Shalini, a physiotherapist and a busy mum, had always been very active in her 20s. Although never into competitive sports she had always done a lot of group fitness classes like Kickboxing and Zumba. However, she never really watched what she ate nor did she monitor her portion sizes.
While she managed to stay slim in her 20s her body metabolism started to slow down in her 30s and pretty soon the weight started piling on. It didn’t help that she wasn’t moving much either as she was at her desk studying for her Doctorate in Physiotherapy.
“I felt like I had lost myself. I was sort of just plodding along, I didn’t really know who I was anymore. Yes I wanted the physical change, I wanted to lose weight, I wanted to look better but I think for me it was also very mental. I didn’t feel very good about myself. I was down and that reflected in my eating. I was binge eating. I was comfort eating… I wasn’t hungry but I just felt like eating a tub of ice cream or grabbing a doughnut after work. I then felt terrible for doing it.”
Trying to get back into shape, Shalini signed up to the gym and got the help from a personal trainer. She started training 6 times a week and was averaging 15,000 steps a day but she still looked the exact same!
“I just felt that the PT sessions were really haphazard. I didn’t feel like he listened to my goals. I felt like he didn’t really get to know me. I was working really hard and it was a struggle but now I realise that it was the total lack of consistency that was stopping me from progressing”
Fed up and demotivated by the total lack of progress, Shalini decided that she needed a change. She needed a program that actually delivered results and that’s when she came across RNT on social media.
“There is such a huge difference from the way RNT approaches training when compared to PTs on the gym floor. At RNT the whole program is research based. And I think the biggest difference is the progressive overload, you can see the changes and see your strength grow every week. And of course the accountability that we have to the RNT team is so beneficial.”
At the time of recording her podcast Shalini was midway through her RNT journey and she had dropped from US size 12 to size 4 and had already lost 30lbs. She felt like she was a completely new person.
“I started getting a lot of compliments at work. And even my twin sister said she couldn’t recognise me because I had lost my double chin! The funny thing was even the PT I had been working with for 6 months at the gym had to do a double take as he didn’t recognise me when I was at the gym! So that was really nice! When I started at RNT it really was a way to cleanse my body and cleanse my mind. And the bonus is you look much better for it”
Walking The Path
As with any journey there are obstacles and struggles, the satisfaction you gain from overcoming them is a big part of the victory.
The Importance of Protein
Shalini had her fair share of struggles especially in terms of food.
“I am the main cook, my husband would clean, but I would be the one who prepared the meals for all of us. At first I started to batch cook for all of us and then I would guesstimate the portions, it wasn’t 100% accurate. But I have got better at planning and now I know what 100lbs should look like.
I realise now how badly I used to eat, my food before RNT was about 70% carbs and 20-25% fats and the rest was protein! We ate the lentils which were good but even the vegetables were cooked so much that they would lose all their nutrition.
I now understand the importance of protein in my diet. As well as how important protein is to feel full and satiated. You don’t feel hungry for a few hours after a protein rich meal and that helps to stop the craving.
When I eat the right foods, when I meal prep,, I don’t feel as hungry. Only if I skip a meal or if I didn’t eat my protein when I should have had it, I start to feel hungry. I also realised the importance of having the structure and eating the 5 meals that were in my plan. Now I follow the recipes on the RNT website and even my children eat that food now.”
The effect of following the plan has on the extended family and loved ones is always amazing to see. If one person changes their approach to exercise and nutrition people always are inspired and want to follow suit.
Ruthless Consistency And The Power Of Education
At RNT we cannot emphasise enough the importance of staying consistent. Oftentimes we want variety or we are distracted by a new shiny goal. However, we have seen over and over again across 1000s of amazing transformations that consistency and progressive overload is what will give you the strength gains and the physique.
Shalini experiences the same.
“I really enjoy strength training. I have been very consistent at the gym and have stuck to my step count. I also read all the articles on the website, the research is really amazing! Most of the time I read and reread the articles. You have to educate yourself and that makes the biggest difference. I love all the articles about negatives, reps, how to progress, how to pyramid. I really pay attention to all the articles you put out. Even the mindset articles - when I train I give myself a power word and say something like ‘execute’ or ‘you’re going to kill this’ and it really makes a difference… the psychological effect it has on you.”
