Ramya · Checkpoint

Ramya Regained Focus, Control and Confidence Through Her Body Transformation

If we were to take a step back and examine the internal change in all the people we’ve helped transform over the years, there are three core benefits that run through each phase and continue to build as every day goes by:

  • Confidence
  • Control
  • Focus

When you’re in a place of chaos, distress and overwhelm, the RNT Journey empowers you to regain control, create internal focus and generate self, body and ‘life’ confidence within you.

It allows you to prioritise yourself again, and to use the physical as a vehicle for the greater good in all areas of your life.

As a medical professional who’d recently moved from Australia to the United States, Ramya experienced this exact phenomenon. The stress of the move, adjusting to a new culture, and rebuilding her career from scratch meant her confidence slowly dissipated, the control of her day was falling apart, and her own self-care moved to the bottom of her priority list as work and ‘life’ took over.

In her reflections, Ramya says, “I left my family, friends and everything I knew to move to Dallas with my husband. The move at first was exciting, but as time wore on, it created a lot of stress in my life. I’d never experienced such stress. Being far from family, trying to find a job, and acclimatizing to a new country was, in short, crazily stressful. I had to start from the bottom in regard to my career and after landing a job, a year into moving, I gripped on. I felt valued for my education back home but not as much here. I am a research scientist working on cancer biology and challenging drug targets. My work gave me a purpose and it meant everything.

I have always been a confident person. Never really worried about my appearance, and I carried myself well. I guess I just really didn’t care enough about my looks to worry about my weight gain – this is what I told myself as an excuse, and it stemmed from prioritising work over every other aspect of my life. This led to a gradual decrease in self-care over the years.

There came a point when I couldn’t fit into my clothes, that’s when I decided to do something about it. The problem was, despite exercising frequently and hard, while thinking I was eating ‘healthy’, I was actually gaining weight!

One night I tried on my favourite dress, one I loved to wear when I first moved to the US and I tore it – I was devastated.

This was the big wake up call. I’d lost my confidence, felt completely stressed out and out of control, low on energy, and my mental health was being compromised. That’s when I took the plunge with RNT.”

In this case study, we’re going to take you through how Ramya dropped over 15kg in body weight and 8 inches off her waist while choosing to prioritise herself, regaining control of her day, and completely transforming her body and mind.

Starting Point

Training – Ramya went through a period of attending rigorous CrossFit classes, but after seeing no results for 6 months, she quit and became sedentary.

Cardio – No formal cardio, and her step count was very low.

Diet – Prior to starting with RNT, her typical diet was as follows:

Breakfast: Typically skipped

Lunch: Takeaway

Dinner: Fast / oven food with dessert

Starting Bodyweight – 72kg

Starting Waist Measure – 35 inches

“My sister came from Sydney for a visit and when she saw me couldn’t believe how much I had neglected myself. It was at this point that I knew I had to change. Mentally I was slowly getting better but I needed to start focusing on the physical. In the initial three months or so after moving to Chicago, my husband and I progressively continued to put on weight, largely due to eating out. We kept disillusioning ourselves by thinking that the “healthy label” meant we could eat it. Slowly our health was deteriorating and we noticed it most in our overall energy level. Something needed to change.”

Initial Changes

Training – As Ramya hadn’t been training for a while, we started off with two full body workouts per week where she would alternate between the two for a total of three sessions per week. The goal was to get progressively stronger with the emphasis on perfect form. The set up worked so effectively that the overall programme didn’t change until week 20, and instead we only made some minor programming tweaks along the way.

Diet – Her macros to begin with were as follows:

Protein: 110g

Fat: 40g

Carbs: 110g

Normal Diet:

M1: 2 whole eggs, 150ml Egg whites, 150g Green Veggies

M2: 100g Chicken, 50g White Rice, 1tsp E-V Olive Oil, 150g Green Veggies (or) 80g Lentils, 50g White Rice, 1tsp E-V Olive Oil, 150g Green Veggies

Snack: 150g 0% Fat Yoghurt, 10g almonds, 150g frozen mixed berries. (or) 40g Whey Protein Powder, 15g Peanut butter, 1 apple.

