Second chance to be around for grandchildren

Hi my name is Eseta, I am a 53 year old widow ­ I lost my husband to motor neurone disease 10 years ago. I was born and raised on the south side of Otahuhu, Auckland. I am a mum of four sons and as well as my day job as a health worker, I also volunteer for Dress for Success.

As a health worker my roles vary from educating whānau on creating a safe sleep environment for baby, to delivering nutritional information to women antenatally. I also do a lot of follow up with women who are hard to engage. 

As part of my job, I completed the Certificate in Pacific Nutrition. From this course, I learnt thatage, ethnicity and hereditary factors all influence our health. Diabetes runs in my family. I was an overweight couch potato, and I was referred to a cardiologist. I had my first grandchild due inSeptember 2015 and something had to change. And that change was.....ME!

In March 2015 I got off the couch and went back to boot camp. I said to my trainer “this time I’m doing the food”. One month in and I seriously started looking at my food diary. I began making healthy choices, reduced sugary foods, reduced my portion sizes and increased my vegetables (including all the colours of the rainbow!).

Fourteen months later I had lost 20kgs. I now run and train six days a week. This journey has really made me appreciate that I have a second chance. I don’t want to miss a beat. I really want to share this with anyone who wants to listen. I’m now telling the ladies at boot camp about hidden sugars in our food. Not everyone wants to hear this. One lady responded with “it’s ok to have a treat”. My response was “and there it lies the problem”. Since our conversation, this lady has lost weight and we have become friends.....let’s face it knowledge is power!

I work with whānau ­ it is so rewarding. I feel so passionate about sharing my experience and knowing what can be done. We can be active for our loved ones ­ young and old. Best of all, I know that healthy eating can be done on a low budget.

How do I know? I’m living it!

 - Eseta, Otahuhu