Indo-Canadian woman wins at national bodybuilding championship

A 42-year-old Indo-Canadian mother from Lower Mainland has won 2013 Canadian National Championships of Physique, Fitness, Figure and Bikini.

Bindi Bains Mackoruk, a mother of two and a personal fitness trainer won first place in the Open figure category and a third place in the Masters figure category at the competition organized by the Canadian Bodybuilding Federation on August 17 at Massey Theatre in New Westminster.

Bains success story is an inspiration for all the women who give up hopes of getting back into the shape after becoming a mother. Bains entered into the fitness world to feel good about herself and to boost her confidence. But not only she gained a perfect body, she got muscles which encouraged her to pursue bodybuilding at the national level.

This competition is the highest level of competition that an amateur bodybuilding can participate in. The goal for most athletes at this level of show is to obtain his or her Pro Card. This Pro Card turns an amateur bodybuilder into a professional one.

“It is extremely difficult to obtain a Pro Card as it is hard to know for sure what the judges are looking for exactly. Although I did not get my Pro Card, I am very pleased with my achievements in other categories, as the competition was very stiff,” said Bains.

Bains came to Canada from India with her parents when she was only 3. A youth counsellor by profession in the Vancouver School System for ten years, she did not grow up with the dream of becoming a professional bodybuilder. In fact Bains struggled with fitness and weight issues as a teenager and also after becoming a mother as every woman does.

“After graduating from high school, and being tired of not feeling good about myself, I finally decided to do something about my weight problem. I changed my eating habits and began exercising.

That’s it! There was no special food, no diet pills, no magic wand. I realized then, that I needed to make this way of living, a lifestyle and not a temporary solution. I lost weight and became comfortable with my body composition,” she said.

At 31, Bains had her first son and she struggled with weight problem again. “I was so afraid that since I had been heavier as a young woman, that I may not be able to get my ‘pre-pregnancy body’ back after childbirth. But I was wrong. After getting myself back into healthy eating and working out, not only did I lose my baby weight, but I became even leaner than I had been before pregnancy. I started to develop muscle and I was very happy with how my physique was turning out. It was at this time, that I became very interested in bodybuilding and personal training.”

When Bains started getting into shape, she could have joined modelling but she decided to pursue bodybuilding – a field which not many South Asian women would consider very feminine. “I chose bodybuilding because I saw what it did for my confidence and I wanted to help others achieve similar goals. Modelling is also a passion of mine and I have worked in this field in the past, but it’s one of those passions/hobbies that you can only do for so long as age plays a huge role. In bodybuilding, I have shown that age is not a factor, as I started competing 35, after giving birth to 2 children. The dedication and discipline involved in this sport keeps me on my toes and wanting to strive for more. As far as being ‘feminine’ goes, the category that I do, called ‘figure’ is not only about muscularity, but symmetry and femininity as well. This in particular, is why I chose this category,” she explained.

A personal fitness trainer now, Bains feels dieting is not a solution to lose weight. “I believe if people thought of eating healthy as a ‘lifestyle’, rather than a ‘diet’ then living this way for the long term would become much easier. We have to stop looking for ‘quick fixes’ and actually change the way we eat, not only to lose weight, but to be healthy.”

According to her diet varies from person to person. “The one tip that is common for all people wanting to lose weight is to eat more frequently (4-5 times) a day, with only 2-3 hours in between. Another very important factor for weight loss is to drink lots of water daily,” she added.

When it comes to exercise tips she said, “Try to do some form of physical activity at least 30 minutes a day. You don’t need to go to a gym, as there is so much you can do with just your own body for exercise. Try to go for walks as often as you can and encourage someone you know to join you for support and company. But if you are completely new to exercising, I would highly recommend getting a personal trainer to help you achieve your fitness goals.”

By Surbhi Bhatia