Author, coach, and motivational speaker John Maxwell has broken the 24-million-book barrier and seen his works translated into 50 languages. The person widely regarded as the most influential leader in the country once said,
“Difficult times can be more readily endured if we retain the conviction that our existence holds a purpose—a cause to pursue, a person to love, a goal to achieve.”
This statement is an apt summation of Kiran Dembla’s life: she overcame insurmountable odds to become a bodybuilding champion and is now an inspiration to many.
Early Life and Childhood
Kiran Dembla was born into a middle-class family. Her father and mother conventionally raised her. Her parents learned early on that she was musically talented because she had the gift of a lovely voice. So, she started taking singing lessons to hone her skills as a performer. In 1995, while pursuing her master’s degree at Bharatiya Shastriya Gayan, she began her performing career. Dembla was very careful when she was a child and a young adult, but as an adult, she was carefree. This attitude persisted even after she married and settled down with her husband two years after obtaining her Master’s degree.
Adult life, Challenges, and Her Road to Success
Until 35 years ago, Kiran Dembla had never set foot in a fitness centre until blood clots in her brain rendered her immobile. She was born into a middle-class Sindhi family, and her lifestyle was a reflection of gluttony and physical immobility. Moreover, she was a housewife who had a house, husband, and family to look after with not a moment to spare for herself. She was leading the typical Indian middle-class life that was almost careless about practising habits of good health and an effective lifestyle for nearly ten years and had two children.
One day she abruptly lost the capacity to speak and move her head as doctors discovered clots of blood in her brain. It was an unprecedented situation one that was petrifying yet life-altering in her case for sure. She realised her mistakes and the fact that she was paying for her recklessness. This helped her take charge of her life in the end, but it took her two hard years. Her multiple trips to the neurologist led to sleep-inducing medications that would often leave her listless. When she looked in the mirror, she was shocked that she did not recognize her reflection. She was 25 kilograms heavier than she used to be. After some time, she experimented with yoga, swam, and finally joined a gym, but she was “too shy.”
Dembla found weight training, repetitions, and protein shakes as strange as waking up in a new place, so she did what the other gym rats did. After some time, she began to make friends, and the boys began to assist her in her endeavours. Once she found her love of exercise, she lost 25 pounds and found happiness.
After a year, she finally told her husband she wanted to start her fitness centre. “Are you crazy?” he questioned. “Yeh kaunsa bhoot chadh gaya dimag mein?” But she was determined, so she enrolled in an online gym training course and rented an apartment close to her home to run the gym easily and efficiently. The success of Dembla’s gym attracted Chiranjeevi’s son, Ram Charan. She began training Taapsee Pannu, SS Rajamouli, Prabhas, and other South Indian film stars. This was the second phase of her life; in the mornings, she used to train them, and in the evenings, she used to tend to her home.
At 40, she decided it was time to change and start working towards developing a six-pack, an unbelievable dream, especially for an Indian woman. But there was a lot of pushback, and social media users began speculating that she was trying to “man up” by using steroids. No one had the nerve to tell her this face-to-face because by then people well understood that she was a formidable force. After seven months of arduous training, Kiran Dembla developed a six-pack and this development in her life resulted in her being invited to compete at the World Bodybuilding Championship in Budapest by the Indian Body Building Federation. Even though her husband initially objected to the idea since she would have to wear a bikini, she managed to win him over. She trained for four months and followed a high-protein, meat-based diet to represent India at the tournament. She was placed sixth at Budapest’s 2013 World Bodybuilding Championship.
Dembla’s current existence is very different from her previous one. Once a housewife with no ambition or interests, she is now a bodybuilder and trainer to hundreds.
Strong Determination Overshadows Negativity
Trolls and obscenities rained down on Kiran Dembla. Many people have remarked that she wanted to get rid of her natural femininity in favour of pandering to a strange fetish for appearing rather masculine. The relentless criticism took a mental toll on Kiran. The barrage of constant criticism and vitriolic comments had naturally a negative impact on Kiran’s mental health. However, as time has passed, Kiran Dembla’s determination has strengthened going through and winning over several crucibles and challenges. She had learned to set her sight on her goals despite criticism. She said in an interview that she prefers competing at international events because the other competitors don’t judge her based on her attire and respect her for her bodybuilding achievements regardless of how she looks or what her gender is.
Kiran Dambla credits fitness with helping her achieve mental and physical wellness, and she continues to inspire women of all ages by showing them that they can achieve their goals if they set their minds to it. Life is limitless; there are no restrictions. Hers is an inspiring narrative that encourages us to follow our dreams. She gave a reckless lifestyle at the age of 30, and by 45, she became a new woman who is tall and physically strong and who inspires others to achieve their fitness goals through the workout and weight-loss advice.