People said ‘can’t believe Hrithik’s sister is fat’: Sunaina

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It is not every day that you get to interview an elusive star kid! Still a shy bee at heart, her drastic transformation of losing 60 kgs to be precise, has led her to become the talk of Tinseltown, overnight.
Meet the lesser known Roshan sibling – Sunaina Roshan, as she speaks exclusively to Pinkvilla about her massive weight loss journey, her illustrious brother, compulsive limelight, battling depression and more. Read on and you’ll fall in love with her innocence the same way as we did.

What a fab transformation, Sunaina! Easy, difficult or burdensome – how would you describe your journey to lose weight?

Easy because Dr Druffazal Lakdawala made it easy when I decided to do the Bariatric. I knew this was it. There couldn’t be anything beyond it. It took me 1 year to get to the gym and 2 years for this transformation because I was on anti-depressants and used to take anxiety tablets which had taken a toll on my health. I also had diabetes so I was taking a lot of medicines. He had told me in advance to not worry if I don’t lose weight so soon. And for that 1 year he kept pushing me to go to the gym and I used to be like, I can’t Bhai (I tie him Rakhi), I can’t go to the gym. He used to ask don’t you want to see fast results and I was always like No and today finally after a year, I am hitting the gym.

Do you like going to the gym now?

Yeah, now I like it. I walk for just 1 hour every day. I need to start toning. I still have another 6-7 kilos to go so once I am done with that, I’ll start toning because I don’t want to look bulky. I want to look lean now.

You revealed how you were living on a time bomb, suffering from multiple health issues. But didn’t undergoing a bariatric surgery for the weight loss over any other medium scare you even a bit? 

The surgery wasn’t scary at all but when I got to know that I had landed myself into multiple health problems, I was scared. And the only task was to make up my mind. There was a time when I was on anti-depressants, there were so many incidents in my life since the past 2 years that led me to eat a lot. I was eating out of depression. Your health and life walk hand-in-hand. If you’re depressed you cannot work out. The fact that you’re thinking, OMG I have like 60 kgs to lose, I can never do it makes you further depressed so I was totally into the eating mode. I never knew I would reach 130 kgs. My dad from the very beginning used to tell me don’t eat so much, don’t have so much of Meetha, don’t do this, don’t do that and you’ll put on weight!  But one day I realized when I did all my tests which were just a routine check-up that all my reports were positive. Doctors had detected a cyst in my cervix and I remember I was so scared when I had undergone that surgery. In my mind, I was like I hope it’s not cancer because I can’t fight cancer again. That was the day when I was petrified. For 3 days, I was eating again like a maniac and in my mind, I was like I hope it’s not cancer.

But why just a surgery? It was a risky process.

 No, it wasn’t risky at all. It’s a misconception that people are living in. It’s one of the easiest surgeries to be done. It’s just that during pre-surgery you just have to prep up yourself. He made it easy for me since I had known him for years so I had this mental comfort with him. I knew I could trust my doctor. And I’ll tell you what! People who say that for those who weigh more than 100 kgs, they can lose weight by working out is all crap. When I was 130-135 kgs, to even think of losing 60 kgs just like that was next to impossible. Till 100, you can still manage to lose 30 kgs but to lose 60 kg it’s not easy to just zip your mouth or go to a dietician workout.

Not many people are familiar with ‘bariatric surgery’. Can you guide us what exactly happens in it?

So there are 3 types of surgeries which I was explained. In my case, he tied up my intestine to such a level where I can eat very less, I can just eat a certain amount of food. There are different surgeries for different people. It all depends on how a person can take it. This surgery is done like a laparoscopic surgery where they put 3-minute holes in your stomach. It’s not that they cut you or anything and more like how you go for a heart surgery! In fact, I would say it is done better than that. 2 weeks before the surgery I was only allowed to have semi-solids and then 1 week before the surgery I only had to be on liquids and even post surgery for the next 1 week you’re only on liquids followed by semi-solids on the 2nd week.
During the surgery, he had kept a standby doctor for me since I was living on a time bomb. I was in such a bad condition that a cardiologist had to be called because my heart rate was really bad, my pulse rate had gone high due to anxiety. I remember when I was shifted to my room post surgery and had to go to the loo. I had asked for the bedpan but to my horror, like a strict doctor told me, ‘You’re walking up till the loo, Sunaina!’ I was like ‘Bhai no way!’ There’s so much pain but he was adamant for me to walk. He told me I have to walk with pain otherwise I’ll never land up walking. I was in the hospital for just 3 days. I eventually realized how it is one of the easiest surgeries and I think more than looking good, it’s all about your well-being. Also, I personally didn’t go for the surgery because I wanted to look good. It was more than I was living on a time bomb and anything could’ve happened to me.

What is your diet plan post surgery? Do you have cheat days like most of us? What was your biggest challenge? And what did you hate giving up the most in the entire process?

Ever since my stomach has shrunk I eat everything but I can’t eat too much of everything. Like I have 1 roti and then after 2 hours I’ll have fruits but my food intake has gone very less now. The most challenging part was to give up on sweets. I love eating Meetha. I have a sweet tooth. I used to finish 3kgs of Meethai every day and used to ask for it every now and then. Even now my mind still thinks about eating sweets like if I go to the grocery shop I feel like picking up a chocolate or cake! They’re lying in my refrigerator but I’ll never end up eating it. That urge is still there but then I finally give it to my servants because I just can’t eat it. I used to fall for Malpuas and 2kgs of Rasmalai and I think that’s how I had developed diabetes which is like the worst disease to have.

