Dramatic weight-loss only the start for Kahungunu man

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Kahungunu man Tipene Maaka is on a weight-loss journey after being hospitalised last year at his heaviest weight of nearly 400kg.

Since then he has changed his eating habits and has reduced his weight down to 250kg and has since ditched his walking crutch.

"I'm feeling really good, I'm able to walk around.  I used to walk around on a crutch and I've thrown that away," says Tipene.

Tipene achieved his weight-lossover the last eight months through training with a group of overweight dads in Hastings nicknamed The Front Row.

The group has been put together by Les Hokianga- who is the chief executive at the community gym, Hikoi 4 Life, in Hastings- as a way of battling obesity in the community.

Since joining the Front Row, Tipene has a newfound motivation to change his lifestyle.  "When I started I was homeless and had depression so meeting these fellas has kind of made me believe in myself again."

Tipene moved down to Hawke's Bay from Auckland after 25 years and found himself living in his car. However, Tipene found his feet and now lives in a Housing New Zealand home.

The wake-up-call came for Tipene when he was hospitalised last year after a scratch on his leg became infected and affected his heart.

"I blame myself for that- my goal is to come down to 100kg and just enjoy life- that's my main goal, and [to] help other people out."

Tipene has changed his eating habits to mainly fruit and veges as he works towards his goal.