Riana van Mourik (36) from Villieria, Pretoria, believes if she could pull this off, others can too.
“I got up one morning, looked at myself in the mirror and realised I was tired of thinking, and feeling, about myself that way,” Riana tells YOU. Eighteen months ago she was still weighing 158,7kg.
While overweight, Riana says, you always have to put up with people gossiping and laughing behind your back. She now weighs just 94 kg.
“They tell you how awkward and fat you look. It’s awesome when those same people no longer recognise you.”
Although she’d made up her mind to do something about her size, Riana admits that she started off half-heartedly. It was only after one of her friends insisted that she join a fitness boot camp that things started changing.
“Some mornings I still cried when I got up because I didn’t want to work out anymore. My husband was especially supportive then and kept me motivated with his encouraging words.”
Riana still belongs to Epic Outdoor Fitness, where she met her fitness instructor Izelle Brits, and she spends between 60 and 90 minutes there every day. “I have to allocate time for exercising,” she admits “otherwise I’ll always come up with an excuse not to work out.”
It’s not an easy path to walk, but she takes heart from women who tell her how she’s inspired them with her effort.
Her three children are extremely proud of their mom’s feat and tell everybody how slim their mom’s got.
“I’m the kind of person who can’t stick things out,” Riana says. “I’d always be starting on some pill or diet, but then I’d give it up again.
“But if you sort out your head, make the decision and have a good support network to rely on, you really can make a big lifestyle change.”