What does it take to lose 30+kgs?
Is it discipline, determination, drive, will power?
The reality is it takes ruthless consistency applied every day, week on week for months.
And the first step towards making such a huge change is acceptance.
Accepting that you aren’t in a great place and that something needs to change is in itself a big win.
For Sahil, this was the first big step in the right direction.
“I have always been the big guy. I have been trying to lose weight forever! When I was at University, I signed up to My Fitness Pal and tried to track my macros and my calories in the hope that I would be able to shift some weight. But I made very little progress.”
This wasn’t so surprising when you take into consideration the fact that Sahil was stuck in the typical cycle of most dieters. He tried to watch what he ate over the week, while the weekends usually resembled a binge and booze fest.
“I think today, we are more focused on getting that instant gratification, that immediate fun fix, with little or no consideration of the long term impact on our health and well-being. The reality is delayed gratification and the strive towards self mastery is what really leads to true happiness and success.”
Sahil didn’t make this switch from instant gratification to long term goals overnight. He knew that his life had to change but he didn’t act on it for a while!
Introspection alone can never get you anywhere. At RNT we have a tried and tested formula for transformation.
Sahil admits that he was ashamed about what he looked like but tried to convince himself that it wasn’t all that bad.
“When surrounded by my friends I would feel alright, that it wasn’t such a bad place to be in. But it was when I was alone that it really hit me.”
Although he knew he had to take action, he didn’t know where to start.
“I had come across RNT on Facebook before and I had been following the page for a while. I even started listening to the podcasts, but it took me some time to sign up.”
Leaping Over Mental Hurdles
Even though we know exactly what we need to do, making up our minds to take that first step involves leaping over a lot of hurdles.
“For me, the biggest reason I didn’t sign up immediately was the cost factor. I was raised on the mentality that we should save money for the future.
I also was very reluctant to spend money on my health and fitness - I guess that attitude was a clear indicator of my priorities at that time.
On top of that, I was very conscious about the stigma around online personal training. I was worried that people would judge me for not being able to achieve my fitness goals without help. I was also worried that people would say I was spending so much money on an online trainer that wasn’t even meeting me in person.
And finally, the fact that I had to put all my eggs in one basket made me a bit wary. It’s easier to spread your bets in the hope that one of the plans will work.”
Sahil reassessed his priorities and took the plunge once he realised that all these thoughts were false notions or based on other people’s incorrect impressions.
The Initial Challenges
After Sahil made the decision to sign up he still took some time to get the momentum going.
“I finally signed up, but when I looked at the meal plan and the training schedule I was doubtful I could follow through. The first few weeks I didn’t follow the plan strictly, so I was amazed to still see progress! And that was what spurred me to stick to the plan - it occurred to me that if I could make progress without really sticking to the plan, the progress I would make if I did would be truly incredible!”
Sahil finally pulled the pin and committed to the programme, which has completely transformed his life.
Over the next 2 years Sahil lost a total of 30kgs and gained so much confidence and self worth!
The Identity Shift
When you have spent your entire life at a certain weight your identity is structured around how you look physically. The way you dress, the activities you engage in, how you eat are all intertwined.
“Anyone who has been big all their lives will have a feeling of disconnect. So it took me some time to get my head around my new physique. It was also really hard for my mother, she was worried and didn’t want me to lose any more weight after I lost the first 15 kilos: but she adjusted over time.
I used to be so unhappy with the way I looked and I never used to go shopping as I thought there was no point. Now after losing all that excess weight everything just fits, and I can choose to wear clothes I like rather than just make do with whatever clothes look good on me.
Even at my photoshoot I still couldn’t believe that I was looking at myself. I just couldn’t believe that I could look like that! When Shyam (the photographer) showed me my photos on the camera I was just amazed!”
Through his RNT journey, Sahil learned that your body is the best representation of yourself. How you do one thing is how you do everything. If you don’t treat your body with respect, then what other aspects of your life are you not treating with respect?
