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An Interview with Riana

Last week I wrote about a photograph in a group that I saw. I contacted the person who posted the photograph and that’s how I came to interview Riana Du Plessis.

Riana at the beginning of her journey
Riana at the beginning of her journey

1) Where are you from?

I am originally from Polokwane but have been living in Heidelberg in the Western Cape for ten years now.

2) Are you, single, in a relationship or married?

Still single and waiting for my knight in shining armour.

3) Do you have children?

No children currently.

4) Do you work at home or in an office?

I currently run my own beauty salon from home and a healthy food blog called “Healthy In Heels Blog”.

5) How much weight do you want to lose?

In the beginning of my health journey, I wanted to lose 20 – 25 kg, but now it has become more about getting fit and building some muscle. To answer the question, I still want lose about 5kg.

6) How much have you lost?


7) When did you start?

I started the 12th of February 2015. Exactly a day after my birthday.

8) What motivated you to start your health journey?

For the past three to four years I gradually picked up weight, eating mostly unhealthy snacks and living mostly on fast foods. I was unhappy, 1) because I felt uncomfortable and 2) I didn’t know how to change my situation because every diet, shake and pill I ever used failed.

In 2015, a day after my birthday and lots of binge eating, I woke up, looked myself in the mirror and was appalled at what I saw. I borrowed “The Real Meal Revolution” book from someone and started reading it. Feeling inspired, I started banting and what became a day soon turned in to weeks. I started losing weight and made a promise to not go back to the old me. In that time, I also stumbled upon the main Sleek Geek SA(link) group and was amazed at all the transformations I saw, that was just the cherry on the cake to give me that extra boost of motivation.

9) What are some of the obstacles you have had to overcome on your journey to health and fitness?

Probably exercise. I’ve always been very lazy when it came down to getting active. I had to change my whole mindset about exercising and doing the RIGHT exercise.
I also had to learn to prep my meals in advance to avoid getting peckish on all the unhealthy food.

10) Are you following a specific diet as part of your health program or are you just watching that you eat healthily?

I started out banting for about six months in which time I saw great results but hit a plateau. I started testing out the Paleo lifestyle and cut out all dairy and started losing weight again. I have been mostly Paleo ever since.

11) What sort of items would one use for gym equipment around the house?

I collected different sizes of bottles and filled them with water and use them when I do weight training. From 1kg and up.
Taking a chair and doing arm dips works really well in toning those flabby parts.

12) Please give us 2 things you do for toning/strength training, upper body, core and legs.

I do pilates in town once a week and then the rest of the week I incorporate it with my other training at home.

Upper body: Push ups, tricep chair dips and weights.
Core: planking. For core, I believe doing Pilates works fantastic for core strength.
Legs: Squats, lunges and calf raises with or without weights.

13) What do you do for you cardio workout?

I go for a walk or jog.

14) Do you have a specific objective in mind when you reach your goal weight, other than maintaining your fitness and new lifestyle?

e.g. Run a marathon, complete an endurance race, swim to Robbin Island?

Yes, I would like to do a color run or enter a 5k or 10k race.

15) What changes in your life have you noticed since beginning your healthy lifestyle journey?

Other than weightloss, I have more energy, I sleep better and my skin is much healthier. I’ve come to realize that what you put into your body has a far better effect on your skin than any store bought lotions and potions.

16) What is the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you at the start of your journey?

I was lucky enough to have an amazing support system, so I do not have any regrets. I just decided to enjoy this journey I’m on.

Riana now
Riana now

Well done Riana, once again thank you for allowing this interview. If you want to read about Banting and Paleo diets please go to the links listed. Remember that when you begin a diet or exercise, if you have any medical conditions, you must consult your doctor first!

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