In times where girls are obsessed with zero figures and being slim to the extent of become skinny, Karuna Swami, a professional bodybuilder, winner of the recently organised Miss India Fitness Physique 2012 at Bidar, Karnataka, by the Indian Body Building Federation (IBBF) and India’s only Fitness Modelling trainer to be certified from Pilates, UK, is an example of having a perfect body and being healthy at the same time.
At the launch of her fitness modelling program in Mumbai, Karuna spoke about the importance of achieving that fabulous body through healthy means, fitness modelling as a good career option for girls, importance of being healthy even for a normal existence, and much more. Excerpts of her tête-à-tête with SHWETHA KANNAN
What is your take on the zero figure craze amongst girls these days?
Girls are starving and taking short cuts to get the zero figure but they do not realise that this will affect the well being of their bodies in the long run. They maybe don’t realise or do not know that they can achieve the size zero figure using healthy ways. They need not be anorexic to get the perfect figure.
And what is the right way to get the desired figure?
Get a trainer or an instructor who will guide you with the right workout regime and diet. Every individual needs exercises and a diet that would suit him or her. There is no use copying the diet or workout regime of some person because what may suit that person may not be good for you. Then stick to the regime and be consistent in your efforts. Eat right, sleep well, take adequate rest. Your consistency will yield results, for sure.
But generally people tend to drop out of gymming…
Yes, during the initial days the motivation level is high. But once the work out begins and the body starts aching which is naturally going to happen, people get demotivated and opt out. This is not right. That is why I make sure that people, who come for training to me, are always well motivated.
You are into fitness modelling and the only lady from the state in this field. How did you get the idea of getting into fitness modelling?
Four years ago, I saw a lady who was a fitness model on the cover of a magazine. She was a mother of six children yet so young looking and fit. That is where my inspiration came from and I decided that I too wanted to be a fitness model not only for my personal happiness but also from a professional angle.
Your family agreed to this?
Yes my family was and is very supportive. From my father’s side, my uncles have been wrestlers and weight lifters, and though my mother and her side of the family are the ‘not so health conscious’, they saw my efforts and sincerity towards what I wanted to achieve and encouraged me. My husband Uday, who is also a fitness modelling enthusiast, is supportive but it was not very easy to convince him to let me participate in professional competitions as there is some amount of exposure involved there.
You were lucky to have a supportive family; but what about society in general?
There might be some opposition to begin with but if you are confident about your decision and are sincerely putting in efforts to achieve your goal the things do fall in place.
Is fitness modelling a good career option for girls?
Yes. Magazines, national and international, need girls who are fit. Fitness models usually have the well defined muscles of body builders but with less emphasis on muscle size or muscle mass in favour of lean muscle tone. Their body weight is usually similar to fashion models but have a lower body fat percentage owing to increased muscle mass and reduced fat mass. And this is what is in demand these days. Skinny fat bodies (this is how Karuna refers to today’s models) are out now. So, girls who are fit with a great body and figure are in demand. They can get into modelling.
Will girls buy the concept of getting the right figure the right way in times when there are shortcuts to get the desired figure in less time?
Girls in Mumbai do have the right mindset and are open to new concepts. But this needs to be channelised in the right way. This might take some time and lots of efforts but in the end, it is worth it.
What is the government’s contribution in promoting fitness as a sport for women?
Any appeal to change this scenario and get the govt involved?
We can create awareness but the funds are a problem and the government can help here. Even at Bidar, there were just eleven participants maybe because the event was promoted sufficiently.
Do you have any message for our readers?
Being fit is very essential for leading a good life. After having a busy day at work if you have the energy to spend quality time with your family then you are fit.