Challengers celebrate first round of weight loss

Weight loss isn’t just about diet, or getting in shape but health and how you fight for your life.

That is the message motivating 60-registered members of the Xtreme Challenge with their four-weeks weight loss challenge.

Xtreme Challenge and its members gathered at the Taumeasina Island Resort on Tuesday evening to celebrate the first round of the challenge with a prize-giving ceremony.

In an interview with the Samoa Observer, bodybuilder trainer and Xtreme instructor, Chris Apineru said Covid-19 is a wake-up call for Samoa in terms of keeping fit, eating and staying healthy.

“It’s not about coming to the gym or staying at home but it’s about going for a walk and eating healthy,” he said. “If we see and look back to what happened to a rugby player who passed away because of a lot of weight, we feel sorry for him, and he has done a lot for our people.

“But coming back to us, it’s all about staying healthy if we don’t want to get there. Put this guy in front of your face and make it something which you don’t want to become. 

"You don’t want to die early and disappear. Your work is not done in this world and that’s the main thing.”

The eldest of the 60-registered members of the challenge, Rhonda Muff, is a cancer survivor and hopes that by sharing her story about her journey, people would feel inspired to stay healthy and live longer.

At the age of 73 and hailing from Lotopa and Melbourne, Mrs. Muff walks up to Robert Louis' Stevenson's tomb at Mt. Vaea every Friday.

“Age is but a number,” she said. “My thing was I had breast cancer ten years ago and I had quite a serious case, and because I was so fit, my recovery was much better. It makes you feel good and if you don’t go to gym it makes you feel really bad.

“You don’t need to go to the gym if you can't afford it, you can just download an app and you can set up your own program and you can do it at home."

“It’s a weight loss thing and I don’t really need to lose weight but I’ve always exercised.”

She is a mother of three and all her children enjoy getting fitn which inspired her to be a part of them in her younger days.

For years, she’s been a spartan racer and still is in Australia hence why she avoids going to the gym more often.

“You can get a bar, lift a bar and you don’t need to go to the gym. I think the gym part is if you’ve got somebody like Chris that could push you to train then that would be better,” she added. “Sometimes, you doing it on your own doesn’t work, because you’ll keep delaying and delaying saying you’ll do it the next day.

“I walk up the mountain every Friday with a friend so you don’t need to go to gym so you can find other ways of keeping fit.”

Mrs. Muff’s advice to the elders of Samoa is to not wait to feel old but make the most of their time, and strength to stay healthy so they can be with their children for a long period of time.

Mr. Apineru’s partner, Michelle Lemisio, is also part of the challenge herself while her daughter is the youngest member of the challenge.

Working alongside her partner, she handles the nutrition side of the training while Mr. Apineru works on their fitness.

“If you’re ready to start, then start because you can only push yourself, and it’s not just about the fitness side, you always have to look at the nutrition’s side as well and that’s one thing about what we do,” she further emphasised.

“We encourage our challengers on both fitness and nutrition sides, because there’s no point in going to the gym and putting your body in the line, and then go back and eat the bad food.

“Results do come when you’re actually committed to it.”

Tuesday evening was a momentous occasion for all the participants who shared their weight loss results and vowed to keep the spirit going for the next round. The two winners that evening were Paula Tuifua [Biggest body fat loser] and Meleniumasili Schmidt [Biggest Kilo B loser]. 

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