Five minute breather with… Chelsea Sutherland

Fitness has become a new way of life for Chelsea Sutherland who has shed 50kg and become a regular fixture at Body Combat classes, the tracks of Castle Hill, outdoor circuit classes, PT sessions at the gym, and even Tough Mudder, putting in her first appearance last year. She is currently doing the ’30 Hills in 30 Days’ Challenge and is gearing up to tackle Mount Stuart; with her longer term focus to get down to 80kg by Christmas. You can do it Chels!

“I’m still not someone who can walk into a gym and do my own workout, but put me in a group session and I can’t get enough” – Chelsea Sutherland

Occupation: Freelance marketing and PR consultant.

What activity makes you the happiest? Les Mills’ Body Combat classes. It was my original favourite and remains one of my great loves. This class is what got me into a regular gym routine for the first time in my life.


How are you getting going at the moment? I’ve challenged myself to do ’30 Hills in 30 Days’. I’m gearing up to do Mt Stuart for the first time, so I’ve been doing Mt Louisa and the various Castle Hill tracks a lot lately… though haven’t quite managed one a day every day – some of those cooler mornings have got the better of me! I also go to personal training and group fitness classes at my gym.

Are you a morning or afternoon mover? Most consistently afternoon – some days hitting the snooze button is too tempting (although I always feel better when I have got active before starting my day).

What’s your favourite thing to do on a weekend in Townsville? I think heading to Alligator Creek or Jourama Falls for a swim probably ranks highest, with spending time with my Labradors a very close second.

What inspires your ‘get up and go’? I didn’t ever think I would be one of those people who loves fitness activities, but I genuinely feel restless if I haven’t done something to workout. I have lost a lot of weight and still have a long way to go, so not wanting to get back to where I started is a pretty powerful motivator.

chelsea-sutherland-colorrunYour most motivating tune? Obsession by Gesaffelstein. People who know me may be shocked I didn’t mention something a little heavier, but I love rap and electronic music for working out.

Motivational quote? “A year from now you will wish you started today”.

How do you pep yourself up when you’re craving the couch? I don’t know about pepping myself up, sometimes I’m still grumbling when I get on my way, but no matter how hard it is to “feel” like exercising, I know I always feel better when it’s done.

Do you prefer to get active solo, or with a buddy? Buddy all the way! I nearly always have someone with me on my hill walks and it’s a great way to catch up with friends (on the way down of course, sometimes it’s a bit hard to hold a conversation on the way up!). I’m still not someone who can walk into a gym and do my own workout, but put me in a group session and I can’t get enough.

 “I’ve been really blessed to have some incredible people in my corner on this journey keeping me motivated, plodding along with me when I was 146kg and just generally being amazing at helping me change my life” – Chelsea Sutherland

Most annoying fitness fad? I think anything that promotes that losing weight is going to be easy. I hate all the ads online for these bogus products that claim to be able to get these amazing results in a ridiculous time frame just by taking a pill or potion.


What’s your greatest fitness achievement? Crossing the Tough Mudder finish line last year for sure. I seriously used to get out of breath walking to my car sometimes before I started losing weight, so to go from that to being able to get across the line was something I’ll always be proud of myself for.

Best active moment? For me it’s those little moments where all the hard work pays off and suddenly you ‘can’.


What activity have you always wanted to try (and what’s holding you back)? Doing a multi day hike is definitely a goal, but the whole camping-out-of-just-a-backpack thing freaks me out a little bit (or a lot).

What’s something we don’t know about you? I have lost just over 50kg to date.

What’s your next goal? To get to 80kg by Christmas.

What are you doing to get there? Well, healthy eating and exercise. But I like to set myself fitness challenges along the way to keep me in the right mindset without getting too fixated on the scales. So, after I’ve done Mt Stuart, I think my next goal is going to be to be able to comfortably run (jog/shuffle) the return length of The Strand.

Most embarrassing moment on the go? Honestly, there’s been a few. I’m clumsy at the best of times, let alone while doing something that requires any coordination, like trying to learn to skate to play roller derby. But I think probably the fact that even now, 36 seconds straight is my skipping PB. I just fall over the rope (and my feet).


Who would you most like to train with (e.g. famous person, or someone you look up to)? It would honestly still be my PT Jeb and my exercise buddies like the friends who’ve gotten out of bed at ridiculous times to come up the hill with me. Plus the group fitness instructors like Helen and Donella who have been super supportive. I’ve been really blessed to have some incredible people in my corner on this journey keeping me motivated, plodding along with me when I was 146kg and just generally being amazing at helping me change my life. So in a dream fitness scenario it would still be this core group, just maybe in a more exotic location!

The training advice I wish I’d listened to was… That there really will be ups and downs, forward and backward steps while trying to lose a large amount of weight. Because I was doing so well I got a bit cocky for awhile and paid for it both on the scales and in my fitness when circumstances forced me out of my routine. I’m a little bit more humble and realistic in my refocussing these days.


Most treasured piece of fitness gear? I think my first pair of Lorna Jane tights I ever bought. Being able to fit into the trendy (and functional) exercise gear was one of my early goals because a couple of years ago when I was at my biggest, it was really hard to find anything to wear to work out in.

My best local fitness tip is… Get outside and take advantage of the great walking trails virtually on our door step – Magnetic Island, Alligator Creek, Pallarenda and even some of the lesser known Castle Hill tracks are great ways to spend time with friends while working out. We’re a bit spoilt to have so many options within easy access of the city.

Tell us a joke (why not?) Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three hundred and fifty thousand times, you’re a weatherman.

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Carly Lubicz

Carly Lubicz

Carly Lubicz is combining two of her great loves — writing and getting active. Previously working as a journalist, sub-editor, and editor in newspapers and magazines; she is editor and co-founder of TheGo Townsville. She stays active with the staples of road cycling and yoga, but has recently discovered triathlon. And become addicted (apart from the swimming part). She also has a Cert III in Fitness and is passionate about improving mental health through physical activity.

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