We live in a world where everyone wants to just encourage you to be exactly who you are even though it is apparent that uncontrollably gaining weight is a form of abuse, just like being underweight and staying shredded year round is also a form of self abuse.
This is why at RNT, we talk about the importance of finding your sweet spot - the bodyweight range where we feel, look and perform our best.
Not A Gold Medal Syndrome
When Sahil was preparing for his photoshoot it wasn’t the end result that was his goal but the process. He didn’t have the need to celebrate the moment.
“It took me ages to request the final photos from the shoot. For me it was all about the pride and the sense of achievement in reaching my goal weight and not the photos at all.”
Sahil’s true motivation came from his deep ‘why’ which developed over time. At the start, his motivation was aesthetic but as his journey progressed it shifted.
“As a doctor I work with a lot of unwell people at different stages in their life. I treat a lot of people at the end of their life. And I have found that there is a strong correlation between longevity and strength and bone density. If someone has a bad fall after the age of 85 there is a 50% chance of them dying the following year. As we age, we lose our muscle mass, our strength and bone density, if you have exercised and built strength, the chances of you having a bad fall are low.
Similarly, Dementia is caused because of poor vascular health and your vascular health is determined by blood sugar and blood pressure levels. So if you exercise and eat nutritious food, there is a lesser chance of being affected by Dementia as you age.”
The solution is in reality quite simple: eat well and exercise regularly, but it is quite hard to follow.
“Over the past two years, I have lost both of my grandmas and their passing underpinned my motivations as well. I want to live a long and healthy life because I want to be there for my family and that will not happen if I don’t prioritise my health and well-being now.”
After Sahil hit his Checkpoint weight, the next big hurdle was to adjust his lifestyle. Losing weight is the easy part, maintaining that weight without rebounding is a whole other ball game.
“I didn’t make it easy for myself, after I hit Checkpoint I went away on multiple holidays and even went to Glastonbury Festival. It was so easy to fall into my old habits so I had to consciously hold myself in check. I had to repeatedly ask myself, who I wanted to be and how my choices needed to reflect that vision I had for myself.”
This is the key to staying in the shape of your life, for life. Rewiring behaviours and mindsets takes conscious thought. It is especially important immediately after a hard diet as our body loves homeostasis and will fight with us every step of the way to go back to its old state. This is why we have to have a plan in place that is the rudder to keep us steady on the path to optimum fitness.
The Physical Is The Vehicle
Sahil’s transformation was incredible because it impacted all aspects of his life.
“I am so much more confident at work now. After I finished my formal training to become a doctor, I had to work at different hospitals and work with many new teams. I have also made some really bold decisions about my career progression, which I know I wouldn’t have been able to do without RNT.
RNT gave me the structure, strategy and the system to get into shape and stay in shape for the rest of my life. It is unique because it is the only fitness programme that is guaranteed to give you results you can keep.
I have a new sense of self belief which has also impacted my relationships. I have gone from being single and alone to being in a committed relationship!
I have learnt that success is a process and not the end of the event. You can’t own success, you can only be successful.
You can feel successful everyday by engaging in activities that support success. For me it is training in the gym and going for my runs. I don’t care about how fast and how much I Iift, I just enjoy the process and the PRs and PBs are just a happy side-effect.”
Sahil’s journey has been truly remarkable and we are so excited to see his strength progress as he enters The Investment Phase and beyond.
In Episode 283 of RNT Fitness Radio, Sahil and Akash talk about what it takes to transform your life and what it means to lose 30kgs!
In this podcast Sahil says, “I had to get out of the YOLO or the You Only Live Once brigade. There are so many people who say, go to the gym but don’t let that take away from the weekends of fun as you only live once. That is pretty negative and counter intuitive! I have learnt how to enjoy my life without giving up on the things that are important to me!”_
Inspired to learn more? Tune in on your favourite platform to hear more about Sahil’s amazing RNT journey.
Before - 86.3kgs
Checkpoint - 56kgs