When you think body building you evoke the image of a man with a six-pack flexing his muscles.
Think again – because Puneite Deepika Chowdhary totally shatters this stereotype. With umpteen titles under her belt, Deepika is the first Indian to compete at the Arnold Classic, Australia- an international body building competition.
Her journey to success has not been easy. In a deep conversation with us she reveals about her passion for body building, her dreams, struggles and a lot more…
How did you fall in love with body building?
I was always a skinny fat kid. I got married due to some family issues and then I started gaining more weight and my health also deteriorated. I did not like my body when I looked at myself in the mirror. Then, on my husband’s advice, I started gymming with him.
Initially, I did not like working out but gradually, I got interested. To pursue further, I joined a fitness academy and studied Sports Nutrition and Exercise Science after which there was no looking back. I remember one day I came across the pictures of body builders and I found their bodies were more beautiful than fashion models’!
My life changed when I met Shannon Dey of Bombshell Fitness at Sheru Classic in 2012 in Delhi. I then immediately joined Bombshell Fitness and started my training as a figure athlete under my coach Gennifer Strobo. I competed first in 2014 and I am really grateful to National Physique Committee (NPC)and International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness(IFBB) to let me compete in the US and giving me wings to fly.
How has this sport changed you as a person?
Knowing the deadlines for the shows help me stay disciplined and discipline is the key to success. I have been able to handle some unfortunate events in my personal life with a stable and strong mind. I don’t think I have had any better teacher in my life than weight training. It is not just a mechanical process but spiritual, emotional and psychological influence. Moreover, I had major anger issues, probably because of my troubled childhood. In the process of preparing myself, I have learnt patience and today have a broad mindset.
Did you suffer from body shaming because of being a woman body builder?
Yes, on many occasions. And, I still do. Before, it really used to upset me and I used to give a strong reply. However, now I have realised that this profession has given me a lot in comparison with these petty things. I have learnt that you can’t stop someone from judging you. So, better develop a thick skin and be happy. If you are confident then no matter how people look at you, nothing will deter you. And how you see yourself is all that matters..
What is your diet like and, do you ever have a cheat day?
Yes, of course! I cheat once or twice in a week to be honest! Nonetheless, on other days I follow a strict routine. I eat six to seven meals a day and each meal has calculated amount of protein, fat and carbohydrate food sources. A lot of emphasis is on fibrous food and water intake in my diet.
Where do you see yourself in the near future?
I see myself happy and content and competing at the international stage of Olympia, a revered bodybuilding competition. I see myself working for my own NGO where my objective is to provide food, clothes and some day even shelter to the needy. I would also want to continue working at The National Institute of Virology. I want to spend more time with my family and friends and have my own food outlet. I also see myself taking fitness education seminars and helping women athletes to the best of my capacity with the small experience and knowledge that I have. I see myself reading more books and just growing as a person.