Essie loses 45kg, cured of pre-diabetes
Four years ago, Auckland woman Essie Samuels could not have imagined herself losing any weight, let alone 45 kilograms.
The Onehunga resident tipped the scales at 130kg.
She was diagnosed prediabetic, had trouble with asthma from years of chain smoking and she loved fast food.
In 2012, Samuels, 61, joined the Onehunga Green Prescription (GRx) programme and began transforming her life.
Run by the MInistry of Health the GRx initiative is a health professional’s written advice to a patient or their family to encourage and support them becoming more physically active and eat healthier as part of a total health plan.
The pill-less prescription helps people with health conditions that would benefit from physical exercise, including obesity and type two diabetes.
The GRx programme also boosts confidence, energy, cholesterol levels, improves sugar levels and sleeping habits, reduces stress and lowers blood pressure.
It also reduces the risk of some types of cancer and increases flexibility.
‘‘I used to eat anything and I wasn’t healthy at all.
It was hard at first,’’ Samuels says.
‘‘I never went to the gym, never ate healthy - that wasn’t me.’’
Today, Samuels calls herself a gym junkie.
She’s at the Onehunga War Memorial Pool and Leisure Cen- tre five days a week.
‘‘I love it.
‘‘I can’t imagine my life without going to the gym now.
‘‘I’ve been doing it for four years and I’ve seen the difference it’s had in my life.’’
Samuels is no longer prediabetic and has dropped six dress sizes since.
Gone are the days when she used to devour food with lots of carbohydrates and fat.
She enjoys healthy meals now, even just a boiled egg for dinner sometimes.
‘‘I used to be a size 26, I can easily fit into a size 18, size 16 now.
‘‘Even my partner calls me a new woman because I’m not the obese, unhealthy person I once was.
‘‘I love life more, I enjoy it and my body is so used to living healthy that there is nothing else left to be but to remain healthy for as long as I live.’’
Essie Samuels lost 45kgs following the Ministry of Health’s Green Prescription Programme.