The Chavdas·Checkpoint

Together The Chavdas Inspired Each Other And Collectively Lost A Total of 60+ kgs To Reach Optimum Health As A Family

Dinner at The Chavdas always used to be a grand affair.

There would always be loads of food bought from their favourite take-out followed by dessert and alcohol.

But not anymore!

Dinner is still a lovely social affair when they all sit around and catch up on the day.

However, the significant difference is in the type of food they are all eating.

It’s not a greasy take-out anymore, instead it’s a wholesome home-cooked meal.

Fresh salads have replaced fried starters, while main meals are cooked with very little oil.

And the best bit - the food tastes great and everyone feels amazing.

The Need For Change

This 180 degree turn around in eating habits and lifestyle all kick-started when Chetan and Pooja were expecting their first child.

Chetan especially felt the urgent need to get his health back on track.

Chet - “I wanted to be in a better place. I wanted to be there for my child. I wanted to be a supportive husband and I also wanted to set a good example for my child.”

You can read more about Chetan’s individual journey and how he turned his life around after following the RNT programme here - Dedicated New Dad Chetan Chavda, Lost 25+ Kilos And Kept It Of Off By Creating A Sustainable Lifestyle Fitness Solution

His wife Pooja started her journey soon after their baby was born:

Pooja - “At first, I didn’t think I could do it. I was filled with so much self doubt, I had no faith in my own abilities. But I saw the amount of support Chet got from the coaching team and how much better he felt in himself. And I really wanted that for myself.”

Chet is Chandni’s (our Founder Akash’s wife’s) brother and when Ella (Chet and Chandni’s mum) noticed the difference in her childrens’ life she thought she would give it a try too.

Ella - “I was hesitant at first, I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I had never exercised before and didn’t want to start going to the gym. I was also wondering how I would manage the nutrition as we always eat Indian food.

But when Akash gave it to me as a present on my 60th birthday, I thought about it for a bit and then decided to give it a try.”

Today, Ella, Chet and Pooja are filled with energy.

They understand the finer aspects of training and nutrition.

They now have the knowledge they need to build a sustainable lifestyle solution.

Let’s take a closer look at Ella’s and Pooja’s journey and learn what it took for them to overcome their reservations and get into the shape of their lives.

Ella’s Journey

When Akash floated the idea to Ella about joining the RNT programme on her 60th birthday, she was sceptical. She had never set foot in the gym nor had she thought about her diet before. But today she is so glad she decided to take the plunge.

“My cholesterol was high at the time and I had pain in my arms caused by repetitive stress. I also knew that my diet was not very good.

At work, there are always snacks and treats laid out for us. When work is hectic it’s easy to just give in and pick up a sugary treat. I wouldn’t eat a lot, maybe just eat one. But when you are having all this junk food everyday, it adds up. But of course I didn’t realise that at the time.”

With respect to training, Ella came to understand why it was important especially for a woman her age.

“I didn’t want to go to the gym and I thought I would have to enter a gym if I signed up to RNT. But then, I was pleasantly surprised when I was told I could work out at home.

I exercise at home three times a week using bands and body weight and amazingly the repetitive stress injury in my hand has disappeared!

For my cardio sessions I put on YouTube videos of Indian Bhangra and dance! I love it!

On Saturday, I go for a jog around the local park and at first I had to stop every few minutes, but now I can do one full round without stopping.”

The biggest change for Ella has been around nutrition.

She makes conscious choices on what she chooses to add to her plate when out and about, which is a big win. Plus, she also makes sure the meals she prepares are well-balanced and nutritious.

What is even more amazing is the fact that the treats available to her at work no longer tempt her, she is fully in control.

“Now, I am not tempted to even have one doughnut, it just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. I have my yogurt and my fruit as a snack and to me that is very satisfying.

Also, with Chet and Pooja’s support I figured out my meals and learnt a new way of cooking. I’m enjoying my meals now.”

Rewiring years of bad habits around nutrition is not simple, but Ella put her mind to it and completely changed her life around.

She found a plan that she enjoyed, which is essential to making a lifestyle solution. If you love the food and enjoy your training, you won’t need to look for excuses. It gets done and you feel amazing after it.

Pooja’s Journey

Growing up, Pooja never had a good relationship with food.

“I was so thin when I was younger, almost anorexic. I remember, I wouldn’t eat for three days and then would eat non-stop. It was so bad that my dad would call me a camel.”

It didn’t help that her family also loved to snack and the junk cupboard was always well stocked.

This shaky foundation started to give way when Pooja went to university.

