Pune: If you thought that toned muscles and chiselled body are only for men, then think otherwise.
City-based Deepika Chowdhury (30) became the first Indian woman to represent India and win in an international figure competition held recently in the USA.
Coming from a middle class family residing in Vimannagar, Chowdhury says she has accomplished the feat in just two years with sheer determination and self discipline.
It is Chowdhury's appearance at the International Federation of Body Building (IFBB) and National Physique Committee (NPC) held event called 'Battle on the Beach' which was held on March 29 at Daytona Beach in Florida, US.
She has won two awards in overall novice category and open class B category.
"I chose to compete as a figure athlete because I liked it and it suited my body symmetry of broad shoulders and trim waist," she said.
On how she got interested in fitness training, Chowdhury said that she was inspired after she attended a seminar conducted by world renowned fitness coach Shannon Dey held at Sheru Classic health and fitness expo 2012 in Delhi.
"I saw international figure athletes on stage and decided that I wanted to be one of them. I got my training and diet programme from Bombshell Fitness and started my workouts in Pune. I also attended an athletics camp in March 2013 at Florida, US," she said. Bombshell Fitness is a US-based health and fitness company founded by Dey.
A post graduate in Biodiversity, Chowdhury is married and working with city-based National Institute of Virology (NIV) as a technical assistant for past nine years.
She has done her schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya and higher education from Modern College (Ganeshkhind) and Garware College.
The IFBB-NPC competition had four categories of bikini, figure, physique and body building.
Chowdhury said that her workout schedule includes one-and-half hour weight training in the evening and 30 minutes cardio training when the competition was nearby.
"I never cheat on my meals or skip my training and stick to my plans. Consistency and discipline is what has got me to win in my first attempt at an international competition," she said.
Chowdhury said that there is no awareness about bodybuilding in India. "We do not encourage children in this sport and there is no respect for women in such a competition. When I can do it anybody can do it," she said.
Chowdhury added that she has many followers from all over the world but very few from India on her Facebook account.
Sponsored for her supplement requirements by Neulife Company, Chowdhury says that the rest of all the expenses are self funded. Her future plan is to participate in the next competition called Fort Lauderdale Cup, to be held in October in Florida, US.