“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”
This quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger perfectly captures the uphill battle that Kiran Demble has fought to get where she is today. If you believe that starting a family means giving up on your aspirations then take a cue from Kiran Dembla. With this post, you’ll learn about Kiran Dembla, an Indian national who rose to fame as a bodybuilding champion and well-known fitness instructor.
Kiran Dembla was born into a middle-class family and she was raised in a traditional setting by her father, who was a banker, and mother, who was a housewife. Early on in life, her parents recognized her innate ability to sing a song beautifully. As a result, they wanted to encourage her talent. She began her training as a vocalist by enrolling in music classes. As she worked towards her master’s degree at Bharatiya Shastriya Gayan in 1995, she also performed on stage.
Two years after finishing her studies, Kiran Dembla got married and took up the mantle of housekeeping caring very little about herself, a common trait often noticed amongst married women in our country. The role of a housewife defined her life, and she happily immersed herself in household activities day after day with her entire existence revolving around the idea of providing for her loved ones. But soon after the birth of her second child, she began to show signs of ill health, and a medical test led to a diagnosis of the presence of clots in her brain. The medical procedure to cure her was initiated. She was in a great deal of discomfort throughout the procedure. There were side effects too. She became overweight by 25 pounds due to treatment and subsequent medication. But sometimes unpleasant things happen for the greater good. Her extraordinary weight gain sparked the beginning of her journey of revival and transformation.
The Quest for a Healthier Way of Life
She would often examine in the mirror the reflection of her drastically changing body, which was gaining weight speedily, and ponder the year-long process that had transformed her once-energetic physical form into something she could not identify with anymore. As a result, she made up her mind to take action. Having abused her body with unhealthy food for almost a decade and later medical processes requiring her to rest more often than not resulting in shocking weight gain, she was eager to make amends.
In 2007, as she began to recover from her illness and took up swimming as a means of self-care believing it could help her lose the additional weight. It turned out to be a useless proposition. She experimented with yoga but she could not hit success again. Eventually, she gravitated towards strength training. She joined a gym and started to train regularly during the morning hours. Even though the gym environment was difficult for her to adjust to at the inception, she lost 24 pounds in about six to seven months.
And with that success, nothing was stopping her anymore.
Training for a Six Pack
After completing a degree in fitness coaching, in the year 2008, Kiran Dembla opened her gym in the Begumpet neighborhood. Her plan to get six-pack abs started in 2012. Over eight months, Kiran followed a strict regimen that included regular exercises and a tailor-made diet. In just eight months, she went from having no abs to showing off a set of six.
The 2013 Championship
Kiran had begun to dream to reach for the sky because she knew that she was capable. She began nurturing the ambition of competing at the 2013 World Bodybuilding Championship in Budapest. She was obligated to don a bikini for the contest. Although her husband was reluctant about it, Kiran toughened up and was determined. So, went ahead and applied to take part in the contest. But more challenges were coming her way.
Tragically, three members of her family passed away in the two weeks leading up to the event. The incidents not only affected her psychologically but also made it difficult for her to get ready for the contest, especially in terms of dietary requirements. Her relatives did not want her to consume meat so soon after the funeral. But she was persistent. She maintained her non-vegetarian diet with the support of her husband and overcame the obstacles strewn in her path to the competition. The rest of it went down in history as she secured the sixth position for the most attractive physique on the international stage.
Insults and Trolls
Kiran Dembla was the target of numerous insults and trolls. There were scathing comments citing that she seemed more ‘masculine’ with the six-pack abs. Kiran’s mental health suffered as a result of the continual criticism. However, Dembla’s mind has hardened over time. She had learned to ignore the naysayers and keep her eye on the prize. In an interview, she explained that international contests are her preference since the participants don’t care what she wears, and they have a true appreciation for her accomplishments in the sport of bodybuilding.
Kiran Dembla is a great role model for women who need the confidence to pursue a not-so-common dream.
Some more interesting facts about Kiran Dembla’s career:
- She started her career as a celebrity fitness trainer after competing for India at the World Bodybuilding Championship in Budapest.
- Upasana Kamineni, who was getting married to actor Ramcharan, enlisted her for the competition.
- Her clientele includes stars like Tamannah Bhatia, Anushka Shetty, Rajamouli, Prakash Raj, and many more.
- Kiran is also a phenomenal DJ who goes by the moniker ‘DJ Belle.’
- She is a passionate mountaineer who has climbed the Everest base camp thrice.