'My 600-lb Life': Sexually abused and homeless, Dominic tries to turn his life around by shedding some weight
He was sexually abused by his relatives but while the abuse stopped, his addiction to food did not
Dominic Hernandez has been struggling with his weight since he was a child and one of the root causes for this had been the circumstances that surrounded his childhood. It all started when his parents started fighting, which ultimately led to their divorce. It was during this time that Dominic's food addiction started.
He was left heartbroken when his dad abandoned him and the family. Dominic and his brother stayed with their mother after this. While he had expected nothing worse to happen, he was proved wrong when he was sexually abused by his relatives. While the abuse stopped, his addiction to food did not.
After a couple of years, Dominic found out that his mother had diabetes and this is when they all moved to his grandmother's place. Unfortunately, his grandmother died after a couple of years, which left Dominic, his mother and his brother staying in the house. When he was 34, his mom also passed away and after a couple of years they were forced to move out of the house as no one was there to pay the rent.
Now, living in a van with his brother, Dominic revealed that they are homeless and find it hard to get through on a day to day basis. Luckily, he was able to get some help from his cousin Gina, who helped with money to go see Dr Younan Nowzaradan in Houston. Dominic and his brother James made sure they had everything for their travel as it was going to be a 27-hour drive. Once prepared, the two started their journey.
On the way, the two usually stopped to munch on some junk food while also parking somewhere safe to catch a good night's sleep. When they finally arrived to meet Dr Nowzaradan, Dominic weighed himself and found out that his weight was 672lbs. He then sat down to consult Dr Nowzaradan about what could be done.
He explained to Dr Nowzaradan that he and his brother were homeless and when it came to eating, the food was usually limited to things that they could afford or keep for a long time like canned foods. Dr Nowzaradan advised Dominic to find a housing facility that would allow him to focus on his diet.
He further asked him to cut down carbs and only consume two meals a day. Dr Nowzaradan asked Dominic to set the goal of losing 60lbs in two months. Dominic agreed but he found it hard to be focused as his brother James was still eating junk food. To add to this, the two were still living in their van, which made it hard for Dominic to be focused on the diet.
Regardless, Dominic tried his best to make whatever small changes he could. Two months after his first appointment, Dominic went to visit Dr Nowzaradan again. This time, he weighed 650lbs and had lost 27lbs. While he was happy, he knew that it wasn't enough. Dr Nowzaradan agreed and thought it would better for Dominic to go for therapy to help with his mental health issues.
Dominic agreed and went to meet a therapist. Once in therapy, Dominic opened up about the instances that made his childhood miserable. While he felt better speaking about it, he knew he had a long way to go. Luckily, Dominic and James were able to move into a hotel that had a kitchen facility after his brother took small jobs to earn some money.
This made Dominic believe that he would be able to lose more weight as he could prepare his meals. Soon, it was time for his next appointment with Dr Nowzaradan. This time, Dominic weighed 647lbs and had lost only 3lbs. He was disappointed as he had expected to lose more weight.
Dr Nowzaradan told him that he could not make any changes unless he was determined to turn his life around. Dominic agreed and finally decided to take the weight loss journey seriously and work on himself. He decided to go grocery shopping by himself and stick to healthy food.
This was the first time in a long time that he was buying groceries for himself. While many food items seemed tempting, Dominic tried to be strong and stuck to buying only those things are good for him and healthy.
Ever since Dominic got back from meeting Dr Nowzaradan, he knew he had to stay focused. He revealed that he had started exercising and would often go to the gym while the clothes are being washed. However, one downfall of getting his clothes washed is having a vending machine right around the corner.
There are times when he couldn't help but take a quick bite but most of the time Dominic managed to resist the temptation. Finally, it was time to meet Dr Nowzaradan again. Unfortunately, this time, Dominic had gained a lot of weight and that left Dr Nowzaradan unhappy. While he did not approve Dominic for the surgery, he asked Dominic to continue therapy.
He added that he was not giving Dominic any goal and would want to him get serious and focus on the weight loss. Dr Nowzaradan also informed Dominic that he wasn't giving up on him and wanted him to sort out his life and then focus on his weight loss. Dominic knew that he had a lot of underlying issues that needed to be dealt with before he focused on his weight loss.
He decided to focus five to six months on improving his living condition and then get back to weight loss. He started by going to a social worker and looking if they could get a house. He continued his therapy and made up his mind to change his life for better.
'My 600-lb Life' airs on Wednesdays at 8 pm ET on TLC.