Fitness

Single mother Ruby Beauty on how she found bodybuilding

“Yes, this is my actual name! It’s not a title I have conferred upon myself,” says Ruby Beauty, with a hint of exasperation. The National-level medallist bodybuilder from Chennai recently gave a talk in the city’s FitUp festival, on fitness for women.

Ruby’s own turning point came in the April of 2015, after a rather mean comment by her former husband. “My husband told me he was no longer interested in me because I was too fat,” she recalls, her voice still coloured with anger. Back then, she weighed 78 kilos — almost 25 kilograms overweight for her 5’3” frame. “I had given birth to my son three years ago, and still hadn’t lost my pregnancy weight.”

Her husband’s remark not only brought their marriage to a grinding halt, it also sowed in her the seeds of determination, to change things. “We split up soon after, but from then on, I decided to regain my fitness.” Despite her anger over the unfair body-shaming, she realised her fitness was in her own hands.

“I say this again and again, because I want other women who have gained weight after pregnancy to know that body-shaming is not okay. However, they also need to be healthy; after we turn 40, we are at risk from a host of conditions: knee pain, diabetes, high blood pressure…” she says.

Single mother Ruby Beauty on how she found bodybuilding

Ruby simply started walking. What started out as 150 metres, went up to five kilometres every day, for four months. “I walked early morning for an hour on the streets; treadmills are too boring. On the street, I could visualise my goal. One post, the next post, and so on. Moreover, there are so many interesting people around you: the milkman, the paperboy,” she says, adding that her diet changed as well. “I swapped the carbs and vegetable portions of my diet, and also completely cut out sugar, giving up on aerated drinks, coffee and tea.” In four months, she dropped down to 53 kilograms.

A year later, Ruby learnt that sudden weight-loss results in loose muscles. That was when she picked up bodybuilding. “Initially, I would just lift weights, but after I read about female bodybuilders from the North, I wanted to do the same,” she says. With support from her friend Sreedhar, and her trainer, Karthik, founder of Nutrition Factory, she started participating — and winning — bodybuilding competitions.

“Initially, I faced a lot of comments about this being something that only men do, but once I started doing well, I got a lot of encouragement,” says Ruby, who quit her career as a primary-school teacher to do this full-time. She now also takes Zumba classes in Chennai.

“More women should get into bodybuilding. Just keep an eye out for a good coach, as not many know how to train women. If you stick with this sport, it will not only help you financially, but also teach you how to control your emotions, and give you peace of mind.”

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 4:59:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fitness/single-mother-ruby-beauty-on-how-she-found-bodybuilding/article26844267.ece

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