Rugby Player Inspired by LMA Program

Akapusi shares his testimony on how the lifestyle program has transformed his life for the better

In August of 2023, 20 Dietitians from the Ministry of Health Dietitians graduated as LMA Facilitators following a ‘Training of the Training’ course conducted by ADRA Fiji. The Live More Abundantly (LMA) program is a Lifestyle intervention developed by ADRA (used by ADRA worldwide) to work closely with vitality workers and field experts. The goal of the initiative is to assist ADRA partners, communities and churches to bring about transformative change in people’s lives through better health. It has been determined that through the LMA program, individuals can prevent, stop and reverse non-communicable diseases and enjoy a healthy life. The LMA Program promotes plant-based food.

We would like to share a testimony by Mr Tawake who tried out this lifestyle program thanks to the implementation made by Dietitians from Valelevu and Samabula Health Centres at his workplace. Mr Tawake contacted us in December to share his testimony – shared in his exact words.

Ni Bula Vinaka!

My Name is Akapusi Qio Tawake and I work at Water Authority of Fiji since 2015.
I just want to share my reflection before and after taking part in the Live More Abundantly (LMA) program for 7 weeks.
As we all know, food is one of the major contributors into our body as source of strength to move us forward on our daily life. Many types of food have special palatable taste that result in highly preferred by humans which can be consumed daily such as fried foods, drinks with high content of sugar and many more. Therefore, food could be as source of happiness on our daily living which satisfy ourselves after we consume them.
I am a rugby player and i believe that the more i train, the more i need to feed myself to retain my body weight and to keep me stronger. However, during training session, i will always feel the same experience such as shortness of breath, uncontrolled heart rate (my heart beats faster) and my body easily get tired. I love to eat fried foods and meat after training. Most of the time, i never wanted to have breakfast and love to eat heavy meal at dinner time. I love to consume this type of foods to satisfy my hunger.

However, after going through this program for 7 weeks, i have learnt a lot of things which is totally dissimilar to my food preferences lifestyle. I could say that food can also be a major contributor of non-communicable diseases and could cause major negative impacts in our body system. In Fiji nowadays, we are now experiencing the high-level rise of NCDs from early to late stage of life where most of lives are taken away unexpectedly. This is the result of choosing our own taste rather than choosing what is best for our health.
This program creates fear and guilt feeling on me after I have learnt many good things in relation to our health. It motivates me to start and continue with a strict diet which I have extended to my family member by relaying the importance of taking steps on strict consumption of foods.
What i am experiencing nowadays is totally different from what i had experienced before. For eg., if i eat fatty foods today, i will have an upset stomach and this indicates to me that i fed my system the wrong type of food. I have experienced lots of improvement in my life and I will need to maintain this standard by taking care of my body and systems.
This program should be allowed by Fiji Government for it awareness to be raised publicly and ADRA Fiji should work together with the Ministry of Health for the betterment of our health. Government should also provide funds to help this program to reach maritime islands and volunteers should be selected from those who had gone through this program to assist those who run the program locally.

Vinaka Vakalevu