made her feel better on many levels.

“Working out helped me cope with the anxiety, deal with the stress, and get back into shape,” she said.

By second year, she was working out every day and managing much better.

But all was not entirely on track.

“I became too wrapped up in working out for the wrong reasons,” she explained. “It wasn’t just about getting into shape.” She became obsessed with her weight and felt terrible guilt if she ate unhealthy foods.

It took time, but Newman eventually found a balance and approached her workouts and eating habits with an attitude that was less focused on looking good and more on being healthy.

After graduating with a diploma in fashion, then earning a degree online in business administration, Newman landed a job at Enbridge in Sarnia. She later transferred to Enbridge’s head office in Toronto, which has a fitness center on site.

“I liked the convenience of that and it gave me a chance to shut off the stress for half an hour. It was a 30-minute escape.”

She returned to Sarnia last summer when her fiancé landed a job here.

“I thought, what am I going to do?” Opening her own personal training centre had always been a long-term goal.  Suddenly, the time seemed right.

Newman, who holds a certificate in personal training and is a fitness and nutrition specialist, launched groundZERO Training and Nutrition Nov. 10.  She chose to locate at the Western University Research Park on Modeland Road to offer easy access to the numerous companies there.

One-on-one personal training seems to be in most demand with workers booking through the day to spend their break or lunch hour with Newman.

“I’m finding a few friends will also book with me to get the benefit of a small group workout with people they are comfortable with,” she said.

Five weeks of customized training, two times a week for half hour sessions, costs $250. For each person beyond two, the cost is $125.

Contact Tara Newman at groundZERO by calling 519-402-2594 or visit


Jen Smith recently became the local rep for a new company called Foxy Leggings. Smith also owns her own body care product company called Wondermama.

Foxy Leggings was started in B.C. last spring by two sisters and sells colourful leggings in hundreds of prints and solids for all ages and sizes.

Smith is available for home parties and makes personal shopping appointments.

Check out, email [email protected] or call Smith at 905-515-8688.


Got an interesting business story? Contact Cathy Dobson at [email protected] or 226-932-0985.

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