Opi had always been interested in training. Even back in the 90s his brother used to read a lot of muscle building and fitness magazines. Seeing his brother train inspired him as well, so he was no stranger to the finer points of muscle building.
The trouble was, he had no training plan. He would pick any random weight and would train whenever he felt like it with no strategy. This meant he yo-yoed a lot with his weight.
“My biggest downfall was that I had no one to guide me. I was just doing a bit of this and a bit of that with no structure.”
Around 10 years ago, Opi had an opportunity to work in San Diego, California for a few years. And he was hugely influenced by the fitness culture there.
“We would go for hikes and I would meet 50-60 year olds who just looked incredible! That really brushed off on me, so I started to take my training seriously and I lost a lot of weight. But I still didn’t really know much about nutrition neither did I have a proper training plan. I was I suppose skinny-fat, I looked good in clothes but I was still uncomfortable taking my shirt off at the beach.”
Fast forward 10 years; Opi’s training had regressed and he was binge eating a lot, he was doing a bit of cardio but nothing consistent. He was no longer as fit as he used to be in 2007. In 2020 his daughter was born and one day as he was holding her he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror…
“I just realised I’m letting myself go here! I thought to myself, what am I doing here! I could see the thickness in my side body! I wasn’t like this 10 years ago! Usually I am quite an upbeat person but I was quite depressed looking at myself. I knew I needed to do something about it. I needed to take action. I had to be an example to my daughter.”
After the shocking wake-up call he had with respect to his health and wellness Opi had been looking to see if he could get some guidance. He tried a few 3 month plans he found online but with very little success.
“I am an animator and to learn this art I had a mentor. And I realised, if you want to get better at anything you need proper guidance from experts who will teach you the right way. So while I was looking for a fitness mentor, my good friend Chirag Rao posted his incredible transformation pictures on social media and I was blown away by how amazing he looked. I immediately texted him and he told me about RNT and I just knew what I had to do! I decided to commit 100% and go all in!”
After Opi signed up he wanted to prepare himself for the RNT journey. He wanted to learn more so he would be ready to go all in before he started in October 2020.
“I decided to read _Transform Your Body, Transform Your Life _and it laid the groundwork on what I could expect from the whole process. I learnt about The Honeymoon Period, The Motivation Dip. I read the case studies and I was so inspired by everyone’s story. So when I started my journey I was ready.”
This is one big reason why Opi managed to get into such incredible condition. He was prepared for the ride, he had done his homework and he was ready to commit 100%. He knew what it was going to take and he decided to go all in! We find that when RNTers use the educational resources to support them on their journey they do so much better, as the material helps them navigate the triumphs and trials of the journey. They are mentally prepared which means they are less likely to be taken by surprise and thrown off course.
The Journey Begins
Opi was so keen and excited to start his journey. He had read the book, he had listened to the podcasts, he had spoken with his friend. So he was ready to tackle the challenges each of the phases Clean The Palate, The Process Phase and Consolidation Phase would throw at him.
“My wife’s always been healthy, she makes sure she eats healthy and nutritious food but she would never measure or weigh her food. Before RNT I would make a cup of tea and sit down with a packet of 50% extra rich tea biscuits and I could go through the whole packet! I could easily eat that, I could binge so easily. I had no concept of weighing my food or tracking my macros. When I started my waist was 40 inches and when I finally reached my Checkpoint my waist was 30inches!”
Before starting with RNT Opi used to do a bit of cardio and head to the gym but It just goes to show that it’s not enough to just exercise, you need to back that up with a solid nutrition plan, as you can never out train a bad diet.
For some reason weighing your food is equated to having food issues, but unless you weigh your food you will never know how much you are actually consuming. You won’t realise how little 10gms of peanut butter really is until you put it on a scale. That’s when people realise it’s just a 5th of their normal serving size!
“That’s when I learnt how to plan my meals and track my macros. I was on 180gms of carbs a day and losing a kilo a week. As long as you are getting your protein and you were in a calorie deficit the weight would come off! All these myths about carbs and fats were busted.”
Over the initial months of his journey, Opi laid down the ground-work so he had a solid structure, strategy and system in place to achieve his fitness goals.
He used the mornings to get his steps in and go for a run.
“Now I have to wake up in the morning and go for a walk or a run, if I don’t I feel like something very important is missing in my day, like having a computer without an internet connection! I remember watching a podcast and you were talking about going cold-turkey and that’s what I did. When you aren’t obsessing about the results but just focusing on the process you get there faster.
Before I would go through these programs and I wouldn’t see any weight changes for a month or two! And this time after 3 months I was measuring my waist and all these shirts in my wardrobe that had become too tight have now become too big for me!
There is one t-shirt I always like to put on and the way it just slipped on me and they way it just hung off I was so excited.
I realised that it took me 5-6 years to get to my level in my field of animation and I am still developing and learning. It’s the same in this field of fitness it’s going to take you time to get this. It’s a skill you have to learn.
My daughter took 1 year to learn how to walk. Just like that things take time - progress is a process.”
The Consolidation Phase
Getting into the shape of your life, although really hard, is the first step and is a lot simpler when compared to learning how to stay in the shape of your life. The habits and processes RNTers learn in the first few months of their journey have to be translated and adapted to fit a lifestyle solution, which is always challenging.
“My first week into Consolidation was OK. Then in the second week bad habits started to creep in, like snacking. I kept reminding myself, don’t go back to the old Opi, look how far you’ve come. Look how your mind has changed, obviously something has changed in your mind to be able to go through that transformation.
It’s encouraging to know that you can control your mind and you can say, ‘No I’m not doing that, I’m not eating that.’ There is a lot of empowerment in having control of your choices. If you have to have clarity, conviction and discipline you can control your mind.”
With his non-negotiable in place his 3Ss (structure, system and strategy) clearly defined Opi has the winning formula for a sustainable lifestyle fitness solution.
“What’s different now is that I have the right guidance. I listen to the advice given to me by the coaches. I know there is a plan and I look forward to going to the gym because I know exactly what I’m going to do in terms of exercise. There is a reason why I’m in the gym, there is a goal, I am focussing on progressive overload on my main indicator lifts and I am excited to see what I can achieve in my fitness levels.”
At RNT we believe that the physical is the vehicle that sets us up to achieve all our goals and aspirations. And Opi resonates with the ideology.
“I have all of these strategies in place that now rubs off on all other areas of my life as well. I have the energy to pursue other creative projects outside of work. I want to illustrate a book, I want to do other things and I realise the potential and the possibilities which is so exciting.
My advice to any RNTers starting on their journey is simple, trust the coaches, they know what they are talking about. Find foods you like it’ll help you stay consistent. Have an open mind and just stick with it - once the weight starts to drop off it will keep dropping off and it is so motivating. If you suddenly doubt yourself, reconnect with your ‘why’ and you will find yourself back on track.”
Opi speaks straight from the heart about his RNT journey and the challenges he faced through the process on this video documenting his journey here.
You can listen to Opi’s conversation with Akash and how he navigated through the various phases of his journey on Episode 252 on RNT Fitness Radio.
Starting weight - 106kgs (40 inch waist)
Checkpoint Weight - 75kgs (30 inch waist)