Bodybuilding is a male-dominated sport. How and why did you get started in bodybuilding? What was your motivation for doing that?
I grew up watching my Dad play sports and at one period of time, he was bodybuilding. There were weight plates and barbells all over the house! Growing up, I developed a strong desire to weight-lift. I have always been a mild feminist and thought, "If men can do it, why not women?" Many people say that bodybuilding is no sport for a woman as it makes them look big and too muscular. In my research, there are women who are huge in the bodybuilding industry but only because they consume steroids to increase the level of testosterones in their body, making them look masculine! So I googled for fitness models and bodybuilding competitors and I fell in love with the physique of Amanda Latona, Larissa Reis, Ashley Horner, Jamie Eason and many more. Pleasant news - they all LIFT.
Motivation? I was mildly overweight in my teenage years and my schoolmates did not give me much respect. I had very low self-esteem and it affected me a lot at school. I was in the Trim and Fit (TAF) club when I was 14. After that, I became thinner than I could have ever imagined but the fear of falling back to being overweight again never left me. With bodybuilding, I finally found something that I can relate to very well and feel very comfortable with.
Bodybuilding teaches me to respect my body, have discipline, hard work, perseverance and keeping a strong faith in achieving what I want (i.e. a dream body). These are the values that I apply to my everyday life. There will be naysayers and obstacles in the process but I learned to ignore pessimism and stay focused on my fitness goals.
I fell in love with the 'iron' (i.e weights) and I call the gym my second home. Today I am lifting almost every day targeting different muscle groups to achieve that dream physique that I can one day call my own. Bodybuilding has made me a stronger person, both physically and mentally. What's better – I could finally speak another common language with my dear Daddy!