In Pasione’s words…

My personal walk with obesity.

For me in my years as a child there was always a heap of bread at the meal table. I used to sandwich everything at every meal, rice sandwiches, potato sandwiches, pie sandwiches etc…I believe that this main accompaniment to my meals was to be one of my hardest habits to break. Along with getting older and finding work, having an income and not having any responsibility besides board, the allure of drive through take aways crept in. This would be my hardest struggle now as an adult. In control of my eftpos card in my own car with no positive support or motivation and even past habits it is so easy to roll through mcds and order the usual 2 boss burgers extra big mac sauce kaiser bun steamed with extra quarter pound patty on 1…so many nights and money spent. And then fizzy drink. I could polish a 1.5l Pepsi max taste in 2 minutes some days and my conscience was clear because it has all the taste and no sugar.

So these habits have been with me for a long time and I take full responsibility for my choices and my weight gain to make it clear. But here is where my testimony turns toward more changing circumstances. In June 2010 I met a girl. After 3 months of being friends I was let go from a job that I loved so deeply, where I had met her and danced and drank and danced some more(r.i.p boogie wonderland) the last night I worked I was absolutely drunk and crying in the small bar. Keita was holding my hand and consoling me throughout. When I had sobered up enough I remembered her heart and thought that it was a Beauty worth pursuing. She became my mrs and I became her man.

She fell pregnant the 2nd week we became a couple. We found out on the 7th week.

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I had moved with her and her family to the bay of islands after living my whole life in Auckland surrounded by my family and familiarity. I put on 50kg of weight and Keita put on 30kg during her pregnancy due to our choices and habits surrounding fast food and country living. During this time in 2010 to 2011 I reinjured my back badly and I discovered through blood tests that I had developed type 2 diabetes. My daughter was born in 2011. And since then my situation of my health conditions combined with weight and constant medication has become the poorest quality of a life I could have ever imagined for myself. Also place my beautiful partner and daughter on to my shoulders and what is now my chance at a family and growing a loving and nurturing environment for them is taken up with pain management and our choices are severely limited by my injury, my weight, me.

Through all of our trying to lose weight and dieting and exercise and hopes and dreams we have both been unsuccessful at making a major dent to my obesity and my diabetes. I am now desperate enough to consider anything. Even cutting off my stomach for the sake of my family.

This is how I came to be here. This is my personal walk with obesity. It now affects my 2 greatest Loves and not just me. As I said in the documentary, Keita deserves a better man, Sophia deserves a better dad. This is how my journey has started…hopefully with surgery my life could be given something new, positive, inspiring.  Thank you for reading this blog and I hope you are encouraged by our lives.

“Eat to live, don’t eat to die” – Pasione 


Kia kaha Nat

He was the first of the crew to undergo surgery. “It’s going to hurt a bit,” warned his mate Mili, who had the operation last year and has since lost 70kg. “But you know. Just harden up.”

Nat has been one of our most committed contributors and last night he showed us just how much can be achieved with hard work, determination and support. Thanks Nat!


The awesome Nat and Mili at Round the Bays 2016.

Episode 5

Pasione is determined to beat his body, Josephine’s cooking up a storm and Nat’s weight loss is plummeting at full speed. If you missed out on seeing this episode you can catch up on TVNZ OnDemand.

Pasi Sofia

Just 30 mins of moderate exercise each day (even in 10 min chunks) can reduce your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.

Watch Dianna’s Podcast on ‘The Talk Test’ to find out if the exercise you’re doing is working! click here.

How to manage your own risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. Click here.

Some simple & healthy meals for ALL the family. Click here.

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Josephine shares …

I’m still learning every day about healthy eating with my family and friends.

Potatoes, onions, cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, taro, kumara, pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower, silver beet, spring onions are the only vegetables I know. 

Those are the only vegetables my parents cooked for me and my siblings. We would have cabbage and salt meat with potatoes, Taro and chicken with chop suey. 

I am now learning how to cook with different types of vegetables.  I go on YouTube to watch how to cook certain foods.  I google each week for new recipes to try, like Chicken and Vegetable stir fry, and everyone loved it.  Here’s the recipe below.


Josephine's meal


1 (3 1/2-ounce) bag boil-in-bag long-grain rice

2 teaspoons dark sesame oil

12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips

3 cups thinly sliced napa (Chinese) cabbage

1 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved diagonally

1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

2 green onions, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces


1. Prepare rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add chicken; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Add cabbage, peas, and bell pepper. Cook 2 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Combine soy sauce and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add soy sauce mixture to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring gently to coat. Serve with rice. Sprinkle with onions. 

Nat’s update …

Last night we caught up with Josephine and Maria.

