Mita · Checkpoint

Medical Oncologist Dr. Mita Manna, Finally Stopped Spinning Her Wheels And Achieved Her Fitness Goals

It all began in 2018. Mita had just finished medical residency training and was about to begin a new chapter in her life.

To celebrate this milestone, Mita and her partner decided to enjoy Italy from the saddle of their bicycles. They were taking in the stunning sights and sounds of this wonderful country while cycling around 40-60kms a day.

While they were enjoying a very active and physically challenging holiday, they were in Italy…which meant they were also enjoying and indulging in the many culinary delights on offer!

And that was the trigger.

“I remember looking at the photos and feeling so very disappointed with myself. I had just been on a very active holiday and I thought of myself as being fit and in shape. But when I saw the photos I realised that that wasn’t the reality. The photos didn’t lie. I was definitely not as fit as I thought I was.”

Looking at the photos spurred Mita on to try and get her weight and health back under control. She also had the added motivation of losing all the excess weight before her wedding the following year.

“I tried all the fad diets out there and I did manage to lose some weight before the wedding but I still wasn’t where I really wanted to be. I had heard of RNT from my family in London and they were so pleased with their outcome and they highly recommended the RNT program. So I thought I would sign up as well. Nothing I had tried had worked to the extent I wanted it to work and I was almost beginning to think it was just impossible for someone like me. But when I saw all the amazing transformations of people with my body type and ethnicity, I thought I had to give it a try.”

The Missing Piece - Diet & Nutrition

Being of South Asian descent, Mita’s health and wellness troubles were rooted in the food habits that were followed at home. It didn’t help that they lived a rather sedentary lifestyle.

“Looking back I realise now that fitness, diet and nutrition were never the key elements in my upbringing. Our focus was always on school and on studies. I remember I hated gym class, I would never be active. I would never run or do any activity. And I loved food! Everytime we saw family or friends, food was always the focal point. In my family it was always considered better to be a bit overweight rather than being too thin.”

When Mita began medical school in Vancouver she was living the typical university life. There were lots of indulgences without realising the effects of what she was consuming.

“In the first couple of weeks of med school I remember feeling so overwhelmed. I was surrounded by people who were not only extremely smart but a majority of them were extremely fit and active. They were all engaged in some kind of sport and that’s when I started running regularly. It became a mode of stress release and that was when I ran my first half marathon. Exercise finally became a huge part of my life. I did some hiking; I practised yoga; I lifted weights in the gym! I even tried a boutique boxing club, which was such a stress buster. I loved it!”

The missing piece (as is often the case) was Mita’s approach to her diet and nutrition.

“My biggest problem was food. I loved to try different cuisines and go to the latest restaurants. I enjoyed eating out multiple times a week. I also had no sense of portion control. I am only 5 foot 1 but I could still eat the same amount as a 6 foot tall man! I would often not think about the consequences. But I always thought I was healthy! I packed my lunches during the day and would make myself healthy snacks but you don’t realise that fine dining and eating out regularly also impacts your health.”

Laying The Ground-Work

Mita signed up in 2019 to start in January 2021 but she didn’t start her RNT journey until October 2021.

“I had just started my career. We didn’t really have a great set-up. We were moving between places. I just thought it wasn’t the right time for me to start my RNT journey.

I knew that when I started with RNT I wanted to do it right. I wanted to focus and give it my 100%. I didn’t want to set myself up for failure.”

Mita and her husband had just bought their dream home and they had planned and fitted in a gym in the basement. Before she began her RNT journey she wanted to make sure she had all the tools ready so that when she started she could go all-in and be really successful in her transformation.

Although she had chosen to delay her RNT start date, Mita used that time really cleverly. She read Akash’s book - “Transform Your Body, Transform Your Life” so she could really understand the RNT process. She wanted to know what to expect so she wouldn’t be thrown off by any surprises.

“I started to walk to work. I also own two dogs and this prompted me to go for longer walks with them. I also started to read and understand more about nutrition and macros. I pulled out the dusty food scale that had been hiding in the back of my kitchen drawers and started to weigh all the foods. I started to look at nutrition labels. So when I finally started I was ready.”

The prep work Mita put in before she began played a key role in enabling her to achieve her amazing results. She was mentally prepared for what to expect which meant when she started her RNT journey, she hit the ground running.

