30lbs Down: Archana's Journey from Emotional Eating to Self-Mastery

Archana’s journey to joining RNT was fuelled by frustration and a burning desire for change.

It all began when she started taking hormonal birth control, which led to unexpected weight gain. 

Despite being told that weight gain was not a common side effect, Archana noticed the pounds creeping on. Determined to take control of her life, she sought help from a gynaecological nurse practitioner who dismissed her concerns, claiming that weight gain was normal for women in their mid-40s.

“Sitting in the clinic, I refused to accept that this was just how things were for a woman my age. I knew of many women who navigated their perimenopause without gaining weight. I didn’t want to accept that I had no control over my body.”

Archana believed that she had the power to shape her destiny. So she embarked on a search for evidence that defied this notion that weight gain is something all perimenopausal and menopausal women had to deal with.

In her quest for answers, Archana turned to the internet in search of inspiring stories of women who had defied the odds. And that’s when she stumbled upon RNT.

Setting long-term goals 

The incredible transformations she witnessed on the RNT social media platforms and the website challenged her preconceived notions about genetics and physical capabilities. 

Suddenly, she realised that her Indian descent was not a barrier to achieving her desired strong physique.

“Seeing all the transformations of so many Asian women the same age as me, who were mothers and had demanding careers, was inspiring. I thought if all these women could do this, surely I could too!”

But it wasn’t just about looks for Archana. It wasn’t just about shedding a few pounds. She wanted a better body composition and the stronger, more muscular physique she’d always dreamed of having. 

Once she was off the birth control medication, Archana set herself a goal of shedding 20 pounds. 

“I knew that if I wanted to have a strong physique, I needed more than just a quick-fix solution. I had to learn to optimise my training and improve my diet, which is why I needed RNT.”

A year after joining RNT, Archana has overshot her goal. She is now 30lbs lighter, something she never thought she’d be able to achieve. 

“At first, I thought hitting such a low weight would be impossible. When I spoke about my apprehensions to the coaches, they encouraged me to stop focusing so much on the number and to focus on nailing my daily non-negotiables instead. So I put my faith in the programme, and sure enough, week by week, I got closer and closer to my goal weight. It was amazing!” 

The role of genetics

Archana had long harboured the belief that her genetics hindered her ability to develop a muscular physique. 

Growing up, she was surrounded by the notion that Indians were considered intelligent and nerdy but not necessarily strong or athletic. This stereotype had taken root deep inside her psyche.  

“I’ve always been a healthy weight. Exercise has always been a part of my life. I played tennis in college and competed in track events. But I have never had the toned arms or flat abs symbolising being fit and strong.”

Her inability to cultivate the physique she desired further cemented Archana’s beliefs that her body could not achieve the physique she desired. This was reinforced by the experiences of her parents, who had both struggled with fluctuating weight.

Looking through the stories on the RNT website, Archana gained a new perspective. She realised that while the genetic predisposition towards hypertension and diabetes might exist, her lifestyle choices played a crucial role in turning those genes on or off.

Archana embraced the understanding that she had the power to choose her actions and create a healthy lifestyle that could influence her genetic destiny. This realisation was a driving force throughout her journey, motivating her to make sustainable changes and maintain her progress.

Battling emotional eating

Archana’s battle with emotional eating began when she became a mother. 

Working in a chaotic and demanding schedule in the ER, Archana had little energy left to prioritise her health and fitness. The combination of parental responsibilities and the stresses of her high-pressure job took a toll on her mental and physical well-being.

To cope with the stress and emotions she was experiencing, Archana turned to food. She found comfort and relief in eating, using it to neutralise her stress and emotions.

But this came at a cost. 

“I realised that I didn’t like the person I had become. This was not the person I wanted to be: I was crabby, irritable, and disconnected at work and home.”

When she got the dreaded phone from the Emergency Room director to talk about how she was showing up for work, she decided she needed to do some inner work.

“In today’s world, people seem to think that feeling bad, hurt, sad or angry is bad. It’s almost as if we need to shield ourselves from these feelings. This is why we bury our feelings by bingeing on Netflix or eating a bowl of ice cream. I learned to accept my feelings and allow myself to process all my emotions, including stress and frustration. I learnt that feeling the feelings is the quickest way through them.”

Through RNT, Archana realised that there were other types of emotional eating. 

She recognised that apart from using food as a stress reliever, she had also been using food as a source of entertainment.

“Through the RNT journey, I understood that I had become a bored foodie. I used food to distract myself when I was bored.”

In her journey towards self-discovery and transformation, Archana understood that it was okay to be bored and that there were alternative ways to entertain herself. She began exploring other activities, such as going to the theatre, watching movies, or hiking, to counteract her tendency to turn to food for entertainment.

Rewiring old habits

After realising the impact of emotional eating on her health and well-being, Archana consciously decided to adopt a healthier lifestyle and mindset for the long term.

This meant saying goodbye to short-term fixes and focusing on the bigger picture.

“The best part about RNT is that it is a 12-month commitment. I stopped focusing on dropping pounds quickly. Instead, I put my energies into cultivating a lifestyle solution.”

While it initially felt awkward, she soon got into the rhythm.

She learnt more about nutrition and how to count her macros. She understood the value of weighing her food. She also got used to consuming high-volume, low-calorie and nutrient-dense food.

“At first, eating the same food every day was off-putting. I am used to having a lot of variety. I am a physician in the ER (emergency room), so I’m used to every day being different. But once I got into the process, the sameness of the meals and exercises was a welcome relief.”

This commitment to consistency also eliminated decision fatigue. As a parent and a professional, where decision-making was already overwhelming, simplifying her approach to food and exercise was liberating. 

Archana freed herself from the burden of additional decisions, enabling her to focus on other essential aspects of her life with more clarity and energy.

Achieving self-mastery

Through her journey, Archana discovered that this transformation went beyond just physical changes. It was about self-mastery and deepening her understanding of herself. She pushed her limiting beliefs and boundaries, realising that this was a journey she couldn’t outsource or rely on others to do for her.

By committing to the process, Archana created positive changes and has potentially altered her genetic predisposition for better health.

Now Archana is focused on improving her core strength and flexibility as well as establishing her new habits even more deeply into the fabric of her life.

On a personal front, Archana is exploring new frontiers. After her experince with battling burnout she started a life coaching business to help medical professionals manage the stress of working in the medical field. You can learn more about her coaching programme on her website.

The podcast 

In Ep 372 of RNT Fitness Radio, Archana and Akash take a deep-dive into Archana’s journey. In the podcast, Archana says, “I never thought I would ever get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I weighed less than I did 16 years ago when I married, and I thought I looked amazing on my wedding day. But the biggest win is how I feel I have changed the trajectory of my health in my 40s.”  Tune in to hear more about her incredible journey.

Book a call with our strategy team today if you’re ready to embark on your transformation journey and take control of your health and well-being. Together, we can help you achieve the self-mastery you desire.

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