MacTodd solicitor Tanya Surrey has taken on the
American Express Queenstown Winter Festival 12 Week Challenge
and in our first of weekly updates she explains how she went
from Friday night drinks to the gym ... and hopes to end up
with a figure similar to Catherine Zeta Jones.
MacTodd solicitor Tanya Surrey atop Queenstown Hill
recently. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
I'm not sure how I ended up in the Winter Festival Fashion
and Fitness Challenge. One minute it was a joke at Friday
drinks in the MacTodd board room, the next I was fronting up
to Lakes Leisure for the initial meeting and weigh-in with
personal trainer Richie Lambert.
Somehow I got caught up in the madness of it all and when my
boss offered to pay the fees, I ran out of excuses. With my
40th birthday looming, friends have questioned whether some
kind of early mid-life crisis has hit me.
Exercise and I have never been friends. I didn't walk until I
was nearly 2 - my parents thought I had something wrong with
my legs, but an orthopaedic surgeon put it down to laziness.
My first foray into serious exercise was at age 8, when a
friend took me to gym at the Trentham Army Camp Hall. In
those days, gym meant gymnastics. We were told to run around
the hall ... I fell over within seconds and after that I
stuck to piano lessons.
The challenge officially started on a Wednesday. I had spent
my lunch hour with Eli at The Shoe Clinic on account of not
owning a pair of sneakers. Eli threw in a complimentary
T-shirt, the colour of a goldfish.
At least, if I collapse from exhaustion I'll be easy to find.
The first group training session involved running around the
room - I'm pleased to report there has been some progress in
31 years; I can, in fact, run around the room without falling
over. That first session also involved press-ups. I
demonstrated the caterpillar.
After training, I could barely walk down the stairs, let
alone to the car. Just over 48 hours (and one RPM class)
later I was at the Queenstown Primary School fund-raising
My muscles were so sore that every move across the school
hall was painful.
At that stage I hadn't attended my first mini-group session
with Richie. I thought I knew the limits of pushing my body
after the press-ups, but I hadn't met the rowing machine. The
biggest shock was discovering that "the plank" is not a move
where you lie on the floor taking deep breaths. Week One also
involved a climb up Queenstown Hill ... it's not what I'd
choose to do at 8.30 on a Sunday morning. Still there was
something to celebrate - Week One was almost over.
Week Two was a blur.
I turned up to Aqua Aerobics twice. I had concerns about
revealing 83.8kg to the world. Being rubenesque in day to day
clothes is a different kettle of fish to being rubenesque in
ill-fitting togs. Still, when you're half asleep you don't
have the energy to worry about it.
We're now into Week Three and I don't know myself.
There were no hot cross buns or Easter eggs this year. My
mind is occupied with gym schedules and meal plans. The
humble chickpea is my new best friend.
A treat is defined as one square of dark chocolate.
I told Richie at the weigh-in that I have no intention of
turning myself into a stick insect.
I said Catherine Zeta Jones was not thin, yet she was
gorgeous. I want to be fit and healthy - and if that also
includes being voluptuous, I won't complain.