Success story: Lost 10kg, no more joint aches, glowing skin, high energy, more focus…

This post is about one of my online clients Neha B. She started working with me around April 2011 and she was a good client really. As per standard protocol, I emailed her her customized nutrition and workout program on the 28th of March and she started the program in a very timely fashion. She did all the right things – she emailed me details and pictures of all her meals for the first few days, she emailed me constantly asking me questions over and over again (Note: I keep repeating that there is no such thing as a silly question and strongly recommend my clients to keep asking me questions), she emailed me weekly updates regularly, she made changes based on my recommendations, did her workouts diligently etc etc.

I generally have a very high success rate with my clients and most of my clients tend to reach their goals pretty much exactly as planned and also (finally) realize they have gained much more than just fat loss or strength gain or whatever else their goal is. Neha was no exception. Since she did the program as was laid out for her, she started seeing results almost immediately. For example, by the end of week 3 she had lost 4.5 lb (2 kg) and 12 total inches (30cm).

As expected, the honeymoon phase came to an end and her fat loss started slowing down. As of June 11th 2011, we had exchanged about 54 emails (which is close to the average number of email exchanges I have with most clients) and this was the last email I received from Neha.

Hi Raj,

In the last two weeks I have not lost any further weight and my weight is stuck at 69 kilos. I was barely losing half a kilo a week on an average and last two weeks not even that 😦 Some measurements have gone done by a cm, some stayed constant. (see attached excel sheet)

I also tried a bit of intermittent fasting in the 9th week by eating a good breakfast and then no lunch and then a small snack in the evening ( so a gap of about 6-7 hrs). The days I ate a good breakfast IF was no problem but some days with just a good enough breakfast and no lunch felt a real slack in my energy.

I stopped IF in the 10 th week, cos i had a bad acidity attack because some constituent of a meal at a restaurant did not suit my gut (btw, the thing that cured my acidity after 2 days of suffering is coconut milk :)) Although I was not sure if this was the right way to do IF I gave it a shot in the hope of getting my weight to budge.

At the same time I do feel stronger and my workouts these days are a breeze. The first time i did wall squats I had tears in my eyes after 20 seconds and last week I didn’t even realize and i managed to hold the wall squats for 65 seconds! I am also able to do a couple of full push ups along with the knee ones.

Energy wise a bit on the lower side because of disturbed nights(toddler teething).

Any ideas Raj, what can rev up my weight loss!
I know I wont stop trying, exercising and eating clean but this is kind of discouraging…

Regards,
Neha

Again, she was no different from the average client. Most people expect miracles to happen overnight and are ecstatic when they see rapid fat loss. The same ecstasy turns to depression once rate of fat loss slows down and the added stress (from depression/tension due to slow fat loss) results in excessive cortisol release which slows down fat loss even more to almost a screeching halt. And to make things worse, this is when people conclude that the program no longer works and start doing, what I call, stupid shit or in less aggressive words ‘stuff that wasn’t recommended for them… for a reason’. As you can see from the above email, Neha was getting frustrated ‘cos of the slow rate of fat loss and started doing ‘stuff that was not recommended for her… for a reason’ but was also ready to do what it takes to reach her goal.

Then she disappeared. No emails. No updates. And finally, a couple of weeks back, I get an email from her.

Hi Raj,

Personal and professional life had taken over all priorities in the last months and hence did not get the time to update you in a long while but have nevertheless been constant in my efforts to lose weight and follow the program.

Now that I have lost 10 kilos I knew it was time to update the coach 🙂

The last time I emailed you it was about why I was not losing any weight and you had said if it remains the same we will change it.

Then around the same time you directed us to a post about stress and weight loss. And that is when I realized how badly stressed I had been those days and hence my weight had not budged. That day I decided on two things. One: I will not get stressed about anything and two: that I am not a person who loses a kilo a week. The max I lose is half a kilo a week and there is nothing better I can do about it than accepting it as a part of myself.

Slowly and steadily the kilos kept coming off and I hope will continue to till I reach my goal.

