By JUSTIN LATIF - Western Leader | Tuesday, 3 July 2007
Meet Helen Aloiai - wife, mum, mental-health worker and world champion.
The 38-year-old has just returned from Sparta, Greece, where she won the physique section of the National Amateur Bodybuilders Association world championships.
The mother-of-four and wife of Sef has managed to find the perfect synergy between maintaining a happy home, working and gym training.
"It all fits in," she says.
"We don't sacrifice family to do this - there's always someone there to pick the children up and drop them off from school.
"They're my biggest fans."
Aloiai started competing in 2001.
"I like feeling healthy and it's also especially good for women with the softening of the bone as they get older," she says.
"And I don't feel tired."
Steroids are a major issue internationally but the Glen Eden resident says she is regularly tested by the sporting body in New Zealand.
"Some are on them and some are not," she says.
"But over here we are drug tested."
Aloiai puts her size down to good genes.
"I'm just a big unit," she says. "I was born big."
She trains four times a week, working a different muscle group during each hour-long session.
Aloiai also works with intellectually disabled people at Framework in Henderson when she's not pumping iron and gets a lot of satisfaction seeing them improve and gain confidence through her efforts.
"It's such a buzz."
But she says her lifestyle does have its pitfalls - especially when she's in the supermarket.
"The biggest challenge is people can't handle the way I look."
She often gets unwanted attention and abuse but she wishes people would keep it to themselves.
"I just want to do my shopping," Aloiai says.