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Kamila conquers weight loss challenges

Your HEALTH Your WEALTH

BY ANIKA RICHARDS Sunday Observer staff reporter richardsai@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, June 22, 2014    

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"If I could lose weight, anyone can!"

These are the words of the toned and beautiful Wray and Nephew Contender host Kamila McDonald, who, after struggling to lose weight for years, copped the title of Miss Jamaica Beach Beauty in 2009.

The personal trainer, sports nutritionist and media personality told the Jamaica Observer in an interview that getting to her current weight has been a hard journey.

"Nothing about it was easy," said McDonald. "I decided to lose weight when I was at my heaviest, when I was most uncomfortable, like I couldn't stand myself the way I was.

"I think that is across all boards, anybody who gains a lot of weight starts becoming uncomfortable in their own skin," McDonald recalled. "That's the moment when you decide that you want to make a change."

McDonald, however, pointed out that deciding to make a change and actually changing are two different things.

"I think we are creatures of habit and just changing my lifestyle in general, I think that, in and of itself, was hard," McDonald recounted to the Sunday Observer. "There were many times where I failed, many times when I succeeded in that moment - I lost and regained the same pounds over and over - and in that process learnt about what I was doing wrong."

Admitting that it was "frustrating", McDonald said that she started learning and understanding what she was doing and how to do it the right way, and was able to maintain her success. This got her from a high of 188 pounds in 2003 to 125 pounds in 2009 before she competed in the Miss Jamaica World competition. She now weighs 126 pounds.

This weight loss journey was what motivated her to launch her fitness product, with business partner Marc Gayle, called the 10 Pound Pledge, on May 31, 2014.

Described as the "ultimate in-home workout and nutrition guide to losing 10 pounds in five weeks", the fitness product is geared towards motivating aspiring beach beauties and ex-weight strugglers worldwide.

With the recent boom in tech entrepreneurship, a fitness product that is online-based seemed a natural fit for McDonald and Gayle. The product brings together all the things McDonald discovered, learnt, created, and taught herself over her weight loss journey.

"I think the difficulty in and of itself really made me who I am today and is why I am so passionate about it, not just for myself, but for sharing that knowledge with others," said McDonald. "I don't even have to ask because I went through it, I know that people are having that same journey, in their own way."

She also told the Sunday Observer that she remains very meticulous when it comes to maintaining her current weight.

"Even in my pregnancy, for example, I was extremely meticulous. So, even though I did gain the typical, within reason, baby weight, I already knew that I didn't want to go down that road again," she said. "But there were days where of course I would have cravings. I already kind of trod that road before, so I was able to use my past challenges and difficulties as a lesson," she went on.

The video workout series that can be watched or downloaded to devices such as computers, tablets and smartphones from www.10poundpledge.com is said to be doing well.

"It has been amazing so far; people are thanking us for creating this product, people from all over the world, people from Trinidad, from France, from California," beamed McDonald.

Asked how many packages her team had sold since its launch, a chuckling McDonald said: "We have sold enough."

The personal trainer also pointed out that the fitness product is uniquely Jamaican, having been videoed in Jamaica, complete with featured songs from the island.

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