What began out as weight coaching become aggressive bodybuilding for Nina H. Dereska, MD, urogynecologist with UT Physicians Urogynecology Middle – Sugar Land.
“I began critically weight coaching once I was 47,” Dereska stated. “Menopause occurred early for me at 43, and I began gaining weight regardless of a secure eating regimen and train routine. I felt so uncontrolled for years, however then I had a buddy who was a male bodybuilder, and he stated, ‘We’re going to start out counting macros.’”
Her buddy 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 practising doctor for 15 years in ladies’s well being, but I wasn’t consuming in addition to I assumed I used to be,” she stated. “Lo and behold, six months handed by counting macros day by day, and I misplaced all the burden I gained through the years from menopause.”
Dereska then determined to take the subsequent step and start weight coaching to construct and form lean muscle.
“Previous to weight coaching, I assumed boot camps, long-distance triathlons, and any exercise involving lengthy classes 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 subsequent 12 months. That’s when my buddy stated, ‘You’re able to compete.’”
Right this moment 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 focus is an total muscular stability 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 harm unrelated to bodybuilding,” Dereska stated. “I needed to take a break from competitors, however I’ll be competing once more in September. I largely 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 International Bodybuilding Group, which implies I can compete for cash in that group if I need to,” she stated. “Nevertheless, once I go to competitions, it’s to not win essentially however to enhance over my final present.”
Although Dereska has at all times 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 really like bodybuilding greater than something I’ve ever executed,” she stated.
The bodybuilder goes to the gymnasium to work out 5 – 6 days every week from roughly 8 to 10 p.m.
“Initially, I do it for stress launch,” Dereska stated. “I see sufferers all day lengthy, and I work lengthy hours, so I’m typically wound up from the day. Weight coaching releases the day’s stress, and my late night exercise promotes higher sleep.”
“I’m additionally not simply constructing my muscle mass, however my bone density. Girls must do weight-bearing workout routines to construct their bones, particularly after they attain menopause,” she added.
Dereska additionally continues to study extra about eating regimen and health every passing 12 months.
“I nonetheless study on a regular basis,” Dereska stated. “Eating regimen is 80% of the success in my sport, and harm 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 objectives,” Dereska stated. “After I was doing triathlons, I typically educated alone. It’s good to be in a person sport, but it surely’s even higher to be a part of a staff.”
Like most medical doctors, Dereska doesn’t often share her passion along with her sufferers. Nevertheless, when competitors season begins, sufferers typically beg the query.
“I put on scrubs every single day. Typically you possibly can’t actually inform how muscular I’m, however inside a month of a present, it’s unmistakable,” she stated.
When requested about her passion, she lets folks know that she began at age 47.
“Change can occur at any age, however the motivation and neighborhood of assist needs to be there,” Dereska stated. “Lengthy hours or different obligations shouldn’t deter you from prioritizing your self for a short while every single day. It doesn’t matter what sport or exercise you strive, it’s great to see the transformation in your self.”