This article was first seen on the Huffington Post. For this installment, we are joined by Deniz Eke.
Let’s start off with a general introduction. How would you describe yourself, what are you all about and how did you get involved in health and fitness?
I was working in sports media. I presented the news and worked as a reporter but sports has always been in my life. And sports resulted in one of the happiest moments of my life. I was going to the gym from time to time and lifted weights.
I was unemployed for some time. I dedicated myself to sports more during that period. And my progress made me happier. Yes, I realised that was the place where I belonged. I did not return to my media work and started to compete instead. Now, I am an IFBB athlete.
Where does your motivation come from?
My ambition for winning is what triggers my motivation. I constantly want to make myself better. My trainer is an important factor. His name is Ali Emre who is also an IFBB athlete and classic bodybuilder “Europe and World Champion”. He is an incredible man that motivates me.
As you decided to make a career out of your passion – what were your biggest stumbling blocks along the way?
The sport is still fairly uncommon in my country which at times can be a challenge. The fitness market here is not developed yet. There is very little investment in athletes. I always had to work hard in order to pay for my competitions. And I am still working.
What’s your perspective on the importance of self-care?
Looking after yourself means that you respect yourself. In other words, looking after yourself is some kind of taking care of your own environment. A motivated person who is and thinks positively, looks after him or herself. Not only physically but also mentally.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about women lifting weight?
Women think that they will become “Arnold” a month into lifting weights, which is completely wrong. They abstain from weight lifting and always complain about not getting into shape. Women think that their appearance will be deformed immediately and abstain from doing sports or chose the wrong training methods, such as doing cardio for 2 hours! It will never be like you think, believe me.
Many young women who want to lose weight believe that not eating is the way to do it, without realising the consequences of that kind of behavior.
Why do you think this is and what’s your perspective on educating society on healthy nutrition habits?
Those wrong ideas come from lack of research. Or wrong dietary suggestions. All facts can be obtained as a result of curiosity and research. When women think of losing weight quickly, they use information obtained without effort; for example the advice of friends. They do not question anything. I believe this is not related to education but the person must question the situation that he/she is experiencing.
What are the most unexpected lessons you’ve learned on your health and fitness journey this far?
The biggest lesson I have ever learned is that there is only one “right”, so make sure you choose who you listen to and take advice from carefully.
What do you do to maintain balance in your life?
I am familiar with discipline and maintaining order. This is not something new to me. I am only restricted by time but otherwise I feel perfectly balanced. I have a very busy schedule and thus I live like a soldier. This allows me to keep things in balance.
How do you stay productive?
I like to win. I breathe thanks to my objectives. Some women become happy by going on vacation or shopping. I become happy by setting goals and achieving them. Struggling keeps me strong. I like living like I am in an adventure. And I get a sense of winning from others.
Can you give a breakdown of your current diet, training and supplementation regimen and the thinking behind it?
This depends on the period but generally my diet is based on a high carbohydrate and protein system. I take 2 grams of protein and 6 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of bodyweight. I eat all sorts of vegetables and fruits. My diet has various elements and it is joyful.
I have an intensive training schedule without limiting myself. I am a lucky athlete as my metabolism is fast and I do not get fat. Walnut and hazelnut are fat sources that I like. Black rice is my favourite.
If you could only choose one thing, what would you tell your younger self?
When I fell in love, I wasted a lot of my time for nothing. I’d definitely say not to spend your time for nothing.
What are your goals for 2017?
I saw the semi finals in Europe last year. My biggest goal for this year is to rank higher. I worked so much and I believe I deserve this!
Where can people go to learn more about you online?
You can stay up to date by following me on Instagram.
Stay tuned for the next interview of Real Talk Real Women!