janine before

2013 Winner nWow Entrant’s Choice Award.
2014 Winner of Mike Catton Adventure Category

2013 Bronwyn Adams-Hooper
2014 Cat Keene

Janine after her 2013 Challenge
Janine B
JB Back b4 after
Janine with her 2014 Adventure Award


Excerpts from Janine’s Story:

Some might say it was harsh and cruel, others wouldn’t care. For me it was a defining moment, when my then husband told me the most honest truth of truths.

February 2011 was a month that many would remember for other reasons, it was also the month that I truly realised and accepted that I was grossly overweight.

11 Feb 2011 – My health was appalling, my moods shocking, and my weight had peaked at 117kgs. Having a 7month old, I soon discovered I could no longer hide behind my excuse of just having had a baby. I’d previously returned to work when my child was only four months old. At the time work had seemed far more important than any family or health commitments.

Over the next few months – I somehow managed to lose some weight, and then on my world fell to bits, well so I thought at the time. Exactly one year to the day since we’d moved to Darfield from the North Island, I was diagnosed with cancer.

23 Sept 2011 – my world and those around me whom I loved crumbled. My father was terminal. I questioned and questioned how and why this could possibly happen to our family. Surely two couldn’t have cancer at the same time, or could they?

During one of my many tests, procedures and meeting it was pointed out by a nurse that it was advisable to lose some weight. I was told I was clinically very obese. A few weeks before my second surgery in early November I jumped on the scales – 104kgs! How did I get here? How did I go from weighing 73kgs on my wedding day in late 2009 to all of this? So many questions. I had no real answers. Not even a hint or clue, I was brain washed and negative with the past – I blamed a lot on pregnancy, earthquakes, relocating islands, a sick new born, a terminal father, along with my sudden return to work. I remember always looking for an excuse or something to blame.

Before my father died in late November 2011, we shared a special bond and moment. He was a firm believer of everything happening for a reason, along with actions speaking louder than words. He told me if I lived by this in the future I would be ok. This was the last time I saw him alive.

The following few months were difficult for me and my immediate family. I’d had two surgeries, one that was extremely complicated and the first of its kind ever performed in NZ, lasting over six hrs long. I was left to deal with grief, not only of my father (who died eight days later), but of loss associated with surgery. I’d had groin lymph nodes removed along with other procedures too. I was repeatedly in and out of hospital with a range of issues; I was catheterised for weeks and on all sorts of medications for infections, abdominal wounds that wouldn’t heal etc. I lived like this for 4 months. My bladder felt stuffed, I was depressed, exhausted, lacked confidence and had very low self esteem. I’d refused all help in the way of counseling and had shut down completely. My hope of losing weight between surgeries had failed terribly. I was still 104kgs.

Later that month I was given an all clear on the Cancer front. It was gone. Yay – time to celebrate…   however how…? I recall feeling lost, having taken a year leave of absence from work, I wasn’t due to return for another 6 or so months…  I became even more recluse, depressed and lazy. Cracks were appearing for the first time ever in my marriage. I had no idea where to even begin, and the last thing on my list was counseling in any shape or form.

– Janine goes on to meet PT Bronwyn Adams-Hooper and enters the 2013 20 Week Challenge

My 20 Week experience wasn’t all full of warm fluffies and positivity – I know I emailed my PT once and told her my goal for the week was to remain in 20 Weeks. I did find it very hard, and while it might read like it was a walk in the park, it wasn’t. I thought about things too much, instead of letting them go. Confronting and accepting your past isn’t easy. However I’m in it for the long haul. Not just 20 weeks. It’s about living in the now, and trusting where your life is taking you. Trusting your intuition, and living life with love – not fear.

On winning the nWow! Entrants Choice Award – I changed all my negative emotion around cancer to a positive one. I’m no longer a victim. It has shaped who I am today. Without it, and the many people I’ve met over the past three years I’d not be who I am today. The key was to action what I could in managed steps. Set manageable weekly goals, meal plan and look for all the positives in every situation….

My recommendation and advice to others is: never give up. Believe in yourself, even if no one else does.  Find yourself a fantastic PT, and if it feels right, trust them and respect them with all your might. Be inspired by others, however do not compare yourself to them. Seek professional help and counseling more so if you emotionally eat.

Writing this did however help me be truly more grateful for my journey and chance meetings along the way, the things that have fallen into place, the things that didn’t work out, all now for the positive. Life is what you make it.

I’ve taken inspiration for some amazing places, and also from some very different places. It’s different for everyone, and not one mold fits everyone. Find what works for you and keep working on it never giving up till you achieve it. You will succeed!

I know my PT Bronwyn Adams-Hooper once told me to never hold her or anyone else on a pedestal, I now get the reasons why, however there is very good reason why someone is one of the top PTs in NZ and why the First Step is commonly featured in the 20 Week’s awards. My PT is a life changer, she is are extremely inspirational, knowledgeable and motivating, she does achieve results, you just have to be willing to action and accept the fact she will challenge you in her own way.

Will I be back next year…? Absolutely!

And sure enough Janine did come back! She moved to Cromwell, trained with Cat Keene from NRG Health and Fitness and came back to win the Adventurers Category.  Her life has continued to be full of challenges on a 100 fronts which saw her separate from her husband during the last years 20 weeks, but she continued on, focusing on her goals and the challenge. She has since relocated to Rolleston.

We have no doubt that there will be more pics to come as Janine was also given $500 from leadership and adventure guru Mike Catton to put towards another adventure!

Thanks for sharing some of your journey with us Janine.  We certainly look forward to updates from your future adventures and to having you on board with the 20 Week Challenge again.

Register Now Read another story

Some of Janine’s great results from 2013. Click on pics to enlarge.

Trimmed dr report Janine's results

Janine always gets involved in the competitions along the way that are dished out in the weekly newsletter.  Here you can see the photo of her efforts at trying new foods and a jacket from Flip Your Dog apparel for one of our mini competitions that she won in the middle of the 2014 series.

Janine 4by4 challenge Janine Hard Tail jacket

Janine’s first event in Ashburton 2013 on the left and in Queenstown in 2014.

janine ash dua Shelley and Janine

Janine’s 2015 Eco Tour Zip Trek experience in Queenstown.
before janine zipping janine no 2 zippy

 ‘While I’m totally afraid of heights….I loved every minute of the three hours that we zipped around…. Yes I screamed, and yes I was totally outside my comfort zone. Would I do it again?….absolutely. The guides both rocked and were very polite, funny and knowledgeable. Our safety was never an issue’