In a world filled with challenges, Steadfast Athlete Reeta Devi stood her ground. The remarkable female athlete, who hails from a small village in Himachal Pradesh, dared to dream big and pursued her passion for bikini bodybuilding, surmounting various obstacles. Her journey has been filled with struggles, financial stress, and societal stereotypes, but her unwavering determination and the support of Steadfast Nutrition propelled her to remarkable feats. The Steadfast Athlete added one more feather to her cap, winning the coveted pro card by the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) in the wellness category at the Sheru Classic Pro Qualifiers held at the International Health, Sports, and Fitness Festival (IHFF) 2023.
The win was special for Reeta Devi. “I cannot really express the feeling of this win because I won state-level golds earlier but at the national level, I only got silver. When I got the pro card, I couldn’t believe it. I can’t express my feeling, I just get speechless. It’s just that I am much more confident now,” Reeta Devi said.
She also talked about her preparation journey and sacrifices made to reach her goal. Not the least of her problems was that she did not have a coach. She did work under one for a short duration, but realised the 1.15 hours of training he recommended to her were not enough. Reeta Devi decided to become her own teacher and prepared for the Sheru Classic Pro Qualifiers. Self coaching came with a cost. She had to change her category from the more recognised “Bikini" to “Wellness”. Competing in the said category required training her legs four times in a week instead of two. Throughout the preparation she had sleepless nights, mood swings, and felt hungry often. It took Reeta Devi a lot of hard work to win this feat. She had to follow a very strict regimen and put all her effort into preparing for the championship.
Reeta Devi's journey in the world of bodybuilding has been an uphill battle from the very beginning. She faced a lot of struggles, including financial and mental stress, hunger cravings, fatigue, and sleepless nights, but still managed to conquer them all and emerge stronger.
“The foremost struggle is financial stress, followed by sanity, hunger, cravings, sleepless nights, and fatigue. After fighting all these, I had to fight with people’s mentality as a professional bodybuilder, as I have to step on the stage wearing a bikini. Additionally, bodybuilding is an expensive sport. In case you don’t have a sponsor, it will be very difficult to compete.”
The societal norms and judgments Reeta faced in her small village for wearing a bikini for competitions were disheartening. But despite the criticism and negative comments, she stood firm in her resolve to pursue her dreams, proving that nothing can deter someone with unwavering determination.
“I am from a small village in Himachal Pradesh. People don’t understand this sport, they say bad things about it since I wear a bikini and compete on stage. But I don’t care about what people say, I always stay focused and eye to win feats one after another”, said Reeta.
Reeta also took on the challenge to transform herself from fat to fit after gaining weight due to an unhealthy lifestyle. Her weight loss journey began when her brother teased her for gaining weight. Within three months, she shed the extra kgs through home workouts and a proper diet.
“I joined a gym and was encouraged by a trainer to pursue a fitness career. I then competed in Ms Kalka IBBF, securing 2nd position. I got a lot of fame but it was followed by defamatory comments, I continued competing and achieved success, including winning gold in Ms Chandigarh in 2018.” said Reeta Devi.
The 29-year-old entered the fitness field in 2018, preparing for professional contests. She won a silver medal and later a gold at Miss Chandigarh (2019) with Steadfast Nutrition's support.
Reeta Devi is not only a trailblazer in her field, but also an inspiration to millions of Indian women. In a country where female participation in sports, especially bikini bodybuilding, is limited, she serves as a beacon of hope for aspiring athletes. She encourages every Indian girl to fight for their dreams and never give up, regardless of the financial constraints or societal pressures they may encounter. She emphasises the importance of focusing solely on the goal and ignoring the naysayers, as success will inevitably earn their respect.
“With this victory, I only want to say if you want to achieve big, go for it. Just do it. Don’t think about anything, don’t listen to what people say, how they will react to wearing a bikini or anything. Just do it with all your heart and do the hard work to fulfil your dreams. Do not give up on your dreams” she quoted.
Reeta feels fortunate to be supported by Steadfast Nutrition, which takes care of her nutrition needs and provides crucial financial assistance.
“I am lucky that I am an athlete of Steadfast Nutrition, which takes care of all my needs- from nutrition to wellness. They also take care of registration fees, stay and everything,” she said.
Steadfast Nutrition played a pivotal role in Reeta's athletic journey. She said, “As my fuelling partner, they provided me with essential supplements, such as the protein supplements Warmax and Incredible Isolate and the Collastead, which boosts skin and joint health. These significantly supported my preparation for competitions. With the financial burden of purchasing expensive supplements lifted, I was able to focus on honing her skills and achieving my goals. I consider Steadfast Nutrition not just a supplement provider for me but a lifeline that enabled me to continue pursuing my passion.”
With the pro card secured at the IFBB Amateur Olympia 2023, Reeta's sights are now set on competing in a Pro Show and representing India on the international stage, She even aims for the prestigious Olympia competition. Her ambition knows no bounds, and she is determined to keep improving and challenging herself on her remarkable journey.
With the unparalleled support of Steadfast Nutrition, she has become a symbol of hope for aspiring female athletes in India. As she continues to pave her path, she leaves behind a legacy of resilience and determination, inspiring countless others to chase their dreams relentlessly.
Reeta's story is a reminder that no dream is too big, and with the right dedication and support, anything is possible.