What does it take to have a perfectly toned and muscular body? Sanjana Dalak, who has won the ‘Miss India’ bodybuilding contest twice, says it involves spending hours in the gym, lifting weights, doing push-ups and sit-ups, and much much more.
Her diet, much like her exercise regimen, is not for the faint-hearted. “It consists of 12 eggs a day, 200 gm chicken, 200 gm fish, half-kg of fruits, 250 gm salad, rice, green vegetables and protein shake,” says Sanjana, who is in Pune to participate in the 52nd Asian Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship, to be held at the Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi from October 4 to 7.
“This is my daily regimen and diet. I can’t do without it… two hours of gym in the morning and two hours of gym in the evening, and a healthy diet,” she says. Pizzas and burgers, she says, are a “strict no no”.
Sanjana, a yoga trainer, gymnast, dancer and Taekwondo expert, has won the ‘Miss India” contest twice, the ‘Miss North India’ contest once and the ‘Miss Uttar Pradesh’ contest four times. Back home in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, miscreants don’t dare harass her, she says. “Three-four years ago, when I was not into bodybuilding, I used to face the occasional harassment from miscreants in Saharanpur. But not any more. Nobody dares to mess with me… My strength probably makes them nervous,” she says.
“I would urge girls and women to visit the gym and create a self-identity… women need to lift themselves up to live with respect, pride and dignity in this male-dominated society,” she says.
Every family in India, says Sanjana, should invest heavily in women’s health and gym training. “You don’t have to go to a gym, you can start gym training at home. Women are the backbone of a family. If they are healthy and strong, the entire family will be like them,” she says.
Sanjana also credited her family and her coach Sohal Rana, who have stood behind behind her strongly and helped her achieve national fame. “Without them, I wouldn’t have been here,” she says.
More than 400 leading male and female bodybuilding and physique sports athletes, representing 28 Asian countries, will compete for the top honours in the championship.
Chetan Pathare, general secretary of the Indian Body Builders Federation (IBBF) said, “… It has been our constant endeavour to promote the sport of body-building, and towards achieving this massive goal, we have always conceptualised interesting events that will elicit maximum participation. After hosting a successful Mr World in 2014, this time IBBF is extremely delighted to host the 52nd Asian Body Building and Physique Sports Championship 2018, in India. It is a prestigious initiative, where over 400 athletes with 200 officials will participate from over 28 Asian countries. We have also ensured that all participating athletes are provided the best of amenities, which will enable them to put their best foot forward.”
The hopes of the Indian contingent in the competition will rest on the strong shoulders of athletes such as Sunit Jadhav, Yatinder Singh, Sarita Devi, Mamta Devi, Sanjana Dalak and Ankita Singh. The Indian athletes will face stiff competition from bodybuilders in the teams sent by Thailand, Iran, Myanmar and Uzbekistan.
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