The Hits host Brodie Kane lost 11kg and ran her first marathon. The Sweet Louise ambassador says meeting women with incurable breast cancer has inspired her to make the most of every day.

1 You moved back to Christchurch a year ago to co-host The Hits Breakfast show. How has the return to your home town been?

I've been pleasantly surprised. After the earthquakes it felt like nothing was happening for quite a while, the roads were still munted, but in the last two years it's taken off. It's exciting to watch it evolving. I've been able to get ahead financially so much more down there. I've just bought my second house. (Mum and I own one together.) I love Auckland but I feel really sorry for all the people working their asses off who won't be able to afford a house up here because they're just too expensive.

2 How have you found the switch from TV to radio?

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It was a big deal to move from the bright lights of daily national television. One thing I really like about my radio job is that the company I work for celebrates strong women. The fact the show's title has my name first, as a woman, means a lot. It might seem trivial but it shows attitudes are changing. Women are allowed to be strong and say our piece without being called stroppy.

3 What time does your alarm clock go off for The Hits breakfast show?

4.30am. That's considerably better than when I worked at TVNZ Breakfast when it would go off at 3.30am. I felt like I was in a constant state of jet lag. I'd get to the weekend and barely catch up and then it was time to start again. I applaud anyone who does those jobs long term. I have nailed the art of a nap.

4 You've just run the Auckland Marathon. Why did you decide to set yourself that goal?

When you're in your 20s you travel, live life and drink - sometimes too much but that's all part of it. When I turned 30 I realised I needed to start doing things that my 40-year-old self will thank me for. Having a physical challenge like training for a marathon has been bloody good for me.

5 How did it go?

It was such a hard thing to do but I felt great at the end. I had a point at about 23kms in where the humidity got to me so I dropped it down a gear, drank heaps of water and managed to pull it together. Mum gave me the best advice. She's run eight marathons. She said don't go in with a time in mind because then you're always looking at your watch instead of enjoying it. That was quite a mind shift for me because I'm naturally a competitive person. I did 4:15 which I was stoked with.

6 Have you been looking after your health nutrition-wise as well?

Yes, I lost a bit of weight last year, 11kgs, but I haven't jumped on the scales in ages because I'm trying not to focus on weight too much. As a woman it's near on impossible not to think about it. I was talking about this with my friends on our podcast Girls on Top. We're so sick of the way every summer the magazines roll out the 'Six simple ways to get a bikini body' stories. The way you get a bikini body is by putting a bikini on. Simple. There will always be that extra fat roll you wish you didn't have but you've just got to embrace it. We can be so hard on ourselves.

7 How did you come to be an ambassador for the metastatic breast cancer charity Sweet Louise?

They invited me along to a morning tea where I met some women with incurable breast cancer. Their positive attitudes absolutely blew my mind and put everything into perspective. I sat in the car afterwards for about twenty minutes just marvelling at their spirit. I thought that's something I want to be around. I don't have a personal breast cancer story but they said just spending time with these women had brightened their days. I was like, jeez - that's quite overwhelming but if cracking a joke can help, I'll just keep doing that.

8 Growing up in Christchurch, did you show early signs of becoming a broadcaster?

I was a pretty bubbly kid. My family was heavily involved with surf lifesaving so we lived at the beach, first in South Brighton and then Waikuku Beach. I've always been one of those people that has to work hard to achieve. I couldn't just blag my way through.

9 How did you wind up in the New Zealand Army?

I was planning to go to university when the army came to our school on a recruitment drive. We got to do a week at Burnham in the school holidays. I had so much fun. It was exactly like the movies; you got yelled at, you had to crawl in the mud. At the end they asked me to try out to be an officer so I spent the summer in Waiouru. I stayed in the Territorials through university. I got to go to Brunei for a jungle exercise - that was incredible.

10 Are you still in the Territorials?

I decided to give it up when I got my first journalism job but I haven't shut the door on it completely. I'd love to go to the Middle East. I studied the region's politics at university. I wanted to be a war correspondent at one stage but there's slightly more self-preservation now.

11 You switched from being a producer on Q&A to a reporter on Seven Sharp. Did you find it hard being in front of the camera?

I picked it up pretty quickly. I've always been passionate about telling stories and engaging with people. You just have to look through the lens and imagine the people sitting on their couch and have a yarn with them. The first year of Seven Sharp was a tumultuous year for the show but it taught me a lot. Everyone has opinions on you, especially when it comes to telly.

12 What's the worst piece of criticism you got?

You never get criticised for your work. It's always what you look like and what you're wearing. The funniest one was; 'She looks like Christian Cullen with a wig and lipstick on'. I've learnt to develop a thick skin over the years. It's part of the job - we have to accept that not everyone likes us but I think there is a line with online bullying that too many people are crossing. What riles me is when someone calls you something like a fat ugly bitch and you click on their Facebook page and they're a nice looking grown up with two children. It's like, "What are you doing?" We all need to be a bit kinder.

www.sweetlouise.co.nz