RONDA Smith has lost more than half her body weight in just over 18 months.

Want to know the secret to her success?

Being surrounded entirely by people who were supportive of her decision to make such changes in her lifestyle to lose the weight and get fit.

She admitted she tried many diets in the past, many fads, but nothing had worked for her.

"I would do it for a while and then fall off the band wagon," the mother of three said.

Ronda weighed 160.5kg when a conversation with her daughter prompted her to walk into Jenny Craig for help.

She said she would talk about all things she used to do and how much she would like to be able to do those things again, like kayaking or going on rollercoaster rides.

"My daughter said to me 'mum, the person you are talking about is not someone we know'," Ronda said.

"I realised she was right and it was time for me to get off my butt and do something about it."

She said one of the toughest parts of her experience was the mental challenge.

Ronda said it was about being honest with herself and realising "Yep, I'm obese. I need to do something about it."

She said another mental challenge she experienced was while she was changing her eating habits.

"Changing my taste buds (to like healthy food over unhealthy) was the biggest thing.

"And being honest with yourself about what you are putting in your mouth."

"No matter what diet you are on, Jenny Craig or one you've created yourself, it's not going to work unless you are honest."


She said when she took her first step on this challenge by stepping into Jenny Craig, she felt welcomed and encouraged by the staff straight away.

Ronda's journey in a nutshell
September 2014 - weighed 160.5kg when she walked into Jenny Craig
At the same time, she got advice from a friend about getting fit
June 2015 - Ronda weighed 106kg and had excess skin so she joined Yaralla Fitness Centre and had a PT help her tone her body
April 2016 - Ronda now weighs 77kg
May 2016 - Ronda set to tackle the Springsure Mountain Challenge

One little motto placed on a sticker given to Ronda by Jenny Craig sticks her mind.

"Today you are one step closer than you were yesterday."

She said out of all the encouraging material and mottos, this one helped her in her battle.

Ronda's words of wisdom for others:
"You've just got to have a go."
"Just take one day at a time."
"If you work really hard one day and you are sore the next, have a day off and get back into the following day."
"There are no excuses. I have arthritis and back pain. You can work around it."


Ronda's third biggest supporter (her family first, then the staff at Jenny Craig) was her friend Michelle Smith.

"I had a friend that was right into fitness and she gave me a lot of advice," she said.

Ronda was one of those described by Dr Rob Stanton (CQUniversity lecturer in Exercise and Sports Science) that needed to find a lot of courage before stepping through the doors of a gym.

"In June last year (nine months after Jenny Craig), I plucked up the courage to enter a gym and get a personal trainer... because I had excess skin. I needed to tone a lot more.

"They (the staff at Yaralla Fitness Centre) were incredible. I've never felt like I don't belong here."

Ronda Smith has lost more than double her weight over 18 months. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer
Ronda Smith has lost more than double her weight over 18 months. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer Paul Braven

She said she feels very encouraged at Yaralla.

Ronda weighed 106kgs when she walked through the doors of Yaralla.

"Now (10 months later) it is about being fit enough to do the things I want to do.

She's even worked up the courage to join a fitness class run by her friend Win Marsh - Metafit.

Ronda said one of the things she liked about it was that anyone of any fitness level could do it; they just do what they can.

"The ultimate thing I want to do is the Tough Mudder. But this year is about doing fun runs, including the Springsure Mountain Challenge in May."

She said doing these things was all about doing things for her, not for anyone else.

Ronda said she has been lucky she has never had anyone make any negative comments to her while she has been exercising or during her weight loss challenge, which is an issue for many.

Blue-eyed surfer becomes dad-of-50 in sperm bank glitch

Premium Content Blue-eyed surfer becomes dad-of-50 in sperm bank glitch

There are now fears he could have fathered dozens more

Millions invested in drought-research hubs to grow farm jobs

Premium Content Millions invested in drought-research hubs to grow farm jobs

Millions of dollars are being invested in a drought research hub at the University...

Philip’s unconventional royal romance

Premium Content Philip’s unconventional royal romance

Prince Philip’s rather unconventional romance blossomed into love