Despite all the things she has achieved in her life so far, including competing in national bikini bodybuilding competitions, Kim Bishop is down-to-earth, easy to talk to and completely disinterested in the way people look.
“There are so many more important things in life than your clothing size or the way you look,” says the Ballito-based general practitioner.
Having grown up on the Bluff in Durban, Kim didn’t always know she was going to be a doctor, but she did know she would be a professional of some sort. “People study in my family. It’s what we do. My father was a headmaster for 10 years, my brother is a Chartered Accountant and my uncle is a gynaecologist in Durban.”
After school, Kim made the decision to study medicine, which she did for six years at the University of KZN. “I knew becoming a doctor would allow me to give myself a good life – and that I would never be out of work.”
At school, Kim was an all-rounder, competing in various sporting disciplines (including provincial karate) and excelling in drama and academics. After qualifying as a doctor, she did a two-year internship at King Edward Hospital and then did a year of community service with the South African Defence Force in the Area Military Health Unit at the headquarters, situated close to her family home.
“I wasn’t sure where to go after that, so I decided to stay on and became a military captain. I had a rank, wore a uniform and became a permanent member of the SANDF.”
Driven to succeed in life, Kim bought her first home – a one-bedroomed apartment – while she was completing her community service. She stayed with the military for four years, and during the first two, while she says she was single and didn’t have much responsibility, she made the most of her time by doing various courses with the SANDF. “I did some amazing courses in Pretoria, including Combat Casualty, Law of Armed Conflict, Chemical Warfare and Communicable Disease Outbreaks.”
In 2011 Kim fell pregnant with her daughter, Taylor. “I come from a big family and I always knew I would have children – it just happened much faster than I expected!”
A year later Kim decided to leave the military and go into private practice where she assisted two other general practitioners at Entebeni hospital for a few years. She moved to Salt Rock and joined Dr Neil Isaacs’ practice at the Well Medical Centre in Ballito in 2015.
Kim’s interest in bodybuilding was sparked while watching her partner, Taylor’s father, Damian compete. Damian is a former junior Mr Universe and KZN super heavyweight competitor, and after having her baby Kim decided to give it a go. She started reading, researching and burying herself in everything health and fitness.
“I never thought I would look the best I ever have in my life at the age of 30, after I’d had a baby,” she laughs. Kim did her first show in 2014. “I came absolutely nowhere and I looked amazing! I was a bit disheartened after that, but decided to compete again. In 2015 I did a show and came 5th out of 15 girls (some of whom were 18 years old!). It was a personal victory for me and I loved it!”
At the beginning of 2016 Kim’s mom, who she says was her absolute rock, passed away from colon cancer. Kim was devastated and decided to take a year off from training.
decided to take a year off from training.
Now focussing on her career, Kim says she loves being a private general practitioner and the fact that she can work with and treat the whole family – from mom, dad and kids to granny and grandpa.
She is currently building a home in the new Zimbali Wedge development and says she loves living on the North Coast. “I love the outdoor, farm-like lifestyle you can have here.”
Kim is passionate about women and women’s health and says women in general, and especially here on the North Coast, are far too image-conscious. “I often hear women obsessing about food, diets and their weight . . . and it really bothers me. If you are really unhappy, then change your lifestyle and strive for what you want, but do it for yourself.”
Kim eats a high protein, moderate carbohydrate and low fat diet – because that works for her. She tries to balance her cardio and weight training regimes, but says she also loves riding horses and lazing in the sun next to the pool!
“I really believe you have to find what works for you and your lifestyle, and do what makes you happy.”
Get In Touch
Dr Kim Bishop: The Well Medical Centre / 032 946 1311 / email@example.com / Facebook: drkimbishopbikinifitnesscompetitor / Instagram: @dr_kim_bish
Text: Leah Shone | Photographs: Taryn van Rensburg
Get It Magazine (Ballito/Umhlanga) October 2017