Lessons learned through exercise and dedication
The word Harata Tahana uses most when talking about how she used to look is ‘‘embarrassing’’.
The Manurewa woman was embarrassed to be weighed when she joined a gym, and again when she couldn’t get on the stationary bike due to her size.
At her heaviest she tipped the scales at about 204 kilograms.
‘‘I basically gave up,’’ she says. ‘‘I just wasn’t happy and I hated life. I didn’t drink water and exercising was a no go. And I just ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.’’
Harata, who used to love eating cream buns and meat pies, was convinced to join a gym in Manukau by one of her workmates.
‘‘I was a bit iffy about it, but I bit the bullet and had a go,’’ she says. ’’That’s when I realised I had to do something.
‘‘I joined up for three months and met some pretty awesome people, so I joined up for another three months.’’
Harata says she had an idea what the scales would say when she joined the gym. ’’It was wishful thinking that I wasn’t that heavy.’’
Her workout consisted of exercises including lifting weights and walking on a treadmill.
Harata’s efforts kicked into high gear when she began training with Josephine Ormsby and Issac Pulu, of One More Rep Fitness.
A year later she’s down to 123kg, so she’s lost about 81kg in total. Ormsby and Pulu, who are personal trainers, encouraged Harata to have a go at the Loaded Tough Guy and Gal Challenge in Rotorua on August 19.
Harata and Ormsby completed a six kilometre lap of the course, which contained a range of obstacles, in two hours and 39 minutes.
‘‘I was sure we were going to make it,’’ Harata says. ‘‘That was a must.’’
Her goal is be under 100kg by the end of the year. The advice she offers to people who think it’s too hard to lose weight is simple.
‘‘I tell them they can do it. They can do anything. They’ve just got to put their mind to it.’’
Ormsby says she’s proud of what Harata has been able to achieve.
‘‘I keep telling her how amazing and what an inspiration she is, even though she doesn’t think she is.
‘‘To see her start and finish [the Tough Guy and Gal Challenge] is really awesome.’’