The Advantages of RNT Pro

When Mita started in October she was a part of the first group of RNTers to use the new and optimised RNT Pro platform. It is custom-built and based on a decade of experience working with 1000s of individuals around the world. RNT Pro is structured in a way so our members can have all the information and support they need to get the fitness results they seek, and keep them for life.

The Community Support

“I really enjoyed the community and the support I received from all the RNTers on the RNT Pro platform. I really like being part of the online community in my cohort. I met some great individuals on the platform. I even had an accountability partner whom I talked to on a one-on-one basis. Both of us were motivating each other and we kept each other accountable. The coaches especially have been so supportive!”

The support of the RNT community is a major component of all the people who have successfully transformed. Knowing that there are others out there who have overcome the same struggles that you are facing can be hugely motivating.

There are people who hesitate to share their challenges. Some feel embarrassed to admit that they have slipped up, others may feel like their problems are quite personal and don’t want to open up. It is hard to open yourself up and be vulnerable but the support and encouragement you can get when you do is instrumental in succeeding. This is why the RNT Pro platform is structured in a way to create a safe, non-judgemental environment allowing members who are hesitant to open up and be honest about their struggles. This allows them to find the tools they need to create strategies to overcome the obstacles that are keeping them from achieving their goals.

“Of course as humans we are sensitive about critique. And I won’t necessarily divulge the nitty-gritty details about my life, but it’s good to open up and share. Just saying something as simple as - today was a bad day and so I ended up going for the chocolates a bit more, can help. Just admitting to this very human slip-up can give you the impetus to try harder the following day. I feel that without engaging with others, without putting yourself out there you won’t get the support you need and that’s what makes this a truly unique and amazing process.”

Recording And Uploading Training Videos

An essential part of the RNT process is to take video recordings of yourself while performing all your exercises and lifts. This way coaches can correct any mistakes on form as well as advise on what weights to use.

“With RNT you obviously don’t have a coach standing next to you while you train. And I remember the first time I recorded myself doing a lift I was so embarrassed! I thought I can’t do this! I can’t record myself! I was also quite nervous! But when I looked back and saw the videos, I was so amazed! It was so effective! I could see and correct my movement and I could understand what it was that I was doing wrong and how I could improve. The feedback you get from the coaches as well as from other RNTers in the cohort is really powerful. This is why I encourage everyone to engage as much as possible!”

RNT Pro is equipped with all the tools essential to creating a structure, strategy and system that is unique to each person. The meal planner is customisable to every individual’s needs. The weight and waist measurement logs keep our members on track and accountable. The platform offers deep dives and bite-sized information on the various aspects of training as well as the importance of cultivating a growth mindset. In a nutshell, it is a platform built to support all aspects of a truly holistic transformation.

The Advantages Of A Plant Based Diet

As a medical oncologist Mita has to advise and work with her patients to structure their radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Apart from this she also tries to highlight the importance of making lifestyle changes to improve their health and increase their longevity.

“I always try to emphasise the importance of eating more healthy and eating more fruits, vegetables and lean meats. The Canadian food guide also emphasises the positive impact of eating more plant-based food; what you eat can really have an effect on the quality of your life. I try to really simplify it to my patients - saying you don’t have to cut out all meat but just lowering the frequency in itself can make a big difference.”

Mita herself had been toying with the idea of being more plant based for a while. Her husband had some gut health issues and she felt she didn’t feel her best after eating dairy. So, when they decided to cut dairy out of their diet, they both felt much better.

Watching Akash’s #RoadToVeganShredded series on the advantages of following a more plant-based diet also helped her realise that switching to a plant-based diet would not hinder her fitness journey.

“I have decided to cut back on meat and dairy and I am really pleased! I feel great, my gut feels happy, my skin has cleared up and I have no cravings for meat either! I have been reading the book called ‘The Plant Based Athlete’ and it is very insightful, talking about how athletes have reached their peak physical performance by getting all their nutrients just by eating plants. Now my husband and I spend more quality time together in the kitchen cooking and exploring new recipes.”

Mita hit her Checkpoint weight in January 2022 and felt great when she reached her fat loss goal. However, The Process Phase is in reality a lot more simple, it is naturally hard to stay in a calorie deficit for an extended period of time but the process in itself is a lot simpler.

