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151: Secrets to Transformational Weight Loss for Career Women – with Nagina Abdullah

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Attention Women Who Work 60+ Hours & Have Children: You Can Look & Feel Better Than Ever

If you are a smart, ambitious, upwardly-mobile woman working as a corporate executive or a business owner – you understand how precious time can be. 

Having an exciting career brings some fantastic benefits to a woman’s life. However, when it comes to looking and feeling your best physically, finding the time to do that can be challenging. Gym workouts, crazy diets, meal prep, eating healthy at restaurants – your career throws many obstacles at you when it comes to staying in shape and feeling good about wearing that sexy dress. 

And then there is the baby factor. Many successful women experience the “ticking biological clock” in their 30s – they want to have a child! Maybe two or three! Which is such a life-altering thing to do. One of the areas of life that get cut out in the career mom routine is paying attention to their physical fitness. 

Unfortunately, when this occurs, many smart and savvy career ladies feel unhappy with their appearance, which causes cascading results like avoiding social invitations because you don’t have any outfits you feel good in or simply not feeling good in general. The adverse effects of obesity are well documented.

What if you could lose 40 pounds while working 60+ hours per week?  You absolutely can. In this episode, our guest is health coach Nagina Abdullah. In this exciting conversation, Nagina shares how she lost 40 pounds in 7 months while working full time as a mom. Nagina has already taught 700 other women how to do this as well. The testimonials show that Nagina’s approach to looking and feeling great fits perfectly with a career woman’s lifestyle because it doesn’t require hours in the gym. 

Be sure to listen in as Nagina shares her secrets to boosting your metabolism using some simple things in your kitchen cabinet. 

Nagina’s expertise has been featured on FOX NEWS, TIME,,, and Business Insider.  

In this podcast, we cover:

  • Why this California girl followed her dreams to work in New York City
  • How Nagina’s physical weight was “blocking” her from being the woman she wanted to be
  • Secret weapons to weight loss found in your kitchen cabinet
  • Nagina’s experiences starting motherhood while working
  • What are the biggest challenges facing women’s health that Nagina is seeing
  • Nagina’s biggest frustration early on as a coach and how she turned it around to success 
  • How to make eating healthy easy 

The Pressure to Have Kids & Stay In Shape at the Same Time

Nagina is part of the Indian culture, where there is still a lot of pressure to have children. Most cultures still have this pressure to some degree. When asked about her experience as a successful corporate executive who wanted to become a mother, Nagina said, “ I just wanted to indulge in being a new mom and taking care of my baby and learning from it. I was on full leave with my company, and I pretty much had nothing else to do except focus on being a mom. It was heavenly. I loved it.”

“Then, after three or four months, I started to feel good again. I started to feel “back to normal” and just went with my body and didn’t put any pressure on myself. Then when I felt healthy and was ready to work again, I had a lot of energy.”

But this is where so many women end up gaining significant amounts of weight over time. They feel “back to normal” after maternity leave, but their diet and lack of exercise prevent them from losing their pregnancy weight. So, many women will want another child and often give birth to a second child around 16 months later. After the second maternity leave, they go back to work with even more weight than after the first child was born. 

As you can see, this is a typical cycle of weight gain that leads many women to an unhappy place physically. “I didn’t enjoy having this physical weight slow me down,” said Nagina. 

A super-fit in her thirties can end up looking much different after two or three children. This profile is the type of woman Nagina works with to help them regain their youthful figure.  

Professional women are smart – but they still need help and accountability

Women executives and entrepreneurs are intelligent and hard working. However, career women are not immune to the food temptations and stress eating that afflicts everyone. Eating out with colleagues is something people expect. What can you eat and lose weight out at a bar? These ladies don’t know what choices to make on the menu. 

Accountability is a significant factor in Nagina’s coaching – and a key component to her client’s successful results. Once the accountability component to her coaching service was established, Nagina’s coaching took off. 

Clients began sending her before/after pictures. She then began creating online group programs. Nagina also has higher-end programs for super busy women who are physicians and entrepreneurs. 

Nagina has a 58-year-old client who recently lost 55 pounds in the last eight months! Another client is a professional woman in her forties, and she dropped 25 pounds as a mother of three kids. She’s now feeling great!

It would be best to tune into the entire episode to discover the weight loss secrets for career women that Nagina has to offer. She can teach you how to eat delicious foods and still lose weight without insane amounts of time spent on exercise. 

If you’re a career woman who is unhappy with your weight and want to feel good again, check out this episode! 

Episode Resources: 
Get Nagina’s Sweet Spice Cheat Sheet Absolutely FREE 
Check out more about Nagina Abdullah
Healthy Lifestyle for Professional Female Leaders Private Facebook Group
Masala Body on Instagram
Nagina Sethi Abdullah on LinkedIn

Read The Episode Transcript:

 Wade Lightheart: Good morning. Good afternoon. And good evening. It's Wade T Lightheart from BiOptimizers with another edition of the Awesome Health Podcast. And today we are going to talk about how to boost metabolism when nothing else has worked before. And we're also going to talk about lifestyle choices and how emotional psychological, in course, lifestyle opportunities can open up when people make changes in their life. And our guest today is Nagina Abdullah, who is a health coach for women's professionals, physicians, and seven figure entrepreneurs and founder of the website. Massala She teaches women to lose 20 to 40 plus pounds even while working 60 plus hours a week. And if they have tried everything and again has a degree in molecular and cell biology from UC Berkeley and has helped over 700 professional women successfully lose weight and create a lifestyle change. She has been featured in, business insider and more, and she has taken time out of her busy schedule to join us today on the Awesome Health Podcast. And again, welcome to the show.

 Nagina Abdullah: Thank you so much Wade. I am so excited to be here and to talk with you today.