M3: 100g 95% lean beef mince, 50g White Rice, 1tsp E-V Olive Oil, 150g Green Veggies (or) 80g Black Beans, 50g White Rice, 1tsp E-V Olive Oil, 150g Green Veggies

Supplements – The protocol here was very simple, and we stuck to the tried and tested:

Whey Protein

Vitamin D3 – 2,000 – 5,000iu

Omega 3 – 4g per day

Creatine – 5g everyday

Cardio – 2 x 25 minute cardio sessions at 120-130bpm

Steps – 10,000 steps a day.

Setting the Scene

Every transformation has to start by carefully assessing habits and weeding out those that don’t serve us. We call this start of the journey Cleaning The Palate, and for Ramya, this was a critical period for her to regain control of her day and build the structure, strategy and systems that worked for her lifestyle.

From the position she was in, this phase was all about laying the foundation for a long-term, lifestyle solution for her.

1 Week In – 71kg

Ramya struggled to finish her food in the first week despite the low calories, which is something many people experience when they switch to a high volume, nutrient dense diet. She was also brutally sore from training all over! Since she hadn’t spent a lot of time training, she sent us videos of her key lifts, so we could correct and refine her technique. No changes needed.

2 Weeks in – 70.9kg

Ramya was away for much of this week, flying out of town for a bachelorette party. She still managed to stay on plan for the most part, but she was very short on steps. For future reference, she was instructed to bank them during the week when another trip popped up.

No changes needed.

3 Weeks In – 70.4g

After being away the previous week, no changes were made to the plan.

4 Weeks In – 70kg

Ramya was experiencing some constipation this week, so we gave her a morning routine of drinking some warm liquid and a brisk walk. Overall, Ramya was feeling more comfortable about the structure of her day, and she was beginning to feel back in control of her life.

Changes: Cardio was increased by 10 minutes each session.

Phase Two: The Process

Ramya solidified her 3Ss (structure, system and strategy) during this critical stage and it was time to push onto The Process Phase towards her first checkpoint.

5 Weeks In – 68.7kg

A big drop at the end of this week meant no changes were needed, and we kept things as they were. It turns out Ramya was someone who seemed to drop all of a sudden versus steadily across the board.

This was also the first time she needed to eat out, so we factored that into her plan, building the necessary strategy for it to not deter her progress, something she could use later as well in her fitness journey.

No changes needed.

6 Weeks In – 68kg

Ramya was gathering momentum here and she was very pleased she could continue to lose body fat while eating out.

No changes needed.

7 Weeks In – 67kg

All the boxes were being ticked, and she was embracing The Process Phase for everything that it was. She shared at this point that she didn’t like having to adjust her meals when eating out, and she really loved eating the same thing everyday. This was good, and there are many benefits to doing so, but we wanted her to shift this mindset to continue to create a long-term lifestyle solution.

No changes needed.

8 Weeks In – 66kg

Ramya felt sick this week but she still managed to stick to her diet. She couldn’t train this week, and instead only managed her steps and cardio targets. This was a massive win for her as in the past she’d been prone to emotional/stress eating when she felt rough, out of control, and life got hard.

No changes needed.

9 Weeks In – 65kg

She was dropping at a good rate so far but we wanted to start pushing things a bit harder as she seemed very in control and keen to do so.

Changes: Added 1 x cardio session (35 minutes) and increased steps by 2000 a day.

10 Weeks In – 64.5kg

Ramya had a friend’s wedding on the weekend but still kept to her meals, guidelines and the overall plan (even popping out for a cheeky protein shake at the reception!).

At this point we also suggested incorporating more ‘flexible’ dieting practices as her husband wanted to eat out once per week for ‘date night’.

No changes needed.

12 Weeks In – 63.6kg

Week 11 went great with no changes needed, and now she was 12 weeks into the process, Ramya was feeling more relaxed overall, and in a great place mentally. Despite having a meal or two out with her husband and friends, she was continuing to see progress. The lifestyle solution was forming!

No changes needed.

13 Weeks In – 62.6kg

This week Ramya swapped her training timings to mornings to open more time in the evenings for her and her partner; this worked really well from a lifestyle perspective.

No changes needed.

