This Guy Overcame Multiple Setbacks to Lose 50 Pounds and Get Shredded
• After gaining weight due to his highly active social life, Suraj Sodha reached a peak of 189 pounds and wanted to make a change.
• He focused on simple diet changes and worked with a trainer to develop a basic weightlifting plan that involved a four-day split.
• As a result, he lost more than 50 pounds and his health—physical and mental—made dramatic improvements.
By every measure, Suraj Sodha is a successful man. A 34-year-old living in London, Sohda is an entrepreneur who focuses on web development and hosts entrepreneur summits around the city.
Because of his job, Sodha stays socially active, attending dinners and drinks with clients several days a week. While the outings are good for business, however, they weren’t always as kind to his waistline. By the time he turned 33, Sodha’s weight had climbed to 189 pounds, a substantial amount for his 5’6″ frame. He felt sluggish, overweight, and unhappy, and those feelings trickled down into every aspect of his life, including his health and marriage.
“I hated what I saw in the reflection,” he says. “I was a chubby, unhealthy, and out-of-breath guy in his early thirties who was on the road to a heart attack.” Things also took a turn for the worst in his personal life: At around the same time, Sodha’s marriage ended. He took these hurdles as positively as he could—using them as fuel to make a change. “I started going to the gym, which quickly became a sanctuary away from the problems I was facing. It became my escape, and I felt the incredible therapeutic benefits of lifting weights,” he says.
For some additional help, Sodha also reached out to RNT Fitness, an online coaching platform based in London. Sodha and his trainer set up a simple gym routine to get him working out three days a week. He also drastically increased his daily step count to 8,000-10,000 steps per day. After three months, Sodha moved on to a four day split, based on two heavy days, and two light days, along with his walks. His routine consisted of a chest, arms, and posterior chain day, back, shoulders, and quads, followed again by chest, back, and shoulders, and finally legs and arms routine.
Working out was just the first step, though. Next, Sodha completely overhauled his nutrition: “I had never done any advanced meal prep, so using a specific nutrition plan was alien to me,” he says. Within the first month of eating clean and training, Sodha saw results: His clothes started to feel a bit looser, and people started commenting on his new physique.
“The results gave me confidence and a much-needed self-esteem boost at the time, which felt very good,” he says. “This feeling made me want to train harder and ensure I never missed a session. Even if it was snowing I made sure I got to the gym, which became a non-negotiable part of my day.”
Four months into his routine, however, Sodha faced another setback: His appendix burst in the middle of the workday. Following surgery, Sodha was told he’d have to take at least six weeks off from the gym. “I had started to see some amazing results in my physique by this stage and had really gotten used to lifting weights and was enjoying going to the gym,” he says. “It was a major setback.”
Rather than feel sorry for himself, Sodha chose to focus on his meals to ensure he stayed on track. Once he got the green light from his doctor, he resumed his daily walks. A few weeks later, Sodha was right back at it in the gym. Within 18 months, he’d dropped to his goal weight of 138. In his words, he “achieved the impossible.”
“At 34 years old to have built the physique that I had dreamed of as a teenager and in my twenties was unbelievable—and to see the way I looked in the mirror compared to 18 months ago gave me a huge boost in terms of self-esteem and confidence to share my story and inspire others,” he says.
For Sodha, it wasn’t just about the physical transformation: It was about his mindset and lifestyle too. “I started my transformation journey in a dark place where I was feeling worthless and like I had nothing to live for. I was able to focus on myself again, which greatly improved my mental health,” Sodha says. “As a result, I was able to grow my business faster, be more mindful, and ultimately gain a platform to improve my life and the lives of those around me.”
As for how others can achieve the same, Sodha says it’s best to put your pride aside and get help for your health journey.
“Don’t go to the gym blindly and move from machine-to-machine aimlessly without having any process to follow,” he says. “I would advise guys to be ruthlessly consistent in their training and eating and to embrace the periods where you don’t see as much progress in either weight loss or muscle gain or changes in your physique. Power through those periods when it seems like you’re making no progress—and the progress you’re chasing will eventually come.”
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