 Wade Lightheart: So you did kind of an opposite. I'm going to get your backstory because you're a California girl that decided, you know what, the west coast is too soft and easy. I want to move to New York city work 60 plus hours a week. That's a dream. Tell me that whole backstory of what got you. Number one into this industry. Number two, how your kind of background that transformation, and then maybe number three, what you're doing today in the world, that's making such a profound impact on professional women, I think is a, because this is a very, it's a very topic. And I want to couch this a little bit before we get started, because one of the things that I'm in constant observance for women, we have a lot of supporters, women supporters on BiOptimizers is, is this. You can counter it or disagree. And back in the sixties, women got the ability to control their birth cycles, you know, with the advent of the pill.

 Wade Lightheart: And from that point, it opened up an incredible array of professional options for women, which I think is a very positive aspect. That being said, we've, we're the only species in evolutionary history where the women now have the capability to control reproduction of the species. Therefore, when you change the reproductive cycle of a sea species, you change the species. And now we have women like you're mentioning working 60 plus hours a week, but have maybe grown up in a conditioning system that was based on all of our ancestral models. And now we're caught in this mishmash of things. And I don't know how long it's going to take us to figure it out. So maybe you have, and maybe you can add some insight for us. And some of us who are a little bit more ignorant to the challenges of the professional women today.

 Nagina Abdullah: Oh my gosh. Well, thanks so much. I would love to share this and you know, the way that you described it, I, that's so funny because I'm like, why did I choose to move somewhere where I have to work 60 hours a week? And that's just the norm. In fact, that's little that, that sounds like a little amount to a lot of people in the area where I am now. But you know, I grew up in California and on the west coast, I grew up in Arizona for some of the time, but I had ever, since I was a very young girl, I had a vision in my in my heart and in my mind that I wanted to move to New York city and I had never been there before, but I had, I just knew that I wanted to be in this busy area that was hustling and bustling.

 Nagina Abdullah: And there were just, there was just so much opportunity and I dreamed of wearing a business suit and working in New York. And I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to do something in that, in that, with that vision in mind. And so I did after graduating college, I I lived in the bay area. I loved it, but I was, I was yearning for something bigger and something more. And so I set my sights on applying to graduate school in New York to bring me over to the east coast. And that's exactly what I did. I went to business school at NYU and and then while I was here at New York, turned out to be everything I wanted it to be. And more, it was just, it was more exciting. There was all of these interesting people. There were so many opportunities.

 Nagina Abdullah: And you know, so while working here or while going to school here, I was working on getting a a fortune 500 style career going. And I actually did land my dream job at a top consulting firm in New York city, which was my dream. I got to put my business suit on every day, felt like I was truly living out my passion and my dream. And I traveled all over the east coast working for fortune 500 fortune 100 healthcare companies. That was the area that I was in, was I worked in healthcare. And so what happened is by working in that, in that career, you know, it was very much work, hard, play hard where we would work 12, you know, often 12 hour days we would be living in different cities and then we'd go out to dinner and drinks afterwards, and then we'd come back the next day and do it all.

 Nagina Abdullah: And it was extremely thrilling and exciting. And so you didn't want to not do those things. You want it to be part of all of it. And so then, you know, what happened is that during that, during that time, I I was at the, at the moment I had gotten married right after business school before starting the camp before starting working there. And that's when I started, you know, I wanted to have children. And so I had my first child and shortly after my second child. And so as I was getting ready to go back to my job, which I was excited to go back to, I realized that physically I did not feel good in my body at all. And physically I could not fit into all of the gorgeous business clothes that I had bought that I had dreamed of wearing for my entire life.

 Nagina Abdullah: I could no longer fit into those clothes. And I looked at myself in the mirror and I didn't know who was looking back at me because I felt like my insides were so motivated and so excited, but yet on the outside I looked tired, I looked exhausted and I looked old and I didn't feel like that person. And I didn't want others to, I didn't want to be reflected as that, that person, but I also didn't want to feel as uncomfortable and as tired as I was feeling in my body. So there was a multiple things happening, whether it was external or internal, I wasn't happy with what I was looking like and what I was feeling like. And so at that moment, I made a decision that I could no longer live the life I wanted to live. If I stayed at that weight.

 Nagina Abdullah: And I knew that that physical weight was blocking me from, from being the woman that I wanted to be being the professional, being, being as productive and as confident as work, be at work, being as energetic and active with my children, feeling feeling, you know, confident and feminine around my husband. I couldn't do those things with this weight on me because I didn't feel like myself and it wasn't right healthy. And I knew that and that's okay where I said, I need to make a shift, but I can no longer go on a diet. Like I had gone for years and years before I had tried all the diets out there from weight Watchers to eating less to south south beach, to everything and everything had worked five, 10 pounds, and then I would put it right back on. And so what I did is I said, I need to make my approach fun.

 Nagina Abdullah: And that was the number one word that went through my mind, because if I, if I follow these restrictive diets out there, I'm just going to keep going up and down in the yo-yo. And I don't want to be 10 years from now, still forcing myself to go to the gym, still forcing myself to eat greens. I don't want to do that anymore. I'm done with that. And, and so that's where I went back to my background and my, my my scientific undergrad degree, I started studying all of the scientific information. And what I found was that a lot of the foods that we learned from those diets, those are not the only, that's not the only way that you can get healthier. The actual way to get healthier is to eat more real healthy foods and then make it taste good. And, you know, I actually grew up in a traditional Indian family where we use spices and flavors.

