- Tamara Walcott, 37, set a powerlifting record in September, deadlifting 636 pounds (288kg).
- She’s a mom of two kids and started lifting after a divorce.
- Here’s her story, as told to Kelly Burch.
In September I traveled from my home in Maryland to Kansas City, Missouri. There, I had a goal in mind: to deadlift more weight than any other female powerlifter on earth. When I picked up 636 pounds (288kg) at the competition, I knew I had exceeded everyone’s expectations, including my own. And that felt powerful.
I’m not a natural-born athlete. Weight lifting didn’t come easy to me. But it did help me save myself, and learn a lot about how we as moms need to put ourselves first.
Finding myself in the gym
When I first walked into a weight lifting gym back in 2017, I had lost myself.
I had been through a divorce and was dedicated to raising my kids, who are now 9 and 15. Plus I was working full-time as a property manager. Like many moms, I had a million reasons to push off taking care of myself. Plus, I was battling food addiction and topping the scales at more than 400 pounds (181kg).
I had lost control of so much, so being in control of weight lifting felt empowering. At the time my goal was to one day deadlift 315 pounds (143kg). I had no idea that four years later I would lift more than double that and set a world record.
I began going to the gym, bringing my kids with me three to four nights a week. Weight lifting was my therapy and helped me battle food addiction. I wanted to make sure my kids were taken care of, and that meant being healthy for them. To be a good mom I had to take care of myself. Knowing that freed me from any mom guilt I might have felt.
Becoming the “Plus Size Fitness Queen”
I was so proud of my mind and body working together. I knew that as I became stronger, my family became stronger too. I wanted to share my progress, so in February of 2021, I went live on Instagram with some of my workouts, under the name Plus Size Fitness Queen.
I was shocked by how many people related to my story. Now, I have almost 50,000 followers.
As moms, we’re often told what we can and can’t do. We’re put into boxes or told we have to put our dreams on the back burner. The people who follow me know that’s not true. You can still chase your dreams and find time to do the things you love. You can do and become anything that you set your mind to.
My message to other moms
These days my kids aren’t in the gym with me anymore. I train three to four days a week for about three hours a day. My mom, brother, or partner watch the kids so I can focus on myself. It really does take a village. I’ve realized that taking time for myself teaches my kids important lessons about boundaries.
To truly tap into your own greatness, you need to put yourself first. What better lesson to teach kids than that they deserve to claim the time and space to take care of themselves?