Sometimes, fulfilling your life’s purpose may demand you to leave behind familiar lifestyles and adopt entirely new ones. During a conversation with AboutHer, Twinkle shared how her health problem significantly impacted her life’s direction.
Childhood and Early Life
From a protected and sheltered life to running her setup, Twinkle has come a long way. She is doing something today that she probably had never imagined doing, but that’s life.
Most of the time, we are conditioned to live our lives in a particular way, determined by our surroundings, culture and value systems. But then, as we start living that life, we discover that we need to change. We need to live our life differently; we need to switch gears. And that’s what happened with Twinkle.
Twinkle was born and brought up in Bangalore. She spent her childhood in a Marwari joint family surrounded by aunts, uncles, and cousins. It was a large family of eighteen people, but they were close-knit. As was common in those days, the men stepped out to work, and women largely stayed in the house. That was the prevalent culture.
Another aspect was the abundance of food in the household. Life revolved around food. It was all about mango sessions, late-night eating and more. And though Twinkle got into fitness at a young age, she did get bitten by the food bug.
Her uncle got her into karate when she was only thirteen years old, and when she joined college, she got into running. That was her stress burster, her way of meditation. But her love for food continued. And then she got married to another foodie. Her life after marriage was like an extension of her earlier life, eating all kinds of food, late-night parties and travelling.
This lifestyle continued for a while, but then as was probably destined to happen, Twinkle’s life turned upside down. While getting her regular tests done, she realised she was pre-diabetic. This was like a bolt from the blue because, despite everything, Twinkle had continued with her running and exercising. She couldn’t understand how despite her level of exercise and fitness, she could be where she was.
Not someone who could accept the turn of events, she decided to dig deep and understand why and what was happening to her. She started reading and researching, realising that her state resulted from her genes. Both her parents had diabetes, and that had come down to her. This discovery was shocking but very revealing as it told her that mere exercise is not enough for a healthy life. Food also plays a vital role, so diet and exercise must be equally important.
But along with this revelation came another realisation, and that was that all was not lost. Despite being in the state she found herself in, she could work towards reversing it by bringing changes in her lifestyle and by changing her food habits.
The health issues that Twinkle had to face were like a turning point in her life. They made her delve into their reasons and find ways to deal with them. That was the time she decided to take up health and nutrition as a career and not only help herself but help others as well. She became a certified health coach.
So though working and having a career had never been a part of her life plan, it now became an integral part of her life. It gave her a purpose and identity that she is incredibly proud of today.
Sometimes the challenges we face have nothing to do with the outside world. They stem from our beliefs, insecurities, habits, and more. Twinkle’s life and her struggles fall into this category.
The greatest challenge that Twinkle faced in her life was her health when diabetes came knocking at her door. And this was largely because of her food habits and belief that what she was doing to stay fit was enough. She had always believed that exercise could compensate for all the eating. But the health scare made her realise that exercise is just one part of the story. Eating well, along with the genes you inherit, also have a significant role to play in your health and fitness story. That realisation brought an entire shift in her thinking and lifestyle. It was a journey from a known way to an unexplored territory.
But rather than wallowing in self-pity and sinking into it, Twinkle decided to catch the bull by its horns. There was no way she was going to live with the condition. She chose to fight and found a way to reverse the situation. This was when her inner strength, her determination and resilience stepped out to save the day for her. She was hugely self-motivated and knew that she had to do it.
However though she knew what she had to do, it wasn’t easy because she had to change from a known and familiar way of existence. She had to give up on her habits, which had become a part of her persona. Food items which she loved had to be ejected from her life. It involved a lot of sacrifice, grit and determination, but she had it all.
She had to break away from being a foodie, a stay-at-home mom, to someone who decided to watch what she ate, change her lifestyle and encourage others to do the same.
And once she could conquer her apprehensions and fears, the rest was easy. Her family supported her in every possible way. They were more than happy when she decided to start her fitness venture. And it was the females in her life, like her mother-in-law and her sisters, who went all out to support her.
As she moved on in her journey, she realised that the women around her rooted for her more than anyone else. While her friends and family encouraged and pushed her, her clients referred her to other women and helped her grow her venture.
She was able to connect with the women seeking her help because she had gone through a similar experience, making them feel understood. Additionally, her explanation of the link between the mind and body and her holistic approach to addressing their problems made them comfortable enough to trust her.
So being a woman was more of a boon than a bane for her.
Balance in Life
Twinkle has multiple hats to wear, like every woman, but she has figured out how to balance the numerous roles. She believes planning and organising the day ahead is the best way to ensure everything is on schedule. You are pretty much sorted if you know what your day will look like and can make the necessary arrangements.
And, of course, the family can step in during an emergency or a crisis. Her family is always there for her. Not only that, but they also have not let any conventional expectations come in the way of her journey.
Twinkle is a woman who managed to reverse a health issue and is now in a position where she is in a better health situation and can help others as well. Looking back on her life, she feels this has been her greatest success.