Mid of March I weighed 74 Kilos. April first week, I started with the program under your guidance and I weighed 73 kilos by then ´cos I followed your guidelines and tried to eat in the same way and managed to lose a kilo. And now my weight is 64 kilos. I feel great about coming so far and even though I do want to lose 5-6 more kilos at least, I am not desperate to do so and know that by following the same lifestyle that I have followed up-till now I will get there.

I eat real food 95% of the times and my cheats are completely gluten free because the minute I eat gluten my joints start aching and the duration they ache for is directly proportional to the amount of gluten consumed. Had it not been for your guidance I would´ve never discovered that I cannot tolerate gluten and this explains why my Mom has arthritis today and I was walking towards thyroid problems.

I am not scared of gaining back weight anymore because I feel so crappy when I eat most kinds of cheats that I want to reverse the effect asap and at the same time I know that eating and working out this way is the way I want to live.

My psoriasis is the Soles and Palms kind. It has always majorly been on my soles and maybe say once a year I would get a breakout on my palm and it would go away real soon. However, currently the feet are doing WAY better but I had a sudden breakout on my right palm along with a pustule. It made things and daily chores really tough. I got rid of it somehow and the palm is much better now but not completely alright. I realized I was having much more dairy (milk in tea 3 times a day and cheese everyday and paneer every other day) than I had ever had and hence I cut down on it. I drink black tea, and drink no milk, eat no cheese and paneer. Have had plain yogurt only once since 3 weeks but I never stopped butter and ghee. All this has made my condition better but I know elimination is the key to find out how much it helps, but the occasional ice cream and stuff has been a problem, plus an upcoming almost 4 week long India visit. I have also thought of trying the GAPS way to heal my gut and I want to do it when I come back from India. What do you think?

I think my psoriasis is the result of the abuse I did to my gut when I was really young say 6 – 8 years old. I snacked a lot on tamarind, pickles and sweet candies and stuff and thus ruined my gut flora and ended up with psoriasis which is termed incurable and with an unknown cause! Since I didn’t know what  were the culprits in my diet, I never eliminated these things from my diet until recently and hence my condition never went away completely. Maybe doing the GAPS diet will help and reverse my auto immune disease. Though there is still time for me to try GAPS I have already started taking one pro-biotic capsule a day at least to see if it helps. I use coconut oil to moisturize my soles and palms and have started consuming a teaspoon of coconut butter since yesterday.

Pros:

  • Lost 10 kilos in 5 months
  • No more permanently pregnant tummy
  • No more joint pains
  • Skin glows
  • Have enough energy and stamina to complete all my tasks without getting tired. I used to pant earlier carrying my about 10 kilo child up 3 flights of stairs and now carrying a 10 plus kilo toddler, a heavy handbag , a 6-7 kilo grocery bag all up the stairs at once is no big deal(YAY!) 2 months back we went to paris and our toddler refused to sit in the pram and without getting tired we manged carrying her, our heavy knapsacks and the pram everywhere through the trains and through long hours sightseeing on foot in the city.
  • I can concentrate much better on my work without yawning and feeling lazy
  • Almost never need a nap in the afternoon
  • Migraine frequency reduced to once in three weeks from once to twice a week
  • Feel angry rarely and feel more patient and positive as a person

Waist     : 82 cm –> 68 cm [Raj: 14 cm reduction in circumference]

Hips       : 110 cm –> 98 cm [Raj: 12 cm reduction in circumference]

Thigh     : 67.5 cm –> 58 cm [Raj: 9.5 cm reduction in circumference per thigh]

Arm       : 32.5 cm –> 28 cm [Raj: 4.5 cm reduction in circumference per arm]

Tummy : 100.5 cm –> 85.5 cm [Raj: 15 cm reduction in circumference]

Cons:

  • Lots of stuff gotten loose, even rings 😉
  • Hubby worried about the hole im gonna burn in his pocket with all the new stuff I am planning to buy!

Workout update:

Continued with all the said workouts from my plan. However last month could only do the workouts and had no time yoga. Managed my walks during grocery shopping and finishing other things. Walked long distances with heavy bags and many times on a single day on weekends. Tried to stay as active as possible.

