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I need to make some changes

Last year we bought you the inspiring story of Eseta  Nicholls who successfully completed our Certificate in Pacific Nutrition course and made some remarkable lifestyle changes in the process. Now she’s taking on the challenge of completing the 2016 New York Marathon.

We’re excited to share with you Eseta's journey over a series of blogs. Here’s her first instalment, where she reflects on where she was 10 months ago.

Sitting here thinking back to 10 months ago when my journey to a heart healthy lifestyle started, I can now manage a smile and say “I would never have believed that what I was about to embark on was achievable for me.”

In early February 2015 I found out I was going to be a grandmother for the first time. It was a bitter sweet moment, but necessary to start and plan towards the birth at the end of September.

By the end of February I had started The Heart Foundation’s Certificate in Pacific Nutrition course. The course was relevant for the work I was doing in supporting pregnant women in the community, and I now strongly believe it’s a must do course for every Pacific adult.

I started back at boot camp a month later. Five years on with the same trainer and it doesn’t get any easier. By day two I was unable to walk let alone comb my hair, in short I felt like I’d been hit by a bus. Then my trainer announced he would like to take us all to the New York Marathon in November 2016, but we need to start training now and this time look at our food intake.

In my head I was thinking ‘I will do the food, I will attend boot camp, but I am not going to run the NY marathon, because I’m a walker and a marathon is too long’.

Around the same time I took part in a research study where an electrocardiograph or ECG on my heart suggested I needed to see a cardiologist. Now the shock had hit me! I guess I had gained weight, umm no I had ballooned!

I needed to make some changes, I wanted to be an active healthy grandmother not plagued with heart problems or diabetes (I’d seen the effects with close family members and the impact it had on extended family).

So, with a new focus on being heart healthy and a goal of completing the New York Marathon in 2016, I set out on a journey of change, supported by the Heart Foundation’s Pacific Heartbeat team and my trainer.

To reach my goals I set out the following steps:

  1. Regularly attend bootcamp – Monday to Friday, 5 – 6am
  2. Make heart healthy food changes – reduce sugary foods (for me meant stop baking cakes) and increase veges
  3. Stay focused – remind myself that I can’t control my age, ethnicity or family history, but I can control my lifestyle and that’s everything

Ten months ago, my starting weight was 101.1kg and my height is 157cm. I have used the Heart Foundation’s BMI* calculator to work out my starting BMI was 41. My goal weight is 75kg (BMI <30) so watch this space!

Body Mass Index (*BMI) gives you an idea of whether you are underweight, overweight or at an ideal weight for your height (with some limitations).  You can check your BMI through the Heart Foundation’s BMI calculator.