Spearwood mum loses weight and gains life with Cockburn Healthy Lifestyle Program

Don’t think, just do it! That’s the advice from Ruena Girelli who celebrated her 39th birthday this January with a new direction in life after joining the Cockburn Healthy Lifestyle Program (CHLP).

Ruena, of Spearwood, has lost 10kg since joining up last October and while she is pleased with her weight loss, is more thrilled by her new found energy and happier state of mind.

More than 70 per cent of adults in the City of Cockburn are either obese or overweight, four per cent more than the state average of 66 per cent.

The low-cost CHLP, launched for 2018 at Cockburn ARC on Valentine’s Day, supports adults and children to adopt a healthier lifestyle by becoming more active and introducing nutritious foods into their diet.

“I wasn’t very pleased with the way I was looking and feeling, and needed to cheer myself up,” Ruena said.
“Every day I was tired and I wanted to be able to play with my three-year-old son all day and not feel sleepy by 5pm.

“I saw the program on Facebook and decided it would be the right kick in the backside I needed to help me get in shape.”

The things that worked for Ruena included adding a 15-minute walk to her daily routine, which has now increased to walking or running every day, reducing her portion sizes and introducing crunchy salads to her traditional Italian diet.

“I ate a typical Italian diet with a lot of carbs but I learned how to add more salads and fresh vegetables, and eat from a smaller plate,” she said.

“It was easy to introduce going for a quick walk, sometimes I would push my son in his pram but when I started going for longer he got bored, so he stays home with his dad.

“I feel 10 years younger! Energy-wise it’s amazing and I’m not scared to do more exercise or go to the park for longer with my son, and I’m never hungry. Walking is free and reducing your portions probably saves you money.”

Ruena said joining others in the initial eight-week Healthy Eating, Activity and Lifestyle program (part of CHLP) helped her gain confidence by meeting new people with similar challenges. Her weekly meetings became a team effort as she grew determined not to miss any of her appointments so she wouldn’t let her fellow participants down.

“The program supports you to be committed so you don’t feel alone. Instead you become part of the community which is the first time for me in eight years since I moved here from north eastern Italy.”

Live Lighter Campaign Director Maria Szybiak said the health risks of obesity were not exclusive to the City of Cockburn.

“Over two thirds of Australian adults are obese and overweight. Building strong relationships with local communities is a crucial step in tackling the obesity issue.”

For more information of the program visit www.cihealth.com.au , email [email protected] or call 08 9494 3706.

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Cockburn Nyungar moort Beeliar boodja-k kaadadjiny. Koora, yeyi, benang baalap nidja boodja-k kaaradjiny.
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City of Cockburn acknowledges the Nyungar people of Beeliar boodja. Long ago, now and in the future they care for Country.
We acknowledge a continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respects to the Elders, past and present.