Bharath never remembers being idle when growing up.
He was the youngest kid in his hometown to earn a black belt in Taekwondo.
He was the enthusiastic teen that won prizes for his school’s swim team.
He was the energetic twenty-something that made it into the local papers for being a natural rock climber.
Bharath remembers being full of energy and was always excited about an opportunity to push his limits.
Even today, he loves to engage in any activity that gives him an adrenaline rush: sky-diving, bungee-jumping, scuba diving - you name it, he’s done it!
The Corporate Struggle
Unfortunately, it all started to unravel after graduating from college. Bharath started to work his way up the corporate ladder and suddenly there was no time for anything other than work. No more martial arts, no more rock climbing and hardly any swimming. His hectic work schedule left him so tired and drained that he resorted to seeking comfort in jars of chocolate spread!
“I remember feeling so overworked and anxious when I started my first job. I would drive to work, drive back, collapse in front of my computer, polishing off packets of biscuits and jars of Nutella. It was awful! I knew I was in a terrible rut and I needed to get out of it.”
First Time Getting Fit
Bharath’s inner compass told him he wasn’t heading in the right direction and so in an attempt to turn his health around, he signed up at the gym after his mother’s strong suggestion.
“I remember hating the first few cardio sessions, as I was out of breath and felt terrible. After some progress, I got a personal trainer to look lean and muscular. Looking back, it’s crazy the amount of money I spent on 1:1 PT, averaging 4-5 sessions every week. But it was all worth it as I finally made some progress; I lost a lot of weight and I started to feel like my old self again!”
Unfortunately, that is not the end of the story. You can’t rewire years of bad eating habits in a year; it takes time and ruthless consistency and Bharath’s biggest knowledge gap was in his understanding of nutrition.
“Although I was always encouraged to be fit and healthy as a kid, I realise now that nutrition was always misunderstood. I would eat whatever I fancied without any control on portions. The belief was that since I was so active, it didn’t matter what I ate as I was burning up all my calories. That same behaviour of eating everything I could get my hands on carried on into my twenties even when I was barely moving and stuck at my desk all day.
When I signed up at the gym, I was given a nutrition plan with some options to keep it interesting. The meals were portioned to fit the macros but I didn’t understand the principles behind them at that time. I just blindly followed the plan and once I achieved my goal weight, I promptly went back to my old ways. Unsurprisingly I rebounded!”
The Downward Spiral
The growing pressures of work and starting a family continued to send Bharath down a spiral he felt he just couldn’t control.
“It was just so much easier to binge watch shows and eat ice cream than to make it to the gym. I made a few half-hearted attempts to get back into shape but nothing really worked. I tried working with a PT again but I just felt like I was burning money. I made no progress and I only felt worse about myself.”
The pandemic struck and his poor lifestyle choices contributed to rapid and unhealthy weight gain, plaguing him with various health issues and back problems. His energy levels were low, his confidence had taken a beating and he just didn’t like how he felt in his own skin.
“I hated seeing photos of myself. Every time I saw myself in a photo with my two boys, I was so ashamed and felt like I really wasn’t setting a good example to my kids. They look up to me and want to be like me and I was so afraid that one day they would wake up and realise that all their perceptions about me were false. I was sure that I would be toppled off my precarious position on their high pedestal and I was dreading that day.”
Even though Bharath knew he had to do something, he didn’t know what other options were available.
“I had tried PTs, I had tried cardio sessions but nothing was working and to be honest, I had pretty much given up. And then I came across RNT!”
When Bharath saw all the incredible transformations on the website and on social media he thought maybe this time things would be different.
“As an Indian following a vegetarian diet, I was always told it was impossible to build a physique I could be truly proud of. But the transformations I saw on the RNT website told a completely different story. Here were other men with similar backgrounds, eating similar food sporting six pack abs and awesome muscle definition. I was excited to finally discover a holistic lifestyle solution that was sustainable for me and I knew then that I had to try one more time.”
Now that Bharath was committed, he was ready to go all in and give his journey all of his focus and attention. He signed up to RNT in October 2021 and was initially given a deadline of 6 months to achieve his checkpoint. By December, he already felt like a different person.
“I was amazed that I was dropping around 1.2% of body fat per week! I was eating food I enjoyed and I was finally seeing my energy levels improve consistently. The best part was, I wasn’t ever hungry. On the contrary, I was sceptical about losing weight with the recommended food volume.”
Hitting That Step Count
“At first, the biggest challenge was in hitting my step count. Thanks to the pandemic and the weeks before RNT, I must have averaged 400 steps a day. Bumping that up to 10k steps was at first quite hard and seemed daunting.
