October 4, 2022

Vinit Dominic on being a fat to fit individual thanks to his mum

Here is one of the most inspiring stories that you would read today. At one point of time, motherhood had become a symbol of sacrifices, selflessness in films. Thankfully media or the film industry doesn’t project only that image and mums are treated as free spirited individuals who can make choices, free to express disagreements too. There are varied parenting styles too being accepted across the world.

This story however brings the feeling of dedication, patience and that word of encouragement from a parent to help her son to bring about a healthy lifestyle. Vinit Dominic, a young professional based in Mumbai shares his journey from an obese child to a fit individual and much of his inspiration came from his mother, Rani John

Vinit through an email interaction to Mums and stories shares, “I had an allergy till the age of three. It would occur once in two weeks and would leave me physically and my mom emotionally devastated. My entire body would itch and swell up and would be very difficult for me to even walk, as the sole of my foot would also be swollen. The pain of that allergy was so severe that I still have memories of it.

The doctors could not come up with any diagnosis of why I was subject to it and administered an extra dosage of steroid. The allergy did leave me as suddenly as it had occurred, but then life had changed. I started putting on weight within a week and then eventually lifestyle took over. I would be enthusiastic when it came to extra curricular and academics but was never a sports person. Also I would hardly go out to play, owing to the random behaviour of kids of my age, I always had comparisons of how their body type was so different from mine.

I had hyper pigmentation due to obesity and I’d be made fun of this too in childhood. So I stopped playing with friends altogether. I was never understood, I would randomly be called names and people would either look at me with sympathy or would look at me with disgust, as though it was my fault that I could do nothing about my weight.

I had somewhere made peace with the fact that I would be fat forever. Maybe I had hoped to become fat from obese but I never thought I’d be ideal weight ever. I was 5XL and I only wished to be size L one fine day. I would stroll through the mall and be so embarrassed to enter any brand store because the constant answer would be that we have no clothes his size. Since I was obese forever, I did try a lot of things. But I could not manage to keep up because I had done nothing about my diet. Only workout leads to no result. Going to the gym was very demotivating because you hardly find obese people there, you only find well built, buff individuals and you feel completely out of place.

While dealing with all this and having tried everything except medicines and surgery, I saw my ex-manager suddenly loose weight within 3  months and asked her how she managed it. She led me to her dietitian who brought about the biggest change in my life- Dr. Rashmi Chopra. Under her guidance and with my mom’s constant support in terms of ensuring I stick to my diet and workout regime, I started losing weight. Every week I would loose 3-2 kgs and it was so satisfying to stand on the weighing scale and see yourself loose weight, week on week. I felt like a young kid who was re-discovering his body and was living all those years of teen and childhood that was snatched away from me just because I wasn’t socially acceptable.

My mom  has always believed in me. I have an elder sister but she is more like my second mom. Being the older one in the family she had to shoulder responsibilities at home at a very early age. She and my mother have truly brought me up as their kid and were the men of the house, in fact why men? the women of the house!

My sister has stood by me like a rock, worked so hard to ensure I get a good education and has fulfilled all my wishes even before I expressed them. You know when others talk about how they are inspired by famous personalities, I feel so happy and lucky that I do not have to look beyond home for inspiration- I have two wonderful women who are more than inspiring, completely self made and have survived in this big bad biased world all by themselves. I wish I can be like them and love as unconditionally as them. Relatives have been more judgmental than supportive, but I would like to focus on just my immediate family which has been my support.

Talking on my mum, I would say, her life has been about her kids and she has completely dedicated herself for our upbringing. People in my family, extended family all have come home and stayed for months together just because they love my mother. Even for my sister’s wedding we almost had the entire village attending because they all adore my mother and her gentleness. I know every boy hopes to one day marry someone as unconditional as his mother. But I am unsure if I will ever find a person who can love, without any expectations.”

Sharing on his weight loss journey Vinit shares, “I would say that age is just a number. I was 24 when I started off. It did take me a lot of determination, hard work, huge sacrifices on my behalf but it was all worth it. But I give more credit to my mother’s weight loss than mine, she being 55, with a slower metabolism rate managed to lose 20 kgs by just walking beside me and adhering to a better healthier diet. There is hope right in front of you, all you need to do is reach out and grab it.

I am a foodie and I love eating. I think the diet involved control on certain kind of things, especially Indian sweets that I absolutely love. The diet did not forbid me from it but portion control and the frequency also was variable. So I think being able to look at things I love to eat or going out with friends and seeing them gorge on your favourites and being able to say ‘No’ was the biggest challenge.

I have had the power to say no, control my mind. Weight loss needs to first happen in your mind and saying no helped me do that. It helped me exercise better control over my own mind and desires and it made me feel empowered and happier.

I surely would like to speak to as many kids and adults who are facing this issue. I understand them; understand their feelings being one among them. I want to reach out to them and tell them that they need to focus on million other things they are good at and not be boggled down by some who in the long run don’t even matter. I had achieved most things in life when I was obese. Being fit hasn’t given me any super powers; I am the same old person with the same capabilities. This is what I want to tell everyone who has had to face similar situations. Also weight loss should only be for health, never to fit in or be accepted. I had read somewhere and truly believe in it too- You only get hurt when you permit someone to hurt you. I wish I can create one such platform.”

Vinit wraps up saying, “I am still getting used to my own reflection, my new body and all those emotions that I missed on due to numerous inhibitions and complexes while growing up.”

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