The Real Reason You’re Not Achieving Your Body Transformation Goals

The Real Reason You’re Not Achieving Your Body Transformation Goals

If you’re not aware of this, you won’t ever transform your body and keep your results for life.

Akash Vaghela Akash Vaghela · Apr 4th, 2022

Akash’s Blog Beginner
9 Mins


    I wrote in my journal this morning:

    The more physically active I am, the less I need to directly meditate.

    The stillness you acquire from doing lots of physical activity is hard to match. This is especially if you’re doing it all unplugged, which is something I’ve been working more and more on.

    All my weight training and cardio sessions have all been without stimulation, which has been the best “rule” I’ve implemented throughout my Road To Vegan Shredded so far. 

    In fact, at the turn of the New Year, I created a 90 Day Level Up Challenge to work specifically on my mind:

    1. Read 10 pages from old books (500+ years old)
    2. Meditate for 20 minutes
    3. Hard exercise for 30-60 mins unplugged (no distractions)
    4. Weekly date night with my wife

    I made this because I thought there’s no better state to work on your mind than when you’re dialled in physically. 

    But what I remembered, 6 weeks into this, is that being entirely focused physically - and the process it entails, is the best way to work on the state of your mind.

    It’s incomparable. We live all of our lives in abundance in the West. Everything is a yes. More food? Sure. More TV? Sure. More work? Go for it. The examples are as long as this article could be. 

    And yet, it’s the root cause of many of our societal and individual problems. If I think of a question or challenge I hear almost daily - whether from our existing or prospective RNT members, it’s one of these three:

    “How do I eat out and still lose weight / achieve my goals?”

    “I’m just really struggling with the weekends and social events”

    “I’m good for 4 days then I blow it Friday to Sunday, I just don’t have the discipline to do this - I don’t think it fits for my lifestyle”

    None of these challenges are real challenges. They’re all perceptions that lie in our societal plague of abundance.

    We forget how to say no to ourselves and to others, and in that, we lose our ability to drive the behaviour we truly want.

    When people talk about the mindset you need to get in shape, stay in shape, and/or achieve any of your body composition goals, they talk about discipline, the ability to be a robot, the need to create a clear calendar for 12 weeks.

    But what we forget in all of this is a need to shift to a new identity. There’s nothing more important, and yet there’s nothing that challenges our society more than this.

    The world is constantly conspiring against us to be the individuals and society we are capable of being. Advertising will drive abundance, taxes will incentivise specific behaviour, and societal stigmas, norms and traditions will stop us from breaking the mould and prioritising the behaviours that can change the world: lots of physical activity with specific constraints and restraints on consumption.

    Consumption means excess calories, bingeing on TV, endless scrolling on social media, whatever it may be. Anything that is done without thinking, a constraint, or any use of initial restraint.

    We gotta know when enough is enough, else it will cloud our minds and skew the clarity we really seek. 

    I always love the example of the ten friends who gather round for drinks in a pub. Everyone is busy chatting away making small talk whilst holding a beer, yet 70% of them either can’t be asked to be there, don’t actually want to drink, don’t like a few people in the room, and really don’t want to be getting yet another round for everyone else. Despite this, no one will act up, and the wheels will keep on churning.

    I’m writing this 5 weeks out from my next body transformation checkpoint. I know I’m crossing the chasm between being beach lean, and getting into nasty, shredded bodybuilding condition. 

    Before starting this specific challenge, I was in a great sweet spot of feeling incredible, looking great, and performing well in all aspects of my life. Isn’t that the dream?

    It sure is, and I want everyone to find that sweet spot for themselves over time. But there’s something very special about going from a great comfortable place, to an extreme that forces you to dial your life in again to the next level.

    Getting into the shape of your life is never just about the abs. 

    If that’s you, you probably haven’t made it this far down the article. It’s always about the person it makes you, and the person it forces you to become.

    Yes, forces. Because you cannot get into incredible shape without changing your mindset, your behaviours and your identity. And you sure as hell can’t stay in shape without making these changes permanent. 

    It’s the best spring cleaning you can do for your life, and it will do more for your mind than anything else. 

    I journal daily and I average about 3-5 meditations per week. I do all the mindfulness work. But it doesn’t really translate or do anything unless I am doing the hard physical work daily. That is the catalyst and the vehicle. Hard physical work in an unplugged state in particular can put normal mindful meditation on steroids.

    I like to watch the mind whilst my body is moving. 

    This one activity has changed my life more than anything of late. It sharpens your BS detector, lets you look within, and strengthens your relationship with yourself. You have to sit there and watch your thoughts as your body moves to viciously bring them up for you. It’s like stirring a well.

    I was listening to Matthew McConaughey on the Joe Rogan podcast recently, and he was describing the use of hard physical challenges as a way of humbling yourself, creating orchestrated suffering, and reminding yourself of hardship daily. 

    What I liked was when he talked about how mentally sharp he became during his incredible transformation for Dallas Buyers Club, when he lost 50lbs of weight, including a ton of muscle, because he literally starved himself to create a super skinny character.

    I’m paraphrasing, but he described it as when you intentionally starve the body of its normal calorie intake for short periods of time, your normally well-fed brain cells, are suddenly like “hold on a second, I need to wake up and do something”. 

    As I cross this chasm into nasty shredded condition, I couldn’t agree more. Your mental acuity goes to another level, and you just start thinking differently.

    You don’t put up with BS. You don’t confine to societal norms. You don’t say yes to everything you used to. You start to rewire your identity to who you truly want to become.

    This game isn’t about material success, status or fame. Getting in shape might help you with some of those things. This game is about the war within. It’s about being at peace with where you are, what you are and who you are.

    It’s why I love these two chorus lines from Kanye West’s Jesus Walks:

    God show me the way because the Devil's tryna break me down…

    …I want to talk to God, but I'm afraid because we ain't spoke in so long

    There’s so many layers to the lyrics. But whenever I hear this, I think of the challenges from others I hear daily that I spoke about earlier.

    Each and every one of us on this everlasting transformation journey is on a battle to find their way. And yet, the battle to break through by firstly, saying no to societal pressures (the Devil), and secondly, by actually coming to terms with ourselves (because it’s been so long), is what holds us back from achieving our potential.

    I started this article thinking I was going to write a week-by-week on my Road To Vegan Shredded, but I guess the universe had a different plan today.

    I hope it sparked a thought for you to push yourself a little harder today.
    Akash VaghelaAkash Vaghela

    Akash Vaghela has spent 10+ years transforming bodies and lives around the world, and in May 2017, founded RNT Fitness to serve this purpose. His vision is to see a world transformed, where ambitious high performers experience the power of the physical as the vehicle to unlock their real potential. He’s the author of the Amazon best-selling book Transform Your Body Transform Your Life, which explains his unique and proven five-phase methodology, is host of the RNT Fitness Radio podcast, has been featured in the likes of Men’s Health and BBC, whilst regularly speaking across the world on all things transformation.

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