About the Entrant

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Donna

Club: Belconnen

Age: 59

Donna

The machines are building muscles where I haven't had them before

Christmas 2016: my children presented me with gift membership vouchers for Curves Belconnen. I was 102kg, gathering cobwebs, forgetting who I was while prioritising parents and kids needs and even work ahead of myself. There were way too many chocolate biscuits in tea breaks, high stress and sedentary job as well as after work long road commutes to and from Yass while I cared for my father. The Scouts (where I have been a Leader for the past 10 years) were leaving me behind on our hikes. I had high blood pressure (perhaps a familial tendency) and a blood test showed rising cholesterol, indicated a fatty liver and borderline diabetes. My children were clear that it was time for a change!

It was hard finding time in my day for the workouts and building muscle raised some perspiration at first but I’m getting better. I learned the difference between being hungry and thirsty. I changed my diet from convenient and quick to nutritionally sound (and quick) – breakfast was my carb fix of oatmeal, mixed grains and seeds with berries and cinnamon to sweeten. Dinner was my protein hit (hard for a not vegan but vegetarian but tofu and beans/lentils with eggs occasionally and a big bowl of whatever mixed vegetables I could steam up. Lunches were eaten on a quick walk around the neighbourhood of my office instead of the desk (diet bars or pieces of fruit – not quite the real food I aim to proceed with once the weight is off but very portable). I found having the need to ‘not waste’ the gift vouchers a motivation that kept me attending the gym regularly or substituting some other form of exercise such as a hike up a hill or quick walk (2 kilometres each way) to the supermarket instead of driving. I’ve dyed my grey hair, wear a little make up occasionally, find my clothes fit more loosely and made sure I incorporate an adventure just for me into every weekend (festivals, galleries, events in the region). I socialise more and while there are still external pressures I can concentrate on being happy with small things and find stress does not build up to crippling panic. I even take a small amount of evil pleasure that my ex might see that he’s not the only one who can move on.

My last blood test was all normal, my blood pressure well controlled and I have lost 22 kilograms in 6 months. Pain levels are down, I sleep better, I’m not permanently tired and I no longer take medication for chronic dyspepsia. A couple of weeks in Darwin visiting my daughter dropped my PI so I’m working those machines to get back to maximum performance now… and still working on the caffeine addiction!