Losing weight and getting fit is not easy but Rajath V proves that with the right motivation, anything is possible.
“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” – Jim Rohn
The year was 2017 and I was going about my mundane life lost in the hustle and bustle of the crazy Bangalore traffic. In my head, I thought I was pretty fit for a guy of 25 and I felt comfortable in what I wore. Unfortunately, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Things took a change for worse when I noticed that I was struggling with simple things such as tying my shoelaces, walking a 100m or even climbing up 10 steps! This got me worried and I checked my weight – 136 kgs. Was that normal? I thought so but then I looked it up online and nearly fell off my chair – I should have been anywhere between 74-76 kgs basis my age and height but I was a whopping 60 kgs overweight!
I decided to get myself a health check-up. When the doctor looked at the test reports, he said, “What you’re doing to your body is really bad and you look like a 40-year old”. The words stung but did little to deter me. I walked out of the hospital and the first thing I did was stuff myself with a waffle and an ice-cream. I think that was my way of beating stress – eating through it.
Time passed on and I went about life as I usually did but then one day I went through an experience that made me stop, think and make a change. I had to wake up early to finish an important task that I had been working towards for many, many months. Unfortunately, that morning, I felt lethargic and despite waking up and getting ready, I had to eat breakfast before I stepped out. That lead to me being late and losing the opportunity that I was looking forward to. I felt awful and in such a low place but hindsight, that was my self-realization moment.
I got home, called my mom and confided in her – she listened patiently, asked me to calm down and quietly urged me that it was time that I changed my ways.
The start of a new chapter
It was time for me to act and I made two big changes – I signed up at a local gym and I tried controlling my food intake. Given that my food intake was spread across 8 meals a day which mainly included junk food, rice, desserts, etc., it took me a while to break-down my current calorie intake and then devise a plan on reducing it.
To get a better understanding of how I could eat better, I consulted with a nutritionist and a dietitian but unfortunately, that didn’t work out for me at all. Researching online, I slowly figured it out myself on how I could cut down my calorie count. I experimented with different healthy foods such as oats, muesli, boiled and raw vegetables, etc. so that I could understand what works best for my body.
I built a steady routine of dieting combined with regular workouts at the gym which involved running on the treadmill for 20 mins at normal speed and some other basic workouts – this routine saw me lose 8kgs in a matter of 2 months. My first thought was – that’s it? Only 8kgs! But then I told myself that this is just the start and along with my mom’s motivation, I pushed on in the hope of achieving so much more.
A few months later, I decided to join a different gym where I learned that losing weight was one side of the battle. To balance it out and lead a healthy life, I needed to build endurance and core strength. Therefore I started my weight training routine and I coupled this alongside other workouts such as swimming, boxing, and Zumba. I followed this routine for about a year and I was super thrilled to know that I had lost 31 kgs.
This motivated me and I was now addicted to staying fit and leading a healthy life.
Transforming into a runner
12 months on and I was itching for a change in my workouts too. By this time, I was so used to running on a treadmill and was wondering what it would be like to run outside, like tons of other people do?
To my good fortune, I was introduced to a bunch of really good runners like Deepa Bhat, Dharma, and Mahalakshmi. The timing of that introduction was spot-on and that lead to the start of my running journey. Like most, I started slow – despite regular workouts for a year, I still found running 1K fairly tough but over time, I gradually improved. I started increasing my distance week-on-week and I slowly started seeing the change. I was hooked and I instantly knew that running is going to be a big part of my life. I started running three days a week with different running formats like intervals, up-hills and long runs on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturday respectively and on the remaining days, I continued with my normal workouts like boxing, strength training, and Zumba.
After a couple of months of training, I was ready to do my first 10K. With a lot of motivation from my coach Deepa Bhat and my running friends, I finished the Stone Hill 10K run in 66mins. That may not be earth-shattering timing for most but for me, I was ecstatic. I took a moment to reflect on where I was a year ago, struggling to tie my shoelaces and here I was holding a 10K finisher medal in my hand – life had turned a full circle.
My next step was to start training for half marathons for around 3 months and I met some wonderful people along the way. This group became an integral part of my journey and their motivation kept pushing me to get through every training run and eventually I completed my first HM in 2 hrs and 2 mins (Nice road SBI Green Marathon).
By staying disciplined, following a healthy diet and running alongside my other workouts, I was able to bring down my weight further and by the end of the second year, I was 84kgs! In all of that time, I had also finished 4+ Half marathons and more than 6 10Ks.
The one thing that made me ecstatic was to see the happiness on my mom’s face which I can’t describe in words. She was over the moon that not only was I healthy but I also respected what she told me and never let her down.
At present, I run my own running club ‘LXR runners’ which is an initiative that I started along with a couple of my running buddies and we aim to support people who want to stay active and change their lives for good.
On the running front, I just finished the Ladakh Half Marathon and I’m currently training with my coach Deepa Bhat to complete the Procam slam and also make my full marathon debut at the Tata Mumbai Marathon. Finally, I have set myself a goal of completing the Ironman triathlon by 2021.
I want to leave you all with this note – If I can do it…. so can you!