From couch potato to catwalk queen

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Before signing up to a Winter Festival fitness challenge, Philippa Winter’s only exercise was raising a glass of wine. 

Now the self-confessed couch potato is counting down to showcase a healthier, slimmer and glammed-up version of herself after 12 weeks exercising, eating well and cutting out alcohol – almost. 

The Arrowtowner will sashay down the catwalk next Thursday night alongside 11 other dedicated local women for the annual Ladies Fashion Challenge at the Memorial Hall. 

“My kids are all fitness freaks and my husband runs – and I was a couch potato really. All I could do was lift the right arm to have a wine,” Philippa says. 

“Now it’s my time.” 

Philippa, 52, says the grind is paying off – her pants are hanging on her hips. 

“And I’m motivated to keep going ‘cos I’ve got a son getting married in January.” 

She’s not the only one in her household doing the hard yards – her son Aidan is being put through his paces ahead of this Sunday’s charity fight night Thriller in the Chiller at the Events Centre. 

The pair compare training notes and will be cheering each other along at their respective events. Philippa, who’s not a boxing fan, has been roped into watching Aidan in the ring, while Aidan’s planning on bunking rugby practice to see his mum strut her stuff. 

Philippa, a marriage celebrant when she’s not a Jigsaw Central Lakes Otago coordinator, says she’s used to being in front of big groups but it’ll be different having 400-plus punters focus on her parading down the runway.–