New year ought to bring in talks of weight loss resolutions. “Par kal se kyun, aaj se karo,” exclaims Jitendra Mani, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Metro), whose weight loss story has gone viral. The 49-year-old IPS officer lost almost 46kgs in eight months, all by willpower!
It’s true that weight gained during the pandemic is a real challenge for many, but officer Mani had to also deal with a personal loss. “My weight loss journey started after my wife passed away due to cancer. Jab ek pahiye ki gaadi chalti hai toh kahin na kahin zyada sambhal kar chalana padta hai. Mere bachhe dono chhote hain — abhi beta class X mein aur beti XII mein hai — and I was only 42 when my wife passed away,” recalls Mani, who was 129kg at one point.
What came as a rude shock to him was his annual health checkup that recorded high cholesterol, sugar, and a fatty liver. “Tab thoda darr laga because my weight was leading to health issues. That’s when I decided kuchh karna padega. I live in Hauz Khas so started walking in Siri Fort everyday at 6am. I walked alone at my own pace, and it took me about a month to just get used to the activity. Phir ek-dedh mahine baad maine 15,000 steps ka target banaya. Aur ghar pe bol diya ki sirf fruits khane hain. Toh walk ke baad smoothie, breakfast mein fruits, office pahuch ke fresh coconut water and jab bhookh lage toh ek apple. Evening mein bhook lage toh fruits aur raat mein fresh fruit ki chaat. In lunch, I would take about two big bowls of daal alongside seasonal vegetable, and my dinner comprised a bowl of soup accompanied occasionally with a paneer or soya-based salad. 100ml milk with haldi would complete my day. And I gave up roti and rice completely, to limit my calorie intake. Jab kabhi bahut zyada man karta tha toh sirf ek roti kha leta tha. Tel se toh mulakat hoti hi nahi thi, jabki pehle main bhayankar foodie tha!”
Mani states that what is of utmost importance is to remain consistent in one’s pursuit to achieve the target, and vouches for “walking and baby jogging” as the best forms of exercise. He lifted dumbbells only to tone his body at his home gym. The result, he lost 46kgs in eight months! “Photo lene ka shaunq to mujhe pehle se tha par ab photo kheechne mein alag hi confidence aata hai khud ki achievement dekh kar. Jab commissioner sir ne award diya, tab unhone kaha ki apni journey ko record karo so that others also feel inspired,” shares this cop who is a poet at heart.
The lyrics of his life journey now lie in maintaining his weight. “Aadmi ko uchaiyon par nahi jaana, usse rehna unchaiyon par rehna hai. Mera goal hai ki mein 80 se 90kgs ke beech mein hi rahun. Sabne yahi kaha hai ki chala toh gaya, lekin ab yahin, maintain karna hai… Consistency helps. Meri devotion thi, passion tha. 90% people fail here only. They say they will start when the New Year comes. What is 1st and what is 31st? If you want to start exercising, start now. If you want to quit drinking, do it now, and be consistent,” says Mani, who is a teetotaller and is grateful to his children for their support and love in his transformation: “Pehle main baithe baithe aadha dabba boondi ke laddoo kha jata tha. Lekin bachhon ne bahut support kiya, aur meetha aate hi chupa dete thay. Khoob encourage karte the. Ab jab main patla ho gaya hun, news mein aa raha hun, toh beti toh chidha bhi deti hai,” he adds laughing.
Ask how he managed to dodge the bighearted hospitality of people during this weight loss journey, and he candidly shares: “Policewalon ki naukri toh bilkul khane ka centre hai! Jahan jao, log khana mangwa dete ki DCP sahab aaye hain! Phir maine apne driver ko kaha, car ready rakhna road par. Jaise hi main event khatm hota, main humesha party se gayab ho jata tha. 90% parties toh maine aise hi bunk kari hain. Kabhi kisi ko dikhta nahi hun, aur nikal jata hun kyunki koi bhi mil gaya toh lunch ya dinner ke liye pakad lega aur phir meri diet gadbad ho jayegi (laughs).” That’s indeed a brilliant way to stick to one’s goal!
Author tweets @KritiKambiri