This is a transcript of the Facebook Live session that was held on 29th August 2020.
Mugdha: Hello everyone, welcome to this live which is Own Your Body Episode - Nine.
My name is Mugdha Pradhan. We are live with Amit and this own your body series is a different one because instead of me just speaking. We actually have somebody who's gone through the experience at iThrive and is going to be sharing what happened to him in this entire journey. I am so happy to have you on board Amit.
Amit: Thank you Mugdha, I'm also so happy to be here and sharing my experiences with you all.
Mugdha: So my name is Mugdha Pradhan. For those of you who are watching this for the first time, I am the founder of iThrive. I'm a functional nutritionist. And what we do at iThrive is we reverse chronic illnesses from the root and today Amit is actually going to share the experience of how that is; Amit if you could tell the viewers what is it that you do?
Amit: I'm a businessman, I'm based out of Hyderabad. And I trade commodities and capital markets for my living. So, it's like I'm constantly under stress. Stress has been a part of my life for the last 25 years.
Mugdha: And I think the lockdown made it worse right? If I recollect our conversation.
Amit:Yes, it was very difficult dealing with the lockdown and post lockdown things were pretty bad and we have still not recovered it, but still, that's become a part of the game.
Mugdha: Alright. So Amit, I remember meeting you almost a year and a half ago now, right?
Amit: Yes we met in April 2019 in Shimla first. And I remember that evening very well. As we were having a bonfire sort of evening that night, and it was cold and what they say is, what you seek also seeks you. And at that time, I was probably at the lowest level of my life, dealing with so many ailments. And I was very curious to find out if someone can help me. In the previous edition of Life plugin, I met Pancham Parashar. He started the process with me, and he was helping me out. The results were not as I expected. And we were having a conversation around the bonfire when you heard us speaking. And then we had an interaction and I asked you about what you do. And that is when we started our conversation. Then I started sharing what problems I deal with. I shared with you what ailments I am confronting and what are the things I'm looking at. And you didn't tell me anything then you just smiled and then said you take my contact number and you talk to me once you are back in Hyderabad. And that is how it started from there.
Mugdha: Yeah, so if you don't mind sharing with the audience, everything that was going on because I have this tendency to eavesdrop on any conversation like my radar for chronic illness is always ON. So that’s what happened with you as well. But if you could share with your audience what exactly was going on with you.
Amit: I had multiple problems. I had an ulcer in 2003, because I used to take a lot of painkillers then. I had an ulcer in my abdomen. And because of that, my doctors gave me an antacid to take every morning. So from 2003 to 2018, I was taking an antacid every day morning for 15 years because of which I had certain issues with my abdomen. I had IBS because of that I gained a lot of weight. I was weighing around 95-96 kgs then but I gained up to 112 kgs when we met in Shimla and then I was also having a problem with sleep apnea and acidity. There was not a day in those 16 years where I didn't have an acidity pill. Blood pressure and obviously obesity. So when I contacted the ENT surgeon for my sleep apnea issues. He suggested two remedies, either to lose weight or to go in for surgery. I thought I’m in a catch 22 situation. If I have to lose weight I need to sleep well. But because of the ailments, I'm not able to sleep well. What do I do with that? I was going around with these issues and talking to so many and you were probably deep down in the list for the number of people I must have contacted for this. And I must have spoken to more than 25 people all over the country. Nutritionists, dieticians, were reading so many books, articles following each and every diet, in fact, I took upon keto diet just a year before we met that caused me a lot of problems, rather than losing weight I gained a lot of more problems after that because I had kidney stones after that which I never had any problem. So, I just gave up on that and I thought it might not happen. And there are people who say that genetically you are built like this. So at a point in time I was made to believe in the theory that maybe it is genetic. And so, but after I met you and then we started having discussions over this, and I would definitely also give credit to Pancham Parashar for this because he instilled confidence back in me and he told me it's not genetic. You can do it. And the process started there and then when I met you. It gained momentum, and it just went on and on after that.