14 Weeks In – 61.7kg

We started to really increase her level of nutritional education this week, as we shifted her weekend meal plan to a more ‘macro target’ based approach. This meant Ramya took more ownership of her food choices and decisions, while also educating herself on what different foods consisted of. To help her make meal planning easier, we supported her by double checking her proposed plan, and sometimes recommending some teaks.

Changes: Increased each cardio session by 10 mins (3 x 45 minutes in total).

15 Weeks In – 61.2kg

Ramya started to plateau in the weight room, so we gave her a “double progression model” to follow whereby she focused on improving repetitions across her working sets instead of just trying to add load every week, especially on her upper body movements. To read more progression strategies, check out our guide here.

Changes: Added 8 min of HIIT (20s Fast/ 40s Slow) before each cardio session.

Week 16 – 60.1kg

We decided to push on the calorie intake this week, which up till now, we’d yet to change. We did this by reducing carbs by 40g per day.

Her macros were now as follows:

Protein: 110g

Fats: 40

Carbs: 70g (-40g)

Changes: Dropped carbs by 40g everyday.

17 Weeks In – 59.5kg

Highly stressful week for Ramya, but we kept things moving in the right direction, and focused on improving her stress management protocols.

No changes needed.

18 Weeks In – 58.9kg

It was time to pull the pin. Ramya had a holiday coming up in 4 weeks which came as a surprise gift from her husband, so she wanted to really capitalise on her momentum. Up till now, it was very admirable and a credit to Ramya that she was pushing herself with no ‘typical’ ‘end of the tunnel’ goal such as a holiday. She was doing this for herself, and her desire to use the physical as a vehicle to improve her life.

With the holiday now on the horizon, we dropped the hammer with the following changes.

Cardio – increased by another 15 minutes each session (now 60 minutes, 3 times per week)

Steps – increased by 2000 per day (16,000 total)

Nutrition – her macros were now as follows:

Protein: 110g

Fats: 40

Carbs: 40g (-30g)

19 Weeks In – 58.5kg

Ramya was ticking the boxes, and well into The Grind in the Process Phase! She was experiencing a high workload too, so was balancing a lot of different things in her life.

No changes needed.

20 Weeks In – 57.7kg

Within the depths of The Grind, Ramya was being tested by now being at a whole new level of fitness!!

No changes needed.

21 Weeks In – 57.3kg

Fat loss was slowing a little, but with how much she’d lost already, this was natural. Her surprise holiday was coming up, so we increased her calories by 250 a day (40g carbs and 10g fat) just prior, alongside some travelling tips to make sure she didn’t undo all of her hard work. Some tips can be found here.

Weeks 22 & 23 – Ramya was away on her holiday!

24 Weeks In – 59kg

After being away for two weeks, Ramya gained a little bodyweight, and was eager to get back to her routine. She’d realised she had more work to do on building her lifestyle solutions ( something to focus on in the Investment Phase later on), and also realised how important long-term self care is to feel your best.

No changes needed.

25 Weeks In – 58kg

Things started moving along really well and we decided to keep the diet going until she got back down to her pre-holiday weight.

No changes needed.

Transformation Checkpoint; 26 Weeks In – 57kg

Boom! Within two weeks Ramya ended up hitting a new low on the scale and was very happy with what she’d achieved. She was in the shape of her life!

Now it was about shifting gears to head into The Consolidation Phase, maintaining her results so far, and then moving into Investment, and refining her lifestyle solutions while getting stronger all along.

Phase Three: Consolidation

To begin the Consolidation phase, we increased her calories by 165 (30g carbs and 5g fat), started a new training program (3 sessions per week), reduced cardio down to 3 days a week of 30 minutes, and pulled steps down to 13,000 a day.

27 Weeks In – 56.7kg

Despite increasing her calories at the start of The Consolidation Phase, Ramya noticed her weight went down even more. While this might sound bizarre, it’s a case of water retention reducing via stress reduction and taking on some more carbohydrates.

It’s not uncommon to lose some more weight whilst initially reversing out of a diet. Ramya was made aware this may happen, and that it wouldn’t keep dropping as we kept pushing food up.

Ultimately our goal was to consolidate fat loss and bring calories up as high as possible to allow for better training, recovery and of course, to add more food to her plate!

No changes needed.

28 Weeks In – 56.3kg

Another new weight on the scale and Ramya was absolutely loving how her body was looking and feeling therefore we increased her carbs by another 30g (120 calories).

