"The last time I was this weight was in the 1990's. In fact I remember being this weight and still finding flaw after flaw with my body, that was the start of an almost 30 year ordeal with weight fluctuations, health issues and jumping from one diet to the next. From Atkins diets, slim fast, weight watchers, slimming world, fasting, taking meal replacements, supplements. exercise classes, doing hours of home workouts from videos to dvd’s of celebrities exercising, nothing worked and everything just seemed to leave me feeling tired, more stressed and in a worse position than before. I know now you don’t gain weight and fat overnight and certainly you don’t lose it overnight."
As a coach, this year I have succeeded in transforming the lifestyle, health and body shape of my wife and now my Mum.
Nothing is harder than coaching family, let alone someone who has raised you from a baby and nurtured you to an adult, so this transformation did come with a few challenges, but as ever, we persevered and we found a route to success.
As with all my clients, before we embarked upon this journey, I asked Gurbax exactly what it was she wanted to achieve from this journey and why.
Gurbax’s intentions were clear from the minute we started:
Why is this time going to be any different from the last 30 years of trying?
The more we delved into the reasons behind the intent, the more emotional things became.
Operating at a very high level at work, raising three children (2 of us were absolute terrors, the middle one was ok), dealing with injuries, operations and general illness… for decades on end and constantly challenging herself to look better, to be like she was in her teen years… constantly berating herself for her flaws, for not being successful in her weight goal, for not being able to commit to a new diet style or plan.
Gurbax is the sole of the family. Everything her husband feels, she feels 10x more, everything her children feel, she feels 10x more, every cut, scratch and flu her grandkids feel, she feels so much more.
The emotional state we are in can have a profound impact on our physiology, from the way we digest food, assimilate nutrients, sleep, move and the choices we make each day, they are often determined by the one thing we are culturally and socially trained to ignore, our emotions.
Had the emotions gone away?
How were we going to make an impact on her health if these unresolved issues were still lurking in the background?
What was different?
Gurbax said quite clearly at this point… “I am different.”
I had to keep probing on this point, because we can all talk a good game but putting into practice is often far more difficult.
“This time, I couldn’t care less about what weight I end up at. I am not trying to be me of the past. I have accepted that giving birth to three children, being injured in the process, life events, ageing and stress has contributed to where I am. This time I am not doing this to fit into a dress or to look good for others. I want to be at my best so I can enjoy being a grandmother, I want to live my life to the fullest and not be hampered down with relying on medication or inability. I want to do this for me.”
Just as I did with Jussi earlier this year, those last 7 words resonated, they hit a note and it was that moment that we knew enough had been discussed on the mindset to beginning this process.
Write these words down, place them somewhere you can see every day, read and review them every time you get a second to think and ask yourself, is what you are doing right now, for you?
Gurbax is and always will be a very private person, she doesn’t like to impose on others and even getting started in the process, she felt she may be a burden to myself and the team of coaches that work within the Lean Indian Academy.
In the early stages of her journey, it was difficult to get her to talk and express what she was finding good, what challenges she was facing and what could be improved upon.
The fear of reaching out and imposing on her coaches and support network also transcended to the gym she had signed up to. The fear of using resistance machines incorrectly and being judged or asking the designated fitness instructors in the gym for assistance was something we knew had to be worked upon, but it also showed the lack of confidence in both ability and even a sense of not belonging that could be damaging long term. There was a fear of repeating old injuries that had been operated on, from her elbow to the lower back pain that if repeated would stop her from being able to look after her grandchildren. There was a fear of using technology initially to track foods, to look at training and to login to the Lean Indian Academy calls in case she asked the wrong questions or said the wrong thing.
These fears were areas that needed immediate attention within the journey, and they were noted very early on in the coaching process.
Rather than overwhelm Gurbax with countless tasks to complete straight away, we needed to get a greater understanding of what her physiology was saying about her.
We underwent a 7 day tracking phase of some extremely important health metrics, including fasting blood glucose, blood pressure, resting heart rate and circumference measurements.
Gurbax downloaded the Myfitnesspal app and started tracking her daily intake into the app and recording her workouts.
