Today we’d like to introduce you to Uma Naralkar.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Uma. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
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 my 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 ten 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 tiptoes 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 when 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 full-time 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 of two.
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 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 to 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 decided to become a certified health coach and Integrative Nutritionist! 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 using healing food, movement, and mindset as medicine.
That story about your teacher and what she said to you, that’s just terrible. So sorry that happened! I guess every part of our story plays a role in our journey though. Today you are a successful health coach and nutritionist. Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It hasn’t been a smooth road but I wouldn’t have it any other way! I think my struggles have made me who I am today.
I went through both physical and mental pain as an obese child who was teased, as a teenager who was so obsessed with working out and eating right that I had no time for my family or friends and as a young adult who moved to a new country, all by myself to start a new life.
But, my biggest challenge came when I decided to go back to school and study nutrition and then start my own business! I had a newborn and a toddler and leaving them with a caretaker while I was serving my clients left me with tremendous guilt and worry.
That being said, a part of me always knew that me going out and fulfilling my dreams would set a really good example for my boys and so I continued to juggle between my work and kids.
Today I can see how proud my family is of all my sacrifices and the number of women I have helped over the years.
I hope that when my children grow up they too will peruse their dreams fearlessly, just like their mom (and dad) did.
What else should we know about you and your work?
I am an Integrative Nutritionist with a thriving practice in Santa Monica, California. I also remotely work with several international clients from all over the world.
I primarily work with women in the age group of 25 to 60. I specialize in gut health, hormonal health, and optimal fat loss.
I believe that good health is not just about what you are eating or how much you are exercising and your mindset plays a very important role in this equation.
My eight-week course is based on a holistic approach and I believe in creating a strong mind and body connection that will support my clients to optimize their health using healing food and movement as medicine.
I think knowing that I have been through my own transformational journey, really helps to create a deeper connection with my clients and having this connection is the foundation of our work together.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I have to be honest, I don’t think I would have done a single thing differently.
I believe that all of us are meant to be exactly where we are today and every decision we have made in the past has brought us here. Though life may seem hard or unfair at times, it’s really important to trust the process and have faith in the fact that its all part of your journey.
Every experience I have been through has taught me something new and made me who I am today.
If I were to talk to my ten-year-old self, I would say, “ You are beautiful, I love you and everything is going to be ok”
- Work ONE-ON-ONE with Uma – $450/8 weeks (private sessions, meal plan, workouts and mindset exercises)
- Get my 21-day fat loss meal plan – OM FOOD GUIDE – $19.99
- Access my workout library (effective workouts, just 15 minutes/day) – FIT IN FIFTEEN – $4.99/month
- Website: www.omwithatwist.com
- Phone: 3107736407
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: umanaralkar
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EverythingOm/