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How Brodie Kane is becoming healthier

Now To Love logo Now To Love 7/09/2017 Now To Love
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If there’s one thing reporter Brodie Kane won’t do, it’s give up on a challenge. Sporty since childhood, she’s tried her hand at everything from surf lifesaving and half marathons, to multisport endurance events, including the notoriously tough 243km Coast to Coast race across the South Island.

Whether she’s taking part in the extreme sports she loves, or working up a sweat at the gym, she says it’s her competitive side that gets her through.

“It’s the thought of failing that terrifies me. I would rather finish in tears or vomit than not finish something. You are your own harshest critic, and if I don’t feel like I’ve given something 100 per cent, then I’m disappointed in myself. I absolutely thrash myself; I feel like I have to.”

Before she became a well-known face on our screens, Christchurch-born Brodie did a four-year stint in the army, where the intensive training was a perfect match for her.

“There’s something fascinating and enjoyable about being pushed to your absolute limits,” the 30-year-old explains.

“I remember doing crazy physical things in the army, and I would almost have a weird smile on my face. I would be running up hills, crawling under wire, and marching for 18km with a massive pack on. You either respond to that sort of training or you don’t!”

Recently she tackled a stair climb in full firefighter gear up Auckland’s Sky Tower to raise funds for charity, and she fits in a mixture of boxing, running, yoga and weight sessions with a personal trainer around her TV schedule. As exercising is something she’s always enjoyed, she makes sure she puts time aside to get the endorphin hit of a workout.

“It’s so easy to use being busy as an excuse, but it’s not. This year I’m like ‘right, just do it, be fit!’”

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Since joining TVNZ’s Breakfast team last September, her unusual work hours have taken some getting used to. Most mornings, the bubbly presenter is up at 3.30am, and at the central Auckland studio by 4. Then it’s an hour of prep and a session in the makeup chair, and she’s in front of the camera at 6am.

Brodie says despite the challenging hours and unpredictable nature of her job, sticking as much as possible to a routine has helped her to keep on track.

“I can see how easily you could just fall into a trap of eating bad food, sleeping a lot, and getting yourself into a bit of a rut. I really didn’t want to do that because I knew I was making some sacrifices, at least socially, to do the job.”

She might have the exercise side of things sorted, but the down-to-earth reporter says it was her eating habits that needed improvement.

“It wasn’t that I wasn’t taking care of myself, I just don’t think I was doing it enough.

“You really can do all the exercise you want, but if you’re putting crap in your gob, it’s not going to work out for you!

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“I’m quite bad with veges, I just force myself to eat them. My flatmate loves broccoli, she actually enjoys it, whereas I see broccoli and I’m like, ‘We’re not going to have fun together, but I’m going to eat you!’ It’s just making a conscious effort to have more veges than I’m used to.”

As well as packing in more nutrients, she’s focused on a high-protein food plan, sticking to healthy snacks, and pulling back on portion sizes. For Brodie, rigid eating plans are out, and flexibility, occasional treats and listening to what her body needs is the name of the game.

“I’m just not the type to be able to cope with that sort of thing for any longer than about a week,” she laughs. “I think what I’m doing at the moment is way more manageable – it’s normal food, just a lot less and a lot better.”

Whether it’s reporting live on TV, pushing through exhaustion in a punishing endurance race, or keeping up the pace in a boxing class, Brodie says determination and the thrill of getting the job done are what spur her on.

She still gets occasional nerves in front of the camera, but she has learned to take things as they come.

“[Interviewing on live TV] you have to just imagine you’re having a yarn with your flatmates or your parents; that makes you more relaxed. I haven’t had anything happen on air that sends shivers down my spine, touch wood! I don’t think the viewers necessarily expect you to be perfect. Live telly is like, ‘There it is, I’ve said it’. It’s full on, but it’s fun, and I work with some awesome people.”

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With her career going full steam ahead, a food plan keeping her energised and an exercise routine keeping her busy, she’s contemplating her next sporting challenge. Another half marathon is her latest idea, but next to her other feats, it seems a bit ordinary for thrill-seeker Brodie.

“Looking back at many things I’ve done, you go to some dark places! When it’s happening you think, ‘This is the dumbest thing I’ve done, this is stupid,’ but the minute you’ve finished it, that sense of achievement is awesome. The fact you thought about throwing it all in and you didn’t – that’s really cool.”

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