I write a weekly column for my local paper; The Torres News. The column is called Ailan Yarns (translates to Island Chats) and it focuses on sharing positive stories from within the community. It also shines a light on local issues to give the community a chance to voice their opinions. Enjoy.
Published in The Torres News
Printed: 20th July 2018
Author: Kantesha Takai
Tari Fell juggles being a mum of four beautiful children, including a toddler and full-time work. Yet, she still finds the time to squeeze in a daily walk or exercise routine, and she eats healthy every day. But, rewind to about a year ago and she was struggling with weight. Tari admits to having a poor diet and being too embarrassed to exercise.
Like most mothers, Tari’s children are her priority and like most mums, she often puts herself last. Over the years she’s gained weight to the point where she was over 100kg just last year.
During the pregnancy of her youngest child, Cyrus (now 20 months old), Tari’s doctors warned her about her increased risk of gestational diabetes, due to her weight. This shocking reality was Tari’s wake up call because diabetes is hereditary and a dormant threat in her family.
“Luckily, I didn’t get gestational diabetes. But the doctors told me that I had to lose weight after the pregnancy because I would be at risk of diabetes, since it runs in the family.”
Taking this warning seriously, Tari decided to focus on her weightloss goals, no matter how hard it’d be. And, her first challenge came in the form of not being able to exercise due to Cyrus being her first cesarean.
“I was so scared to exercise after Cyrus was born, so instead I decided to do a Herbal Life challenge and focus on a healthy diet first. I did that for three months until I felt comfortable walking.”
In those three months of the challenge, Tari dropped 13kg. Today, Tari has lost a total of 27kg and 190cm of body fat. She can now fit into a size 14 comfortably and Tari credits her physical and mental transformation to Herbal Life.
“I chose Herbal Life because the food tastes good. Even my kids like it. You don’t have to just live off shakes and you can still make things like pancakes.”
She fell in love with the Herbal Life program, so Tari decided to become a coach to help other Torres Strait Islanders who also have a family history of diabetes.
“My vision is to encourage more people to take control of their health, and I want to be there to help them on their journey. Anyone can go to the chemist and buy shakes and supplements, but you have to work it all out on your own. With my help, I can guide people and help them make the right decisions for their bodies.”
Tari has formed a Herbal Life team and a small walking group on Ngarupai (Horn) Island. Last year, her group participated in the Thursday Island Running Festival and they’re keen to get involved again this year.
“The festival was very welcoming, and they cheered for us as we pulled into the wharf because we had to come over by dinghy. It was funny. We’re hoping to have more Horn Island people this year so that we can charter a boat over.”
People often ask Tari about her journey and she is passionate about sharing tips and helping others to get started. She has already coached a few ladies who she says are quiet achievers and are hitting their goals. Tari also encourages others to reach out and join her Herbal Life team too.
“As a coach, I now understand why it was easy for me to drop all that weight at the start. It was the initial shock to my body going through the whole body and lifestyle transformation. And, now I’ve had to add exercise into my plan because the weightloss has slowed down and my body got used to the lifestyle change. Now, I’m trying to turn the remaining fat into muscle with exercise. So, I use my own experience to help others too.”
Not only is Tari transforming her life and helping others to do the same, she’s also inspiring her children to keep active and eat healthy too.
“They love the shakes and smoothies and I make sure that they eat healthy. And, they really enjoy working out and going for walks with me too.”
Tari is already instilling healthy life choices into her children and it’s all the result of her deciding to make a change to her lifestyle and reaching her weightloss goals.
Too deadly Tari! Eso for sharing your story.