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Doctor turns to bodybuilding for health and weight management

What began out as weight coaching changed into aggressive bodybuilding for Nina H. Dereska, MD, urogynecologist with UT Physicians Urogynecology Heart – Sugar Land.

“I began critically weight coaching after I was 47,” Dereska stated. “Menopause occurred early for me at 43, and I began gaining weight regardless of a secure weight loss plan and train routine. I felt so uncontrolled for years, however then I had a good friend who was a male bodybuilder, and he stated, ‘We’re going to start out counting macros.’”

Nina H. Dereska, MD

Her good friend taught her about macronutrients (i.e., macros) to assist with weight and fats loss. Macros are the discreet measurement of protein, carbs, and fats taken in every day, defined Dereska, assistant professor at McGovern Medical Faculty at UTHealth Houston.

“It was actually eye-opening. I used to be a working towards doctor for 15 years in girls’s well being, but I wasn’t consuming in addition to I believed I used to be,” she stated. “Lo and behold, six months handed by counting macros each day, and I misplaced all the load I gained through the years from menopause.”

Dereska then determined to take the following step and start weight coaching to construct and form lean muscle.

“Previous to weight coaching, I believed boot camps, long-distance triathlons, and any exercise involving lengthy periods of cardio have been the important thing to weight reduction, however that’s not the case,” Dereska stated. “I modified my mindset and began weight coaching for the following 12 months. That’s when my good friend stated, ‘You’re able to compete.’”

At present at age 52, the 5-foot, 5-inch bodybuilder competes in Nationwide Physique Committee (NPC) competitions within the Determine class.

“My class is within the mid-range of muscularity among the many 5 feminine divisions. The main target is an general muscular steadiness and a small quantity of muscular separation with out striations,” Dereska stated. “The ladies I compete towards sometimes weigh between 120 and 150 on the time of a present. My weight varies 15-20 kilos between low season and competitors season.”

Fall 2023 will mark her return to the stage.

“For 3 years straight I competed in exhibits, however final 12 months in 2022 I had shoulder surgical procedure to restore an damage unrelated to bodybuilding,” Dereska stated. “I needed to take a break from competitors, however I’ll be competing once more in September. I principally compete within the Houston/Galveston space, however this 12 months my exhibits embody Arkansas, California, and Texas.”

Dereska competes for enjoyable and development, not titles and cash.

“I received a professional card in November ’21 with the World Bodybuilding Group, which implies I can compete for cash in that group if I need to,” she stated. “Nevertheless, after I go to competitions, it’s to not win essentially however to enhance over my final present.”

Although Dereska has all the time been athletic, she discovered her ardour in bodybuilding.

“I used to be a swimmer in highschool, which led to me doing triathlons as an grownup. I loved these sports activities, however I like bodybuilding greater than something I’ve ever achieved,” she stated.

The bodybuilder goes to the health club to work out 5 or 6 days per week from roughly 8 to 10 p.m.

“At the start, I do it for stress launch,” Dereska stated. “I see sufferers all day lengthy, and I work lengthy hours, so I’m usually wound up from the day. Weight coaching releases the day’s stress, and my late night exercise promotes higher sleep.”

Dereska at a bodybuilding competitors. Photograph supplied by Dereska.

“I’m additionally not simply constructing my muscle mass, however my bone density. Ladies have to do weight-bearing workouts to construct their bones, particularly once they attain menopause,” she added.

Dereska additionally continues to study extra about weight loss plan and health every passing 12 months.

“I nonetheless study on a regular basis,” Dereska stated. “Weight loss program is 80% of the success in my sport, and damage prevention is vital.”

Bodybuilding has additionally allowed the surgeon to be a part of one other neighborhood.

“It’s good to have a neighborhood that helps you in your private targets,” Dereska stated. “After I was doing triathlons, I usually skilled alone. It’s good to be in a person sport, but it surely’s even higher to be a part of a group.”

Like most medical doctors, Dereska doesn’t often share her interest along with her sufferers. Nevertheless, when competitors season begins, sufferers usually beg the query.

“I put on scrubs day-after-day. Typically you may’t actually inform how muscular I’m, however inside a month of a present, it’s unmistakable,” she stated.

When requested about her interest, she lets individuals know that she began at age 47.

“Change can occur at any age, however the motivation and neighborhood of help needs to be there,” Dereska stated. “Lengthy hours or different tasks shouldn’t deter you from prioritizing your self for a short while day-after-day. It doesn’t matter what sport or exercise you strive, it’s fantastic to see the transformation in your self.”