She was able to not only realise her mistake but do what was needed to make amends. Also, as a mother, when she sees her two girls following their dreams with passion and conviction, she cannot but feel happy about a job well done.
Not only that, but her girls are equally conscious about their health and are supremely proud of their mother and her accomplishments.
Good Days, Bad Days
Like all of us, Twinkle has her share of good and bad days. There are days which seem to drag and try to hold her back. But the self-motivated woman she is, she does not let anything hold her back.
She knows she cannot return to where she was twelve years ago with all her health issues. Also, she would not like to see anyone go through the same. So whenever she is down and out, she reminds herself of the consequences of slipping and gets right back into her routine.
Her daughter, a dancer, is also a huge source of motivation. A young girl who can have several distractions in her life is so focused that she never allows anything to come in the way of her dance practice. She is ready to miss social occasions but will never miss her sessions. Even during the long months of Covid, she stuck to her regime. That is a huge source of inspiration for Twinkle.
Her parents also inspire her to stay on her path. They must go for a morning walk to keep their diabetes in check, and they do that even if the weather is not good and it is raining, which is very often in Bangalore.
Ten Years From Now
Having found her calling, Twinkle is determined to move on in her journey as a health and nutrition expert and scale greater heights. She wants to help many more people and also equip herself further to do that. She wants to study more, go back and experience student life again.
Along with that, she also wants to travel and see the world while staying fit and healthy.
Learnings of Life
Twinkle was happy to share some of her life learnings with us.
She feels that one must do what one loves and not let anything come in the way. Whether it is marriage, a financial constraint or anything else, we must never lose sight of our passion. Even if it is unheard of or unconventional, if you love it, continue doing it.
This is a learning that Twinkle admits she got from her daughter, who has stuck to her guns and carried on with her dancing despite every form of distraction at her age.
Also, she feels every individual should be financially independent. She believes it is essential for everyone, especially women, to earn their money. She sees no point in a woman depending on the male members of her family for her financial needs. In fact, women should focus on acquiring this independence before even thinking of getting married. She has experienced the confidence and increased self-belief that comes with this kind of independence.
Life has also taught her that one must always care of one’s health and well-being. If there is an issue, one should nip it in the bud and not wait for it to assume alarming proportions. She feels everything else we own is transitory, but our bodies will stay with us forever, so we must take care of them.
Also, taking care of oneself has nothing to do with age. One can start doing it at any age. But there can be no instant results. One has to be patient and keep at it. She has also learnt that it doesn’t make sense to have a short-term perspective when it comes to health goals. For instance, trying to lose weight for an upcoming vacation or a wedding will end up doing more harm than good. Looking after our bodies and our health should be a long-term goal.
World and Successful Women
Twinkle believes that the world generally supports and appreciates successful women in their fields. They treat them with respect and admiration.
When it comes to her, she feels she makes people conscious about what they put on their plates when they are around her!!
Twinkle feels, as a society, we have become way more flexible and open about what professions or vocations people can adopt. Moreover, there is a lot more awareness about the different options. So, therefore, it is easier now for people to switch to other career options in their midlives.
She feels that people get caught up in convention and tradition several times and choose careers they don’t like. But because of financial constraints, they have to continue with them. But with time and age comes financial comfort, and that is when they start looking towards following their passion. And since there is so much awareness today, people can experiment and discover what they like. Also, when they see others doing different things, they get inspired to do the same.
She feels we have only one life and, therefore, must do everything we want and not get bogged down by age which is just a number.
She refers to Steve Jobs’ quote ‘Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish’ to convey that we should never stop learning and always try new things.
Advice to Young Girls
Her first piece of advice to young girls is to take care of their health. She feels the most important thing is to avoid junk food that youngsters love. They often go for it due to peer pressure and the ease of getting it. But they don’t realise how it can be disastrous for them and ruin their health. She feels the best way to avoid it is to have a weekly plan to include the right food items in your meals.
She also believes financial independence is the key to happiness; therefore, every girl should strive to acquire that. And in that pursuit, it is critical to follow one’s passion. She feels girls should never give up on all this to get married.
Also, it is essential to love yourself and never let any failure or setback affect you. She feels life is beautiful, and all the setbacks are just temporary.
She further believes that one must believe in oneself and never compare oneself to others, especially under the influence of social media. She feels what we see on social media is only one part of a person’s life; it is not the reality. Therefore, one should not be affected or influenced by it.
A Woman is a Woman’s Worst Enemy
She doesn’t believe in this at all. She has never experienced it or seen it around herself.
In fact, she has had women supporting her at every stage and in every place. She feels it is how you perceive the other person. If you see a woman as an enemy, that is who she will be to you, but if you see her as a friend or an ally, then that is what she will be.
She also feels that it all depends on us. If we reach out and seek help, nobody will ever refuse, and if someone does seem to behave unpleasantly, we must give them a chance and understand where they are coming from. And most of all, we must not let any of this bog us down.
Can a Woman have It All?
She feels a woman can have it all, but it all depends on her definition and perception of that all. A woman needs to be clear about what she wants in life, and then she can get it all.