Community getting fit
The Porirua leaders participating in the Healthy Communities Start With Us programme had their final health check and weigh-in at Te Rauparaha Arena last week, and there were some slim figures on show.
Tony Ukarangi had lost an impressive 22kg, Jay Marson had cut out bad food and her cigarette intake in half, while Wayne Poutoa was happy he could go for a walk with his kids without getting puffed.
They were just three taking part in the programme which, since July, had challenged them to make changes to their their diet and lifestyle to inspire others around them.
Organised by Regional Public Health, using dieticians to show how to make healthy meals on a budget, staff from Maraeroa Marae, and fitness trainers from the Arena to create realistic fitness schedules, the participants all noticed a difference.
from Waitangirua Action Group, says she used to starve herself during the day and then go home and eat badly. Being part of this initiative has been about ‘‘becoming more aware of myself’’.
‘‘I’m obviously doing something right, because I feel a lot better and smoking so much less is saving money too. I’ve had to change my attitude towards eating, which is hard because I love fast food, but this [ programme] showed me that food was a crutch. Now, when I go home, I eat one meal and if I’m hungry later, I eat fruit. I’m down to one sugar [in tea or coffee] instead of four.’’
Mr Poutoa, a city councillor and founder of Streets Ahead 237 said he felt fitter and had more energy. ‘‘It’s awesome and great to see the leaders in this community taking part. It starts with us and now it’s up to us to carry on.’’
Most of those involved took part in the Stronger Pacific Families parade from Waitangirua to the city centre on Saturday.