Mugdha: Super I didn't know. So Rutuja and I often joke about this. Rutuja takes care of business development; often people come to us like you did right; as they've gone through so many things and then they finally find us. And we say, that's why we call us a holistic nutritionist because they go through a whole list of people, a whole list of doctors, a whole list of other nutritionists before they actually come and meet us.
Amit: From India to any other country. I must have read so many articles so many books just for the sake of so many diets, just to see that I can start losing my weight because every time I tried harder to lose my weight I gained a few ounces of weight, just like that.
Mugdha: Wow, so I knew you were in a lot of trouble when we spoke.. but it's been a year right so I actually forgot what was happening. So I was like Amit had acidity, Amit wanted to lose weight, I completely forgot about this sleep apnea issue.
Amit: There was a point in time, wherein I did not sleep, I did not have a good night's sleep for almost six to seven months continuously, I used to sleep only for two to three hours a night; feel drowsy the next day, then come back and then I started using a CPAP machine at one point in time, but that was not working because it was not as efficient as it should be. It used to cause a lot of disturbance when I used to sleep so that was not working for me.
Mugdha: Wow. Okay, so I mean I know what we did for you but there are a lot of people who are curious about how we resolve all of these things right? So could you please tell them?
Amit: Yeah. The first thing was the kind of evaluations you do on the person that is the tests, it is a long list of tests and initially, I was skeptical and what are they going to do with so many tests, and when I consulted with the physician he was like are they nuts? What are they going to do with so many reports? And I thought I would probably have tried so many things. Let me give this a shot also. The best thing was the parameters on which you evaluate a person's health. In general medical terms, the reference range is quite big. So, the margin of error is quite large there and with us, the reference range is too small. So, the margin of error is small so what we are doing is; we are actually coming into a position where you know our health becomes near perfect. I’m just saying out of context when I showed my reports to my doctor in April 2020, sorry in May 2020 during the lockdowns. He told me Amit, these are one of the finest reports I've ever seen in anyone's life. There cannot be any deviation, and my mom was there with me in the clinic because she was a bit apprehensive about the kind of supplements I was taking. No milk in my diet and no gluten. So she wanted to talk to the doctor as to what I'm doing is right or wrong. And when my physician said that Aunty he is probably doing the best, and I've never seen these kinds of reports in my life so far.
Mugdha: Amazing. That's so good to hear. I mean, often we solve cases that doctors can’t but it's good to hear doctors also validating the outcome. Right?
Amit: Yeah he backed up the same things because he's also been on a dairy-free and gluten-free diet for almost 10 years, so he actually told my mom that this is probably the right thing he is doing.
Mugdha:Great, I think initially it was you and me who worked extensively and Swati came on board and then Swati has been your main coach for nearly a year now.
Amit: For the first six months you were there; I was coordinating with you. Then Swati came in, and this is the reason I got hooked onto the system because I felt it is very professional, and it suits me because I don't have to run and chase people, for any of my queries. I just had to send a message on WhatsApp, on my group and I got the answers immediately. So, it's not a one time process. It's been a continuous journey so there have been so many times when I have queries and I have doubts. When there are supplements that are not available then we need to talk about alternatives. When I'm traveling, it's been continuous. I know if it is one time, then it leaves more doubt than clarity. Because the way it is programmed. And it's that I have a query with Swati if she is not able to; but didn't have any problem with Swati as such or she's not been able to handle it. But even if she doesn't she makes sure that she speaks to you or anyone in the group, and she reverts immediately. That's been one of the finest things about this. And it feels so safe that you know that you're taken care of.
Mugdha: I think Swati is really amazing at that. I think she will just take care of you and be there for you.
Amit: Yeah. I mean, let me tell you she's very strict. I have never feared even my teacher like this. She doesn't budge a nail; she doesn't give leave or God knows how many times I've tried to take leverage out of her but she doesn't.
