Interview: Benita Murray, 2012 Healthy Life Awards semi-finalist

Chelsey catches up with Benita Murray, 2012 Healthy Life Awards semi-finalist

Entries have now opened to find New Zealand’s most inspiring health, weight loss and lifestyle transformation stories for the 2013 Weight Watchers Healthy Life Awards.

More than a weight loss competition, the Healthy Life Awards recognise the achievements of members in key areas of lifestyle change, health improvement, weight loss, maintenance, transformation and inspirational stories.

Last year Chesley spoke with Benita Murray, a 2012 Healthy Life Awards semi–finalist. We caught up with her to hear how she’s been going since the awards (and to hear about her favourite winter recipe!).

Hi Benita! It’s been a year since we last saw you, how’s it going?

Life has been busy but I’ve kept on track with my healthy habits – it’s coming up to 9 years since I joined Weight Watchers and lost 20 kilograms.  It’s not always easy so I make sure to cut myself some slack, especially at times like Christmas and birthdays! I always keep in the back of my mind that tomorrow is another day and another chance to start over.

Are you still involved with the Healthy Life Awards / Weight Watchers?

I still go to Weight Watchers at least once a month although I’m going weekly at the moment as I do find winter a challenging time as it’s hard to be as active as I would like to be – I get inspiration from the meetings and it keeps me fired up and on track.

What are you most looking forward to about the HLA’s this year?

I will never tire of reading about other member’s success stories.  There is nothing more inspiring than reading about the challenges and successes of other people.  I can’t wait to start seeing the entries come through.  I’ve also been asked to help a couple of members at my local meeting get their entries together.  I’m happy to tell them about my experience and if that helps – all the better!

We’re always after healthy recipes here at Chelsey and know that Weight Watchers do some delicious meals. What’s one of your favourite recipes?

A winter favourite…I enjoy this for lunch with a dollop of low fat natural yogurt (1 Pro Point) and a slice of grainy bread (3 Pro Points)

Pumpkin Soup

Serves 6 / 0 Pro Points per serve


1 medium onion, diced

1 kg of pumpkin (buttercup is best but crown works too), diced

1 litre chicken stock

Salt and pepper

Pinch of nutmeg


Sautee the onions in a little sp ray oil.  Add the pumpkin and stock and nutmeg.  Cook until the pumpkin is soft.  Allow to cool slightly then blend using a stick mixer, food processor or blender (a stick mixer is the easiest way).  Reheat if necessary.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.


For more information on the Healthy Life Awards and to read further amazing and inspirational stories, head to

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