 Nagina Abdullah: And so it was very, very used to using spices and flavors. I just had never linked healthy food with spices and flavors. And so, you know, Wade, what I did was I just started adding delicious, delicious things like cumin, ginger, garlic, to my vegetables. I started eating lentils and beans as more of my carbs. And I started using cinnamon instead of sugar. I started doing these things. I started adding more protein and unbelievably, I lost 40 pounds in nine months. And to put that in perspective, I lost 20 pounds to get to my pre pregnancy weight. But then I dropped 20 more and I was the most in shape I had ever been in my life after I had two children while working in that high pace job. And that's the moment where everything shifted for me. Multiple people came up to me on a daily basis asking me, how do you look better after having kids?

 Nagina Abdullah: Then you look before and, and something shifted in my mind because I had always thought that after you have kids, your life goes downhill. I just thought that that was a stereotype I had. Cause that's what I saw. I saw that, that people were overweight. They were unhappy, they were stressed and I did not want to be that person. And so I, people started asking me these questions and they started saying, what did you eat? How did you do this? And so that's where I had so much advice to give that I started my website, the solid I started adding recipes. I started adding mindsets. I started talking about how to make these changes in your life. And over the course of the next several years, I started coaching women to integrate these changes into their own lives. I started releasing menu plans and programs, and now just recently, I've gone full time and have an entire business with, with employees. And and I'm coaching, you know, dozens and dozens of other professional women to do the same thing that I did and really lose the weight, but then begin the life of their dreams, begin being more active begin wearing the clothes that they want to wear, know that they're going to keep doing this for the rest of their life. And, and that's where I am now

 Wade Lightheart: Beautifully said, I want to back the truck up a little bit. Cause you unloaded a collage of things, which I think there's a lot of things that we can unpack in that. But particularly how long would you say was the drift from say where you were in that professional Claire getting married, getting kids, and then coming to the realization. I want to get back into the swing of things and I don't look or feel like I feel a certain way, but I don't look a certain way. And that impact on my confidence. What I want you to do is kind of, can you share how long it kind of got to that? Was there kind of like an area where you're just focused on having kids and all this sort of stuff, and then all of a sudden, boom, you wake up one day, it happens.

 Wade Lightheart: Was it a gradual thing? And then how often does this happen in the world of professional women who, you know, take a break in their career to have kids? Cause guys were, we can't take breaks for the kid. Like we're, we're, we don't have babies. Like, and this is, this is a biological fact beside what everybody wants to put gender assignments on whatever they want to identify with, but it doesn't matter what you identify with only genetically based females can have kids. That's the only way the population goes forward. So the whole human race is essentially dependent on women in this situation. And there's an extraordinary amount of pressure. I think that we haven't fully grasped understood or been able to manage. What was that like for you?

 Nagina Abdullah: Mm oh my gosh. Such a great question. Such a great question, Wade. So you know, what happened for me is that when I had my, my children, my first child, I, there was a moment where I knew that I just wanted to indulge in being a new mom and taking care of my baby and learning about it. And you know, I was on full leave for my company and I pretty much had nothing else to do, except for, to focus on being a mom. And it was heavenly and I loved it. And then around three or four months, I started to feel great. I started to feel back to normal and I kind of just went with my body and how I felt I didn't put any pressure on myself, but when I felt healthy and I felt like I was ready, I had, I had a lot of energy.

 Nagina Abdullah: That's what happened. I started getting my energy back. And so the first thing that often happens for a women when, after having babies, babies is like, you might, you know, you're, you're into the you're into the baby. Might feel really tired for some time, but then you start feeling back to normal. And so it's at that crux where you can decide, you can make a choice and you can say, you know, I can stay where I am right now, or I can start to feel even better. And the longer you stay, where you are, the more work you're going to have to do later. So I knew that I didn't enjoy feeling like I was heavy in my body. I didn't enjoy having, having this physical weight, slow me down. And so what I did is I also knew after my first child, that I wanted to have my second child.

 Nagina Abdullah: And I knew that this is what happens. And this is what I've heard from so many women that have multiple kids, is that when you don't take the weight off in between children, then it adds on child after child. And that's how you'll feel fine. That there's a woman in her twenties or thirties, that's super, super fit. And then after she has a few, a couple or a few kids, she looks like a different person. It's because it's gradually happening. And so this isn't about pressure. It's more about taking care of your future self. And I wanted to take care of my future self. I didn't want to put myself in the position where I had to go through such a change to feel better about myself. I just wanted to take care of it right away. And so in between children, I got my weight back down.

 Nagina Abdullah: And then I had my second child. And then after, after I had her, that is when I felt I had gained more weight. I was at a lower position. I actually didn't feel the energy that I had felt after the first. And this is something else that's important after having two children, it's different. You have two children to take care of. You're more tired, you're more exhausted. You're not the same person that you were before. And that's why it is important to try to get ahead of that between children. So that, cause it is going to be more to take care of. But if you, even, if you haven't, it's okay, because there's still things that you can do. There's still ways that you can do it's okay. It's going to happen if you want it to. But after my second child is when that moment happened, where I said I don't feel like myself.

 Nagina Abdullah: My, my, I had my friends and family asking me to do things, go to New York with them. And I was turning them down because I didn't have any clothes to wear as Bain as that might sound. I didn't feel good in my body. I didn't want to, I didn't feel like I had anything to offer. Cause I felt so low about myself. And that was a moment where I made that choice. I have to do this. Like I wanted to do it right away, or I wanted to do it right when I felt healthy enough. And so I can say, you know, by the time my child was one, my second child was one. I was, I was in the, in the best shape of my life at that point. But I also know many, many, many women that really are not in the head space to be able to take care of themselves.

