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Juicing orange juice and pomegranate

When you lose fitness habits, starting over can be just as tough as starting from scratch

New Zealand’s biggest fun run, Round the Bays 2023 is set for Sunday, March 5, and to get you ready Stuff has launched the RTB Fitness Club. It’s an 8-week training programme designed to get you match-fit and excited about exercise with a like-minded community, whether tackling the event in-person in Auckland or virtually. Each week we will bring you stories to inspire and educate you throughout the fitness journey. Join the RTB Fitness Club here.

For a number of years, if you asked me, I’d tell you I was a fit person.

Despite too long of doing too little, I still see myself as a fit person. Ultimately, it’s easier to tell myself that than to realise if I attempted a workout I smashed a few years ago it would likely leave me curled in a foetal position on a sweat-drenched floor, in a world of pain.

Just a few years ago, I trained at a CrossFit gym most days. I competed at a pretty gruelling CrossFit competition and had plans to enter a novice weightlifting and strongman competition.

I spent my spare time at rock-climbing gyms and my go-to stress release was an evening run in the rain.

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A couple of times, I jumped on a rowing machine to hit a half-marathon (a little over 21km) distance because it seemed a fun challenge – and I had nothing else planned for the day.

Somehow, before I even noticed, life happened. Fitness habits were forgotten far quicker than they were made. Time with my husband was more valuable than time in the gym. I swapped freelancing for full-time work and ditched my lawn-mowing side-hustle. Around 15,000 steps a day instantly fell from my normal routine.

My formally strict diet made way for late-night snacks on the couch.

Yet, I told myself, I was still the same fit person. It’s an easy lie to tell ourselves when changes happen slow enough to not see them coming.

Darren Patterson/Supplied

A few years ago I was fit enough to compete in a scaled National…


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