What do a Catalina dancer for cancer and a Moruya dragon boater have in common?
They have both taken up the Bay Post/Moruya Examiner health challenge – and nine of their friends from Quota have joined them.
The group is a couple of weeks into a three-month pledge to get fit, strong and healthy – and want others in the Eurobodalla to sign on.
We’re approaching Men’s Health week, so dob in a bloke in your life. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the words HEALTH CHALLENGE in the subject field.
Shayne McArthur is undergoing treatment for cancer and will dance for the Cancer Council at the upcoming Stars of the Eurobodalla event.
That will help her fitness, but she was eager to sign up for the health challenge and says the support of her Quota buddies helps.
“I really appreciate having your support to motivate and encourage me,” she said.
“My primary goal is to establish a healthy lifestyle to help me physically and emotionally through this acute phase of cancer treatment.
“I want to create good habits around nutritional eating and exercise, as just a normal part of my every day.
“I aim to reduce sugar in my diet and ensure each day's meals meet good eating and nutritional guidelines, particularly to boost my immune system, which is pretty ordinary at present.
“So lots more colourful vegetables each day and at each meal.”
Ms McArthur wants to be able to run five kilometres at the end of the challenge.
“So more cardio each week I fear,” she said.
“I want to incorporate two weight sessions each week, as doctors tell me it's important to replace body fat with lean muscle to reduce oestrogen in the body, which cancer cells thrive on.
“I'm not too fussed on measuring kilos - but I do hope that by doing all this I might drop two-to-three kilos.”
Dragon boater Jenny Best has other motivations.
She is already pretty fit, after launching herself into a health kick 18 months ago.
However, she wants to be ready to hit the Moruya dragon boat regatta season “as fit and healthy as I can be”.
“My goal is to improve my health and fitness level to a point where it is optimal for my age and body type and lifestyle,” the Malua Bay resident said.
She has pledged to eat three meals a day, more protein, less sugar and lose “the afternoon snack hits - biscuits, cakes, muffins”.
She’ll drink more water and less wine, walk briskly for 30 minutes a day, get to the gym four times a week and “try” to keep a food and exercise diary.
As a businesswoman, Kay Lovering has spent too much time on the computer and – when you have had heart surgery – that’s not so good.
“I need to get out there and get a good degree of fitness,” she said.
“I do normally eat healthily, except I do love those social happy hours.
“They will have to go; fruit and veg will have to play a bigger part in our menu.”
She does not struggle with her weight, but worries about health.
“I have already had open heart surgery and hip replacement.
“Let's go girls.”
She is keeping a food diary and parking “quite a distance from the Village Centre so as to walk big steps, stretching out the legs, instead of up the escalator”.
Also with a family history of heart disease and dodgy knees, Quota president Merrilyn Chilvers wants to lose five kilos by August 23.
“This should be good for my cardiovascular health (very bad family history) and good for my joints (early arthritis in my knees) and I would look better in my swimmers,” she said.
She has pledged to eat smaller portions, fewer carbohydrates (bread, cake, pastries), processed foods and sugars (including wine).
She wants more walking and less computer time and wants to “keep a food and activity diary to keep me honest”.
Jenny Tweedie also wants to be lighter.
“That's five kilos off for my birthday, thank you,” she said.
“I will also up the exercise; I have been quite slack of recent weeks. I swim for a half hour twice a week, but instead of thinking about it, I will get walking the other days.”
She will also watch her diet, “which is easier said than done, when we like to socialise with family and friends”.
Carolyn Anderson is motivated to lose kilos via “sensible eating”.
“With three joint replacements and rheumatoid arthritis, my flexibility and balance are not good,” she said.
She wants to “move more each day, as well as continuing swimming twice a week”.
“Little steps to start, but I hope it will lead long term to a more healthy, fitter self,” she said.
Lyn Jordan, of Sunshine Bay, also wants to lose kilos.
“Like Carolyn, having joint replacements (both knees and and ankle) certainly affects mobility and flexibility - something I hope to improve,” she said.
“With your help I will keep motivated to walk more, attend exercise classes and dust off my idle exercise bike.
“I will also look at ways to change my diet - less sugar in processed food, less carbs and, of course, less wine.
“Here's to looking and feeling better.”
Jan Tonks, of Lilli Pilli, is looking forward to less “huffing and puffing” when she walks.
She wants to get fit and lose five kilos and has pledged to “look a little closer to my diet”.
“I am not sure how I will go cutting out or down on sugar, (but) will oil up the walker and use it more often, besides walking in the fresh air.
“Here goes, girls, let’s see what we can do as a group.”
Catherine Johns, of Batehaven, wants to “get fitter, lose kilos and feel healthier” – for a very special reason.
“I need to fit into a mother of the groom dress by August 25, by dropping a dress size (whatever that is!) and I need to dance all night at the QVB Tearooms,” she confided.
“I've started with a personal trainer twice a week, walking other days, have cut out alcohol, am eating smaller portions, cutting way back on junkie carbs and snacks and increasing salads and fresh steamed vegies.”
She is adding more vegetarian meals each week.
“I'm down six kilos since mid-February and hoping it stays off and I can actually see a difference soon,” she said.
“After August, I have to keep going because Number 2 son is getting married next March.
“I'm motivated; let's all be healthier and try not to think about chocolate.”
Other challengers include Fay Tye, of Surf Beach, and Lyn Pellow.
We’ll keep you updated on everyone’s progress.
Want to sign up or nominate some to the challenge? Email email@example.com with the words HEALTH CHALLENGE in the subject field.