 Nagina Abdullah: A lot of people have children that had a lot of problems. Like maybe it was a lie, they stayed up so late. There was, there was health issues. There was a lot, they didn't have that freedom to be able to take care of themselves. And so I have women that come to me now when their children are five and they think, I just have had a chance to think about my, about myself right now, I'm ready for this. I'm ready to take care of myself. I have women that come to me when their children are 13 and when their children are going to college and none of it is too late. None of it is too late. Sometimes it just comes over you at different times of your life. But what I can say is that if you know the strategy and you can do it a little bit sooner than you have a longer to feel amazing in your body. And a lot of times people are just not sure how to get started and it, and they're trying all these old fashioned diets and that's why it feels so hard. And so, because the processing so hard, we sometimes stop ourselves, but the process can actually be enjoyable and fun. And that's a really great way to get yourself started is, think about how can I make this fun, which is what I did.

 Wade Lightheart: What was the timeframe from when you got pregnant on the first baby to the time that the end of the second pregnancy, and then how long did it take you to kind of get in shape in that standard? Yeah. Yeah. Could you kind of give us some? Yeah.

 Nagina Abdullah: Yeah. So my children they're 16 months apart. So they're there. People feel like that's close in my family. It was normal. My sister and I are 16 months apart, my brother and his, I mean my husband and his brother and his sister are each 14 and 15 months apart. For, for me it was very normal. I was ready. I knew what was going to happen. I was ready. So I wanted to take action. And so, and, and get healthy so that I could have another healthy pregnancy. And so from the moment, my first child was, well, you know, I got pregnant. Then I had my first child. It was July, you know, July of 2009 is when I had my first child, my second child, my daughter, my first child is a son. My second daughter was in November of 2010 now by November of 2011, when I had her first birthday party in that moment, I got in the best shape of my life in that year. But I didn't, I started after she was three months old because naturally I felt better in my body, but not everybody does it's up to everyone, but that's when I started. Okay. I think

 Wade Lightheart: You made a good point there. And I think that's worth validating is that there was an, an energetic component that you felt where you're feeling, right. You might not look the way you want, but there was that trigger point. And would you say that that's a key aspect for when to kind of, okay, now you can kind of step on the gas, if you're a woman that's recently gone through pregnancy and it has all these other things is that you've got to get to that point where you're, you know, you're, you're, you've, you've got the juice back sort of thing.

 Nagina Abdullah: That's so I'm so glad you're bringing that out because absolutely it was that energetic component. That feeling of a feeling like I was, I had energy inside, but I couldn't let it out because physically I was being burdened with this weight and I had all these things I wanted to do now. And, you know, that's part of like what we're going to talk about a little bit more too, is living the life that you want to live be. Whereas I, when I had children, it was very important to me to not only live for my children. I was very, very focused on living my own life and, and being happy in my body and in my life. And I wanted to do things. I wanted to go to dinner in New York. I wanted to, you know, I wanted to take my kids places also, but I also wanted to go on dates with my husband and wear a sexy dress and feel good in my sexy dress. I wanted to do all of these things. So I had all these desires coming out of me. And at that moment, I knew that I could try to accept myself. And, and there's a whole movement about accepting yourself, which, you know, we talk a little bit about that, but if you are at an unhealthy weight, I don't agree with accepting yourself because

 Wade Lightheart: For a second, because that is you're, you're stating something that's really, really critical here. And some people think that this is an inappropriate topic. It's a taboo topic. It's something that, you know, there's all these sort of snowflake isms about. Everybody's gotta be soft, but the reality is health is a certain standard and the economic costs and the personal lifestyle costs of being obese is well-documented the, the drain on society, the drain on companies, the lack of vitality, the increased depression, the increased aspects of heart disease, diabetes, psychological impairment the abuse of a variety of chemicals to deal with self-image issues like the Corolla eerie effect of not stand setting, a standard for health, at least for functionality is it's undeniable. And I I'm of the advocacy for, Hey, you know what? Yes, I don't care what a person identifies with their gender.

 Wade Lightheart: I don't care what race they're from. Awesome. I think the more these things, the better I get to learn from all the things I have a rich array of friends from different cultures that I learned so many different things, and I love that, but I think as the human race, and I think we need to think of the human race, which we're all a part of is can we actually get to some honest standards for people to maintain? And the thing I I'm a big, I, I would like to see implemented because we see these governmental policies that are accounting or increasing in their scope and their administration and their expense and the university funding and the pharmaceutical interventions and all of these things in a model where we spend more, the more money we spend on healthcare, the sicker, fatter, and more unhappy people get to me, pumping more money into that system makes no sense.

 Wade Lightheart: And setting standards of excellence is something that's far more rewarding. And I'd like to know you as a professional, both in molecular biology and also as a business woman and as a, as a wife and as a mother to two kids with an extremely demanding lifestyle, like you have every excuse in the book and let's not kid ourselves. Two of my dearest friends are from the Indian culture. And the level of you get around traditional eating food, Indian food is it's off the charts like, you know, and I can remember going through those pressure points when I was dieting for my contest. I w because these are my, literally my closest and best friends, and I'm have a deep connection, particularly with the Indian culture because of my spiritual practices. And it's the cradle of civilization in many ways. And the advent of all spiritual traditions in the world, lot people don't know the historical aspects of that, but we have all this richness yet.

 Wade Lightheart: We also, and, and India produces the most amount of doctors in the world, but you are more likely to have an Indian doctor wherever you are in the planet than any place out. So any other culture in the world, it's one of the most successful cultures. And yet you have a high rate of obesity in this social society pressure about E and many of the foods isn't, and there's an emotional, psychological, and social connection to this. So, and, and what I'm trying to get at is if there's anybody that's had more pressure on you, it would be hard to find culturally work-wise you know, children like you, you've got every reason to opt out of the excellent program that I could think of. How were you able to overcome that and not buy into lowering your standards and instead, not just meeting a certain standard, but exceeding it after doing all of these things, which most people would give you a pass on in today's.

