Ranada The Full-Time Student Lost 65 lbs. Here’s How:

Side-by-side of Ranada from September to July

Meet Ranada, a member of Nerd Fitness Coaching who is currently celebrating losing over 65 pounds in 10 months!

I’m so proud of Ranada, especially considering all the challenges she’s faced over the last year:

  • Being a full-time student, while also holding down a job – “So much reading.”
  • Needing to work out from home – “The idea of a gym stressed me out.”
  • The mindset that she had to figure it out alone – “Everyone makes it look so easy. I thought I had to do this without help.”

Oh, and there was also that whole pandemic that threw all our lives into turmoil.

It all came to a breaking point last year: Ranada went on a hike she thought she could easily do…but then ran into trouble.

The hike made her winded.

A Homer Simpson walking GIF with text that reads panting

Ranada wound up stopping every few feet to catch her breath.

It was a frustrating and humbling experience.

Luckily, Ranada used the hike as a catalyst to make some changes in her life. One year later, she is able to do the same trail without needing to stop at all!

So let’s learn about what Ranada did to turn into a legit hiker, while still handling every other part of her hectic life!

5 Takeaways From Ranada’s Transformation

A side-by-side photo of Ranada in October and May

#1) Having a “Big Why” Can Make All the Difference

Hiking can be a humbling experience.

It’s one thing to walk comfortably around your neighborhood on flat ground. It’s quite another to hike up steep inclines in nature.

That’s how Ranada discovered she wasn’t in as good of shape as she thought.

She explains, “In my mind, I was capable of doing this hike. But once I got out there I had to stop every few feet. It was extremely frustrating to underperform to my expectations.”

That day, on that hike, Ranada discovered her “Big Why.” She told herself she would come back one day and crush that trail. She would become physically capable enough to hike, wherever she wanted.

Going forward, Ranada would know what she was working towards.

Takeaway: when we start our fitness journey, one of the first things we can do is develop a “Big Why.”

“Why am I doing this? Why am I trying to get in shape?”

Knowing the answer to this will help when life gets busy and things become tough.

And trust me, life will get busy and things will become tough.

It’s only a matter of degree.

A GIF of a dog in a hat sitting in a room on fire.

All of us, the last year.

So let’s decide why we’re trying to improve.

It could be that we:

  • Want to get in shape to start dating.
  • Need a better report card from our doctor.
  • Have an obstacle to overcome, like climbing up a mountain.

Whatever it is, WRITE IT DOWN. And then we can put it somewhere we’ll see often (like a sticky note on a desk) to remind ourselves why we’re making changes.

It might seem trivial, but it’ll go a long way towards helping us stay consistent.

#2) It’s Okay to Ask For Help

Ranada walking on the beach with her two dogs

At first, Ranada wanted to make a plan on her own.

As she explains:

A quote from Ranada about how fitness journeys don't look the same

Takeaway: it can often seem like everyone around us knows what they’re doing.

They don’t need any help…why should I need it?

Here’s the truth: most successful people have outside help.

  • It could be a business mentor who has the right connections.
  • It could be a professor at a university who knows how to track down the right grants.
  • It could be a coach who knows how to help folks get in shape.

Yes, some people can figure out amazing things on their own. But most of us could use a little extra guidance. THAT’S GREAT!

Personally, I have dedicated my life to studying health and fitness, and I help others get in shape for a living, and even I have an online coach for guidance and support!

Remember, there’s nothing wrong with seeking or accepting help.

#3) Getting Stronger Makes Everything Easier

Ranada running on the beach with her two dogs at sunset

When Ranada met her coach, they quickly made a plan for getting up that freaking mountain.

They just had to start off slow.

“I had no stamina at all. So at first, we just focused on general workouts and a little cardio to build up some initial conditioning.

Soon after that, my coach had me doing exercises for hiking like:

  • Step-ups
  • Wall sits – they’re harder than they look!
  • Lunges
  • Core exercises – to help with overall balance

These exercises were tough to start and made me very sore at first. But 10 months later, the work paid off.

Today, I have more physical freedom. I can ride my bike around town or go explore long hikes.

Consistently working out has opened up what I can do in life.”

Takeaway: gaining strength will make life easier.

We might be able to walk farther or bike longer.

Maybe we can carry groceries without a challenge.

Or maybe we can be like Ranada, who can now conquer beautiful hiking trails.