When was that moment when you thought to yourself – ‘Okay, I am going for Bariatric surgery’?

I was thinking about it for a long time but I wasn’t too sure if my parents would let me go for a surgery after cancer since they were a little scared. One fine day, I was coming from my psychiatric session and I was in my car with mom. Jokingly just to see my mom’s reaction I asked her if I can do a Bariatric and she said let me think. Next day I told my family doctor to convince my parents to go for Bariatric and he told me how he’d already done that. He also told me that it’s absolutely safe to go for it and my mom doesn’t mind it either. Though my mom had first consulted my brother since he has a very good knowledge of medicines and doctors so once she got a green signal from Hrithik and then my family doctor, I think that is when she went ahead with this.
At that time I didn’t have Dr. Muffi’s number, so I just messaged him on FB and he immediately replied. I called him later that day and said I want to see him asap.

What was your own reaction when you saw yourself post surgery?

Oh, I loved myself. I realized beyond surgery there’s nothing to lose weight for those who are excessively overweight. You either maintain it or you let go. and now I have become such a person where if I gain as small as 2 kilos then also I would be dying out of stress. And there’s no way that I can go for a Bariatric again so this is it for me. I have to sustain it. This is like doing the highest degree of weight loss.

Hrithik shared your picture on his social handle saying he’s super proud of his Didi. What did he tell you when he saw this massive transformation for the first time?

Hrithik was actually holidaying in the USA with his kids at that time and had to come back when my grandfather was rushed to an emergency to the hospital. I was dressed up casually in a loose shirt and that is when he came and asked ‘Is that you didi? I don’t know who you are.’ and that was the biggest compliment I ever got. Even my dad who hadn’t seen me for 10-15 days once shared his gym picture in our family group and I complimented him saying ‘Dad you’re looking so handsome.’ He wrote back, ‘You know if you lose some weight you’ll also look damn good’ and then after 2 days he met me in the hospital where he told me, ‘Sunaina don’t lose any more weight.’ I was like my father was telling me something else when I last spoke to him and see him now (laughs).
Who became your emotional anchor while you were busy losing oodles of kilos?
My Brother, my Mom, and Dad. They’ve all played a vital role in supporting me mentally because I was undergoing depression. Without them, I couldn’t have come out of any disease in my life. Be it cancer or anything. These 3 are my strong pillars of strength. I remember there was a time when Hrithik came up with his HRX brand and used to tell me, ‘Didi you should lose weight, we will do family interviews and click pictures soon.’ I used to be like shit, how do I lose my weight? And then there were random people who often used to come up to me and say ‘Oh, you’re Hrithik Roshan’s sister? We can’t believe you’re so fat!” I mean people don’t realize what impact they have on other people in real life. But anyway, I think these are also the people who’ve motivated me further for the rude remarks they did. I was like I have to prove it to myself. I don’t have to prove it to my parents or anybody but just myself that yes I can do it. I love my parents and I think I owed it to my family and had to lead a healthy life. I couldn’t let them take stress for me over what she’s eating now, tomorrow she’ll develop a heart problem and stuff like that…

What used to be your earlier fat battles that come handy now?

Earlier I used to climb 2 stairs and I would get tired. I could not see if I was climbing down 2-3 stairs. I couldn’t see the step below because my stomach was that big. I could not travel at all. There was a time when I got really really depressed. I remember I was traveling to Goa and I had to ask for an extra seat belt in the flight because that normal seat belt was not fitting me. It was depressing. It was not something to be proud of but these small incidents led me to Bariatric. There were issues I couldn’t talk to anyone about. Everyone knew what I was going through. Then there were health issues. I was getting lectures from my parents and I used to keep it all inside me. They always knew that I will eventually have health issues.

You’ve mentioned how you fell into depression and were on anti-depressants post your brother’s brain surgery and divorce. We want you to tell our readers how depression affects your system and how important it is to acknowledge it and get rid of it?

A lot of people don’t come out to terms with depression. They will be like we will fight it out but hello, they do need help. I tried Homeopathy when I was on anti-depressants but it didn’t work for me. Science has progressed but they can’t cure you immediately. It didn’t work for me and that’s when I decided I am going to take Allopathy. I feel we all are living such stressful lives today that we all are likely to go through anxiety. Just that its levels are different. People don’t acknowledge depression, I think they don’t love themselves enough.
How did you fight Depression?
Depression is for real. I am not boasting but I really love myself and so I took this step. I took my anti-depressants and sessions. Like how you take a medicine for your heart, if you have a fracture or need a knee replacement, that way if you need to cure your brain then what’s the harm in it? Today every office-school has a counselor. I don’t know why people are still living in an illusion that if you’re going to the psychiatrist then you’re mentally not okay. I want to tell people that it’s perfectly fine. It’s very easy for others to say, ‘Oh I am not friends with her because she’s mad.’ But they don’t know how this would affect the other person who’s already suffering so much. One single comment or any critic remark can further lead you to depression.

What’s your current state of mind?

I feel happy now. I love my life and I want to live till 80-85. The fact that I have fought all this makes me feel much stronger in life. I want to be an inspiration for everybody to get motivated and come out of their shell. Do something about yourself if you’re overweight before it gets too late and you start suffering from health issues. Obesity does cost you so much in life. And there’s no way you can escape through it.
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