 Nagina Abdullah: Oh my gosh, thank you so much. Now I'm like, okay. I feel like I need to celebrate myself. Got you. Made me. It made me feel really good. Thank you. And

 Wade Lightheart: It's an incredible Cushman and what I'm like, I, we know there's a standard bell curve of distribution and people on everything, genetics and fitness and athletics and economics and stuff. And I've never been fascinated with the middle of the bell curve. I've always been looking at what we do at the awesome health show. And it BiOptimizers is what's happening in that small percentage, which you are existing in, and you have all of those pressure points that says that you should be on the other end of the bell curve, but you found a way to come over. There's there's practices, there's thought process there's as an emotional connection. There's an awareness. Like, what are those things that you've been able to identify that allows you to be so successful in managing all these

 Nagina Abdullah: Things? Yeah, well, so for me, it was actually a non-negotiable for me to be healthy. It was not an

 Wade Lightheart: Honor to get to that point. How did you get to that point? And so

 Nagina Abdullah: How I got to that was that, so part of it comes from the fact that, you know, being raised as someone that was, I was always important to be a high performer. And, and in my mind I was a high performer. I worked as hard as I could. I mean, I did everything I could to get a good school, to get a good job to live the life that I dreamed of. I really took steps to live that life that I wanted. I moved across the country to New York. I got my, my dream job got to work in New York, do all those things. And those were the things that I strived for. And so part of living that high performing life was also being well-rounded. I did not only want to be good at one thing or at, at like making money or at go, going to a good college or living where I wanted to live.

 Nagina Abdullah: I wanted to be able to be well-rounded. And, and what that means is like, I didn't want to get to a place where I just didn't want to feel unhappy in my body. And it is, I was not okay with accepting myself. I wanted to get better. And I, and I do that even now with self-improvement self-development and all of those things where I'm just kind of not, I'm not going to settle until I feel really satisfied. And there are areas of my life where I'm satisfied and there's other areas that I'm always striving to get better. And so at that place, I was, so I knew the blocks that that would happen if I didn't you know, if I didn't get healthier, but I think, you know, the other place that this started was really where I as a child, actually, it was one of the things from my mom where being healthy was, was drilled into us.

 Nagina Abdullah: And it wasn't being healthy. It was more about looking a certain way. It was like, you should, you should not look like you're overweight. You should not look like this. And you should be good in school. You shouldn't. So it was like drilled in, but then over time, as I grew up, I realized I didn't want to feel like I didn't like feeling uncomfortable in my body. I didn't want to feel like that. So it was almost like that's how it was a non-negotiable because it started before. It was never okay to be letting myself go in anything, like, whether it's like in my life, whether it's letting myself go, because this is too easy, it's too hard. I shouldn't do it. No, it was like working for what I wanted. And but then as I got older and I had more responsibilities, I didn't want to work so hard for everything.

 Nagina Abdullah: So I was trying to figure out what are the, is there an easier way that's natural. That, that feels good. And I became more about what feels good in my body. And thankfully after all that research and, and integrating, you know, the flavors that I liked, it all, it all ended up working out and coming together. So how does that kind of answer? I know it's like, it's, that's a really great question. And it's like, yeah, how are you? How do you make it a non-negotiable because not everybody does that, not for, not everyone doesn't believe that. And I do think there are certain things that are ingrained in you that you're like, I just have to do this. I couldn't even think about not doing it. You

 Wade Lightheart: Know, someone asked me that a long time, not that long ago, when I was thinking back to my competitive days where I was into extremely high standards in performance-based standards. And I'm not saying those weren't necessarily healthy, but they required extraordinary levels of discipline. And one of the things that I would do is I would create these thought experiments or these psychological games with myself for creating standards. It's like, if I could push myself on a set of squats and I'd be completely physically exhausted. And then I was like, all right, there's I could get a million dollars. If I can make one more, can I do it? Or I could save somebody's life if I get one more chin up or that piece of food, which I really want, but I know it's not contributing to my success. What if that costs me the title that one slice of pizza is the thing that takes me out.

 Wade Lightheart: And I would create these things in my mind, kind of using almost like a neuro-linguistic programming to amplify the effects to get leverage on myself. And what I found though also is after my career ended, you know, cause I stayed at that level of discipline. I also did the other thing where I was like, ah, you know what? I did that dieting stuff for long periods of time. I don't necessarily need to, you know, I can go have some fun and which, which I did and I enjoyed, but then I also, you know, you, can you pick up these habits and, and why I'm saying that is, I think the process of building babies is a pretty intense process and it's not necessarily conducive to 60 hour work weeks or, you know, this kind of things. And you get all sorts of things that happen as a, as a woman who's pregnant, at least that's my observation point of all the women I've known who are pregnant.

 Wade Lightheart: And oftentimes you change your standards for a period of time because it's all about the kid or whatever's going on. But like somehow you were able to Slingshot back. Like, can you describe that journey for you? Like both. I think there's two parts. That's really interesting here that I think a lot of women would like to know I'm interested as a guy is number one. How did you allow yourself to do what you needed to do for the kids moving away from maybe the professional demands and then finding that sweet spot where the button comes on and you say, okay, now I'm coming back and I'm coming back better than ever. Can you unpack a little bit of what was going on for you? Because it seems like you're highly connected with your intuitive self, which I think is also a really important aspect.

