I spent countless hours trying to decide what to write for this section, but sadly no bouts of brilliance emerged. It’s really tough to summarize yourself in a way that a) is coherent, b) doesn’t make you sound crazy, and c) allows people, in particular those who don’t already know you, to really GET what you’re about. Heck, I’m not even sure if I REALLY GET what I’m about! But if I didn’t come up with something, I’d have to leave this page blank… and well, that could just mean that I’m “about nothing”. So here goes my attempt…
Starting at the broadest level, I am a 28 year-old Indian girl who lives in downtown Toronto. I’m married to my very best friend, Sumit Jhas, and together we spend the little spare time we get hanging out with great friends, exploring Toronto’s extensive fine dining and dessert menus, and watching good / bad movies. I went to Queen’s University for both my B.Com and MBA degrees (yes, I liked Kingston that much) and have spent the last five years doing various sales / consulting roles within the tech sector.
Some fairly well-known points about me:
- I’m Type A
- I’m ambitious and thrive off hard work
- Stress management is not my forte, although I’m working on it!
- Health and wellness is my geek passion
- I have been exploring, learning, experimenting, and researching the various pillars of health and wellness for the last decade
- Fitness is my favorite part
- I’m always on the quest to figure out who I really am
- I love reading self-help books
- I have a love / hate relationship with the word “authenticity”
- I’m a “people person”
- I love meeting new people
- I’m a team player!
- I have one hell of a sweet tooth
- Cakey goodies make me happy
- I prefer vanilla to chocolate
- Stale gummy candy is my guilty pleasure
(Feel free to stop here if you’re not interested in a rather long-winded brain dump.)
The Quest to be Thin:
As many females out there, most of my youth was spent yo-yoing from fat to thin, to super thin, to kind of chunky, back to thin, and so on. I wasn’t born particularly skinny, but I did learn early on that if I made myself suffer enough, I too could fit myself into a snazzy size 0. How? Well, that varied each time. Sometimes I dieted. Sometimes I exercised. But most of the time, I dieted AND exercised.
I researched a lot. “Best ways to shed fat”. “How to get a six pack”. “Should women lift heavy weights”. “Is fasted cardio good for you”. Googling the secrets of weight loss was quite the hobby of mine! Yet each time I came at the problem from a different angle, I led myself straight back to the same point: exceptionally hungry and on my way back to bigger size. This cycle continued for years. Desperate to be thin, I would over-exercise and deprive myself from food, only to burn myself out and rebound to my original size (or even bigger). Yes, everyone knows “moderation is key”, but I’m pretty Type A, and moderation has never been my forte. So instead, I’d simply take time off, inflate like a balloon, and then start again with the vow that “this time, I’d really stick to it”!
And so the cycle continued…. Until….
The Quest For a “Better Me” Begins:
I was married, done my MBA, had a great job, and by Indian standards, was finally “settled”. I had achieved most of my major goals and for the first time felt like I was ready to cut myself some slack. Everything was good. I had earned the right to relax and enjoy life! But was there a sense of relief? Not one bit. As soon as it was time to take it easy, I realized just how programmed I’d become to constantly achieving goals. The problem was, I didn’t have any obvious next steps to take. I thought about starting another degree, just for the sake of it, but what was the point? A previous version of me probably would have done so blindly, but Sonia 2.0 felt like it was time for a change. So after much introspection, I decided that instead of starting yet another designation, I’d make my personal “health and well-being” the next project on my list.
As an Indian girl growing up in Canada, I always struggled with what I wanted to look like. For Indian people, looking “healthy” (read: “hell-thee”) essentially means that a girl has a fair amount of padding on her body (along with glowing skin thanks to products like Fair & Lovely)! Muscle definition is considered anything but feminine and being too skinny is a sign that your parents and / or husband aren’t feeding you properly.
Did I agree with that perspective? No. But, I also didn’t want to look un-feminine. So what was the right balance for me? I wasn’t sure.
All I knew was that I wanted to be healthier, not thinner, than I’d ever been before. So I decided to start from the beginning and re-teach myself the fundamentals of fitness and nutrition. For the first time in my life, I abandoned the idea of “dieting”, began eating better (and more) than ever before, and focused on conquering small wins at the gym. I was always into weight training but had shied away from packing on the muscle for fear that I’d look too manly. In fact, the few times that I had managed to firm up in the past had left me feeling pretty insecure. As I said, Indian people don’t really marvel at girls with biceps. Anytime I put on a bit of muscle, somebody would feel the need to make it a topic of discussion. The feedback wasn’t outright negative per-say, but nobody ever gushed over my guns!
As obvious as it sounds, I came to the conclusion that it was really up to ME to decide what type of body would make me happiest. I was sure I didn’t want to look like a bodybuilder. And no, I wasn’t interested in becoming a fitness model either. All I really wanted was to achieve a strong, lean, and defined body. It was as simple as that. And so I went after it, the right way!
Let’s fast forward some more…
Becoming a Personal Trainer:
Somewhere along my journey I came to the realization that health and wellness really is one of my passions. I mean at the end of the day, it’s the only subject that I’ve ever really loved to study. So I decided that it was time to take my enthusiasm and experience and shift my focus onto helping others. After all, how much longer could I focus on getting better definition in my arms?! I had gotten to the point that I had conquered many of my own fitness goals and was eager to help others do the same. So, I became a certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist!
Best. Decision. Ever.
I mean I knew I was going to enjoy it, but I didn’t realize just how happy it would make me. My experience so far has been unbelievable. I genuinely LOVE working with each and every one of my clients (yes, even those that force me to get out of bed when it’s still dark in the morning)! They all come from different backgrounds, have different goals, and are dealing with different challenges. Saying that I “love working with people” sounds cliché, but it’s a fact. I’m a people person– I’m outgoing, I like to meet and interact with new people, and I’ve got strong communication skills. Personal training puts me in my happy place, as it allows me to bring together everything I enjoy most!
So hopefully my ever-so-long ramble has given you a sense of where I’ve come from and what I’m about. I’ll finish off by saying that I’ve learned a lot over the years and am excited to share my knowledge with you. Whether it’s through this website or in person, I hope to motivate, encourage, and inspire YOU to conquer your health and wellness goals!
“Never give up on anything that you can’t go a day without thinking about.” – Tony Horton