By NOUMAN KHALIL
Contrary to the nature of a typical South Asian woman, she transformed herself into a complete new person.
With dynamic body proportions, she now loves to walk the ramp in bikini, show off her body muscles and her hottest-ever feminine look.
Eating healthy, working out in the gym and jogging alongside the Downtown Lakeshore have become the most lovable activities of Toronto’s charismatic Gule Sheikh.
At present, the 35-year-old Sheikh — a Punjabi Muslim from Lahore — is the only Pakistani Canadian and the first competing Pakistani female ‘bodybuilding model’ in the entire world.
“I love doing this… exercising, bodybuilding, eating healthy and taking care of myself has become my passion. I feel so good and proud of myself,” Sheikh told Focus in an interview in Toronto.
‘Bodybuilding model’ or ‘fitness model’ is a type of bodybuilding in which female athletes try to gain muscles while, at the same time, maintaining the hot, sexy and beautiful feminine touch of a woman instead of only showing muscular body, cuts and veins.
Back in 2006, when Sheikh was facing a health related issue and put on several kilograms, she threw behind all the unhealthy activities, adopted an entirely different lifestyle and went on to the track alongside the Lakeshore that was destined towards fitness, energy, power as well as to the new world of charm and fascination.
“Slowly I build up my stamina, and became so good that I used to run marathons,” said Sheikh.
In a very short period of time, Sheikh became very athletic and joined a local gym for training, building and shaping up her body. She also hired personal trainers to get better and better results.
“What I am today is because of my strong commitment… I always determined to improve myself and wanted to get even better and better,” said Sheikh.
As a bodybuilding model, currently Sheikh not only competes at the provincial, national and international levels, but also runs her own boot camp in the Downtown Toronto area.
In 2009, following the advice of her trainers, family and friends, Sheikh decided to participate in the nationwide 2009 Ultimate Fitness Event (UFE).
“I could not win that competition, but for me it was a huge experience that gave me further confidence… I also got a lot of exposure,” said Sheikh.
After the event, she continued her training for yet another full-fledged attempt and kept working out and maintained her diet.
In 2011, she once again decided to participate in competitions and walked away at 5th place in the Master Bikini contest of the 2011 Ultimate Fitness Event; 1st place in the 2011 Ontario Physique Association (Master Bikini); and again 1st place in the 2011 International Drug Free Athletics’ (IDFA) Fitness Model event.
“I walked out successful in three competitions in a row… no one else has ever done that in the past,” said Sheikh.
“That was not easy task. I used to spend the whole time working out in the gym, my coach and personal trainer really pushed me hard while my nutrition maintained my diet. Then I attended walking classes, I used to go for tanning, hair and make-ups… you need a lot of determination and hard work for a competition,” said Sheikh.
To a question, she said her parents and other family members were always very supportive and encouraged her to go for it and do the best.
“Initially there was some resistance from within the community members, but my parents see nothing wrong in it.
“When I am in bikini, they can see how hard I am working every single day with diet and the training. They see it as a form of art. For them it’s a healthy lifestyle,” said Sheikh.
Presently Sheikh is also a certified trainer and runs her own boot camp where she help community women lose weight and adopt healthy lifestyle.