Personal History, Philosophy, & Approach
Hi, I am Mahmooda. Thank you for visiting my website and taking the time to get to know me … grab a cup of tea and enjoy 🙂
What is a Health Coach?
A Health Coach is a supportive mentor and wellness authority who provides system, support, and accountability to the clients to help them feel their best through Nutrition (food) and lifestyle changes. A health coach does NOT prescribe one diet regimen or a particular way of exercising; instead he/she tailors individualized wellness programs to meet their clients’ needs. A health coach recommendations do not replace medical doctor recommendations, it’s rather complimentary to medical recommendation.
My Unique Approach:
I believe we’re each unique individuals who need individualized nutrition & lifestyle plans to maintain optimal health. I also believe, Our bodies know how to heal itself naturally, we need to get to the root cause of the health issue we are experiencing; and we need to facilitate it with that individualized plan to allow for healing to take place.
I take a Holistic approach in coaching my clients that combines human psychology, evidence based research, and principles of Ayurveda. So, alittle bit of old wisdom integrated with evidence based new knowledge, and a dash of human psychology. This helps me help my clients achieve optimal health by getting to the root cause of their health concerns. Then, prepare a therapeutic plan that is individualized to them to address the root cause, so they feel better, get healthy, and continue to live with vitality and optimal health.
My Personal Health Journey:
I came to United States in 1994. I was a fit-happy-healthy teenager then 🙂 Known as ‘The girl with zest for life.’ I loved chocolates and all junk food just like any other teenager 🙂 However, where I came from chocolates and junk food were served only on special occasions, because they were scarce, and when available, very expensive, so we would had, it may have been twice or three-times a year. I found US supermarkets to be my sweet-tooth-junk-food-galore!!! Abundantly available and very affordable!!!
In a matter of 3 years, I was three times my normal weight, I was unhealthy, I could feel it, and suffered from anxiety. My weight gain didn’t bother me, because the bigger I got, the baggier my clothes got, and I was really OK with that.
When I was about 19, after a year of absent menstrual cycles (amenorrhea) I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). I was sent home with a prescription for birth control pills to correct my menstrual cycles. Swallowing those pills was not an option for me … I despised (still do) taking medicine. So, I made some intuitive shifts …
At that time, I was a full-time college student and was working full-time. So, I decided to cut down on work hours and switch some class load to make some time for me to add some ‘walking, listening to music, and spending time with my siblings, and my best friend, relaxing and going to the movies from time to time… etc’. This decision was intuitive, not a physician recommendation, not a health professional suggestion, no other source or resource … I simply connected with my body and proceeded.
This is what happened within 6 months:
- My cycles were back
- my acne breakouts were gone
- I lost some weight
- I was my happy self again
Years passed by … I got married and had my first two children right away. Since I lived away from my home and the “culture of eating”, I had more control over my eating habits and lifestyle. So, I was more fitter and in-tune with my body. I was definitely eating less junk and sugar.
During my first pregnancy, I learned all about parenting, children’s’ health and well-being. So, feeding my kids healthy meals became an obsession. While learning all about different kid friendly foods and how to hide their veggies in meals … I came across some disturbing information “metabolism slows down when we turn 30 and it’s down-hill from there … so we might not digest foods as easily as we could when we were in our 20’s …” What? I was turning 30 that year!
Today, I know that information was totally misleading/false, because you can have an amazing metabolism at any age!
Soon I turned 30, and I began dieting. At first, I found it very structured and predictable, so it was great. But, there were too many restrictions and not much of a variety. Now, at that time my weight would fluctuate between 125-130 lbs. (I am 5′ 1″), which I was very comfortable with. So, I wasn’t really dieting to either lose weight or get fit … I was dieting to take what I had already created – healthy meals and eating habits, to another level, making it permanently predictable. Oh! What an unwise decision that was!
Dieting thew me off balance, really! I had developed strong cravings for carbs, sugar, and junk food, and soon I could no longer stay fit without dieting. I would binge and gain weight at the end of one diet, then hop on another diet to lose what I had gained from my binge eating, and binge again … I stayed in this viscous cycle for several years, Fall of 2013 to be exact, when I was pregnant with my third child. Feeling conscientious about a little being growing inside me, I stopped dieting and began eating normally. I was 35 at that time, although the pregnancy was not a challenging one physically but it was not an easy one emotionally.
After giving birth, I wanted to go on a diet right away. But, since I was nursing and enjoying that process … I opted out and focused on just mothering my newborn beautiful girl.
