Suraj had always been into fitness. She knew that the focus and discipline of being active and physically strong would help her deal with all the stress that is a regular part of life. She wanted to feel strong so she made sure she trained in the gym regularly. However, she didn’t have the knowledge to create a full body training plan. She wanted to have great legs, so she only trained her legs!
“I wanted to look and feel strong so I made the classic mistake of only training what I knew - legs! My lower body used to be fairly strong but my upper body strength in comparison was pretty disproportionate, I was able at one point to deadlift almost double my body weight but if you had asked me to shoulder press then, I would probably have only been able to shift about 5% of what I was lifting with my legs!”
While Suraj had all the right intentions and tried hard to prioritise her health and well-being she found it harder and harder as she went through university and into a demanding job.
Suraj had pushed herself at University, she wanted to get good grades and worked hard. The pressure to perform well created a lot of stress and tension in her life.
After she graduated, she jumped straight into a really demanding job. This new job and its hectic schedule along with other personal struggles spiked her anxiety and stress levels.
“One day at work, my heart started beating ridiculously quickly which was unnerving in itself as I was pretty young but I honestly thought I was having a heart attack as I had never suffered from this symptom before. To cut a long story short, they had to call an ambulance at work and it turned out that I had suffered from a panic attack. The doctor at the hospital had said to me that as I had now suffered from one, it was likely I would suffer from them again and he was right. For a period of about six months to a year I suffered many panic attacks - on the tube on my way to work; at work; at college when I was studying for my accountancy exams. Even in the middle of the night I would wake up to my heart pounding. It got to a point where I had had enough and wanted to take matters into my own hands.”
This pushed Suraj to find a new solution, she stopped relying on cookie-cutter home workout plans and decided to start going to the gym. She started lifting weights and this helped to bring down the anxiety and her panic attacks stopped. While she kept exercising, her hectic schedule resulted in Suraj missing workouts and reaching for comfort foods to get through the day.
“I was also leading a pretty unhealthy lifestyle but hadn’t realised it. Everyone would say I was ‘slim’ anyway so I felt like I could eat what I wanted. It got to a point where I began to regularly go out for lunch at work and stress-eat in the evenings while I was working late. In the couple of weeks leading up to RNT I was pretty much having chocolate more than twice a day and knew I had an issue as I used to sit at my desk at work with my blazer over my stomach conscious of the fact that I now had belly fat for the first time.”
The Couple Connection
Suraj’s partner Paran Virdee had heard of RNT and was keen to sign up. They both needed some structure and guidance from experts, so they decided to join together. At first it was a bit of a juggle but they settled into a good rhythm with their training.
“Paran and I signed up together, which worked well for us. It really helps that someone else understands exactly what you’re going through and how difficult it is- particularly when you receive negative comments from family members/friends. He really has been my biggest supporter throughout this process and has kept me sane on my occasional cranky days- I don’t think I would have been able to do it without him by my side. I also never knew that I would have the physical or mental capacity to wake up at 4am to go to the gym which both Paran and I do, even on weekends! We now have extra hours in the day and both feel like we’re making the most of our days now, whereas before we would sleep in and half our weekend would be over before we knew it!”
All through her training prior to joining RNT, Suraj was under the impression that she could “burn off” whatever she had eaten. It was only after joining RNT that she knew she had to have a carefully constructed meal plan to support all the training.
In the first 5 months, Suraj dropped 10kgs and could see the outline of her four pack! Since then, she’s consolidated well and improved her upper body strength; smashing her targets of achieving her first ever pull-up and smashing out push-ups! Her aims have evolved as she’s built a lifestyle solution that works for her lifestyle, and enables her to maintain her fitness around her busy lifestyle.
As you can see in her pictures here, you’ll see that Suraj’s strength gains has paid off in extra muscle mass, and a more toned and sculpted physique. It also proves that the scale doesn’t always tell the full story!
RNTers In The News
After over a year spent investing and building muscle and strength, Suraj decided to push her limits and compete in The National Fitness Games.
The National Fitness Games (NFG) are a UK-wide competition that aims to test your speed, power and strength, for all fitness enthusiasts who are both new to the world of fitness as well as for seasoned practitioners. Suraj was one of the 12 women taking part and we at RNT are so proud of her accomplishments!
“RNT has really changed my life and I can’t wait to see how I progress as I continue the journey. The RNT Community as well has been a great motivational tool, reading what others have said, seeing how friendly and willing to help everyone is has given me so much encouragement. It’s so great to be part of RNT!”
Click below to watch her video testimonial: