Do you want to run into the waves and build sandcastles?


Nagina Abdullah


August 18, 2015


This weekend was the type of weekend I dream about. It was 90 degrees outside, and the only thing on our calendars were beach time, pool time, plus BBQ time! I had precious moments to spend with my family, including my sister and her family and kids.

With 2 days packed with activities, the key was that we had enough energy to enjoy it! Here’s a picture of me with my 6-year old son and nephew — we were SO HAPPY to be at the beach!

Beach Jump
Jumping with joy for a beautiful beach day!

I spent part of the afternoon doing my daughter’s favorite activity — finding seashells and building sand castles.


Sandcastles 2

Girl time! We loved building sandcastles – there is something so relaxing about this!

I’m still new to the sensation of feeling confident in my bathing suit. In the past I would sit in a chair on the sand or lie on a beach towel with my cover-up on. I would tell myself that I was comfortable like that and I didn’t really feel like going out to the water that much. I would have a good time, but I spent a lot of time in my own head feeling self-conscious.

These days, I’ve gone past losing weight and am now focusing on getting stronger. I am out of my own head of feeling self-conscious – and I can completely dedicate my attention to running in the waves with my son, building sandcastles with my daughter, and having drinks and hanging out with my husband, sister and brother-in-law.

After a full day at the beach, I still had enough energy to jump into the pool with my kids after, catch my daughter over and over on the slide, and play catch with a beach ball with my son.

Pool Slide
My 4 1/2 year daughter didn’t get tired of going down the slide again and again! And I didn’t get tired of catching her!

I had to focus on MYSELF first

Because I’m no longer focused on feeling self-conscious so much, I can focus MORE on those around me. This is kind of counter-intuitive, because in order to get to where I’m at, I had to focus on myself first.

Did I spend months away from my family and friends to spend time on myself? Did I deprive myself of happiness and enjoyment when going out to parties and events for a year? Did I feel cranky and tired so I would feel confident in a bathing suit?

No!!! There is SUCH an easier way. You, as an ambitious woman, can absolutely fit putting your health, fitness and energy first with a few small things that have a big impact.

I didn’t say do NOTHING, you have to do SOMETHING. But it can be part of your life as you know it today. A little bit of priority on yourself will go a long way.

Here’s 3 things that can help you fit in putting yourself first so you can concentrate on those around you more:

Mental effort to think about what you need to feel better about your mind and body
Time to act on it and plan ahead
Emotional strength to balance what everyone else is telling you that you “should” do

Here’s a few things I’ve done over the past years to reach my weight-loss and strength goals:

  • Mental Effort: I spent some mental effort on the weekends planning a couple meals so I would know what I’m eating
  • Time: I grocery shopped and cooked some of my own healthy dishes on the weekends for our dinners and took them to social events to share with others
  • Emotional Strength: I relied on my internal, emotional strength to tell friends and hosts (which even sometimes included my mom!) that I wanted more of the vegetables and fish/protein dishes and less of the potatoes, bread and pasta dishes (this is NOT easy!).

I did a little at a time, and it became easier.

I’d love to hear your answers to these 2 questions below – just reply to this email or comment on the blog.

1. What do you want to do at the beach this summer?
2. Do you feel guilty about putting yourself first? What makes it hard for you?

If you are interested in how I can help you to lose weight and feel more energy in half the time than what you’re doing now, fill out this application to apply for a free 30-min. Weight-Loss Breakthrough Session with me.

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. Julie says

    Hi Nagina,
    You look awesome in a bikini! My wishes for the Beach haven’t really changed even though my swim wear has. As for the second question, I choose to turn it on its head. Do you feel guilty for NOT putting yourself first. As a mom, I’m constantly trying to instill a can-do attitude. I’d like my children to be the best they can be. If I can’t lead by example, I’m shortchanging them along with my future self.

    • Nagina says


      Thank you so much! I love how you’re turned the question around!! Leading by example is so key, and you must be happy first.

      Have a beautiful day,

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