A few months before Akshar started his RNT Journey in May 2020, he had to carry his daughter and puppy down several flights of stairs during a fire drill. He was shocked and surprised that what should have been a routine and simple activity felt so hard. That was the first of the two alarm bells that went off in his head.
The second alarm bell was less of a shocker, but the long-term effect on the quality of his life really drove the point home. During park dates with his then 1-year-old daughter, he was barely able to keep up with her as she explored. He was self-conscious when he noticed that other fathers were able to keep going while he simply could not.
“I was embarrassed, I didn’t want to admit to my daughter that I just couldn’t do the things she wanted me to do especially when she was older! I struggled to take her and my puppy on long walks; performing chores around the house were becoming quite a challenge! Being a father really put my health and wellness in the forefront of my mind, and for me to be there for my family, things had to change quickly!”
The Importance of Self-Care
A universal side-effect of having children is that the focus shifts almost completely onto the child’s needs. They take all the attention and care and most often, especially for first time parents, the responsibility is so overwhelming that they forget to take care of themselves. Sleep is difficult around babies, but other aspects of well-being take a toll as well. Nutrition, exercise, water all of these essential needs are invariably forgotten. And pretty soon parents struggle to maintain energy levels, creating a dependence on comfort foods to keep them going.
Akshar experienced all of these things when his daughter was born. To make matters worse, the pandemic hit. Exercise and movement which was already minimal became negligible, food habits worsened, and health and well-being took a big hit.
“I knew I had to try harder. I wanted to be able to be more active and be a better parent and partner and that’s when I knew I had to join RNT. When I first applied the next cohort was full. Instead of just being patient, I started to doubt myself. I thought maybe this wasn’t meant to be, I am not meant to go on this journey, but then I pulled myself together. The memory of the fire-drill and the exhausting park trips helped me realign my purpose.”
The Why behind the Why
Before starting on your journey with RNT there is a lot of emphasis on finding the ‘why’ that drives this need for change. This ‘why’ really does go beyond aesthetics. Of course, we want to look good, there is that important element, however if we peel back layers and really look at the underlying motivations it isn’t just about the physical improvements often it goes beyond that. Akshar had nailed down his ‘‘why’ behind that ‘why’.
“I wanted to feel stronger and have more energy - that was my ‘why’. The reason I wanted to feel stronger was because I needed to be there for my family. They were dependent on me, and I just couldn’t let my health fail me and ultimately them I also had a family history of diabetes, blood pressure, heart conditions and if I didn’t get my health on track, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be there for the ones I love so dearly.”
Going Through The RNT Journey
Over the next 7 months Akshar would put his mind and body through the rigors to reach his first Transformation Checkpoint.
Clean The Palate gave him perspective on how to organise his meals and his routine. The Grind pushed his body to the limit and there were times when he just wanted to stop. ‘Cheat meals’ happened and some days he missed his targets, but the most important thing was, the next day, he got up and continued the journey.
“Throughout my journey, my coaches at RNT Fitness provided guidance, structure and a game plan, which allowed me to succeed. So certainly huge kudos to them. However, it is worth noting that regardless of how effective a fitness coach is, responsibility and accountability fall solely on the shoulders of the individual pursuing the lifestyle transformation. It is up to she/he to really enhance and maximise any relationship with a coach. I independently had to not only execute but analyse every part of my life and make adjustments as I saw fit. It was really a fine balance of give and take.”
During this transformation journey, Akshar’s approach to fitness changed completely. Before RNT it really was simply focused on tracking his weight. If he managed to lose some weight, he was really happy but would invariably slip into old habits and put everything back on again.
He writes to us eloquently detailing his reflections on his journey and what was different this time around, what made it stick - here is an excerpt:
“Over the past decade, I went through several sprints where I lost 40+ lbs. over a few months. During this time frame I would religiously visit the gym and eat right. But once I reached my target weight, I would go back to my old habits and put the weight back on. This time around I wanted to make a change which was sustainable, balanced and fitness focused. I wanted to make a change which would stay with me as my daughter continued to grow. I made a list of non-negotiables and with some help from my family and from the RNT coaches I was able to make progress. I took a holistic approach to nutrition, fitness and wellness which ultimately culminated with a total lifestyle transformation.
It might appear that my journey culminated with a lean physique. However, what is even more critical and worth highlighting is the sustainable, balanced and fitness focused goals I developed and adhered to religiously. It is this discipline, mental stamina, focus and optimal performance which I would like to feature rather than a simple focus on total pounds and body fat percentage lost.
Of course I was blown away by the transformation pictures of members on the RNT website. The results were amazing, and I was lured in by that aesthetic change. Chasing these pictures can be part of the motivating equation. Beyond the physical and lean figure are the layers of discipline, focus, performance, support system, accountability and sheer effort that should be highlighted and recognised. It has also been wonderful to inspire others; friends and family seeing my transformation have also wanted to make a change in their lifestyle and strive to be more physically active and fit. My RNT journey inspired me to switch careers and now I am a certified Lifestyle Transformation Coach. A true example of how the physical really has been the vehicle for me to find a new purpose that is fulfilling and uplifting.
With any lifestyle journey, a strong support system is necessary. For me, it was my wife, my daughter, and my puppy. They kept me grounded, inspired, and focused. There were days when my mood was off, and I did not feel motivated. It was my support system that kept me going.
Looking forward, my transformation journey continues. The focus now is to review what part of my journey is sustainable and what fits in my life as I look to continue being an active, present, and engaged father and husband. I certainly would not be where I am without the RNT community; thank you!”
Akshar starting weight: 205lbs. Checkpoint weight: 135lbs.
Starting body fat %: 34 percent. Checkpoint body fat %: 8 percent.