It's been a little over a year since Ngira Simmonds (Ngāti Huri, Tainui, Ngāti Raukawa) completed his gastric bypass surgery, which resulted in losing over 70 kgs. As the Archdeacon for the Kīngitanga, Simmonds says that his journey has been beneficial to all aspects of his wellbeing.
"I am able to buy clothes from any store now. Not just from shops like Johnny Biggs' or Beggs - Big and Tall - those kinds of stores.
“It's good but it was very expensive buying a whole new wardrobe,” Simmonds says.
At his heaviest, Simmonds was 172 kilogrammes and called himself the King of McDonald's.
“I would order a family meal box, just for me. Four big macs, fries and drink, Just for me!"
At his heaviest, Ngira Simmonds weighed 172 kilograms. Source / Supplied
Now, the Ngaruawahia based father of two weighs 96 kilogrammes and has found a whole new breath for life.
“Now it’s a new world. I can run with my kids, I go to the gym to lift weights three times a week, and I don’t have to go to special stores to buy my clothes anymore.”
Having the surgery funded by the Anglican Church - Simmonds says the weight loss has not only benefited him physically but spiritually also. An important aspect being in the position he is in.
“I used to believe that if the spirit is right, then everything else will be fine too. But now, I strongly believe that the spirit and body grow in one and that they affect one another. What use is a person with a healthy spirit but a sick body,” Simmonds says .