Recently she had been given a fitbit and was already working on trying to walk more and increase daily activity levels outside a gym based environment.
In those 7 days we were able to tell an awful lot about why she was struggling to progress and what the initial phase of training, nutrition and lifestyle changes should look like.
|Feb 2019||July 2019|
|Weight||11st 9lbs||10st 2lbs|
|Fasting Blood Glucose||6.8 (Average 7 Days)||4.8 (Average 7 Days)|
|Resting Heart Rate||78 (Average 7 Days)||59 (Average 7 Days)|
In the South Asian Community, as discussed in my recent interview on the BBC (listen in here) are at far great risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic related disease. One of the key risk factors for disease is a larger waist circumference and abdominal obesity, which is associated to increased cardiovascular disease risk and Type 2 Diabetes. South Asians in general have a higher risk of metabolic diseases even at a lower body mass index compared to European counterparts. (Click here for the studies).
When we saw the 7 day data and reviewed the averages for health data and nutritional intake, it was obvious that making wholesale changes was not going to be the way forwards.
Educating Gurbax on what these numbers meant was key to improving her ability to stay on course and keeping in mind that the first 4-6 weeks are truly about laying a foundation for long term results!
We explained the importance of cardiovascular health, not only from a disease prevention perspective, but physiologically from an energy point of view. Discussing how the daily struggle with bloating, cognitive function, exhaustion and stress could in fact be caused by the bodies lack of ability to digest foods, absorb and use them effectively in turn the attempts to perform high intensity training classes were just driving her even further in the wrong direction.
We were able to detect clear patterns with her eating habits, constantly undereating through the day, filling up on foods with poor nutritional value in the evening and weekends which not only impacted her weekly calorie intake, but enhanced issues of digestion, bloating, low energy, potential for enhanced muscle mass loss (through poor training programming and low protein intake) and blood glucose fluctuations that could be at fault for the sudden cravings she experienced each day.
The wisdom we followed here was, “what we measure, we manage”. When we have the knowledge, relatively inexpensive tools and desire to do so, we can create specific programming towards an individual, rather than shooting in the dark and hoping for the best, which unfortunately is common practice with other coaches and people who are just starting out on their journey.
I feel it is important to note that whilst Gurbax didn’t need to know the science, it sure does help to understand what you are doing and why for long term, sustainable results!
Once we had specific programming in place for training, tackling some of the nutritional intake issues like, low protein intake, disorganised eating habits and cravings was the next priority.
Going from eating less than 40g of protein per day to trying to double or even triple this overnight is a fairly futile task especially when there are issues with digestion present. Slowly but surely improving nutritional choices over time and explaining the important behind protein intake (we have resources for this in the Lean Indian Academy Members Area) and providing suggestions on meals, snacks and swaps that were in line with her taste and preferences to increase intake was the key.
Increasing daily food intake and choosing foods of higher nutritional value 80% of the time was a huge factor in reducing sugar cravings (alongside the training which was working specifically on improving her body’s ability to utilise nutrients more effectively and stop the constant fluctuations in blood sugar that can play a role in cravings).
Asking Gurbax to actually review her week before it began, allowing her to schedule what she was doing in relation to activity, how she would fit in meals and be less reactive to the daily tasks that were currently overwhelming her on a daily basis, gave her clarity on what was actually possible to achieve within a week, as opposed to trying to get a million things done at once and never truly completing a single task.
The beauty of adapting things over time, rather than trying to rush the process and be perfect all at once, is that this mammoth task of losing ‘X’ lbs becomes far more manageable.
In life we understand that we don’t get our career goals right away, we study, we work, we impress, we work harder, we succeed and then finally after decades of practice and application, we get to the career goal.
In health, we rarely follow the same process. Trying to rush to the finish line and perceiving every side step as a failure, every minor weight increase as a reason to give up and rarely looking at a stepwise approach to long term success.
This is why coaching can be such a beautiful process. Seeing the realisations of decades worth of poor choices, insecurities, quick fixes and scatter gun approaches, slowly unfurling and finally seeing the results to warrant the effort and hard work.