“At university, food became a crutch. I would resort to food whenever there were tests or exams, it became my favourite way of dealing with stressors.

Slowly my body started to change, I went from being very thin to being overweight.”

Pooja’s saving grace was her love of training. Even if her diet was all over the place she made it a point to head to the gym regularly.

“I loved going to the gym and went several times a week! I have tried so many fitness plans and at one point I could deadlift 70kgs and squat 150kgs!”

However, all of that changed after they got married.

“Suddenly, I wasn’t going to the gym anymore. We were ordering take-outs multiple times a week. And when lockdown hit, whatever little exercise I got walking and commuting to work went out of the window as well.”

When Chet and Pooja got pregnant, her weight gain increased as she was now eating “for two” one of the worst things you can do when you want to have a healthy, happy pregnancy.

She was hurtling down a dangerous trajectory and was bound to crash sooner or later. And one evening she did crash, and crashed hard.

“I remember hitting an all time low one evening.

I was crying and telling Chet about how much my knees and my back hurt. I felt so weak that I couldn’t even walk without getting out of breath.

I always thought that I would be so fit when I got pregnant. And the fact that I was the opposite of that really affected me. I was so depressed, I felt totally lost! ”

Chet was on his RNT journey at the time, and seeing the impact it had on his health gave her hope.

“I decided that after the baby was born, I would start my RNT journey as well. I told myself I would take it a day at a time as I knew that having a newborn would be challenging enough without also making massive changes to my lifestyle.”

Pooja took inspiration from Chet’s journey and started incorporating changes into her life even before she started on her own journey.

“We started going on walks, I cut back on the junk food, and we started cooking meals at home with less oil. All these changes made a big difference and when I started my journey in 2022, I felt ready.”

Self Care For A New Mum

Most new mothers have a hard time adjusting to the demands of a baby. The time immediately after birth is especially hard and Pooja was sadly not an exception.

“I remember how much I struggled with my confidence and questioned my own identity. As a new mum you put in 100% into your child. Suddenly, months have passed by and when you look back you think: Gosh! Who have I become? I don’t recognise myself anymore!”

Pooja also found it hard to admit to her friends that she was trying to get back in shape after having a baby.

“There is so much pressure on social media to be happy and accept who you are and not worry about the extra weight.

But I wasn’t happy with how I looked. I wanted to do something to change that.

I wanted to go back to being fit and strong.

I wanted to be more active and provide a healthy base for self care.”

Today, Pooja is 25kgs down and feels amazing. She says she still struggles with her snacking and finds herself slipping into old habits. But this time she is aware of it and can stop herself when she realises she is going off her plan too much.

“Chet and I keep each other in check and we stay accountable to each other. Seeing Mum’s (Ella’s) focus and dedication as well is so inspiring. It keeps me going.”

Balancing Life With A Newborn

Pooja and Chet had no illusions: they knew juggling training and parenting would be challenging. They knew that they had to seek support from each other as well as from their extended family if they wanted to achieve their goals.

They also knew they had to have a plan in place, this plan became the backbone of their transformation.

Sunday mornings were always reserved for batch cooking.

Chet - “I love batch cooking and I realise now that dedicating those couple of hours on Sunday to batch cook frees up time to do the things I love to do during the week. I don’t have to worry about what I am going to eat because it’s all prepped and ready to go.”

Pooja - “I am not very good at asking for help. But I knew that if I wanted to feel good in my skin again, I had to reach out. So our parents help us a lot.

We take turns going to the gym, or we drop our son off at the grandparents’ so we can go to the gym together and we use that time to connect and catch up with each other.”

The Physical Is The Vehicle

The Chavdas have transformed together and their journey has been incredible on all accounts.

We asked each of them how the physical has been the vehicle in their lives and they each had this to share:

Ella - “I feel amazing and the best thing is I have so much energy to play with my grandson. I feel like super grandma! I love it.”

Chet - “Before signing up to RNT, I thought I could do it all by myself. But now I know I may have had all the pieces of the puzzle but I didn’t know how to piece it together. I didn’t have a structure or a plan. And with this plan I live the life I want to live.”

Pooja - “I have so much more confidence in myself now. I feel strong again and my goal is to get stronger. I feel like I have regained my lost identity.”

The Podcast

In Ep 308 of RNT Fitness Radio, Akash sits down to have a chat with his in-laws to talk about their RNT journey. In this podcast they talk about how they each supported the other to get into the shape of their life, for life.

In this episode Ella says, “It’s never too late to start RNT. Just go for it, be brave and trust yourself.”

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