Busy Single Mum Priya, Got Off The Yo-Yo Dieting Cycle And Lost 20+ Kgs In her 40s

Priya was 12 years old when she asked her mum:

Please can you make me some cabbage soup? I want to eat nothing else for the rest of the week because I really don’t want to look like this any more! 

I want to lose some weight so I can be like the other kids at school.”

That was Priya’s first cry for help. 

Instead of riding her bike and having a fun time at the park with other children her age, Priya was trying to find a way to fit in. 

“We immigrated to Canada when I was 8 years old. I was in a new country and I had left behind a large loving family. I didn’t speak English very well and so was unable to make any real friends. My parents were putting in long hours at work. So my sister and I were essentially left to our own devices under the care of our neighbours. So TV, sodas and junk food became my coping mechanism, it was like an addiction.”

As you can imagine, hours of sitting in front of the TV consuming sugary and processed foods didn’t do Priya any favours.

“The other kids teased and bullied me all the time. I was so overweight, I couldn’t take part in many activities. I was the girl watching from the sidelines throughout my teen years.”

Over the next 3 decades, Priya would try every diet and fitness programme she could think of… but nothing really worked. 

She was stuck in a never-ending yo-yo dieting cycle that was severely affecting her health and well-being.  

The Trigger

In her early adult life Priya tried her best to find ways to eat well and be active. 

“I was overweight, but I thought I was active and healthy.

I would do gym sessions, take spin classes, tried an online programme and also joined Orange Theory. My entire life has been synonymous with diets. Too often I would over-indulge and then overcompensate the next day by drinking only black coffee and electrolytes for 24 hours.

It was quite the wake up call when the blood work I had done revealed that I had high cholesterol and high fasting sugar.

It was shocking!

I’m a single mom, I needed to make healthy changes from a long term standpoint. I wanted to be a good example to my two daughters.

And that’s when an acquaintance of mine posted about her RNT transformation. It was amazing! She looked incredible! 

After I saw that I looked up RNT online. I read all the case-studies, listened to the podcasts and each story was remarkable. I needed no more convincing.

A month later, I signed up.”

Embracing The Process

Priya is a self-proclaimed preparer. She likes to go into any situation fully prepared. Her RNT journey was no exception. 

To make sure she was ready, she poured over RNT Founder Akash Vaghela’s book - Transform Your Body, Transform Your Life.

“I started hitting my 10,000 steps a month before I started in Jan 2022. I was aware of all the five phases and what each phase entailed. I was ready to immerse myself in the programme.

I loved the structure that RNT provides. A few weeks into the process I realised that dieting takes up a lot of bandwidth and clutters the mind. Knowing exactly what to eat and when helped me go into autopilot.”

Building A Structure

Since Priya had taken the time to learn everything she could about the programme before signing up she knew what to expect.

With her RNT checklist in hand, Priya made quick progress. 

This is not to say she didn’t have her share of doubts and pitfalls.

“I didn’t understand why I had to weigh myself everyday and why I had to weigh my food everyday.

I was also put off when my weight didn’t drop fast enough. But speaking with my coach and  attending the coaching calls helped. I soon learned to focus on progress and not on perfection.”

Priya was also self-conscious about posting training videos for her coach to check her form. 

“I didn’t like posting training videos! So I just kept training without sharing any videos with my coach. And a few months into my journey, when I finally sent them in, I had to reduce my weight by 50%! My form was completely wrong and I had to start again!”

It was a costly error but once she addressed it, Priya was back on track. 

Time To Check-In

A core feature of the RNT platform is the weekly check-in. 

Every Monday all RNTers drop a note to their coach informing them how the previous week has been. 

They share wins like: PBs hit in the gyms; how they handled their food at a social situation, or to report all is well and on track.

It’s during the check-in that they seek advice on how to manage any struggles or ask for pointers on how to stay on track with their health goals (like when travelling).

This is the most important component for success - the more honest a member is, the better their coach can support them. 

One golden nugget of advice from the coaches helped Priya realise the importance of the check-in was: 

“Do your weekly check-in, focus on what needs to be done and leave the progress to the coach.” 

The Power Of Accountability

Rewiring years of habits is hard, which is why we have multiple levels of accountability built into the RNT programme.

Of course there is the all important self-accountability - it’s your journey, you have to own it. 

There is accountability to your coach during the check-in. 

And finally peer-to-peer accountability, which is really powerful.

There is nothing more reassuring than knowing you aren’t alone on this journey. Sharing and adopting strategies makes the whole process so much easier.  

At first, Priya found it hard to open up and speak in the community.

“I would only post when things were going well and stay silent when things hadn’t gone to plan.

It was only afterwards that I realised that I should have done the opposite. If I had talked about my struggles my coach would have helped me reprioritise and work around my struggles without affecting my progress. Or I could have got some tips from others in my cohort.”

The purpose of the layers of accountability is to support you on your health journey. They are built to hold you up when you are struggling.

Food Is Neither Good Or Bad

Priya was pleasantly surprised to learn that eating the same thing everyday was not boring.

“Having food prepared was a saviour. I even prepped the kids’ meals. I stuck to the same food plan for over 12 months and I have not found it hard to do at all.”

Priya’s real struggle was in switching her mindset around what she considered “good” or “bad” foods.

“I have a long way to go, but my hope is that I will stop attaching morality to different foods.

I want to stop feeling morally superior just because I chose a Greek yogurt instead of an ice cream. And to similarly stop feeling guilty when I do eat a cookie.”

Building The Body Of Your Dreams

It’s a popular belief that you can build the body of your dreams in 12 weeks. There are a fair few who propagate this view on social media.

Soon after starting the journey Priya realised that there were no shortcuts to building a strong, healthy body.

“I now know that building the body of your dreams takes 2-5 years! I had tried and failed at an online programme earlier and I think it was because it was a 12 week programme. It takes a lot longer to reset and establish new routines.

From the beginning my ‘why’ was very clear, I wanted to be a fit and strong mother for my daughters. For that to become a reality I had to build a lifestyle around health and fitness.”

A Paradigm Shift

Priya had always struggled with her self confidence, which is why she surprised herself when she decided to book in a photoshoot to celebrate reaching her checkpoint.

“I have always hidden from the camera, which is why I didn’t commit to the photoshoot straight away. But as I was nearing my goal weight and I was pushing really hard physically towards the end, I thought a photoshoot would help me stay accountable. Plus for me it was a celebratory moment!”

Ever since Priya ate cabbage soup for a week she measured her self worth against the number on the scale. She was not that person anymore.

“Now I feel strong, I feel in control, I have a lifestyle that I am proud of.”

The Podcast

The shift in Priya’s mindset is where the real transformation lies. In Ep. 338 of RNT Fitness Radio she talks about her struggles with her self-worth and her final triumph. It’s such an inspiring story.

If you want to learn how she managed to achieve the impossible, this episode is a must listen.

In this podcast Priya says, “Real transformation happens organically and over time. It can’t be rushed. Only then can you make lasting, life long changes.”

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