Mugdha: Hahahahaha.. Yeah I know this happens. I know because I'm there in the group but yeah she's pretty phenomenal, making sure that you reach your health goals.
Amit: I mean, I tried a few times and I was traveling last year. I was traveling abroad and I wanted to have some leverage so that in case if I don't get food to eat, then I can take it. But she said No, take it from here. I thought okay because I cannot supersede her, and I have to abide by what she says.
Mugdha: Great. So what did you really learn out of all those blood tests. Do you remember what the root causes were or what was really going on like sleep apnea and all of that?
Amit: Yes, very clearly because the first thing was about sugar, insulin sensitivity. Not many people only check the blood sugar levels, but the insulin resistance and the insulin sensitivity thing I didn't know prior to that. And when you made me aware that these are the reasons why I'm not losing weight, I started to focus on that for the first time. And normally what used to happen is when anyone gets their test done, doctors only see the blood sugar levels, and they judge whether they are prone to diabetes or not, but this is the first time I learned about insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity. Then about other factors, I mean LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, about iron deficiency, about B12 deficiency, of Vitamin D, and then a whole lot of things. I was deficient in iron also so we covered that. Then, for the first time I learned about the supplements, that kind of detail because you prescribe a lot of supplements, a whole lot of people say that supplements are not good and they should not take up supplements and all your supplements, all your vitamin deficiency or vitamin needs should be through your food. It is not possible I believe, because of the kind of system we live in. We cannot eat that much. So, in a way, I learned about supplements as to how to use them, and when to use them. And the kind of effects they have on our body. And the biggest myth was busted when I was a food lover all my life; coming from a Marwadi family and you understand what kind of affiliation we have with food, all our celebrations, all our sorrows were linked to food. So it was food all the way through. So, one, I was hooked on milk and dairy products. That is a big-time in our families and in our community. Then a whole lot of things so when I got to know the kind of foods I was consuming was not conducive for my health. And when I stopped eating them or when I stopped consuming them. That is when the results started to show. Initially, it felt like deprivation to begin with, I thought I mean, these are all basic things and how can I ever live without all these things, but it actually you know, it's just a matter of time where you start to fall in love with alternate options which are available. It's about the mindset, which I realized, you know, normally when you talk about a diet. When you talk about, you know, doing something, you start to think about being deprived, you know, as if you are giving up on something. It's not that easy. It's just that you're finding better alternatives. When we started mobile phones we used to have mobile phones which we used to talk only on the phone and send messages. But we have smartphones now. So it's not about giving up on those, it's just adapting to better ones.
Mugdha: Absolutely I completely agree, and this I think this perspective is what has really helped you stay on this journey right because for you it was not just about those three months that you partnered with us initially because we did so many things then I'm glad you brought up the supplements point also because a lot of people feel like you know you shouldn't be taking anything extra but if you're not eating animal foods in large quantities and if you're just mostly plant-based and vegetarian then deficiencies do crop up. For eg.. we saw such an improvement in sleep and everything for you after magnesium was added. So really glad that you brought those points up.
Amit: It's all about restoring the balance and enjoying what you're doing, and if the mindset is not there. Even if you go to a doctor and if you start feeling that you're being treated for something and if you've been taken for a ride that you'll probably not recover the way it should be. It's all about enjoying the process.
Mugdha: Right. And I think that that perspective shift that you made in your mind right that this is about the longer greater returns and I'm going to get overtime and I mean a lot of people even when we talk to them initially they're like oh I have to give up dairy and how am I going to live. How did you really feel? I know you didn't feel deprived of there were various alternatives, but could you share some, like milk or something you had for so many years of your life right.
