Com­mu­nity get­ting fit

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.

Ms Mar­son,

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.

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