 Nagina Abdullah: So, okay. So kind of like how I, how I you're, you're asking how I was able to move away from that professional life with, with kids. Like you mean to like move into my own move into doing my own kind of thing or move moved into like the break that I had,

 Wade Lightheart: Both, both on the whole, that whole journey, because I'm faced with this all the time. I have women who come to me. Many of which people I'm acquainted for people who are professionals in the field or whatever, they built the rockstar career to get into their early thirties. These, these are women who killed it at school, killed it in their professional career. At the top of their game. They get this overwhelming feeling that they have to have children. It just seems to come on like a freight train. And then they're like, they kind of hit these existential crisises is like, I just want to be with my baby. I want to go home. But then I feel like I'm not being on my career and or they get inside the baby world. And now like, I want to get back to my career. I've had enough of Google Gaga right now. Like, you know what I mean? Like, you know, there's all this mishmash of things I will, I'm curious to how you were able to so smoothly navigate that and, and, and how other women might be able to grasp some of those points that you were able to pick up or whether that was intuitive or whether you had a process or whether like, I'm curious about

 Nagina Abdullah: That. Oh my gosh. Thanks for asking that. And actually when I was a, you know, a new mom, I actually felt sometime isolated because I was doing a lot of things that a lot of other moms were, would not do at the time, because, because of their own reasons, but I was okay with doing those things. And also my kids are very healthy and mentally healthy as well right now. So it's okay. You know, so yeah. So like, so what that was is like, you know, I can tell you the story, like right after I had and, and, you know, I feel like I'm the minority, so I don't know how many people will resonate with this, but I will tell you that three weeks after I had my son, my first child, I had a whole outing with my girlfriends in New York, where we went to the meat packing district.

 Nagina Abdullah: We went out to a club, we went to have dinner, we had drinks and all of the things like we, everything was great. And I was just, I felt like I was living the life that I wanted to live. And, and I, I felt so happy. And then I went home and the next day I was with my baby and I felt like, oh my God, what a dream that I get to live. Like, I get to have fun and do my own life. And then I also have a child. And so for me, what happened is that I had seen so many visions of women that felt like exactly a lot of things that you were describing, where they had like really become a different person after they had children. And for me, I felt like I became a better person after I had children.

 Nagina Abdullah: Like I, my, my, my babies added to my life, but I was still doing the things that I was doing before. And I just, you know, the weight, that's why I was realizing the weight was really blocking me from being that person. I needed to immediately get it off because I was doing those things already. And so, so for me, I felt no guilt in living life. I felt that my kids will be better off if I'm happy and it doesn't even matter because like right now, this is my life and I chose to have kids. So I should still live my life. I should not give up my life for them. And some of this was also coming a small part of it was coming from the fact that I had never seen other moms that were in my circle or in my past that looked like they were living their dream life after they had children.

 Nagina Abdullah: And I did not want to be that person that had kids in my life ended. And, and so it wasn't like I was trying to move against that, but that was something that was in my mind where I, I, I felt strongly that I was going to work to be the woman that I wanted to be as a mom and not as a mom, like in all areas of my life. So so you know, that also took intention because I actually planned to go to places with people. I planned like my husband and I went on a trip to Jamaica when my son was four months old, you know, on our own. And he was taken care of by his grandma. And guess what? He had a great opportunity to spend time with his grandma and my husband. And I had a great time to reconnect and go on a vacation by ourselves and keep our relationship healthy.

 Nagina Abdullah: So it took intention. And then it also was about just following my heart because I wanted to have a fun life. I wanted to not give myself up because I had children. And what's happened now is that my son is about to turn 12 and my daughter is 10 and a half now. And they, they are, they live in, they have so much fun in their lives. We do so many active things as a family. They see me doing active things and it's normal for them to be adventurous and curious and getting out there. So that was a person. I was, everyone else has their own personality, but, but what I did is I didn't let my personality go because I didn't want to become resentful of being a mom. I wanted to be happy about being a mom. So

 Wade Lightheart: Bring up another piece there. And I want to go into a little bit, and that is you recognize and understood it. Cause I think a lot of women particularly develop a sense of guilt around still wanting to do the things that they were doing before having kids and, you know, the attachment to children and the, there, there is a risk, I think, of becoming a martyr. There, there is a certain, I think it was Lex Friedman was talking to Brett Weinstein the other day. And he says, well, you know, martyrdom is kind of its own drug it's. And then that negative pressure gets oftentimes projected on the kids. Do you know what I've done for you? Wives sacrifice so much, blah, blah, blah. You know, which then that guilt transfer to the children can happen. And then of course, at the end of the day, I do believe that being at happy mom or a happy dad is, is one of the best examples that you can provide for your children, whatever that requires.

 Wade Lightheart: And would you say there's been an increasing demand? Like when I grew up in kids as, as a kid, we, we were told, okay, we got done school. You know, we went out and played till dinnertime. We came home from dinner time. It was like, okay, be back at dark. And that was it. Like there wasn't play dates. There was not this like chauffeur service that was going on. And, and there was certain amount of independence and stuff that I don't see today. I see a lot of parents are really caught in this thing that they've got to be, you know, the, the secretary and show for and financier and you know entertainment director for their children. And that's also a relatively new thing over the last say, 30 or 40 years. How do you navigate the world as it is today in that as, and, and maintain your happiness and your kids autonomy and continue your professional career. Like,

 Nagina Abdullah: Yeah. So, I mean, there is a lot, there is a lot more to, to handle right now. And some of it is for different reasons. There's sometimes you don't live as close to other kids. Sometimes there's a lot of safety issues now that are not what they were. You know, there's a lot of it is. There's just different, different reasons for things that you know, I used to be that child playing in the street tell it was dark. In fact, we used to play this game game called ghosts in the graveyard, which it had to be dark because it was a graveyard game and we, it was in our, it was in our street, but that's what we called it. And that's the, that's the upbringing that I knew. And, and so so I definitely, you know, encourage that, but then also there is a level of safety and like, are there kids that live around you and all these different things, so, you know, what I've been doing, and this is actually a very specific strategy.