  • Maria overcame her sugar addictions and finally with the support of her son made her goal weight. Believe me that is an awesome achievement in itself. Hopefully, we can see her maintain her strength and stay at her goal weight before she reaches surgery. Awesome result – for both Maria and her son. It shows a little support can go along way when you are going for weight loss surgery. Can’t wait to see her progress over the next couple weeks.
  • We also caught up with Josephine – our Big little fighter from the south. It is heart breaking to see her go through all she went through. It shows that it is a real struggle to lose that extra weight, you have to lose before you go to surgery. You have to put the work in it doesn’t just get handed to you like everyone thinks. You have to be committed to, not only a lifestyle change while you are on the programme, but also a lifestyle change after surgery as well. Josephine is a huge fighter though and an inspiration to us all. She has a lot more to deal with than most people and hopefully we will see her jump back and fight the good fight.

This Sunday be sure to look out for Myself and Mili at the Round the Bays event in Auckland. We will be out there beating the streets and and meeting the peeps!

Hope to see everyone out there.

In Vincent’s words …

What is a Support Person?

You are a part of the struggle and share the difficulties with those that suffer.

To some people, having bariatric surgery and losing weight seems easy. Having the weight melt away, with only 10% of your original stomach left. Others know the struggle; the constant everyday decisions that impact on weight gain, the emotional consideration of diet, simple tasks like purchasing products not knowing if you can eat it without guilt.

These are the issues that my mother, Maria, is facing. The persistent challenge of daily eating; having a sustainable, healthy diet in this fattened and sugared product lifestyle within our society today.

Through this challenge to live a better life, there are a few things I ask of you.

Be honest, with yourself and your close ones. For people that love you, be honest with them and let them help you. Take them shopping, fight with them, cry with them. Secret binge eating like my Mum used to do can only be overcome by honesty.

  1. The first thing to consider, as a Support person for someone going into this surgery, is a fear of death and the complications. This was spoken of a lot by medical professionals beforehand. Post-surgery patients can also experience eating difficulty, nausea and vomiting, nutritional deficiencies, hair loss and stomach acid leakage.
  2. The second is altering your lifestyle. To both join the gym and GO to it. Removing all the un-beneficial food from your house. Constantly framing your mind for healthy eating and shopping. Reducing portions and not eating that second, third, fourth plate. Swapping a plate or two of ice cream for a slice of fruit. Habituating exercise. Become unwavering – plan exercise goals and achieve them.
  3. The third is to brace for the repercussions after surgery. The pain, the loss, the stress. You can’t drink more the three tablespoons of water. Two pieces of bread will fill you up. Get out of the bed and move a day after. You have one year to lose the weight and let your body acclimatise. It is just a tool and you have to use it effectively.
  4. Fight to ignore society with their shaming and love yourself. Your worst critic is yourself. Don’t beat yourself up about eating four cream buns or that whole tub of chocolate ice cream. Get angry, alter your plan and take yourself out for a short run to make up for it. Its a daily struggle and you’ll face it everyday.

Every day is a new day.

Words of Advice? There isn’t much I can say. There are so many books, website, recipes, techniques, habits, life hacks and ideas out there that can help you.

What I would say is Live. Live your life. Find happiness in a slice of apple. Saviour the taste. Life is meant to be enjoyed, just enjoy it with more thought of your future and how many days you can enjoy that slice of apple.

To be honest, after reading this, if anyone still regards this surgery as a walk in the park then I prompt them to watch the Big Ward, see the struggle of these 6 amazing, beautiful people and to walk a day in their shoes. You all are astonishing for taking on this challenge.

On behalf of New Zealand, I support you all and those like you in our society. It is not an easy feat and thank you for showing us your lives and the struggle you have had.


Vincent Evans-Welsh, Maria’s Son and your Support in your Struggle.

Episode 3

Agoraphobic Josephine ventures outside to exercise and take a vegetable voyage of discovery. Maria is struggling to kick arthritis and her old habits, as she makes a last push to smash her weight loss goals. If you missed out on seeing this episode you can catch up on TVNZ OnDemand.

To learn more about Osteoarthritis (English/ Tongan/ Samoan) download a brochure here

Exercises to keep you moving download a booklet

Super-healthy recipes click here and there’s more ideas here

Tell me about the food groups click here

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More from Nat …

Well, in the second episode we caught up with our girl Josephine.

What an inspiration. All of us could learn a lot from Josephine. She is facing a long road ahead of her – not only dealing with the food addiction, but also dealing with social anxiety issues as well. But she is a fighter and it will be interesting to see how she goes.

We also caught up with how Maria is going. She is doing so well man. With the help of her son I’m sure she is on the right path. I was so relieved that she didn’t take a step back and go get her ice cream. As he said he was so proud of her.

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We also saw my surgery and how that went down. Yip everyone got the answer they were looking for – YES i have had my surgery and it was life changing. I noticed the difference straight away. When I woke up, I was in so much pain they wouldn’t let me see anyone for the first day it was just so painful. Then my brother Mili showed up with my first meal lol. Being honest, I couldn’t finish it, but it was step 1 along the long road that we have been facing.

No more steak sandwiches for me for a while lol.

Nathanial How