I remember the first time I ever set my foot in a gym. I was an overweight teenager and my mother introduced me to the neighborhood gym in the hopes that I will get motivated to move by body. I think she was really worried about the weight and how it could affect my health, as well as self-esteem as a young teenager.
Cut back to a few years ago, I was 10 or 11 and our class teacher was selecting girls and boys to pair up, to be a part of the year end show! I loved to dance and was one of the first girls to stand up, raise my hand up high, stretch my legs till I was on my tip toes and make sure the teacher could see me. And she definitely saw me. She pointed right at me, in front of the entire class and said, “Uma, you are too fat to dance”. Yup, that happened and it was in that very moment that my heart shattered into a million pieces that I decided that, my physical appearance cannot get in my way, that I will be learner and stronger than anyone I know. The motivation may have come from a negative experience, but it did its job.
So I was very excited when my mom finally agreed to take me to the gym. I still remember how amazing I felt when I lost my first pound! After that, there was really no going back. By the time I was 16, I had lost all the excess weight and the confidence I had gained had helped me to make new friends and thrive academically. I was so addicted to active living that, I couldn’t live a day without running, going to the gym or moving my body! My diet was full of processed, junk food like any other average 16 year old, but I compensated for it with exercise and didn’t put on weight!
This was great until I hit my mid twenties and my lifestyle started to change. I now had a fulltime job as a producer, and a lot of socializing and going out came with it. I couldn’t keep up with my intense exercise routine! I would always be stressed and exhausted at the end of the day and the workload was so much that, I barely got any sleep. I had put on 15 pounds within a year just by not exercising regularly, because my body was so used to burning those extra calories! Just when I realized I needed to change something, I got pregnant and had my first child. Before I knew it, I was pregnant for the second time and a busy mom with no time for myself!
I spent a lot of time feeling guilty about eating my favorite foods and spent hours at the gym trying to lose weight. I went on extreme diets and cleanses, but I was losing very little weight and getting very frustrated. The problem was, that I would revert right back to my usual routine and fall in the same trap of feeling guilty about eating and just too tired to exercise at the end of the day.
It was later in my early thirties when I realized, that for healthy habits to be sustainable, they need to become a part of my lifestyle! I changed my relationship with food and shifted my focus to adding more natural, unprocessed food in my meals, rather than trying to remove everything I loved eating, all at once.
I saw that making small changes to my routine and sticking to them for longer periods of time started giving me better results. As I started adding more nutritious food to my diet, I started craving less of refined sugar and processed food! I also started exercising more efficiently and my workouts became short, high intensity circuits, as against long periods of steady state cardio. I also started introducing practices of mindfulness in my routine, which helped me to stay centered and focused! As I lost body fat and got stronger and leaner I got more motivated to continue on this path of holistic health.
The more I talked to other women; I realized that all of us are going through the same thing. We want to look good and feel amazing, but are not sure how to go about it or we are bored of doing the same exercises or being on a diet for months and frustrated about not getting the results we want.
This is the reason I decide to become a certified health coach! I wanted to start sharing with others, what I had learned over many years of experience and after making many mistakes. I now feel incredibly grateful to work with thousands of women and men all over the world, to help them find and live their purpose, surrender their fears and to optimize their health in a holistic way.