Amit: I had milk for almost 43 years, probably, you know, I felt after initial stages, your taste buds change and then stop craving for those foods like for milk. I used to have two cups of tea every day, morning, in the afternoon, or evening, but in the last 14 months, I must have not drunk more than three or four cups of tea, that also when I'm traveling or when I'm at a place when I cannot say no, so I never felt that I should be drinking tea or having milk products or having dairy. In my family, I mean my parents, my wife, my children, they do have because they still believe that in that method, but it's okay. We have dinner together every day. But I never feel the need for me to have that. The biggest thing is you know the joy of achieving something, It supersedes the pain of giving up on what you have given up. I think the biggest thing is the way I have gained my health, and the confidence it has given back to me. The way my life has changed dramatically post this. I think giving up anything is a very small price which you pay for that.
Mugdha: I know like you have suffered for so long. Right? So anything that comes as a solution; then that's the thing we tell people also right so if you're somebody who wants to keep having coffee or tea; that coffee or tea is not really doing anything for you so it's not like we take something that's a positive right, you're actually something that has no role to play anyway in your good health. So that mindset shift is what really helps a lot of people. So great. Good to hear that. So I think the time we've spent together we never had a chance to talk this much in-depth about how things have already been.
Amit: No we didn't. I've been a disciplined student all the way.
Mugdha: You really are. That’s why people need to hear your story because it's really inspiring right like you came from a place of your health being really in a bad place right so many things going on concurrently it wasn't just sleeping it wasn't just weight, your sleep and weight, and acidity and digestion, there are so many things together right so from there to where you know what is your current status, you could share that?
Amit: I started at 112 kgs. When we started I was 112 kgs in October 2018. By the time we met. I was around 106 kgs in April 2019. Now I'm at 86.5 something that looks almost like a 26 kgs drop. And initially, I didn't have this plan that I had planned to have now. I didn't plan to go to 75, but I do it now. And then I also know that the way I have progressed, I have no doubt in my mind that year from now, I'll have a dream body. And I'm pretty confident about it.
Mugdha:You will! What about your acidity and all of that? How's that?
Amit: That's gone. It's almost around 9 to 10 months, wherein I didn't have any acidity pill. And even when I go to a doctor for any of the treatments, and they give me any antibiotics, I make it a point to tell them that don't give me any antacids because my body's not good enough to resist that if it's very serious necessary you give me the medicine, I'll manage without acidity pills so it has been the case, all the way. There is no acidity now my blood pressure is around 115 or 120 by 80 for almost 14 months. All other parameters you know the best because you have the reports with you or you evaluated it continuously. I've been doing very well on my health,, and the results have been evident in all the other areas of my life.
Mugdha: Your college friends tell you look younger than you used to look then Right?
Amit:I mean the kind of compliments I've got for this are amazing people who have seen me or met me after say 12 or 14 months. They are completely shocked even by my trainers who used to treat me in my past. They were completely taken. I mean what is that happened to you, and people asked me, this cannot happen naturally either you must have gone through bariatric surgery, it cannot happen naturally, and that is the kind of feedback I got. A lot of people do tell me that did you go through a surgery? Why should I go to surgery? There are natural processes, there are people who can help you in this. If you are interested I will introduce you to them.
Mugdha: And thank you so much I think a couple of your sisters came on board. And you really have been spreading the word. And that's what I really like about Thrive, like what we do right that there is this tribe element and bring on more and more people in this network.
Amit: Yes. Exactly
Mugdha: Yeah, yeah, that's pretty amazing what happens in the tribe right but it's great so you're acidity gone. Your BP is absolutely like, what would we consider normal. Right. Your digestion has also improved. Right?
Amit: Yeah. Everything I mean there are no digestive problems, no ailments as of now. I cannot complain of anything. I think in the last 14 months I must have had a headache, one or two times.
Mugdha: Okay. How is your sleep now; I think your sleep is also better?
Amit: Sleep is better but I think this corona thing there was a slight disturbance, mostly because of some other issues and I probably know because a lot of stress and our businesses were not doing well and there were other issues but I was not concerned about it. I knew, once the stress levels are down I'll continue to sleep well and also started doing some meditations and listening to some audios which can de-stress me a lot. So that's been going fine for me.