My daughter’s birth definitely brought forth so many feelings and questions. I was the same sex role-model she would look-up-to growing up, was I ready for that? Most importantly, would I want her to go through all the health challenges I went through? NO … NO WAY!!!
As I struggled with the emotional side of questioning my role as a mother and a role-model to my baby girl; I was struggling with so much more on physical level: I was definitely fatter than before, moody and irritable, low on energy, lack of mental energy and focus, more confused about food and eating, and absolutely terrified of the scale … let alone the broken confidence after so many failed diets!
In 2014, I decided to REALLY do something about all the mess I was going through, I felt physically depleted, and emotionally and mentally drained. I decided to join a health coaching program. I learned all about nutrition, health, emotional triggers, habits and the ‘when, where, who, what, how and why’ of eating – most importantly the 100 diet protocols … what??? there were actually more than 100 diet programs out there … that was an eye opener; and so was learning what diets can do to your mind and body.
A year later, I completed the program while struggling with severe fatigue, brain fog, memory loss, and debilitating dizziness – to the point that I could no longer stand on my feet … every time I stood up I would fall back down, which followed by bouts of nausea and vomiting. This was the most terrifying and physically debilitating experience for myself and my family.
We decided to seek medical advise, and saw several medical specialists. After many months of appointments, tests, and MRIs … I was told I had an under-active thyroid – hypothyroidism. I was given Armour to treat the symptoms and was advised to do blood tests every three months followed by a visit to my endocrinologist to manage the function of my thyroid gland. That is it!
While I was so grateful I had a diagnosis for my symptoms, managing it with medications and 3-month visits to an endocrinologist for life was not an option I could live with. So, this diagnosis became a new learning journey for me.
I began reading every book I could get my hands on and researched across entire spectrum of topics from PCOS, female Hormones, gut health, Thyroid, meditation, yoga, detox, cleanse, autoimmune disorders … etc.
I learned all about diets and therapeutic methods for my health issues. I implemented them and I was finally feeling better, my symptoms were slowly getting better … but not optimal.
In Fall of 2017, I had an inner nudge to begin meditating, I researched on meditation techniques. During my research, I came across Transcendental Meditation (TM), and a Master’s program in Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. I joined the program and trained as TM practitioner. This was a serendipitous life event, it was the last piece of puzzle to my turning my health into its optimal state.
I learned the ROOT-CAUSE of my health problems, I learned to look at them holistically and treat them holistically. I learned to individualize my nutrition, exercise, routines, and lifestyle choices to take my health to it’s optimal level. The result:
- More energy and vitality
- Weight loss
- More focus and concentration
- My sense of purpose was back
- Enthusiasm to try new adventures
I am so grateful for this learning and healing journey. While I no longer am experiencing worry about my weight, fear of the scale, confusion about food, or any debilitating symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, lethargy, lack of focus, hair falling, dizziness, aches and pain here and there… I want the same experience for you and other women!
That’s why I have made it my mission to help women live in-harmony-with-their-hormones, naturally in a holistic way.
So today, I coach women to achieve optimal health by harmonizing their hormones as an Ayurvedic Health Practitioner, using what I have learned from personal experience combined with knowledge gained from my degree in psychology, and MS in Ayurveda and Integrative medicine in a natural & holistic way.
Me as Me:
I am a student of life and have an insatiable desire for learning!
I have been happily married since 2004, and mom to three awesomely-beautiful-and-unique children. I enjoy eating as well as preparing healthy meals for myself and my family. I also enjoy reading, being with my children, journaling/blogging, meditating, doing crafts, crocheting, knitting, being outdoors in the nature, the beach, soaking in sunshine, going on long walks, dreaming ;-), spending time alone (me time), dancing, yoga, swimming, tennis, HIIT (high intensity interval training), and lazy time watching movies on Netflix or with my children 🙂 and soooo much more! I am a Feng-Shui enthusiast, so spatial harmony is very important to me. I believe, our environment has to be in harmony with who we are for us to function in our Zone of Genius.
Most of all, I enjoy my coaching sessions with my clients, who have taken a bold step into transforming their health, well-being, and life from inside out.
- ♥ Mom ♥
- Ayurvedic Health & Lifestyle Practitioner: Holistic Health & Lifestyle Coach for women with hormonal imbalances
- Masters of Science in Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine
- Bachelors of Science in Psychology
Looking forward to being part of your healing journey!
to your best health and hormonal harmony,