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Friday, April 12, 2013

She Loves To Help Moms Get In Shape -- An Interview with Sumi

1. Let’s begin by saying a few things about yourself

I’m Sumi Singh and I’m a personal trainer in Austin TX, a group fitness instructor (boot camps, yoga, and dance), a fitness model and an online diet coach. I also write regularly for a bodybuilding blog and a supplement review site.

I have a Master’s Degree from Duke, and a Bachelor’s from Tufts. My 5-year old will tell you my actual job is “MOMMY!!!” So, I’m an all around bad-ass :)

2. For how long you’ve been working out and why you decided to start this journey?

I officially became hooked on fitness the moment I first laid hands on a set of my dad’s dumbbells when I was 12.  My family’s encouragement of my athletic endeavors took me on a fitness journey where I achieved several milestones: losing all the baby weight less than 2 months after a C-section and bench pressing my own body weight.

These proud moments are especially important to me as an Indian woman given the tendency of our culture to dismiss the value of athletic activities, and I am motivated to be a role model for everyone seeking healthier lifestyles. And as a single mom, I hope to encourage many moms to reach their fitness goals (and to defeat the many mommy excuses).

3. Tell us your favorite Fitness exercise!

The deadlift! I love it so much I even wrote an ode to it, lol. 

4. Describe a regular day of your life, with all the meals you have.

Regular? LOL! That’s funny. Let’s see, wake up at 5:30 am, feed the dog, get in some cardio (I like waking up with some sweat), get my daughter ready for school, see clients at the gym, teach at the dance studio, head downtown for my bootcamp, teach at another studio, see more clients. It really depends on the day. I have online clients that check in with me on a regular basis too so I pretty much check email regularly.

I try to get my own weightlifting workout done 2-3 times a week. Then pick up my daughter from school, get dinner ready, go through the bathtime/bedtime rituals, read emails and/or a book, and then pass out. :) And then do it all over again.

So in order to power up all this activity I pretty much eat non-stop. Breakfast is usually oatmeal and egg whites with fish oil and other vitamins (or some high protein pancakes) then a whey protein shake with a peanut butter sandwich, then a wrap, and then later some Greek yogurt with some fruit and some cream of wheat (I’m digging that right now), then for dinner usually a lean protein with lots of veggies/salad and a small tortilla or something like the enchilada recipe, then chocolate and red wine for desert.

5. How do you manage to stay focused and dedicated to your goals, regarding all the daily temptations?

What temptations? I pretty much eat whatever I want. Food is fuel, and should be tasty. If my nutrition sucks, so do my workouts. Since I’m a role model as a group fitness instructor, my body deserves the best. I don’t see any sense in feeding it garbage.

Having said that, if I’m preparing for a shoot, I “clean up” my diet considerably, and get portion sizes under better control. It’s a means to an end, and I build enough time in to factor in “treat meals” to quench my temptations, so that even while cutting, I can have breaks from the rigors of dieting.

I encourage the same of my diet clients; get a better sense of portions and build in breaks and treats. It’s the only way to survive in the long run to permanent weight loss anyway.

6. With all that you have going on, how do you find time to make nutritious meals for your daughter? 

Thankfully, she likes fruits, vegetables, and dairy, so there’s hardly any prep work to that. It’s a struggle to get her to eat meat, and she’s generally a pretty light eater, but kids have an innate ability to know just how much food they need to eat because they listen to their body’s cues (unlike some adults). So, even though I’m like every other concerned mother who wants their child to have optimal nutrition, I don’t force the “eat all your food!” issue. She takes a multivitamin and fish oil too.

7. How can people get in touch with you?

They can E-mail me at:

8. And finally say a few words to the readers of!

Remember, the day is not over until you’ve picked up something heavy. See you in the gym!