Busy Mum Kalyani, Lost 30kgs And Regained Confidence At 40 Years Young

Kalyani had never felt comfortable in her own body. Even as a child, she remembered being called “big boned” as she was taller than average. 

The steady stream of comments about her size and shape affected her confidence and she always felt self conscious about her looks. 

This dissatisfaction with her body shape carried into adulthood. 

“I wasn’t food focused as a child, I would just eat whatever my parents made at home: the typical Indian foods. But I became extremely food focused when I went to university and I ended up putting on a lot of weight over that period of time.”

Over the years, Kalyani made a lot of poor choices that got embedded into her lifestyle.

In 2018, Kalyani celebrated her 40th birthday. While she was perfectly content in many areas of her life, one major aspect was far from perfect: her health. 

“I wasn’t unhappy. I had a good life. But I didn’t like the way I looked so I dressed in oversized clothes to hide my body. I didn’t like looking in the mirror because I didn’t like what my image told me. I never allow myself to be photographed because I didn’t like how I looked.”

Kalyani really wanted to look and feel good in her body, so she decided to try and lose some weight by crash dieting. 

Over a period of three months she ate a mere 800 kcal a day. When she came off the diet she had lost 30lbs (~13kgs) in a few short weeks. 

She felt good that she had lost so much weight and believed that she had finally turned her health around. 

“I got to the leanest I’ve been and didn’t think I could get any leaner. But now after RNT I’m 30lbs lighter than in this photo!”

But no one can survive on 800 kcal a day. Once she was off her diet, the weight started to pile on again. 

It got worse when the pandemic hit.  Lockdown resulted in less movement but more fry-ups. Pretty soon she gained all the weight she lost plus more! 

This rapid weight gain affected her severely. She developed chronic knee pain that highly restricted her movement. 

“I felt like a 90 year old! I could barely go up and down the stairs and couldn’t even use the toilet. My knees were so sore I felt like I had to ice them frequently just to get some temporary relief!”

The RNT Transformation Quiz 

Kalyani came across RNT in June 2021. She was impressed by the transformation photos so decided to take the RNT Transformation Quiz. 

The RNT Transformation Quiz is a quick 5 minute questionnaire that assesses where you are in your health journey.  By answering a series of questions we determine if you are ready to achieve your fitness goals. 

“I took the quiz in June and I was told I wasn’t ready to start my transformation journey. I wanted a quick fix solution. I was not looking at overhauling my habits and taking a deeper look at my motivations.”

This is where the difference lies, RNT is not a fad diet. It’s a long term lifestyle solution that requires you to commit for at least 12 months. During those 12 months we need you to meet our 3 Transformation Keys: commitment, consistency and coachability. 

If you aren’t ready to let go of your preconceived notions on health and fitness, you won’t be able to make a significant, lasting change. 

To see if you are ready for a body transformation take our RNT Transformation Quiz linked here. 

In Search Of Change

After RNT turned her down, Kalyani took some steps to improve her health. 

“My sister-in-law was living with us for a while and she had a personal trainer coming home twice a week. She convinced me to join her in these sessions. I had no excuse, so I started to train twice a week.”

While Kalyani had now started exercising, she made no other changes. She was still drinking wine, going to bed late and eating whatever she fancied. She was of the mentality that working out twice a week meant she deserved that extra glass of wine and dessert on the weekend. 

Unsurprisingly, there was no change in her body composition. 

But then, one innocuous comment changed Kalyani’s mindset. 

“It was Thanksgiving in 2021 and we were at my in-laws’ home.  We were all hanging out and lying on the bed in the afternoon. When one of my aunts came and lay on top of me. And she said, ‘you are such a nice pillow!’ I laughed it off at the time, but later I was thinking about it and the comment stung. I knew then that I had to do something not just because of the way I looked, but because of the way I felt. I was tired of feeling tired all the time.”

And that’s when Kalyani took the quiz again. This time she wasn’t after a quick fix: she wanted a lasting change. 

“Looking back, I wish I had done RNT earlier, but I know that I didn’t have the right mental framework. I don’t think I would have approached it in the right way if I had signed up earlier. This is why the questions in the Transformation Quiz are so important and it is important to be honest.”

The Challenges Of Staying Committed 

Kalyani started her RNT journey in January 2021; she hit her Checkpoint weight in May 2023. In that period of time she lost 70lbs (~30kgs).

Over this long period of time, Kalyani stayed dialled into the process. 

“I am a checklist person so I was intrigued to learn more about the lifestyle solution blueprint. 

I went through all the onboarding material, practically memorised it. 

I remember that the first three weeks were hard and felt rather long. 

I had 1900 Kcal on my plan and that’s a lot of food especially since it was all from whole foods. You can easily eat that much with biscuits and crisps but to fill that with fruit, veg and healthy carbs and protein is tough.”

When Kalyani started she thought she would never reach the goal weight, a weight she hadn’t ever been in her entire adult life. 

“When I asked my coach he said, ‘You didn’t get to your current weight overnight, similarly you can’t get to your goal weight overnight either. You just have to take it a day at a time.’ ”

Despite this, Kalyani still had her doubts. But she tried to take the advice on board and focused on sticking to the plan. 

