Meet Dr. Amitha Mundenchira, a Weight Loss Success Story!
I had the privilege of training Amitha about 8 years ago. At that time she was a fairly new physician who had come to the organization I was working with to get help with exercise and general overall fitness.
She had already lost some weight when she started with us, and we helped her with the exercise portion. Overall she lost approximately 60 lbs, having gone from a high of 95 to 100 kg, reducing down to 60 kg.
Weight Loss Success, 8 Years and Counting!
Amitha has maintained her weight loss for 7 years, which is amazing, given that statistics suggest only 10% of the overweight population will ever be able to do this. How did she do it?
Those of you who know me know that I believe that, in order for a weight loss program to be considered a success, the person has to have lost their weight – and kept it off – for 5 or more years. That’s because too often people slip back in to old habits within a year or two, and the weight comes back on. I’m interested in learning from people who’ve had long-term success.
I contacted her recently and asked if we could meet to discuss what she does to maintain her weight loss. I spent an hour asking her question after question, trying to ferret out what her secret was. What she told me really was no surprise, but very important information just the same.
Overcoming Emotional Eating
Amitha was admittedly an emotional eater. She doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t overweight. She had always, prior to age 29, had weight to lose. The eating habits of her family weren’t the best, she says, and eventually her mother was bedridden due to health issues, issues that Amitha, as a doctor, believes had to do with her weight.
Amitha saw her mother’s condition, and knew that, in 20 years, this is what she’d be facing. She didn’t want that. It’s no surprise, then, when I asked her to boil permanent successful weight loss down to one sentence, her answer was simply this: “The secret to permanent to weight loss is to find the motivation within you to start, and to keep going.”
She struggled with body image as she was growing up, and therefore tended to turn away from social and sports-related activities. This further fueled negative self-talk and negative emotions, which in turn encouraged eating more junk food in order to feel better.
“The secret to permanent to weight loss is to find the motivation within you to start, and to keep going.” – Dr. Amitha Mundenchira
Finally, at age 29, she had had enough, and decided to change how she ate. She eats small meals now, all vegetarian, making sure that at each she has greens and a protein substitute. She also supplements with an array of vitamins and minerals, and she exercises regularly.
But it’s not just about changing how she eats, she realizes. There was work to be done in her personal life, and she was up to the challenge. She learned to love herself just the way she is. She stays busy, so that boredom doesn’t test her willpower. She knows the importance of maintaining appropriate boundaries in her life, so that she doesn’t have to stress unnecessarily. This is something I speak about regularly.
I asked her to tell me what her advice would be to someone who was seeking permanent weight loss. Here’s her formula:
• Find a motivator, and that will vary depending on who you are and where you come from
• Do it for yourself and not for others
• Don’t put a time limit on it; do it slowly, and it will be easier to maintain
• Eat healthy, DON’T diet (i.e. restrict calories), & keep active
• Do cardio, but find a type that suits you
Since her weight loss, Amitha has become a model, has studied singing and dancing, and is also a TV show host! You can watch her on her talkshow “SPOTLIGHT” that airs every week on Rogers 682 or 697 and on Bell 679. You can follow her on her website www.abhithi.ca.
It Gets Easier
Amitha said that, at first, it was hard to make all the necessary changes. She also had a brief struggle back in 2009 where she was challenged with some decisions she needed to make about her career. She gained about 5 kg during this period, but got herself back on track.
She says it’s both simple and easy to maintain now, as long as she follows her own 5-step process above.
Want to be like Amitha? Try taking to heart what she suggests. You have nothing to lose, except the weight!!!