Rose Murphy has been a YMCA member for three years and, in that time, has come a long way from where she started. When Rose joined the gym she weighed 183 kilograms and relied on crutches to be mobile. She made herself a promise that she would never again reach this number, and with determination and support from the YMCA, she gradually lost over 50 kilograms.

Knowing that setting a huge weight lost goal wouldn’t motivate her, Rose set small goals along the way: when she was 180 kilograms she aimed for 170, when she was 170 kilograms she aimed for 160 and so on until she reached the point where she is healthier than she has been in a long time.

“When I was at my heaviest I used to have to walk around with two crutches.

“Now I can get around with one or none when I am in the gym and working out,” she says.

Part way through Rose’s fitness journey she decided to join the Jumpstart diabetes education and lifestyle program at her local YMCA. The Jumpstart programme provided Rose with support about what she could be doing in the gym and how to live a healthier life. She was given a personalised training program and attended classes along with her gym mates.

Rose believes that she couldn’t have changed without the support of everyone at Auckland’s Massey Leisure Centre managed by YMCA.

"I could have a free membership if I signed up with the gym down the road. However the staff and members really motivate me. We have become a little family!"

Her message to others is it’s never too late to start. Rose is still working on her fitness and says that she will continue into the future as she tries to become the healthiest she can be.

“If I can do it anyone can do it, you just need to do more today than you did yesterday.

Author: Petra Brinkman

About Jumpstart
Jumpstart is a successful national initiative providing exercise, nutrition and lifestyle education for people with diabetes, or those who have been told they are pre-diabetic. Founded by YMCA Auckland and healthcare company Pharmaco (NZ) Ltd, the programme has helped over 800 people in the last three years.

Common results from the programme include weight loss, lower waist measurements and blood pressure, improved mental health and confidence about a healthy future. The programme now operates at 16 YMCAs across the country.