Here is what Gurbax had to say:
“If only I had done this years ago, I could have avoided so much stress and saved so much time and money.
It is a strange feeling looking back at the pictures of where I started from. At the time I was still hesitant and scared more than anything, because you get to a point where you think you are destined to look or feel a certain way.
The last time I was this weight was in the 1990's. In fact I remember being this weight and still finding flaw after flaw with my body, that was the start of an almost 30 year ordeal with weight fluctuations, health issues and jumping from one diet to the next. From Atkins diets, slim fast, weight watchers, slimming world, fasting, taking meal replacements, supplements. exercise classes, doing hours of home workouts from videos to dvd’s of celebrities exercising, nothing worked and everything just seemed to leave me feeling tired, more stressed and in a worse position than before. I know now you don’t gain weight and fat overnight and certainly you don’t lose it overnight.
The most helpful part of this process to date has been the education provided, from coaching calls with Juggy and his coaches as well as the facebook support group. Each week whilst perfming my cardio workouts I have listened to the hour long Live calls Juggy holds each Monday and learned something knew that I related to and could apply.
I feel no fear now, from going to social occasions, I know how to manage that, from family birthdays, weddings or get togethers, I know food doesn’t rule me anymore and I am in control for the first time in so long. Even going to the gym, I feared training using the plans, even though there were videos showing me what to do, I was always scared that I would do it wrong or hurt myself. I broke this fear down by speaking to instructors in the gym, practicing some movements at home and watching the training videos of the team to make sure I understood what to do before going in.
There are so many changes in myself but the one thing I feel now is that I can do anything I set my mind to.
I know I shouldn’t write this but he is my son and I am so proud. I messaged Juggy the other day to say keep doing what you are doing, because educating and empowering us gives us so much more motivation to succeed long term.”
Personal Thoughts on Gurbax’s Transformation
I can’t think of a more inspirational transformation than a 56 year old woman, completely transforming her mindset towards health and happiness. Taking action every day and breaking down preconceived ideas of what is possible that have limited her from success for 30 years. I am so glad my Mum has done this, I am proud and I am happy that it has had a positive impact on her confidence, which we can see now in her wearing jeans again, coming downstairs and showing me all the clothes she had found hidden in the back of the wardrobe that she can now wear and even choosing colours of clothes that she had been avoiding through fear of standing out.
Gurbax’s health is in order, her performance improves weekly and when she can’t go to the gym she finds a way to increase her activity.
There is always something to learn and improve and in her case, it is actually learning that she can eat more and it will not impact her body composition.
There have been times where she slips into the fear mindset that more food will equate to increased weight or body fat, but now she is resistance training and her progression in the gym is evident, she has been given a new training plan to follow.
This plan is a little more taxing than previous routines and as such more food is required to aid recovery and performance, without adding more food she has the potential to begin feeling overly fatigued, stressed, bloated and struggle to sleep. This is not good for long term adherence, so it’s a barrier that needs to be overcome.
Would you like to be coached by the Online Coaching Team?
We provide coaching tailored to your requirements to allow you to see incredible life changing results just like Jussi!
There are four simple steps that you will need to go through first and you too can have a completely tailored approach to achieving your goals and seeing the success that you deserve.
1.Contact- message us on this link.
2.Call- set up a free call to determine your goals, capabilities and timeline for success
3.Critique- review your current habits, health and lifestyle using our recommended applications
4.Create- we will create a tailored program specifically to meet you where you are right now that will easily integrate and enhance your quality of life!
As a coaching team, we know you are not robots and we know this can take time for you to get embed within your lives to see success, therefore we are committed to working with you on developing the key skills you need to transform your body, life and mind-set towards nutrition and health forever, no matter how much support you require.
Our coaches have over 30 years experience in the health and we all work together to provide you a unique service. We can provide valuable insights from our team of medical and research experts including Dr Harbinder Sandhu & Dr Shilpa Patel of Health Psychology Services, Head of Research at Oxford University for Cardiovascular Health Dr Jyoti Patel, our expert in movement Andy Creed, alongside my expertise in nutrition and behaviour change. We work with real people to get life changing, lasting results.