2016: The Year of More Energy


Nagina Abdullah


January 5, 2016


When I was growing up, I remember being in the park and seeing all the moms sitting on a bench on the side. They would keep a close eye on their kids, but if the kid wanted their mom to toss a baseball with them or help them on the monkey bars, they would say, “Oh, you don’t have to do that right now” or “Let’s ask Daddy to come and help you.”

Right after I had my daughter, I felt like I had gained 20 years onto my life. I would sit on my couch and my back would hurt, and I didn’t want to take my kids for walks, even along the beautiful NY skyline where I lived, because I was too tired.

I would hear of families going bicycle riding together, and people who went on hikes for their weekends. To me, the sound of it was great!

But when I woke on a Saturday morning, I had much different desires than “those people” whom I had heard about.

  • For me, the most heavenly thing I could do would be to stay in bed or mull around the house and recover from my busy week
  • Watching a marathon of “Sex and the City” or “Housewives” sounded like a dream to me
  • Going out to brunch or dinner and coming home to digest the food and fall asleep sounded like a perfect frosting on the cake to these dreamy lazy days
Cheers! Food, drinks & sleeping used to always be the #1 ways I relaxed before

I had always thought I was so busy climbing up the corporate ladder and balancing home and family life that it was normal for me to feel exhausted when the weekend hit.

So who were those people that jumped up out of bed on Saturday mornings and ran 5ks on their free weekends?

Though the idea sounded nice, actually doing it sounded like a nightmare to me!

One day, I realized what was happening, and it hit me like a ton of bricks in my face.

The moment I had time for me, the exhaustion hit me.

I felt like I was practically superhuman during the week, achieving every “deadline” for everyone else (family, friends and work).

By the end of the day and on the weekend there was really no energy left to pull out of a magical hat for myself and comfort food in all it’s glory feels SO good (albeit temporarily).

There’s nothing worse than working as hard as we do, and coming home and staring at the wall and thinking, “I could be going for a walk, I could be shopping, I could be taking my kids to the park.”

We think about all the things we could be doing and we don’t have the energy to do them. It’s not even jogging, or hiking, or running 5ks, it’s even the basic things!

I felt so old!

I didn’t feel like I was that old, but why was I SO exhausted?

On the weekend I would feel practically dead, sitting at home shoving carbs into my mouth. Is this how life has to be?

I wanted to do everything for work and enjoy outside of work – not be so tired that I hit my head hard on the pillow to go to sleep when it was finally “me” time.

But when I would tell others about how I felt, they would tell me I shouldn’t expect so much.

“Nagina, you’re so busy! Take some down time!”

“Why are you trying to do even more?”

This is part of what makes us believe that having LESS energy is normal, and having MORE energy is absurd, and for “those other people.”

  • People will tell you to be happy with how much you already have going on
  • But if you say if you say you watch 10 different TV shows a week and come home every night and sit on the couch and stare at the tube, it’s perfectly accepted
  • And when you say you WANT to do active things, people say, “RELAX!”

But this is the thing, sitting in front of the TV for hours doesn’t really RELAX me. It actually numbs my brain. It stresses my body to sit there in one position and stare at images moving around.

I never remember the moments I spent watching TV. They blur together and I have no idea where that week or weekend went.

When I take a walk outside it revives me! It makes me realize how much I love living!

Once you start being more active, everyone actually thinks it’s so amazing!

So why does it feel so hard to be more active?

I wanted to know about this mysterious world and these seemingly “weird” people that would get up and go running on their days off.

One day things changed in my life.

I started eating healthier and lighter foods, and getting stronger in the gym. I started losing weight. All of a sudden, my energy levels started skyrocketing.

  1. It started with little things like after my lunch, I wouldn’t feel a slump that seemingly would put me into a coma smack dab in the middle of a huge client meeting.
  2. All of a sudden, on Saturday morning my eyes would pop open, and I would be excited to jump out of bed and do something, anything!
  3. Last year, I experienced a major transformation in my quality of life and the things I started wanting to do.

I didn’t realize how little energy I had until I got it back. That’s when I couldn’t believe what I had been missing out on.

Last year, on multiple weekends I could not WAIT for Saturday so I could go hiking with the kids.

It felt so freeing, so healthy, and reminded me what nature and living was all about.

And when I walked, my legs and back carried me strongly, and took away any stress I was carrying.

The most fulfilling thing to me was that I was showing my kids how fun it is to lead an active, healthy life.

I was so happy to take my family hiking in these gorgeous fall leaves!

Hiking was so fun that the day after Thanksgiving my sister and her entire family joined us (I planned a hike to walk off the feast).

I couldn’t believe that I was leading other people to do healthy activities, when I had been the one wanting to sleep in just a few years ago!

My 6-year old nephew told us the most fun part of his weekend, which included lots of fun kids’ activities like eating, sleepovers, and toys, was . . .


The energy I have now hit me when we recently had a freak 60 degree Fahrenheit day this past December in NJ / NY (when it’s usually cold, snowing and we are huddled up under a blanket inside). It was such a beautiful day and my husband and I took our kids to the park.

