Kirstyn’s Story working with Back To Health

Let me introduce myself:

I am Kirstyn, a 47-year-old Mother of 5 children from age 7 to 18. I have always been a little overweight right through school, but never seriously obese. I played sport at school and was relatively active. When I left school and got a job in a bank, I started to pile on the weight due to poor choices and having bought a car and no longer biking everywhere.  This weight just got more and more. I peaked at 150kg in August 2001 when my Eldest boy was 7 months old and I was hospitilised due to an ectopic pregnancy. The stigma of being a big woman stuck with me for a long time, and basically, I got what I called the “I don’t give a damn” gene.

Years and years of see-saw weight saw me get as low as just under 120kg, but still I couldn’t shift it past this. After 5 children, I neglected myself and did not have the continued willpower and determination to do something about this.  Not long ago, I approached Sue and asked her if she would assist me with nutritional advice. She had me do a food diary and offered advice as it came in to her. Early last year, I also had a friend in Auckland who offered to be my “Growlie” and I was to report to her every week on facebook with a weigh in. So now I had accountability. The result of which was a 40kg weight loss from February to September.

Long story short, I had a very very big “overhang” stomach and I had a few “sores” on this skin, and I became ashamed and ignored them. I got VERY sick with cellulitis and I reassessed my eating and began an exercise programme with a view to walking a 7km fun race in Ashburton last August.  I completed that race, albeit slow and with a massive blister on my big toe!

Roll on to September 2018, and I was given a life-changing surgery to remove the “apron” as I was getting continuous infections despite doing all I could to look after myself. This was successful, however, I battled for months with post-operative infections. I was finally well again in late January. I had continued my walking, but my coach James Katene, taught me to swim and I loved it. You could say, duck to water! It was late February that I had a crazy idea to do the Waimate Kiwisports Triathlon which was a very short course event and I LOVED it! I was hooked and now determined to become a real triathlete.  Sadly, just as I was feeling great, I went in for an elective surgery to remove scar tissue and I ended up playing the infection game all over again. I was finally cleared to bike again on the 2nd of July and the very next day, I got on my road bike. I LOVED this and knocked out a 10km ride straight away. I continued to train with my children as it was School holidays.  Finally, I got the go ahead to swim on the 23rd of July and again, straight back into it completing 30 lengths.

Throughout all this recovery period, I was pretty much on bed rest and it drove me mad! I had a newfound love of life, and more importantly, I was able to do activities with my children I had never been able to do. Basically, I had 20 years of neglect and poor choices.  I was itching to get back into being the “new me.” Each time, I found myself thinking back to my nutritional choices and the advice given to me by Sue. I HAD to know what I was putting into my body, and if I fed it well, it responded appropriately. I found that my arthritis was improving, my cardio fitness had remained despite the time off, and more importantly, my headspace was in a good place with sound nutritional decisions becoming a part of every day life.

Now that I am back training, I am extremely excited to announce that Sue Boyce “Back to health,” will be sponsoring me to allow me to complete my first duathlon on my own and thus the road to my longer-term goal of being able to become a longer course triathlete. Come the 7th of September, I am hopeful to have a short course duathlon of a 5km run, 12km bike, and a 2.5km run under my belt even if I have to walk a lot of the run. Sue will come with me and be my support crew and hopefully we can do a video diary.