Before:104.5kg / 46.8% body fat
After: 76.9kg / 34.6% body fat
Prize: Suzuki Alto GL
Olga Miritis’s stats speak for themselves. Nearly 30 kilograms lighter and having lost more than 12 per cent of her body fat, all-in-all there’s 105 centimetres less of her than there was several months ago.
“I have what you’d describe as an apple body shape, and I used to say I was showing everyone what an apple could be, in its full capacity,” she jokes. “Let’s just say, I was full and round.”
But the defining moment for Olga didn’t come as she stepped off the scales for the last time at her home club, Fernwood Tullamarine, during the final challenge week, nor when her trainer performed those final measurements. The moment came when, while standing on the sidelines of her children’s soccer match one crisp morning, she asked her son for a cuddle to warm her up. For the first time, he was able to link hands and hold his mum in a full-arm embrace.
“It’s nice to see the figures, the weight loss, the centimetres drop off,” says Miritis. “But moments like that – that you don’t expect, that happen on their own – are the things that make you think, ‘Yeah. It’s all worth it.’”
Miritis credits her weight loss to the support of her husband, Stephen, and their three children, Kira, 12, Jemma, 10 and Zachary, 8. Each of them was able to help her stay motivated in their own way. Kira offered encouragement by noticing the physical changes, while after years of trying to convince her to run with him, Stephen was finally able to complete an impressive 10 kilometre effort alongside his now treadmill-obsessed wife.
Another defining moment came when Miritis realised her whole attitude to food had shifted.
“I was running home one day, and I had to pass six or seven fast food outlets when the penny dropped. I thought, ‘I can’t even stand the smell of that stuff now, when once upon a time I used to crave it.’ I wanted to go inside and tell everyone to stop putting that stuff in their mouth – it’s not even real food!”
Talking to Miritis now is like talking to a woman reborn. She describes her transformation as waking up from someone who was simply going through the motions, to becoming a highly motivated person.
That’s not to say she didn’t face her hurdles – a disposition towards perspiration and “mad, sweaty knees” were just the tip of the iceberg. On day two she faced a momentary lapse while waiting to use a bike at the gym after an intense workout on the cross-trainer.
“I was hot, sweaty and completely out of my comfort zone. But there were two people I couldn’t face if I backed out. One was my daughter Jemma, who I’ve lectured so many times on following things through, and the other was my best friend, who has been with me on every stupid diet I’ve tried, supporting me 100 per cent. ‘No Olga, you’re doing this,’ I said. I decided from then that I was in, no matter what it took.”
The final week presented an equally tough challenge. With the finish line in sight, and already so many positive results achieved, the temptation loomed to stop going to the gym and enjoy a well-deserved rest. But Miritis saw that line as a challenge to run harder and spin faster than she ever had before.
And boy, is she glad she did. Her perseverance has been rewarded with a brand new Suzuki Alto GL. Olga's new outlook is the perfect complement for Suzuki’s catchphrase – Way of life!
“I’m just happy to wear jeans and breathe in them. This is the cherry on top. For me, this is like coming first in a race or winning a netball grand final. I’ve worked really hard for it. But most of all, I have the confidence to get back into life... the possibilities are infinite.”
With her vibrant sense of humour, Zumba instructor accreditation on the cards and a hot new set of wheels at her disposal, we’re betting Miritis will be unstoppable. So if you happen to spot a Suzuki around town sporting the number plates “FOXY”, be sure to give her a toot.
*Fernwood client testimonial was achieved as part of an overall healthy diet and exercise plan. Regular exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss. Consult your healthcare professional before beginning any diet or fitness program.