Shalini’s winning formula was very simple and strategic, she used all the arsenal available to her and made sure she was ticking all the boxes as she went along her journey. If she faltered and went off plan, she just made sure that one bad meal didn’t turn into a bad week.
“Just check all the boxes and one day it all came together. It is a daily struggle, I drink lots of black coffee, I chew gum, I eat a lot of celery. You may not see it all at the same time but one day it will come together.”
The struggle is real and the fluctuations on the journey are very natural, we are after all human. Women especially experience these spikes a lot more than men do - but the key is to look past the daily fluctuations and focus on the long term trend that’s what will help you stick to the path.
If you are bogged down on the daily - then you can start feeling demotivated and question why you are doing this. But if you sit back and look at the long-term trajectory and the consistent progress you will feel motivated to continue, which is exactly what Shalini did.
Shalini’s Three Biggest Transformation Tips
Shalini’s journey has been amazing, and we asked her what were the biggest drivers that helped her achieve her fabulous transformation.
Know Your ‘Why’
“You have to have that drive and it has to come from within, it’s not just about losing weight, it’s about really understanding why you want to embrace this journey. That is number one.”
“Check in all the boxes, be consistent with the water, be consistent with the steps, the training, the diet. Don’t miss out on all those little boxes. Because in the end that’s what helps to bring it all together.”
“Everyone is busy, we are working, we are mothers, we are fathers. Whatever you do in life, planning is going to stop you from failing. If you are hungry and if you have your food in the fridge and it’s already portioned out it’s so much easier than reaching for a snack.”
By using these three transformation anchor points Shalini created her lifestyle fitness solution that enabled her to stay in the shape of her life, for life.
It gave her the tools she needed to stay true to her purpose. She found the courage to stay away from friends who weren’t supportive of her journey and her goals. She found the strength to socialise without caving to the social pressures of drinking and eating to excess. And in the end she has achieved her goal of stepping out into her 40s feeling fit and fabulous.
Shalini’s Testimonial says it all:
“Being an identical twin, people can’t help but compare us. I was always the chubbier one.
People told us apart by calling me ‘the fat one with the scar’. This stuck and soon my nickname as a child became ‘jaadi’ (Indian for fat). This soon phased out as I grew older but it was ingrained in my head. I felt like the ‘fat’ one and struggled with my weight and body image.
I have always enjoyed working out but have had difficulty when it comes to controlling my diet. I often binge and fall prey to impulsive eating/drinking without placing limits. I thought it was ok for me to eat what I wanted as Iong as I worked out. This approach was fine in my 20s and 30s but after having kids the weight just wouldn’t budge and every year it would add on.
I was approaching 40 and gave myself a goal to be “fit at 40” and reach my pre-pregnancy weight. I joined a gym, hired a personal trainer. 20 sessions later I looked exactly the same with no change in my weight. I was working out by myself at least 4-6 times a week with nothing to show for it. Something had to change.
It was at this point I saw Gita’s transformation on FB and was amazed at her results with RNT. I had the will but just needed the way.
I joined RNT Fitness and haven’t looked back since. It has been a juggling act between being a mother, a wife, working as a physio in a busy New York hospital, commuting and exercising. But I had a drive and a future goal to wear a bikini on my next holiday. The start was difficult figuring out macros, weighing food and meal prepping (spending time being hangry!). The results however came in quickly and week after week I would see my weight drop or notice an improvement in my physique. This kept me motivated, and kept me going on.
With the help of RNT’s expertise and the accountability that is embedded in the RNT methodology, even on those days when I slipped up, I was able to push through and surpass my goal. I am now actually below my pre-pregnancy weight and have dropped from a US size 12 size to a size 4!!! And finally wore that bikini!”
In Episode 54 of RNT Fitness radio Shalini talks about how her life has completely changed emotionally and physically after her RNT journey.