Mugdha: Great, so good to hear you know sometimes we work with so many people and then we work with blood tests right and then sometimes we forget to check-in, after a point that we know, Amit is doing well. He is doing fine. So, sometimes it really helps to even like, come back and talk to you like this and listen to everything good that's going on with you in life.
Amit: So it's been a terrific thing. The biggest thing about this is that what I have done here, I have replicated these models in other areas of my life.
Mugdha: I was going to ask you that.
Amit: It's been such a study. Normally we want results fast. We are not process-oriented people; we are result-oriented people. So one thing this has taught me is that it's all about processes. I mean, I don't have to worry about results as long as the processes are fine that one thing which I have applied in other areas of my professional life. It was all about result-driven, what is the kind of money you're making every year or month on month basis or a quarterly basis because being a businessman. That is the most important thing we work for right now, after starting to work with Thrive. This is what I've realized it is not about the bigger things. It is what you do on a day to day basis, it is the kind of routines you have that determines how successful you are in your life.
Mugdha: Wow the principles of what we're doing for your food you do to the rest of other aspects of your life is exactly what you are saying?
Amit: I'll tell you about making dietary changes. I don't think that’s a bigger change if you look at your life in the whole context of it. It is a very small change, but that small change has a profound impact on your life. So, coincidentally, I read that book. Atomic Habits by James Clear.
Mugdha: Oh my goodness that's my favorite. And it’s right here. See. I've completely underlined it all over and it's my favorite.
Amit: It's a complete game-changer. What happens. Normally, when anyone goes to a dietitian, I've been through 25 so I know what is the system, they give you a diet which says that you have to lose 500 calories a day or 700 calories a day, that is the kind of calorie deficit you need to have in order to lose weight; how that 700 calorie has to be done and how that 500 calorie has to be done. Okay. By food, you can do 200-300. I want a system where I don't want anything with 300 500 calorie deficits, I want pretty small things in my life, which I can do on a day to day basis, which can give me a 15-20 calorie deficit. Today, I don't take the elevator normally like my flat is on the fifth floor of the building, and my office is on the third floor of the building. So it's evident for me that I walk down the stairs and climb the stairs every day to my office and my home. I know that if I do that, even once every day, it will give me a 20 calorie deficit. That's it. When I'm talking to people on the phone. If I am on a call which will take 20 minutes, I go out on the veranda and start to walk as I keep talking to people when I'm walking. Hmm. So this was one example. Then chewing my food 32 times. I mean, eating very slowly. Drinking water after 45 minutes after I eat food, and not drinking a lot of cold water. It can be warm water. Listening to good music at least 30 minutes every day, so that it can de-stress me a lot. These are the small things that you can incorporate in your life. I am just looking for 15-20 calorie cuts. I don't want anything big. Today, I mean, I park my vehicle at a distant place in my office, it takes me around 10-11 minutes to walk to my car. Earlier it used to be in the basement of the building. Now, deliberately have taken a parking lot for which I have to work for around 8 to 10 minutes. So it's always that I'm not looking for a big workout schedule. I mean post-Corona gyms were closed you don't like to work out. But these small changes can give me 15-20 calorie cuts that have kept me in shape. Before the lockdown started, I was weighing 92.5 kg. On March 23, it is 86.5 now. And in the last five months, there have been no workouts.
Mugdha: Yes. So these small habits and actually how you monitor your health overall that really matters and I think even in terms of filling up our tracker like a lot of the people who come on our program have so much trouble with the tracker daily updation right but you have been one of the most disciplined. Of Course, a few times Swati has to remind; I have seen Swati’s message to complete your tracker. Otherwise 90%, you have been really disciplined. I think that discipline is what really has helped you, overall also. Right?
Amit: That is what I'm saying. My dad used to always tell me you don't fumble at a big rock, you almost fumble at the smallest things because that becomes invisible to you. Okay, so need to be careful about the small invisible things which you have in your life. So, it's I mean it's very it's an age-old saying, which says, ‘Success is defined by your daily routine.’ So, very important to have a routine which fits, which gives me what I want.