Supplements update:

Daily dose of a multivitamin, a tsp of cod liver oil and a pouch of magnesium (I still need my magnesium supplements and cannot go for more than 2 days without them).
Whey only in PWO almost never as a pre workout snack.

Further goals:

  • To stay consistent and lose more weight and continue working out regularly.
  • Need to still get rid of the excess weight on tummy and upper thighs.
  • Eliminate milk products to see how far it helps with skin issues.

Looking forward to hearing what you think.
Thank you for your time!

Regards,
Neha

Honestly, this is not even a testimonial. It was just a mere update. No praises. No ‘oh you changed my life’. So why am I even posting this? Well, ‘cos this is freakin awesome and there are important lessons to learn from Neha and what she did…
  1. Understand your body! Not everyone loses weight/fat at the same rate. There are many things that affect your rate of fat loss. The key is to stay consistent and keep fighting the good fight.
  2. Don’t be greedy and change things up expecting to wake up with washboard abs. Sustainable fat loss is a slow process and a quick fix. Stick to it. Fight the urge to keep jumping programs.
  3. Fat loss is not all about diet and exercise. Stress play a MAJOR role in fat loss just as it plays a major role in cardiovascular disease risk and other such fun stuff.
What do I have to say?

Millions of people want to make a change. Only a few do and Neha, you did it. In my book… you are awesome! Congrats and good luck to you. Stay the course and you will absolutely reach your destination.

And as always – there is no such thing as a silly question and there is no such time that is a bad time to contact me with any questions/concerns.

Peace out!
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4 responses to “Success story: Lost 10kg, no more joint aches, glowing skin, high energy, more focus…

  1. Sindhu September 29, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Hey this is an awesome post! I had always thought of myself as healthy coz I did not fall sick often or anything like that, but have always had chronic skin problems, I used to get these cracks in the corner of mouth (angular cheilitis) which I thought was due to sun damage / cold weather and didn’t do too much research on it except to protect myself from the sun / cold. I had always thought that the skin problems were genetic and couldn’t do much to change them ( my dad had always had skin problems and he still does). Seriously life sucked coz, I couldn’t do things outdoors coz i was afraid that my skin would crack. Then, I started reading your blog Jan 2011 and since then, I have been taking baby steps to make changes to my lifestyle! [I mean c’mon who wouldn’t want o try out a ‘diet’ that tells you to eat butter and ghee:)] I would stick to your recommendations 70% of the time and 30% would be eating junk cereal and stuff filled with anti nutrients like unsoaked dhal n all that. I started noticing small improvements in my skin condition, on the days that I didn’t get enough dairy or eat a healthy meal I could feel my skin starting to crack, so I compensated by taking Vit B supplements in spite of which my skin continued to crack. By this time you have completely convinced me that eating right can fix any problem and recently, after more digging and countless hours on the internet, i discovered that I had a chronic yeast infection (Candida) which was causing my skin to breakout. Once, I started feeding my body ‘real food’ it started started healing and revolted every time I tried to stuff my face with anything that has no nutritive value. Like Neha mentioned, the more the quantity the worse the breakout. So now I avoid gluten, anything with yeast and never not-soak legumes jus coz I feel lazy. So now finally, eating real food has become my lifestyle and all my meals are super colorful, nutritious and amazingly yummy. I never have the inclination to cheat, even I have to eat non nutritive food, I try to choose the lesser of all the evils available.

    The point is that eating real food is not only for people with diabetes, arthritis or any other chronic condition and just coz I didn’t have any of that didn’t mean that I was totally healthy.

    I had to write such a long comment coz, the moment I started reading about Neha and her healing process, I could easily identify with it and now jus like her I feel amazing!

  2. Nikhila September 30, 2011 at 12:16 am

    This is amazing !! Can you share her age ? Also, I found that you recommend eating paneer/tofu. I am allergic to paneer. What is the alternative?
    -Nikhila

  3. Reva September 30, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Those cons she stated, I can totally identify with that and so much more she has written! 🙂

  4. Pingback: Success Story: Swarna got her life back! « Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger.

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