8 March 2023
Women for a strong and healthy society
We stand up for equal rights for all people, regardless of their gender identity. And not just today, but every 365 days of the year. Nevertheless, we would like to use today's International Women's Day to give two particularly strong women a stage: Nutritionist and yoga instructor Petra Orzech and bodybuilder Dunja Bitar. In the first FIBO interview you can find out how Dunja keeps herself healthy, what her biggest milestone was and what message she wants to share with you.
Before you read on, we would like to point out that the second question of the interview "What was your biggest personal milestone" deals with depression and suicidal thoughts. So you can decide for yourself if you want to skip this question and jump straight to the question "How did you get into bodybuilding?"
How do you stay healthy?
I'm a total outdoors person and my little dog is the best companion for long cardio sessions in the Swiss mountains. Due to my passion for bodybuilding, my day is already very structured in terms of nutrition, training and recovery. Everything is weighed, tracked and scheduled. Physical and mental health are at the top of my priority list.
What was your biggest personal milestone?
The shift into a self-confident and healthy adult mindset. I made the turn in the spring of 2022 after years of struggling with depression, even thoughts of ending my life. The gym, the routine, the intensity in training literally saved my life. The mental toughness needed in training to increase performance weekly also works tremendously on building self-esteem. This, along with deep exposure to psychological schema work have completely changed me and my life, in the very best sense.
How did you get into bodybuilding?
My fascination with this unique sport began many years ago when I first saw videos on YouTube of Dana Linn Bailey & Co. The physical aesthetics and the unbelievable strength, but also the self-confidence they radiated, grabbed me right away. But then it took a few more failed self-attempts and years before I could completely commit to this lifestyle myself. Since January 2021, I have been following it with iron discipline and enjoy every second of it!
What are the biggest prejudices or stupid questions you are confronted with as a bodybuilder?
Oh, I could write a whole book on that! But every single question with a negative connotation says a lot about the insecurities of the person asking it. In the end, I can't control what other people think about me and it's simply not worth my energy. I know for myself what I can do, how hard I work for everything I have and how much joy I give myself with it. I sincerely hope for all those who are confronted with prejudice - whether in sport or in a professional context - that they never doubt their self-worth and radiate a stoic self-confidence that simply outshines everything negative.
What is your message to all women out there?
Do your thing, no matter what anyone says. Whatever your passion, whatever your dreams, whatever your ambitions - GO FOR IT AND LET NO ONE STOP YOU. This is the ultimate path to your best life.
FIBO for female empowerment
FIBO is actively committed to female empowerment and demonstrates this commitment also during the FIBO Show. An outstanding example is our first Ladies Lunch on 14 April, which brings together female experts from the fitness and health industry in an exclusive and inspiring setting at FIBO. In addition, we offer various lectures and panel talks on women's health and gender equality from 13 to 16 April. A highlight is the Empower Event of the Future Talks on 15 April, which is specifically aimed at leaders and allies from the fitness and wellness sector who are committed to an inclusive sector that supports everyone.
Note: If you have the feeling that you are at risk of suffering from depression, then make use of the appropriate support services or contact a therapist. If you feel acutely depressed or have suicidal thoughts, contact the telephone counselling service online or on 0800 / 111 0 111 or 0800 / 111 0 222 or 116123. The German Depression Aid on 0800 / 33 44 533 can also help. In emergencies, please contact the nearest psychiatric clinic or the emergency doctor on 112.