 Nagina Abdullah: Our kids have been at home for half the days. They had half days where we live. And so really after one o'clock, my kids were home. I was working full time in my office. And what was happening is that it was on my head that their home, even though they're fine, what, you know, what are they doing? What are they, are they on their, you know, electronics is so much bigger now. And so so it's just like, you're trying not to have them be in electronics for four hours. And so you know, all these things. So what I realized is that I was having all this pressure. And, and so I needed to, I actually just wanted to have quality time with my children and I was trying to get it in, like while I could, but it was never quality time.

 Nagina Abdullah: So now what I did is I just took a full week off and, and just, we went somewhere. Like we, we went on a vacation together. It wasn't like a big, big vacation. It was just, we just went to a local city, stayed there for a couple of days. And I realized that that was such great quality time. And that I shouldn't ever feel guilty. You know, about these, these moments, because that's what life is. Like people have to work, kids go to school, usually they'd be in school all day. I wouldn't have that opportunity to even see them. So, you know, it's a lot of this is guilt that, that, that that moms carry with them. And, you know, I see different ranges of, of, of mothers. Some mothers will continue to have that guilt. And there's also a lot of mothers. Like in fact, I know some partners that work at top firms and they w you know, they have really great children.

 Nagina Abdullah: Like their children are, are very, very like mature, but also emotional, very, not very great kids. And they just are more like cut and dry about, okay, my kids starting camp on this day. And the, this is how the childcare is because I need to go to work because I need to travel. And they don't feel that guilt and their kids are great. So I don't think that like the level of how much you're with the kids or not with the kids matters. It really matters about the time that you're spending with them, the quality that you're giving them when you're with them. And also the support you are bringing about, you know, w like through childcare through other ways. So it's that balancing, and it's fine, you know, it, it works out and I think women need to be so much more empowered to step back and to let their kids be more free. Like you've been mentioning, you don't have to be on top of them all the time. They can do whether they're with your, or they're not with you, they're, they're growing up. You just want to try to have that quality time with them as much as you can

 Wade Lightheart: Beautifully said. So let's kind of switch gears a little bit and talk about your career right now is how you're helping these 60 plus hour a week professional women get into the best shape of their lives. Be great moms feel great, look great. Knock it out of the park with all these demands in the modern world. How did you get into that component? What are the biggest challenges that you see that women are coming to you with and how do you navigate that as their coach?

 Nagina Abdullah: Yes, absolutely. Oh my gosh. Okay. So the way that I got into it is that, you know, I described my transformation that so many women were asking me what happened? How did I do it? And you know, what's interesting is that I started sharing everything as you like, hopefully you see, I ma I'm willing to share. And I would share with women exactly what I did to lose the weight. But here's, what's interesting is that I would literally unlock the secrets of the weight loss that, that women were craving and desiring and wishing for. And I would tell them to do X, Y, Z, and a little bit more, and they would do zero. They would do none. There was none. And I was like, wait, I just worked my whole life to uncover these secrets. It used to feel so hard. And now it's so easy.

 Nagina Abdullah: And here's the secret solution, just do these few things. And there was always different reasons. Like, well, I don't have time. I don't like that. I don't know if I can fit that in you, I don't, can't go to the grocery and get that. So all of these different things. So what I learned was I, after like 20 people, didn't do what I told them. I realized it wasn't them. It was me, it was me. I wasn't telling them in the right way. I wasn't teaching. I wasn't transforming in the right way. So I actually started learning about how to cycle, how to change the psychology of others, how to change habits in people, how to influence people to create change, because this isn't as easy as telling someone you should eat vegetables all day. You know, there's so many more things that are deep and are uncovering that you have to really uncover.

 Nagina Abdullah: So the work that I do now, I help women lose weight. But what it really is based on is how to, how to help women transform their entire lives, through changing the way they think. And so so what I started to do is instead of telling, telling women to do all of these things, I started by telling them one thing that would work. For example, I would say, you know, you should add cinnamon to your coffee instead of having sugar, because cinnamon lowers your blood sugar and it removes your sweet cravings for sugar. And that was so simple and easy that anyone can sprinkle cinnamon in there in their coffee. So it wasn't like creating a recipe or buying an ingredient. It was just doing something they already did. And so soon, you know, for example, women started doing that and then they'd say, oh my God, I ha I don't have as much sugar in my coffee anymore.

 Nagina Abdullah: I'm feeling better in the mornings. What else can I do? And so I would share with them like another small thing, and soon they started trusting me and they started doing the things that I was doing. And so this is how I really started my business, which is I almost stopped because I was getting so much rejection from people not, not changing their habits, but then I learned the strategies. So then I started my blog. I'm a solid started writing about these things, doing all, you know, writing about my strategies, my mindsets sharing recipes. And then what I realized is I learned about the fact that you can actually teach so many people online and, you know, there's so much influence that you can have online. And what happened is that as I was sharing all of this, this advice, one of my readers asked me if I could coach them.

 Nagina Abdullah: If I could, she was at a very ambitious banker in New York with two five-year-old twins, and she was ready to get back to her herself. And so I learned about how to coach people. I took her on and I, I coached her. And I actually was making recipe plans for her based on what I had done to lose 40 pounds. But then I was also coaching her mentally, like coaching her about the habit, changes about the choices, about the temptations that are everywhere. And because she had that accountability, she had strategies and she had recipes. My first client lost 40 pounds with me. And, and from there, I started extending my services in my coach through, through my blog, through my emails, and started bringing on more professional women. And they all started getting results and the difference and the reason they started getting results when they had tried everything else that they hadn't before was because they had a specific plan.

 Nagina Abdullah: They were able to implement. They weren't just hearing abstract information because professional women and busy women, we know what to do. We're smart, but we don't actually know how to bring it into reality and to executing it on a daily basis, what do I eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, if I'm traveling, what do I eat? If I'm out with my family, what do I eat? They just didn't know the choices to make. And then they didn't have accountability to stay consistent because we, you know, this way, consistency is the secret to being healthy. You just, you're consistent. You're consistent doing the right things, but if you do it for one day or two days, and then you have five days that you're kind of not, of course, you're not going to see results. So so this was about getting that accountability. And so, so that's really where I started growing my clients.

