Name: Shannah Baker | Height: 167cm | Weight: 59kg | Age: 23 | Location: Gold Coast, QLD
Who or what inspired you to get involved in the health and fitness industry?
I first started my fitness journey to get in better shape for my wedding and honeymoon (September/October 2013). My partner was always very supportive and encouraging, being into health and fitness himself, and ex-professional basketball player, I always felt the need to keep up! I had friends in the industry that also inspired me. A couple of years ago, before I was truly serious about health & fitness, I started with a personal trainer at my gym, Anne Marie Lasserre. She would often tell me of the potential I had to be a part of the industry, but it wasn’t until January I decided to give it a go!
What type of diet do you follow leading into an event?
I followed a strict diet of protein (white meats) vegetables (mostly greens) and good carbs.. I worked off of my blood type. After a consultation with my coach (at the very start of my first prep) I was aware of what was bloating me and upsetting my stomach. With a bit of tweaking, no dairy, low intake of good fats, I found my body responding great to my new diet and I didn’t feel like I was struggling with it at all. I found comp prep a lot easier than expected with a good variety of food.
How many days a week do you train and do you prefer weight training over cardio, what works best for you?
I like to train at least 5-6 days a week. I love to lift weights! I think for me, both were essential in the lead up to competing. I found fasted cardio worked well for me, though it’s not for everybody. I would do post cardio after a weight session either on the stepper or stair master (The stepper is my absolute favorite!)
With capturing the 2014 ANB Asia Pacific Fitness Model Championship how did it feel to come out on top against such a tough line up of girls?
Wow! What a feeling! It’s only normal to compare yourself to others, you are backstage and surrounded by amazing athletes all day! Yet everyone is so unique in their own ways! When the top 5 was called, I was beyond happy, I had made it! Then 5th and 4th were called, I couldn’t believe it, top 3, I was over the moon!! And then 3rd place was called, I was shaking, super nervous and excited at the same time! Is this actually happening?! When the runner up was called I couldn’t believe it, holding back the tears, knowing my husband, family and friends were in the audience watching me take out the title was such a joyful feeling! I really don’t know how to explain it, so unexpected but so humbled to take out first place with a huge smile on my face!
How important is it to maintain a balance in life between work and play, what’s your success mantra?
You don’t have to put your life on hold just because you’re following a strict meal plan or because you need to train. For me, at work was the hardest, avoiding all the delicious foods & finding the right times to eat. However I was lucky, with such a supportive team at work, they would let me take a quick 5-10 minute break whenever it was meal time! At home, my husband kept me grounded, always reminding me to stay focused. We would often go on date nights to the movies; I would pack a healthy snack and a bottle of water. Like I said, it’s the little things! If you want to hang out with your friends, you can do that too!
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