Kwinana teacher puts in the hard yards to turn her life around


Brains and Beast fitness trainers Matt Eastham and Cliff Bloomfield with Rio-Rita Lutui (centre) at Jetts gym in Kwinana.
Brains and Beast fitness trainers Matt Eastham and Cliff Bloomfield with Rio-Rita Lutui (centre) at Jetts gym in Kwinana.

A KWINANA resident who was on five different types of medication for high blood pressure, cholesterol and type two diabetes has turned her life around and is now free of all her medications.

Rio-Rita Lutui (40) had type two diabetes for 17 years and was set to have a gastric sleeve operation to help reduce her weight of 140km before she took part in a 12-week “biggest loser” challenge at the Jetts gym in February.

Ms Lutui, a Year 6 teacher at Leda Primary School, no longer needs any medications after completing the program run by the Brains and the Beast fitness trainers Matt Eastham and Cliff Bloomfield.

“My ultimate goal was to not be reliant on medication anymore,” she said.

She had been battling weight issues, ill health, self confidence issues and motivation for several years.

“My blood pressure, cholesterol and protein levels from my kidneys were extremely high, which meant more medication was given,” she said.

“I was told that if I do not make a difference in my health I would die before I turned 50.”

Ms Lutui was advised to undergo a procedure for a gastric sleeve.

“My doctors said this procedure would help me lose weight and possibly reverse diabetes,” she said.

But she decided to try the fitness program before she underwent the procedure.

She had to get a blood test and physical assessment, agree to a stringent meal cooking and preparation routine and take part in regular gym workouts.

The workouts were held twice a day, five days a week, with the morning session starting at 5am.

“Four days into the program, I received the blood test back and the doctor took me off two of my medications because my body was starting to process glucose more naturally,” she said.

“At the end of week two my blood sugar levels were normal and I had lost 6kg; I could not believe it.”

Ms Lutui said the gym had become her “happy place” and was being supported by staff and fellow gym users.

She said at week nine her doctors took her off two more medications, leaving her on Metaformin but halving the dose.

It was the first time in three years that her blood sugar levels had been normal.

“I had lost 28kg by week 12 and decided to continue with a new program, renamed to ‘Life Changer’ for another 12 weeks,” she said.

Ms Lutui had an appointment with a specialist at the Rockingham Diabetes Clinic in May who was stunned with her recovery.

“The doctor was amazed and actually asked if I got the gastric sleeve done,” she said.

“I corrected him and said that I have lost the weight naturally.

“He said he always knew type two diabetes was reversible but had never seen anyone do this in 16 weeks and naturally.”

Ms Lutui said she was no longer using any medications and thanked Mr Eastham and Mr Bloomfield for their support.

She has lost 40.7kg and is aiming for a goal weight of 75kg.

“This program has saved my life; it has also led me to a group of people that I now consider my long life friends,” she said.

Mr Bloomfield said the program was based on a holistic approach and lots of hard work.

“Her achievements are proof of the amount of effort that Rio put in,” he said.

Mr Eastham said it was important to educate people about what food does to their body.

“One size doesn’t fit all, it’s all about learning how your body works and doing the best you can from there,” he said.

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