Mugdha: It's really good to hear that you could apply the learnings of whatever we've done at with Thrive-In-3 and then the year-long program that you've been with us and then you could, you know, integrate that to the rest of your life and bring this result in so many other places; it's really great. So I have one question for you but that would be the last question because we were scheduled to speak only for half an hour. So there are a lot of people watching this there are people that are watching you and how inspiring you are, if you had to, you know, like, one takeaway you had them to just pick up one thing from this conversation with us with the conversation that we're having right now what would be the one thing that you would want everyone to kind of take away from this 30 minutes of listening.
Amit: The first thing would absolutely be to have faith in the system, people who are with you. Because faith can move mountains and if you don't have faith that probably you will always mentally you will never be committed to the process, and make the smallest possible changes in your life. Don't look for the big changes, don't look for that one magical rant like going to sleep overnight with 100 kg days and wake up with 95 kgs, that's never gonna happen. Celebrate small victories, take one day at a time, and keep the processes intact. Work on the processes results will come invariably.
Mugdha: That's really great. That's amazing. And if anyone has any questions; we could look at them now. Because I mean if you have any questions for Amit about how he really went through this entire thing. What did he eat? What his diet was like 26 kgs of weight loss is pretty phenomenal. So, if anyone has questions you could ask your questions. Oh yes. Okay, so I can see the questions here. All right, so if anybody has any questions please type them I can see them in the chat. Thank you. I can see Swati is laughing a lot at what you said about her being strict and all. So, I don't see too many questions but thank you for coming Amit and thank you for sharing your insights so much, I mean I am really grateful to have people like you in the tribe because you know one is actually the faith you've shown us. And, you know, the belief and like you actually brought in a lot of family members on board but you know having people like you is what really makes us do more of the work we do because when somebody like you go through beautiful transformations then it becomes such a positive feedback loop for us that, you know, there is a reason for us to do more of what we do. So it's really amazing. Swati wants to know, How did your exercise performance improve over time? Because she's been helping you throughout.
Amit: Exercise was good but unfortunately, because of the lockdowns, my exercise schedules have become slightly bad. I'm not able to work out much, and I don't want to start going to the gym very soon still. So pre- lockdown it was amazing. My strength training, even my stamina had gone to I mean I was running almost 5 and a half kilometers, non stop in 25-30 minutes so that was all going very well. I’ll have to start it back again, and take some more time to start working out, probably a month or let's wait for the situation to resolve and as it improves I’ll start working on workouts.
Mugdha: Rutuja is saying this is very inspiring. I’m telling you, your story is really inspiring.
Amit: Thank you so much Mugdha.
Mugdha: It's really worthy of being brought out and shared with so many people and that's why I just wanted to do this with you.
Amit: To your team, you and Swati and everyone that is out my gratitude for this being with me, standing by me and helping me all the way through this process. And I'm so glad that I'm a part of this journey.
Mugdha: Great, good, to speak with you. I think we should do more of these that we bring like really inspiring Thrive members and share their stories. Because, who knows somebody else might be going through something that you have gone through something similar.
Mugdha: They might just think that there's no answer like how people told you that you did the surgery? They think surgery is the answer. It is so easy it takes time, but it is so easy to do with food.
Amit: It’s a long term process because now I have a plan that if I mean, I cannot say how long I'm going to live but in case if I happen to live long enough, and I would continue to live stronger fitter and healthier for all my life.
Mugdha: Absolutely. That's one thing that I tell people right, it's not really about increasing your lifespan, because your lifespan can be increased by a machine like you can do dialysis, you can do ventilator. But it’s about increasing your health span as long as you live; you are healthier that matters the most.
Amit: Yes. It’s the quality of life which matters the most.
Mugdha: Alright, perfect I’ll end the broadcast here. Thank you again. And you have a great Saturday evening. Let’s inspire more people to take care of them.
Amit: Thank you very much. Yes, thank you very much.