Carolyn is a 58 year old woman whose story is a common one; while she was fit and active when she was younger, as an adult she found that she needed one of those ‘time for a change’ moments to get her back on track. Here’s her story, in her own words.
“I was a young teenager, playing representative level Netball, enjoying life to the full ...and then at 18 I took up smoking. I continued to be active (I thought I was but I have since learnt how to push myself harder!) but my weight continued to increase. My children and husband were totally against my smoking but this didn’t stop me. Over the years I became uncomfortable with my appearance and continually purchasing clothes to fit was getting expensive.
My health was suffering and my weight had blown out to 85kg, so I went to Weight Watchers for two years and lost over 8kgs. I felt better in myself but needed exercise so went along to the Nelson Striders – this was 10 years ago. I started walking four times a week with them but going up hills my breathing was awful, I couldn’t suck in the air to make it up some of our local hills! I was always behind everyone else (they kept coming back for me) and ….I was still smoking.
I decided a change was needed. Either I stop walking with the group or I stop smoking. With support from my husband and friends, and the arrival date of my first grandchild looming, I made the decision to quit smoking.
In October 2011 I joined a gym, I now go along four times a week (Circuits, Spin, Ab workouts), plus walk with the Striders four times a week. My weight is now 70kg, my skin and hair are healthy, bad breath gone, breathing is stronger and I can climb those hills with everyone else.
My grandson is almost four years old and I haven’t had a cigarette since he was born. There is a new life in my life and I want to be active and strong to enjoy him, and my family and my friends.”
We all have our ‘tipping point’ where we decide to change and make our life more enjoyable. As happened for Carolyn, it can sometimes take us a while to arrive at it, but it's worth grabbing that moment!