Consolidation, or the period of time after your fat loss journey ends, is a lot harder to navigate. It is very easy to fall off the path and binge on all the food you have been staying away from. Unfortunately, it is also the worst thing you can do as it can quickly negate all the hard work and take you straight back to where you started. This article on reverse dieting explains it in more detail - The Ultimate Guide To Reverse Dieting And Avoiding Fat Regain. Bridging the gap from getting into shape and learning how to stay in shape is what RNT is all about, so she was in good hands!

“I was very pleased when I hit my Checkpoint! I had given it my all and I felt so good when I reached that point. And then I did exactly what all the coaches told me not to do after I hit my Checkpoint - I went on an all-inclusive vacation! But I really needed this vacation from a mental standpoint, I needed a change of scenery. And, it was a really good test!

I managed to take the strategies I had implemented and I applied them when I went away.

I still managed to wake up early and get in a workout. I made sure I got my steps in. And the biggest difference was that I wasn’t focused just on the food and drink. I was very mindful and cognizant of what I was eating. This was the biggest mindshift.”

Mita had read the chapter on Consolidation in the book Transform Your Body. Transform Your Life’ and she knew that it was the hardest part and was fully prepared. She came back from her holiday just 1 or 2 kilos heavier and once she got back to her regular routine the weight settled down back to maintenance.

“What was interesting was how all my friends reacted when I reached my Checkpoint. They were so excited and thought that I could now go out and eat an amazing meal and drink a bottle of wine. They were shocked when I told them of course we could hang-out but I wasn’t going to drink a bottle of wine. They just couldn’t understand it.

But I realised that food and drink doesn’t have to be the focal point of all social interactions. It’s fine if all I’m ordering is a diet coke, no one really cares what you are ordering, you are just here to spend quality time with everyone. And the best part is I don’t feel like I’m missing out or that I’m being deprived. I feel very content.”

Future Goals

After a period of maintaining and settling into this new rhythm Mita is keen to enter her Investment Phase and build on her strength and gain more muscle.

“I always like to challenge myself and I definitely want to push myself more in the gym and keep hitting new PBs. I want to be able to lift heavier on my key lifts like the RDL and the Hip Thrust. I find that lifting heavy weights helps me exude a lot of confidence. I am sure that my Checkpoint photoshoot won’t be the last one. I am keen to shatter those self-limiting beliefs that women can’t lift heavy and I want to get stronger both physically and mentally.”

The Physical Is The Vehicle

The true power of the RNT process is not just the physical results. Of course the biggest driver in the beginning is in achieving the aesthetic goals, the transformation really is on the emotional and mental level.

“The physical results are of course very tangible. But the way I feel is really where the difference lies. My RNT journey has really helped me stabilise my emotions and I deal with stress so much better. I am able to understand my thought process a bit better. Through this process I have also tried to eliminate a lot of negative thoughts as well. Now I don’t hesitate to put myself as a priority, I realise that by bettering myself I am better able to help others.

The biggest difference is in the way I am now able to maximise and value my time. I love how I have managed to optimise my mornings. I always wanted to be the person who would wake up early. I’ve read about successful individuals who wake up at 5am and manage to achieve so much in their day. But I have never been able to achieve that. I have always been the person who would hit the snooze button non-stop. But when I started with RNT I wanted to get my training sessions in so I put in an old-fashioned alarm clock in the bathroom so it forced me to wake up and get out of bed and go to the bathroom.

Now, I’m excited to wake up and have my coffee and then start my training session. I feel almost like I am in a meditative state. I have even resumed my yoga practice and find I can now do inversions and other poses with more ease.

I am focusing on myself and I am ready to seize the day. I feel stronger, refreshed and able to deal with the challenges.

It feels amazing that I can challenge myself and attain these goals. I have seen improvement not just in myself but in others as well. My husband as well has been making some positive changes in his life. Together we want to strive to be the best versions of ourselves.

Friends and colleagues say to me that I seem more calm and at ease, and they want to know what I am doing. The fact that I am able to influence people in a positive light is very emotionally fulfilling.

Learnings to Share

When we asked Mita what learnings she would like to share with other RNTers starting out on their journey. She says:

“Trust the process. Just enjoy the process and have gratitude for every moment. Don’t try to focus on the end point, just take every moment and find joy in being able to eat healthy and exercise and live a healthier life. Go all-in, the more you put into the process, the more you will be able to get out of it.”

Podcast

Tune iIn Episode 261 of RNT Fitness Radio on your chosen podcast platform to hear more about how Mita created the structure, strategy and system to create a sustainable lifestyle solution that will help her stay in the shape of her life, for life.

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