Samoan biography aims to inspire Pacific people
A New Zealand born Samoan hopes her story of turning her unhealthy lifestyle around will inspire other Pacific people.
A New Zealand-born Samoan hopes her story of turning her unhealthy lifestyle around will inspire other Pacific people.
In her book "Leading from Behind", newsreader Niva Retimanu talks about depression, being overweight and her story of turning her life around and becoming a marathon runner.
She speaks here to Moera Tuilaepa-Taylor.
NIVA RETIMANU: I was overweight, I was drinking a lot, I was living on takeaways, didn't cook, I was a heavy cigarette smoker, nearly smoking a packet a day, and no exercise, what so ever. I was basically depressed, there were a lot of factors towards that and my depression stemmed, I believe from not dealing with my parents deaths. My Father died in 1990, my Mother died in 2000, so when my Father died I was in my early 20s, when my Mother died I was in my early 30s, and I didn't deal with their deaths, I didn't with their deaths', I didn't grieve the way I should have been grieving and instead, I had turned into a party animal. So my moment of truth, when I hit rock bottom, was one day when I tried to tie up my shoelaces, before I went to work and I was sitting on the chair and I couldn't even see my feet, my stomach was in the way, and I just cried, so I knew that I had put on weight but I didn't know how much but when I went to bend over to tie my shoelaces, that was my moment of truth, and that's when I had to get my head out of the sand.
MOERA TUILAEPA-TAYLOR: What I really enjoyed to was when you starting talking a little about your first session into exercise, first doing group [exercises] with your Pacific media friends, and also your first time when you went to bootcamp.
NR: I had to do something that I felt comfortable with and the bootcamp was fantastic, in terms of I did feel comfortable and there were all walks of life, and there were women and men there, and we were all in the same boat, we all had same goals and most of us were all over 100kgs, and I felt really comfortable and I didn't feel intimidated.
MTT: I love how your sense of humour really comes out in the book because some of the issues are difficult issues, and tough issues.
NR: When I started writing this book and I said to my publisher, I don't want to be preaching because I've read a lot of self help books as well but the one thing I've learnt about this journey is that you have to be ready, and I think this is what this book is all about, it's dealing with serious issues, and talking about it seriously but I also wanted to put my personality which is the humour and a bit of Pacific humour but I think those who know me and people who don't know me, will be able to laugh with it as well.
Niva Retimanu says she's not worried about how long it takes her to finish a marathon, just as long as she finishes.
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