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Richmond man’s amazing transformation

Ryan Loriault at the Richmond Olympic Oval, where he’s lost more than 100 pounds. He now weighs 175 pounds, after tipping the scales at 386 pounds 30 months ago.  - Martin van den Hemel photo
Ryan Loriault at the Richmond Olympic Oval, where he’s lost more than 100 pounds. He now weighs 175 pounds, after tipping the scales at 386 pounds 30 months ago.
— image credit: Martin van den Hemel photo

To say that Ryan Loriault is a shadow of his former self wouldn’t be entirely accurate.

Once tipping the scales at more than 386 pounds, he’s now a svelte 175 pounds, technically not quite weightless.

He pulled off the majority of his stunning transformation at the Richmond Olympic Oval, where for more than a year, he has been pumping iron and sweating his way towards better health.

“I have been told so many kind things, everything from you’re an inspiration to you’re my hero,” Loriault told The Richmond Review. “Things like that motivate me and make me work that much harder.”

Today, Loriault no longer resembles the man of two years ago, or for that matter, the man of eight months ago, when he started working at the oval’s coffee shop and weighed more than 240 pounds.

So what was the catalyst that triggered his stunning transformation?

A brush with death? A family intervention?

No, the all-smiles and affable Loriault said humbly. It was a walk.

Ryan Loriault before the weight loss.At the urging of his mother-in-law, the then obese Loriault was battling migraine headaches while living in Edmonton. She suggested he go for a walk. Meanwhile, one healthcare professional prescribed electroshock therapy.

Loriault opted for the former, and after a five minute stroll, he found himself in tremendous pain. His back ached and he was exhausted.

But there was an oh-so-subtle improvement to his headaches.

And so a five-minute walk became 10, then 20, and soon he could walk far enough to reach the neighbourhood swimming pool.

Then, after moving to Richmond, he joined the Richmond Olympic Oval about a year ago, weighing more than 300 pounds.

So staff and coworkers there have witnessed his metamorphosis, an uplifting story featured on the oval’s official website.

“My original goal for myself was 200 pounds and if I reached that I would go to California to learn to surf...I did and it was awesome. I did things I never ever thought possible and I still do.”

Loriault said part of his secret has been eating more often.

Instead of three meals a day, he eats six times, but every meal is calorie-limited. The frequency of eating helps him control his appetite.

The 30-year-old is also religious about going to the gym.

“I currently am working on staying in shape and building muscle so I go to the gym about two hours a day and work in the coffee shop,” he said.

Loriault chronicled his journey by assembling pictures for a YouTube video ( which week by week, and month by month, shows how his body shrank and his confidence grew.

“As I lost more and more weight, I learned more and more and kept changing my workouts. I would spend four hours at the gym a day and when I started to work at the coffee shop, I was spending eight hours a day there...I pretty much lived and still do live at the oval.”

Now, he’s hoping to inspire others with the message that change begins with just a single step.

“Obesity is a big problem in Canada and the U.S. and I feel people need to see more people who were able to fight back and show them that if that is their goal, they can reach it. Even if they have health issues, even if they are in constant pain, even if they are poor.”

No pricey personal trainers, no gimmicks, no expensive diets. Just a whole lot of sweat.

See Ryan Loriault’s blog at

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