This is her story:
I started smoking when I was 16. It was cool. All my friends and my boyfriend smoked.
Soon I was powering through a 50gram a week (About $40 a week at the time and 20 cigarettes a day). If I had a drink or a stressful week, I’d smoke even more. It became my stress reliever and my time out because I’d smoke outside.
Not only did my smoking increase but so did my weight. I think it was a combination of having four children and trying to stop smoking numerous times. When I smoked I never felt like eating and I’d get confused between hunger and nicotine craving.
So when I did eat, I’d eat a lot. I was binge eating because I never realized how hungry I was.
Four years ago I weighed 100kg and I was miserable.
Three years ago I decided I needed to do something about my smoking and I referred myself to Nga Kete for help. I needed to stop smoking for financial reasons and to be a role model for my children. I started using patches.
I was so blessed to have Nga Kete and I always looked forward to my weekly meeting. I was never made to feel inferior for any of my feelings or slip ups. I was genuinely cared about and they wanted to see me succeed.
Through their advice and encouragement I remained smoke free and what a difference! I immediately noticed more money, food tasted better, and I could breathe easier without coughing or choking in the mornings. One of the biggest benefits was having more time. I often wonder where I found the time to sit outside, sometimes for up to an hour, and smoke!
I was so lucky to also have my partner of 18 years who was incredibly supportive. We moved to Queensland, Australia, and I started working as a housekeeping manager for a small corporate hotel.
I had stopped smoking but I was still overweight, and I so desperately wanted to be fit and healthy for my children. I watched my father trying to lose weight and become healthy and he really inspired me. He was over 50-years-old and running 10km a day!
I started walking, and then running, and doing workouts in my garage that I found on YouTube because I was too embarrassed to do it in public. I joined a couple of fitness groups, and started eating healthier cutting out sugar where I could.
I lost 22kg! But I still had further to go. I knew I needed extra help so I finally stepped out of my comfort zone and joined a gym. I got a personal trainer and it was the best thing I could have done.
He tweaked my nutrition and arranged my workouts so I knew what to do. I worked out with him once a week and eventually I lost another 12kg.
I joined another gym and started going on my own. I’ve since been running marathons and competing in obstacle races. I go to the gym five days a week and run the other two.
I have so much more energy now even though I’m more active. I can run around with my kids without getting short of breath. My partner and kids are even joining me in activity because they now want to be more active.
I feel fantastic knowing I did it! That I achieved another goal I had set. I actually stopped smoking and lost weight!
Today I weigh 66kg and I feel fantastic.