Then instead of waiting for times in the day to walk when I didn’t have meetings, I started attending internal calls with my colleagues on my walks. If I had a few minutes, I would go for a quick walk around the block. I also made it a point to walk up to the supermarket to stock up on things like eggs and fruit and suddenly 10k steps was a breeze.”
The Trials Of Travel
Often, the hardest part of a fat loss journey is to stay true to the meal plan and training schedule even while travelling. Bharath has to travel frequently on work and he found those periods particularly hard.
“I would have had such a good streak and then I would have to leave the country and I felt that travelling always set me back. The hotels I stayed in would mostly have a pretty decent gym and the food was good but the long days and the late night dinners would always throw me off.
That’s when I decided to train first thing in the morning when travelling, even though I much prefer training later in the day.
I cut down to one big meal at night with a protein shake and some salad to keep me going through the day.
It wasn’t ideal but having a nutrition strategy for such periods helped me stay in control and I still managed to hit my weight loss targets week on week.”
Pushing Past Boundaries
When Bharath signed up to the RNT programme the coaches gave him 6 months to hit his goal weight. But he was on a mission and took it upon himself to beat that timeline and accelerate his progress.
“I signed up in October 2021 and my Checkpoint date was set in April but I was determined to beat that timeline. It helped massively that my wife signed up to RNT along with me. Together we pushed each other and supported each other - we are a great team and we bring the best out of each other. I was chuffed when I managed to reach my first checkpoint 5 weeks ahead of plan.”
Bharath especially credits his accelerated progress to the unwavering support of the coaches.
“The RNT coaching team is so knowledgeable, helpful and encouraging. I have always been eager to learn and I know that when I set myself to achieving something, I give it my all. I was eager to soak up all of the information I received and apply it to my life.
The faith the coaches showed in my ability to transform really helped me when I was struggling. They offered fresh perspective and guidance throughout my journey and I would not have been able to achieve this level of fitness without their guidance.”
Having the cohorts and also being a part of the larger Facebook group really kept Bharath motivated.
“I really enjoy the interaction and advice I get from fellow RNTers. Talking to them and understanding how others handle work and family commitments has been really interesting.
RNT Pro is a great platform: the curriculum, the nutrition planner, the cohorts and the tracking of my stats really propelled me forward. Taking weekly progress photos was really the best part as I could literally see my body change and it was truly incredible!”
Upping the Ante
Bharath is now an incredible 23kgs lighter and he feels amazing. He has regained all the drive and passion for life he felt he had lost.
When he started, he was at 79.6kgs and when he hit his final Checkpoint, he was 56.6kgs. At first he wasn’t so sure about going so low in body weight, but he wanted to sport a 6 pack before he turned 40 and he was prepared to give it everything he had.
When he reached his initial goal of 64kgs, he wasn’t totally happy with the way he looked and he wanted to push himself further and get really shredded.
“I now understand that the Checkpoint targets are merely guidelines because as I neared my target weight, it was adjusted based on my own personal choices. I wanted to push myself harder so I chose to take an extra few weeks to really push myself. I had this inner drive that kept me going as I really wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.
It wasn’t purely physical, it was more a mental challenge to test my mettle and see how far I could go.”
The Physical Is The Vehicle
Bharath is now entering The Investment Phase where he hopes to build on his achievements and fine-tune his lifestyle fitness solution.
“I now understand where it all went wrong the first time I lost weight. I have a better understanding of nutrition, I love my training plan and enjoy the progress I have made in the gym.
I have my structure in place and I almost feel out of sorts when I go off plan. After a long week of travelling, or when social engagements take me off plan, I can’t wait to get back on track again. There is so much satisfaction in hitting reset, heading to the gym and lifting. It blows away all the mental cobwebs and helps me feel grounded again.
I now know that I need to stay consistent. I realise that losing weight is the easy part and maintaining a fit and healthy regime is the real challenge. But I have my game plan in place, all the variables are under my control and I know exactly what I need to do to get back in the game when life gets in the way.
I love how I look and I love how I feel. The best part is, I can see the look of pride in my kids’ eyes when they see videos of me doing a chin-up or lifting heavy weights. I can see my older son trying to emulate my food choices and he is really keen on running faster and getting stronger, something that was never a motivation for him in the past.
I feel more present now as a father, the quality of my interactions with my children has deepened and I feel much more productive at work. I used to get annoyed and irritated and now I am so much calmer and patient. I finally feel like I am in control of my life!
My transformation has also had a huge impact on my parents, my brother and my father-in-law.
Seeing my progress photos has inspired my 69 year old father to set himself a 100 days of running challenge! He has also changed his eating habits and has lost a lot of weight himself.
It really is the ultimate reward to see the domino effect my transformation has had on my family.
I am enjoying my RNT journey so far, learnt a lot and look forward to the continued improvement of my mental strength and my physique over time.”