Your body can do anything. It’s your mind that needs convincing”

There are a few things I remember vividly about my childhood. I was always very happy. I have always been a foodie at heart. And my mother is a wonderful cook. And I guess these all resulted in me being the happy kid who loved sweets and was a bit chubby.

My weight didn’t really bother me being a teenager. I’ve heard others say that you reach a place where you are comfortably overweight – and I suppose that was true for me. But during the last decade, my weight started increasing and I realized there was an association to emotional eating. Whenever I would be stressed or depressed, sweets were my comfort food, and the weight just piled up.

At Cisco, we focus a lot of mental health, and so I wanted to share that emotional well-being can be associated with food for many. I think I realized I hit a peak when I delivered my baby girl last year in August. I had gestational blood pressure and a very long labor, and for me – that was the moment I knew I needed to do something about my weight.

Well, for me (and everyone is different) diets NEVER worked. Plus, while I need to make better choices with my food – I didn’t want to remove full food groups and treats that I did enjoy entirely from my diet. But I am proud to say that with some small changes I made, I lost 75 pounds in 12 months! It is a journey I am proud to be on – not only to lose weight, but more so to be healthy.


Somethings that helped along my journey:

1. Prioritize yourself first: I realized I had been doing everything for everyone but never really cared for myself. So, I made myself a priority and that is completely okay to do. In fact, we should all prioritize ourselves more. You will never regret putting yourself – and your health – first. I always believed from childhood, ‘Believe in yourself, if you wouldn’t, who would?’

2. Throw out the Toxic Stuff: Soured relationships or situations can drain a lot of your energy. You have so little fuel every day for yourself, and if you burn it on irrelevant things – you will be left with nothing. Negative people and energy can create a great deal of harm. Slowly distant yourself. It is truly for everyone’s well-being. I don’t think anyone is good or bad, sometimes, situations are just not favorable for people to be together. I always say women can always do very well in their life and careers – but, also, they need time to focus on themselves.

3. Start making healthy choices: When you take care of all the emotional stuff, you will automatically focus on what you eat. Start by making small changes. It’s all about making healthy decisions and a lifestyle change that you can maintain.

Mitali doing yoga with her daughter.

  • I started out by counting how many calories I was eating and how much I needed.
  • Drink LOTS of water. I do not know how it helps, but it helps!
  • Don’t give up on any favorite food just because someone says you should. Think to yourself, can I live without eating this for the rest of my Life? If no, then start controlling the portions.

4. Start with just a walk: Often weight loss is associated with getting enrolled in the gym and workouts. But believe me, do not wait until the day you can enroll. Just start by taking a walk in the park. We use so many excuses not to exercise, and it is really as simple as just going for a 30-minute walk in between meetings. Or 10 minutes if that is what you can do right now! Break the cycle of allow those excuses to define you, and take the first step.

“The hardest step to fitness is the first. Take it now!” — Heather Montgomery

5. Finally, count your blessings: Often, we forget how lucky we are with the blessings in our lives. Like I always think, the things you have today are the things you sometimes longed for. If we focus on our blessings and be grateful, we will have more! Cherish your family. Facetiming my mom and tickling my kids are my stressbusters.

The most difficult part is starting – and the next is to keep on going. Whenever you feel like giving up, just say to yourself, ‘What will happen this time if you don’t quit?’ and this will help you achieve your goals.

If you have someone you think might be an emotional eater, please help them out! I am so happy that we have so many wonderful resources at Cisco – like the Thrive app that was recently launched. As a people leader, I love that I am also able to guide our teams when they need assistance in being their best selves as well.

We all need to reset ourselves at times (and now as we head into the holiday season is a wonderful time to recharge). So, take the time reset, it does make a difference!

Life is beautiful and is worth living!


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Mitali Bhadra

Data Center Customer Delivery, CX