My advice: when in doubt, focus on getting strong. It makes all aspects of life better.

Ranada standing on a wood bridge in the woods with her two dogs

#4) When It Comes to Nutrition, Learn the “Why” and “How”

“I always knew I needed to ‘eat better.’ I just had no idea what that really meant.

Coach Taylor started by giving me resources that had diagrams of food portions, like the NF Healthy Plate:

A picture of the Nerd Fitness Healthy Plate guidelines

We would then go over a recipe, and he’d cover the different parts and where they’d fit on the plate.

This helped me know what to look out for when I was choosing a recipe or eating out.

Through these short lessons, I have gained so much knowledge and feel empowered to make good choices for my meals.”

Takeaway: it’s valuable to spend some time learning about healthy eating.

Sure, we can just grab recipes online. But knowing what makes a nutritious meal can help a lot when we’re at a restaurant or a potluck. That way we’ll never have to freak out over “what should I eat?”

We already know!

#5) It’s Okay to Dial Things Back

A side-by-side photo of Ranada in November and May

Ranada has made a lot of progress over the last 10 months.

However, there have been times when she’s had to scale back her momentum here and there.

“Like everyone else, the last year has been tough.

I’ve had stressful family situations, plus I was trying to finish school during the pandemic.

I found myself overwhelmed quite a few times.

But Coach Taylor wouldn’t put any additional pressure on me when I was stressed.

Instead, he would help me keep it together by scaling back my tasks.

He’d modify the workouts to be shorter, or maybe just replace it with a quick indoor cardio routine, so I was at least doing something.

This helped me push forward when my life got crazy busy.”

Ranada gaming with one of her cats in each arm

“My cats helped too.”

Takeaway: I tell people to think about fitness as a “dial,” not a “light switch.”

This mindset allows us to adjust our efforts, depending on what else is going on in our life.

Let’s say things are going well and we want to kick it into gear.

An “8” could look like:

  • All meals are pre-made.
  • Working out 3x a week.
  • Yoga every morning.

On the flip side, let’s say life is super hectic.

Maybe we go down to a “3” with:

  • Lunches at Chipotle – burrito bowl for the win!
  • One single workout a week.
  • A short walk every other day.

The important thing: we don’t want to shut down progress completely. Treading water and moving slowly STILL counts as a win! As long as we don’t let ‘momentum’ go to zero.

A little every day goes a long way.


Side-by-side photo of Ranada from October to July

The fact that Ranada was able to go from “I need to stop and catch my breath” to “this trail is nothing” is amazing.

That she did it in less than a year – while working a job and being a full-time student – makes it even more impressive!

Was it easy?

No way!

Ranada was juggling multiple responsibilities (on top of the pandemic!) and often found herself overwhelmed.

The important thing: she hung in there!

Ranada never quit completely – which means she continued to make progress – even if it was just a tiny bit.

This slow and steady progress is what our coaching program is all about.

That, and doing nerdy workout routines like Battling Bane, Reckoning with Ra’s al Ghul, and Preparing for Poison Ivy:

Gif of Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn

Yep, the team seriously does gather around to brainstorm nerdy titles for workouts.

When you join NF Coaching, we won’t change everything at once.

We’ll take it slow, building one healthy habit on top of another.

We go at a pace that never seems scary, so you won’t even notice how much progress you’ve made until you look backward.

With Nerd Fitness Coaching you’ll gain:

  • Confidence on exactly what to do. No guesswork needed, you’ll simply log into our coaching app and follow the plan laid out for you.
  • A program tailored to your needs. Is your gym opening back up? Want to train there AND home? We’ll design a routine that works best for you.
  • A partner to help you make your goals. Many people can set goals and hit them by themselves. But some of us can’t – Ranada needed someone in her corner to keep her accountable. If you’ve been struggling by yourself, know that it’s okay to seek help from an expert who knows the way.

If you want to set yourself up on a path to start making tiny (and sustainable) changes, we’d love to be a part of your journey.

You can schedule a call to see if we’re right for each other right here:

If you decide not to try coaching, no problem. I’ll still be here offering free guides and corny jokes to help you level up your life.

But if you do decide to join, maybe it’ll be your success story I’m sharing next summer!

Something similar happened to our friend Ranada.

For the Rebellion,


PS: TL/DR – Ranada is amazing and you can learn if our coaching program can help you too.

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