Johan and Rika win biggest loser title

Johan and Rika Joosten are pictured before and after takig part in a local biggest loser challenge.

No one likes to be called a loser… but when you were a contestant in a weight loss competition, everyone is striving to be the biggest loser.

And Kuils River couple, Johan, 60, and Rika, 54, Joosten claimed that title when they won a 90-day Biggest Loser” challenge hosted by Urban Beauty Academy, a non-profit company based in Kuils River, which encourages the community to live a healthier lifestyle.

While maintaining healthy eating habits had been on the couple’s to-do list for some time, they said over the years their efforts to lose weight had failed.

During the 90-day challenge, which started on June 15, however, Mr Joosten lost 23kg while his wife Ms Joosten shook off just over 17kg, which placed them in the top position among 12 contestants who participated in the programme.

Mr Joosten won a R10 000 cash prize, a year membership with Urban Beauty Academy, health juices and a Planet Fitness membership for six months. Ms Joosten won beauty products and a six-month supply of health juices.

“I was looking at him dressing himself this morning and I must say he looks hot in his new shirt but he was always a handsome man,” Ms Joosten told Northern News.

She said their health had improved, they were more confident and felt energised, which enabled them to function better at work and at home.

“My husband’s blood pressure was always skyrocketing but now he is healthy,” she said.

Ms Joosten said through their journey they had continued to encourage each other, focusing on making a difference rather than the winning prize.

Mr Joosten said: “I am 60 and I started this programme. I wish I had done it sooner. I feel like a completely new person.”

They explained that before entering the programme they would gobble down chocolates, chips and finish a tub of ice-cream without any guilt but would wake up feeling sluggish.

“We still eat lekker,” said Ms Joosten, “my signature dish is a lentil curry with cauliflower rice.”

Founder of the Urban Beauty Academy, Kuils River resident Claudia van Schalkwyk, said the couple “gave it their all” in the challenge, “they put in their best efforts and saw the benefits”.

Ms Van Schalkwyk said the programme was aimed at anyone who was willing to change their eating habits and live a healthier life. Funds raised from the competition entry fees, she said, went to the Urban Beauty Academy, which is a beauty school for women from underprivileged communities.