That day, I couldn’t sit on the sidelines like I had seen hundreds of moms do in the past. This playground was awesome!

I wanted to spend time with my kids and I wanted to play also! I wanted to run on this playground with shaky bridges, monkey bars, and slides, because it seemed so fun!

That’s exactly what I did. Now, instead of sitting on the sidelines, I’m in the middle of the game.

park-togetherNow, every weekend I look forward to doing active things — I enjoy it, and I'm showing my kids and family a whole new side of the world.
Playgrounds are incredibly fun!!

Now, every weekend I look forward to doing active things — I enjoy it, and I’m showing my kids and family a whole new side of the world.

A side that’s healthier, incredibly fun, and playful.

And makes me feel like I’m truly LIVING.

And that’s why this year I want to focus on MORE ENERGY.

Welcome to the Year of More Energy

This year, instead of settling for feeling constantly tired and yawning through our free time, we’re going to demand MORE ENERGY for ourselves.

More walks. More hikes. More 5ks.

More putting ourselves first.

It could be liberating activities this year with your family or friends:

I WANTED to paddle down the river in this raft (and my daughter started paddling too because she wanted to do what Mommy was doing)

Or an activity you choose to do for a milestone event, like your birthday.

For my 38th birthday I chose to go for a bike ride along the Pacific Ocean with my husband.

My birthday bike ride in Monterey, CA July 2015

Or it could be something much simpler.

Having more energy makes the everyday activity of walking up subway and/or train stairs millions of times easier, no more huffing and puffing.

Effortlessly walking up the subway stairs in NYC

When you have more energy, the simplest of activities become easier, you can do more in your work life — and you STILL have energy left for yourself.

Energy is the foundation to feel like you’re living more.

Whatever it is that you want to do when you have more energy, I’ll help you get there.

Here are a few examples of my clients that have changed their lives by having MORE ENERGY.

More Energy: Enjoying walking without feeling exhausted

More Energy: Doing active things with husband / partner


Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 7.25.07 AM

Now, consider this:

What if I had accepted that having more energy wasn’t possible for me?

What if I felt that I was too busy, too old, too out of shape to get more energy?

What if I had believed those people who thought I was wanting too much out of life because I was craving more energy?

I would probably still be sitting on my couch watching TV show after TV show wondering why I didn’t have the life like those people on TV.

Feeling envious, discouraged, and bored of my life.

If I had followed the people that had told me to “Relax” and just accept that I’m tired because I have so many things going on, I would think hiking a Saturday or going kayaking on my vacation was unattainable.

It was for “those people,” and not for me.

If I had resigned myself to living a life where I’m feeling tired, my kids would see me day after day sitting, with little activity, and that would be their image of what it’s like to grow up.

If there’s one thing I don’t want to live like, it’s tired and exhausted.

I think many of us feel this way. We want to live life!

We WANT the energy to jump out of bed on a Saturday morning and go for a hike, a walk or a run with our loved ones

We CRAVE going on vacation and being adventurous and excited by going on a kayak or a raft or maybe even trying something exciting like parasailing

And we DESIRE being spontaneous and playful by going rollerblading, playing in the park, or tossing a ball around

Right now, some of these thing may exhaust you just to think about them, but once you get the energy they will be your new normal.

It happened to me and it can happen for you too.

This year, what do you want more energy for?

I’m taking a stand for you in 2016.

If you’re ok with feeling lethargic all day and that’s the life you want, this probably isn’t for you.

But if you want more energy — more fun, more activity, more playfulness, I can help you.

Over the next couple weeks we’re going to talk about what having more energy means for your life for the brief time you’re on our beautiful Earth, including what it means to me as a highly educated, career-driven mom of 2, as well as many of my clients.

I’ll also challenge our social norms and the mindsets that are making us feel like it’s ok to be running on empty all day, while you still have time to reverse it and start living the life you truly dream of living.

A Question for You:

  1. What does having MORE ENERGY mean to you?
  2. What would you look forward to if you had MORE ENERGY? Also, what are your biggest dreams? Is it to climb to the top of Machu Picchu, to run a 10k or a marathon, or something else?

Leave your comments below. I read every single one.

Welcome to the year of more energy.




Avatar photo

Nagina Sethi Abdullah, BA, MBA

Nagina Abdullah is a health coach for middle-aged women and professionals. She coaches women to boost their metabolism naturally, shed pounds and keep them off. Her work with weight loss clients led to the creation of Masala Body, an online weight loss platform that provides an easy and accessible system that helps women sustainably lose weight. She has helped over 1200 women successfully lose from 10-80 lbs and create a sustainable lifestyle change. Nagina earned her degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.

Reader Interactions


  1. Kimberly Dsouza says

    Hi Nagina,

    I am a SAHM and find myself out of Energy all the time! When I quit my job years ago, I thought being a SAHM would give me more quality time to spend with my kids. But, I have just one son so far, and I find I hardly have the Energy to do any fun stuff with him! 🙁

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

See The Before And After Photos Of My Midlife Women Clients