Lessons learned through ex­er­cise and ded­i­ca­tion

Papakura Courier - - OUT & ABOUT - CHRIS HAR­ROW­ELL

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.’’

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