Changes: Added 30g carbs everyday.

Current Stats

Weight: 56.3kg (-15.7kg)

Waist: 27 inches (-8 inches)

Investment Phase

Now that Ramya has regained control, built her confidence, got into the shape of her life, and successfully consolidated, her goal is to now focus purely on lifestyle solutions.

Her early Investment Phase so far has consisted of building her calories up slowly while maintaining her new bodyweight range.

She’s now also picked up some strength goals she wants to achieve in 2020, while also continuing to increase her nutritional education to create more flexibility into her diet for her weekends and when she’s away.

The goal of the Investment Phase is to refine the structure, strategy and system for her to now stay in the shape of her life, for life.

The journey continues!

Ramya’s Testimonial

I am an Aussie living in the United States. I moved here after marrying my husband. Initially I thought the transition would be easy and the cultures would be the same. Boy was I wrong! All the stress of relocating led to a gradual decrease in self-care over the years. If I didn’t dress well my go to response was “no one at work dresses well, so it doesn’t matter”. There came a point when I couldn’t fit into my clothes, so I decided to join CrossFit. I initially enjoyed it very much. However, I wasn’t losing any weight but instead was steadily gaining. I didn’t understand macros and of course none of the information given to me was personal. I was told I had to eat breakfast and they gave everyone a generic macro target with no way of tracking. I would force myself to eat breakfast everyday and it would end up being breakfast sandwiches from Starbucks. We even bought these meal delivery kits and would eat that every day, thinking that it was healthy. Bottom line was we had a very unhealthy diet, despite the intense workouts. CrossFit wasn’t working for me and I quit. I was the heaviest I had ever been despite doing CrossFit for 6 months.

I threw myself into my work even more and I decided to move to Memphis for work. The move, although great for my career, was affecting my personal life. I felt incapable of handling stress at home. When the stress became way too much, my husband and I decided we needed to go on a holiday – it had been 4 years since our last holiday. Once we were in Italy, we realised how much stress we were putting on ourselves and our relationship. Something had to change. We decided we needed to move closer to family and prioritise ourselves over work. It took us a year, but we finally moved to Chicago, closer to family. The move and quitting my job in favour of a better one eased my mental state and the stress. I was finally able to breathe. My sister visited me from Sydney and when she saw me, couldn’t believe how much I had neglected myself. It was at this point I knew that I had to change. Mentally I was getting better but I needed to start focusing on the physical. IIt was during this time that we were introduced to RNT by my sister-in-law. After witnessing the transformation that we saw, and after deciding to commit to a healthy life, we took the plunge and contacted RNT.

RNT gave me a specific diet and work out plan, I hit the ground running. Nothing and no one was going to stop me. I initially had a goal of getting down to the weight I was when I moved, but I have well and truly surpassed that now. I am an absolute stickler to following rules and the RNT team understood my needs and helped me loads. During the weight loss phase I wouldn’t eat off plan and if I was at an unavoidable social event, I would panic. The team was so supportive of this and helped me navigate social events and that it was ok to eat off plan once in a while. In fact, I was even encouraged to go out! If I ever had concerns about training, I was given a lot of feedback on my form. We decided to try out the 4am workout after listening to some RNT podcasts. This worked wonders for our after-work schedule. We could wrap up all our training and have our evenings free to spend time together. Steps were a big part of the journey and to hit my steps I would literally walk the hallways at work in between experiments. It helped a lot with managing stress! The whole process was extremely enjoyable, especially seeing the scale weight drop every week without fail.

I honestly didn’t think I could look like this – ever. As I mentioned my initial goal was just to get back to the weight I was when I moved. I have lost more than I thought I could. I truly don’t recognise the girl in the before picture. I was always taking pain medication for random headaches before. I haven’t had a headache since starting RNT. Not only do I think I look great, I feel awesome mentally! RNT has given me a routine that I didn’t know I needed. Having my meals planned out and knowing that I just had to hit my targets took away so much stress. I just had to execute and I have the results to show for it. I feel so happy. Going through this process with my husband was also a great way for us to connect and spend time together. I can’t thank RNT enough for changing our lives for the better and for getting me into the best shape of my life!

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