 Nagina Abdullah: I got so many clients that were losing weight. They started sharing with me their before and after pictures. And then from there, I grew into creating a group online programs. And I started, you know, I had several online programs that had menu plans, but also support for me. And then now I've evolved into where I am right now, which is I have a a higher end program where I coach very, very busy professional women, physicians entrepreneurs who really don't have a lot of time. And they don't even want to look online for anything. They really want someone talking to them, texting them. They want someone emailing them of exactly what to do in any situation that they're in. And they also want frameworks and they want templates and they don't necessarily want recipes. They may, but not all the time. And so now I've evolved into this place where we're specifically serving our audience by giving them really easy ways to think about their food.

 Nagina Abdullah: We're teaching them how to stay full with less calories. And we're also giving them the accountability and emotional support so that we have women. For example, I have a 58 year old woman that just lost 55 pounds in the last eight pounds in the last eight months. I have a woman that I'm working with that had struggled with her weight for over over 10 years. And she's a professional woman in her forties, and now she's dropped 25 pounds and is feeling the best that she's felt in years as a mom of three. And something even more interesting and exciting is that I actually have a woman that's 80 years old that decided to start working with us because she's ready to get into the best shape of her life. She lost 30 pounds with us in the last seven months. And this is all from lifestyle changes.

 Nagina Abdullah: It's not from dieting. It's about learning how to add tasty vegetables to your diet. It's about learning how to add more protein. It's about learning how to make it easy. We have a concept called easy eating, how to make simple. And it's also really knowing and trusting that you need accountability to make these changes. You can't just do this life overhaul by yourself because food brings about so many other emotions. It's not as easy as saying, I don't want to eat cookies and I should eat salad. There is a reason that we go to certain foods. And so we uncover and unpack that and clear it. And that's why it's a lifestyle transformation. So

 Wade Lightheart: It's so exciting. There's so many things I want to talk to you about, and this has been super rewarding. Where can people get ahold of you find you follow you and more importantly, hire you to help them. I think that you provide, I think you've identified a lot of key areas and overcome virtually every excuse there is in the book. It's sounds science with a sound psychology, and it seems like you've got the magic formula, but I think a lot of women are looking for where do they find you? How do they get, I

 Nagina Abdullah: So appreciate that. Well, I have actually prepared something really special for your audience that I, that I put together, I'm thinking they're going to love it. And this is my sweet spice cheat sheet. This is a free gift that once you grab it, we'll be connected. And this is my sweet spice cheat sheet. It includes a spice that's in your kitchen cabinet. It helps to lower blood sugar and curves sugar cravings. And so my cheat sheet includes three health benefits of using the spice five, no cook ways to use it in your day and an easy recipe using this spice. And so that's available, as I said, it's very special just for your audience at forward slash awesome health. So have a solid forward slash awesome health. Once you grab that cheat sheet, you will also get an email as a special bonus that has my seven tested and perfected recipes to drop your first seven pounds. And these are my really, really delicious metabolism, boosting smoothies, easy spice, filled recipes, and even some desserts. And so that is something you'll get right after you get the sweet spice cheat sheet. You'll see that. And then we'll be connected cause I'll send you emails. And I'll tell you more about some of my live events that I have coming up regularly, where I really teach in depth about the concepts that we talked about through multiple free seven day retreats and more so I'm excited to be connected with your audience Wade.

 Wade Lightheart: Well, this has been awesome. You're a force of nature and you've done something that I think a lot of women today need to understand the steps, the processes, the procedures, what are the aspects of psychology that you need to overcome? The emotional side of it. I know we didn't get into all of that sort of stuff. Cause I was so fascinated with some of the points that frankly I've heard over and over again, as, as, as obstacles are an overcomeable obstacles that women often present and you've smashed through all of them and you've have a process for teaching other people. That's a profound thing and that's, I think totally awesome. And that's why I think people should reach out and find your information. Any closing words for our audience before we let you go. And hopefully we can get you back to kind of get into some of those emotional connection things. Of course, if they go to your website, they'll be able to find those things or connect with you directly and get it, you know, in far more depth than we can cover here. Any final words?

 Nagina Abdullah: Well, I, you know, thanks for giving me this opportunity, Wade, and this has been just such a fabulous conversation. You're such a great conversationalist. So this has been truly enjoyable. And I would, you know, what I want to share is that, you know, this is really like, our life is here. We can create our own life and it's about envisioning what is that life you want to live? And then knowing that you can get there, it's just figuring out the how, and if you tried that, tried it once and it didn't work, you tried it two times and it didn't work well. That's what happens for everyone. And when you're persistent and you keep going and keep looking for the right resources, you can reach that vision. And you know, and, and for me, weight was the first obstacle that I had to overcome so that I could even see that I had a vision. I didn't, I was blocked because I couldn't think about anything until I lost the weight. And once that weight came off, there was so much more in life. There's so much more to enjoy without being feeling like you are, you're just being burdened. And so this life exists and having that independence and not feeling guilt, that's all part of the journey. And, and we can all reach there. So whatever your vision is, know what it is. And then just find the how, because it can happen. You can absolutely do it.

 Wade Lightheart: Beautifully said very exciting. There you have it folks Nagina Abdullah from a check out all of her sites and her beautiful offer that she has. It's all included here in the show notes at the awesome health show from BiOptimizers. If you like this episode, please put the like button, share it with your friends or professional ladies who may be looking for answers and are at their wits end. This is the place to come. I hope you enjoyed the show. We'll see you on the very next episode. Take care.
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