Local clinic chain to celebrate 40 years

COSTA MESA — When she was a girl, Cynthia Stamper Graff willingly served as a guinea pig for her father's research into weight management.

"He had us fasting every Monday," said Graff, chief executive of the Lindora Clinic, recalling how her dad, Dr. Marshall Stamper, had her follow a dieting technique known nowadays by Lindora clients as "Protein Mondays."

The technique has the dieter consume mostly proteins throughout the day as a way to counter weekend over-eating, she said.

"In those days, they called it 'woo-woo science,'" Graff said.

But in today's world, high-protein diets are commonplace.

"The world is finally catching up to him," Lindora Facilities Manager Bernie Stamper said of his father. "His passion is the preventive side of medicine."

In 1971, Dr. Stamper opened Lindora's first clinic in Newport Beach. Forty years later, the Costa Mesa-based company has grown to 44 locations in California and two in Saudi Arabia. The company will celebrate its 40th anniversary in March.

Although Stamper sold the family business to his children in 1988, his goal remains: helping patients reach total physical and mental well-being, Graff said.

Stamper is retired but regularly pops into clinics to make sure that they meet his exacting standards, Bernie Stamper said.

Still in use today, the elder Stamper's original fitness model combines physical and mental components.

That's because there is a connection between one's physical health and mental health, Graff said.

In other words, self-esteem is part of it, and to lose weight successfully and maintain that new weight, patients must change the way they see their own bodies.

Lindora clients are encouraged to make daily affirmations, meditate and employ other holistic practices. Clients also follow an exercise and diet plan in conjunction with regularly scheduled meetings with a registered nurse, Graff said.

The company also recently partnered with Rite Aid Pharmacy, creating the Rite Weight Plan.

Now that the economy is slowly recovering, Graff said that the company's 40th year will include opening new locations.

Graff is looking at San Diego as one possibility, she said.

"When we celebrated our 20th anniversary, a patient told me that surviving 20 years in Los Angeles was like surviving 100 years in Boston," Graff said. "Now, we're turning 40."

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