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The Contenders - The Girls

By: Nick Ross Posted: October-05-2010 in
Lia Garcia Halpin
Nick Ross

Part two in a two part feature From The Word Hanoi. The see the guys go here

We’ve had such a great response to The Word Ha Noi Challenge that we’ve decided to up our contestants to 13. So, time to introduce them as they embark on their two-month journey to transform themselves from overweight or even underweight, into the physical Atlas of their dreams. The challenge will finish in early November.

Running from early September to early November, 13 contenders are battling it out to make the largest physical transformation in The Word Ha Noi Fitness Challenge, all in the name of transforming their body shapes, creating a new healthy you and, of course, the lure of a number of prizes for the winners. Time to meet the contestants.

Lia Garcia Halpin
I’ve put on weight and completely blame the delicious Vietnamese food, wonderful beers and the fact that I no longer do tasks like running errands and house cleaning — things that used to get me up and moving. While I enjoy life here in Vietnam, it’s time to get back on track and set up a more permanent and sustainable lifestyle. My husband, Daragh, just opened the new PUKU cafe and we tend to eat at the restaurant most days — while I’m a sucker for the Irish Nachos, we’ve been looking to expand the healthy food options on the menu. The Word’s challenge gives us a chance to share those healthy changes of our own diet with the rest of Hanoi, so look out for additions to PUKU’s menu as we both dive into this challenge.

Rachael Newport
I am entering the fitness challenge to meet a life long desire — to get strong and super ripped! I want defined, toned abs so will be focusing on a fitness program including Brazilian jujutsu and muay thai with pilates and yoga to develop core strength. I’ve never really done exercise before so I have the fitness level of an old lady (not including Vietnamese grandmas, who are astonishingly strong). This will be a huge challenge.

Kylie Harrison
Every time I move to a new country I tend to indulge in the local cuisine and gain about three to five kilos, which I never manage to shake off. I’ve got at least 10kg of excess weight that I want to shift. I am an “all or nothing” person, and a challenge like this will give me the motivation I need to get rid of the extra pounds and regain some confidence.

Tran Mai Anh
Two years ago I used to dance every day. I used to feel much stronger than I do now. I want to be more active again — do sports to help me relax and feel good. I work for a French IT company and spend my days in the office, sitting at desks. So, this will be an opportunity for me to get in shape and improve my health.

Rio Roxanne Domingo
I didn’t grow up with an active lifestyle. In PE at school, my classmates would finish the onemile run in 10 minutes, then rest for another eight before I even crossed the line. I just couldn’t run because I was unfit — but I was unfit because I didn’t believe in myself. As soon as it became difficult to breath, I gave up and walked. This challenge will be mentally grueling for me. But I want to believe that I can do it; to believe that it’s never too late. I want to prove to myself that I am able to pass the point of wanting to give up and then go on to succeed.

Ruth Mortimer
I am taking part in this challenge to lose weight, feel attractive, fit into my clothes again and so on. But mainly, I’m doing it for my health. My body began to change last year when I took a desk job at an NGO. I began to pile on the pounds. Then I was diagnosed with insulin resistance (pre-diabetes) and PCOS (poly cystic ovaries) so my body doesn’t process carbs and sugars well — I make more and more insulin but don’t break it down into glucose. My body just stores it all as fat and I have zero energy. Through diets I have lost 5kg, but I need something to kick me into feeling better. And once I feel that natural high, I know I can continue. I just need help getting past those first few weeks.

*The fitness challenge is sponsored by Ultimate Nutrition, Seara Sports, N-Shape, Elite Fitness, The Nam Hai Resort, Princess d'Annam Resort, The Sheraton Hanoi and Zenith Yoga. A TV version is being made by VTV 4 for the programme 'Expat Living'.

Republished with Kind Permission of Wordhanoi


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