Maureen Kunga, a member of talented music group Elani, has lost 16 kilograms in just under two years – and she feels good about the progress thus far.
Ms Kunga, 28, says body weight issues affected her self-esteem while growing up, and, in 2016, she decided to take measures to overcome her insecurities.
The last born in a family of five says she was physically “bigger” than many of her friends, and this triggered self-confidence uncertainties in her.
Maureen Kunga, a trained lawyer, says when she sprung into the limelight as a musician, the public perception about her body weight, continued to worry her, wondering how her fans looked at her, considering she was on the “bigger” side.
“I often looked down upon myself and I would feel bad about my body weight,” she told EDAILY in an exclusive interview.
The “Koo Koo” hit-maker says, due to her body weight, she often burned out during performances, even as her co-members of the band, Wambui Ngugi and Bryan Chweya, remained strong and would perform – effortlessly – for longer periods.
And in 2016, the former University of Nairobi law student, said she had had enough of her insecurities, and wanted to tackle them head-on, with Step One being a weight loss mission.
She says embarking on a “healthy lifestyle” was her first commitment. Healthy lifestyle, according to Ms Kunga, entails nutritious diets, high intake of water and regularly engaging in physical exercises.
Maureen Kunga says, prior to the 2016 decision, she had unsuccessfully tried “other” methods of losing weight. The failed methods included: skipping meals, online weight loss prescriptions, which entailed observing techniques suggested by online users such as the 7-days weight loss challenge.
And, when she chose to “go manual”, her efforts began to pay off, resulting in her losing 16kgs so far.
“This [weight loss] journey has opened up my mind more than you can imagine. Right now, I am able to work out more, cook for myself, and work harder,” she said.
Maureen Kunga has also discarded unhealthy recipes such as junk foods from her menu.
“I am now more confident and happier with the way I look. Everything has become easier,” she said.
Ms Kunga has singled out her friends and family for appreciation, saying they have stood with her in the weight loss journey.
The artiste’s advice to the youth struggling with self-esteem issues is: “They should forgive whatever faults they have on themselves, take away the anger; think in a positive way and keep in mind that weight loss is something that they can handle.”