“By month 3, I stopped obsessing about reaching my goal weight. As long as I was hitting 1% weight loss a week, I was happy.”

This is not to say that Kalyani was fully single minded. There were days when she slipped and went off track but instead of feeling defeated, she learned from it and reoriented herself to the path. 

Kalyani really picked up momentum when she got to the same weight she was before her wedding. 

“Seeing that weight pushed me to try harder. I had never been a big fan of cardio and had tried to avoid it as much as I could. But when I saw that I was finally making progress, I started HIIT classes. I started focusing on performance in the gym. It was a shift in mindset from obsessing on Checkpoint weight to more daily progress.” 

No More Mum Guilt 

As Kalyani went through her RNT journey, a nagging thought was on constant repeat: 

“What took me so long to focus on my own health and well-being?”

Kalyani spent all her spare time with her children. It never occurred to her to invest a fraction of that time on her own needs. 

“I really want to say to any new moms, it’s so important to take that time for yourself. You are worth it and it is worth taking that time for yourself. Taking that walk or going to the gym makes a world of difference to your mental space. 

Now when I take my kids to the soccer games, I don’t just sit on a chair watching them. Instead I use that time to get my steps and then watch them playing in the last half hour.

These small things make such a big difference. It has helped me to become a better mom. I am less snippy with the kids and more patient!”

Just Do Your Thing 

Although Kalyani worked from home, there were times when she had to travel. At first she was so worried about what people would think when she took in her tupperware of food. 

“I thought everyone would think I was so weird. But in reality, everyone was so supportive. In fact many were genuinely interested in my RNT journey. It is really all in our own heads, no one really pays attention to what you are eating or drinking.

I also now make it a point to use the hotel gyms, I walk from the hotel to the office. These were things I wouldn’t have even considered doing in the past.”

Death By A Thousand Cuts 

In May 2023, Kalyani hit her Checkpoint weight. After 13 months she finally reached a state she never thought possible. 

She’d reached the tip of the mountain and the view from the top was amazing. 

Now she needed to prepare for the descent, the hardest part. Switching out of fat loss and into maintenance had to be done with caution especially since this was a phase Kalyani had never managed to successfully navigate before. 

When thinking back to the couple of months before hitting Checkpoint Kalyani said: 

“It was December 2022, I still had about 12lbs (~5kg) to lose to reach my Checkpoint weight. I had come to the end of my first year at RNT but I wanted to extend into year two for a few reasons. The most compelling reason was, I wanted to hit my Checkpoint. I was so close, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own. And those last 10 lbs were the hardest to lose. 

Another big reason was, I’d never figured out how to actually keep the weight off. I’d lost weight after many crash diets but when the diet ended, I didn’t know what to do next. There was no plan. So I invariably rebounded.”

Keeping old habits from trickling in again is the real challenge. 

You may not think it’s a big deal to indulge in a few crackers one afternoon, or reach for an extra glass of wine on the weekend. While these little indulgences may seem harmless at first they do start to add up. 

What might have started off as a little treat once in a while, soon turns into a one way ticket back to the start and a death by a thousand cuts. 

Learning to steer clear of this fate is what RNTers focus on after Checkpoint and is arguably more difficult than fat loss. 

Performance Focused 

Most of us are very goal oriented in our approach. We work hard towards achieving something. Once we reach a goal, we start to look for something else to aspire towards.

It’s the same when on a fitness journey. Once we reach our goal weight there is no fixed goal in sight. Maintenance in comparison is a lot more boring. There is no shiny prize at the end. 

So how do you keep going, without falling off the wagon? 

For Kalyani it was about shifting her focus to performance. 

“I have some very clear performance goals now. I want to run 5km without stopping. I want to finally conquer the Bulgarian Split Squat (my least favourite exercise). 

I want to cultivate a mindset that is not focused on a scale. I want to be able to eat meals without feeling the need to weigh and measure everything.”

Embrace The Journey 

Before RNT, the thought of fitting in 10,000 steps a day was daunting for Kalyani. Now it’s non-negotiable as is meal prepping and training. 

“Everyone has their own journey, has their own muck to deal with. I remember at the start I was embarrassed to share my own journey with my cohort. I soon realised that I didn’t need to feel embarrassed, there was no judgement from anyone. I also stopped comparing myself with others.

Through my RNT journey, I’ve gained so much confidence in myself that I even volunteered at my son’s school, something I would never have done before. 

I’ve lost so much weight that people don’t recognise me anymore. The other day someone I know walked right past me without realising it was me. And it may have bothered me before but now I’ve learnt you can choose to let them know who you are or you can just ignore it.”

A Few Words Of Advice 

When Kalyani started RNT, she listened to so many podcasts. Hearing the stories of so many individuals helped her to stay on the path. 

“And some advice I’d like to share with anyone starting their journey is firstly, smile in your progress pics! I looked so sad in them and I really wasn’t. I was so happy that I was making such amazing progress. 

Also, don’t focus on the end goal, just focus on the process and you will be a different person.”

The Podcast 

In Episode 347 of RNT Fitness Radio, Kalyani shares her story on what it took for her to lose 70lbs (30 kgs) without rebounding. In the podcast she says, “It is a considerable monetary investment but it’s also an investment in your health. And ROI on it is really worth it, you will be better for it.” 

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