Shasta is another local athlete that caught my attention because of her positive outlook on life, fitness and health. It is hard to not be inspired by her. She knows first hand what it is like to transform a post pregnancy body into the body of her dreams.
Make sure to check out Shasta’s wonderful facebook page called The Health Haven.
(Q) Tell us a bit about yourself.
(A) I am a 29 yr. old full time at home mother of 2 toddlers as well as Holistic Nutritionist Student specializing in Sports Nutrition. I was born and raised in a small town in Nova Scotia but now live in rural Northern New Brunswick. After high school I spent many years living and traveling overseas before returning to Canada, when I then spent 2 years living in Calgary. Shortly after moving to Calgary, I became in contact with my first and only real love Dave, who I had dated in my teens before losing contact for nearly 5 years. We pretty much immediately fell back in love and started dating again, despite him living thousands of miles away, in the province of Ontario. We made plans to get married and decided to relocate back to the east coast of Canada together. In the early summer of 2008 I became pregnant with my son. By the end of my first pregnancy, I found myself 80lbs heavier than my pre pregnancy weight of 130-135lbs, bringing me up to a weight of 210lbs at only 5’3. I then became pregnant with my daughter less than 5 months after my son was born. Needless to say that after 2 back to back pregnancies, 2 c sections and such a large amount of weight gain, my body no longer resembled anything close to my pre pregnancy body. In February of 2011, when my daughter’s first birthday was approaching I had a sort of light bulb moment after seeing a couple of before and after pictures of fitness models Kim Dolan Leto and Jennifer Nicole Lee. That very evening I became inspired to become really healthy and to go after my “dream body” and I haven’t looked back since. It has been just over 2 years now since I began on my fitness journey and in that time I have competed in 3 bodybuilding shows, been featured in the top 100 Fitness Model lists in both Status Fitness Magazine and Inside Fitness magazine, have had numerous newspaper and online articles written about my transformation, journey and fitness achievements and last Jan I even appeared on Live at 5 to tell my story of my at home transformation and on becoming a fitness model.
(Q) Why is fitness important to you?
(A) Becoming involved in fitness and making my health a top priority has completely transformed my life. Besides being in the absolute best shape of my life, fitness has made me mentally and spiritually stronger than I ever have been before as well. I love the amount of energy that eating healthy foods gives me and there are few feelings that compare to the feeling after finishing a great workout. I love setting an example for my young children to make health a priority in their own lives.
(Q) What was the hardest part about getting in shape?
(A) I would have to say that for me the hardest part of getting in shape was having patience with the process and knowing that results would not come over night. Also, accepting and understanding that during the process there would be “bad” days, days where I felt less motivated or days where I felt discouraged with what seemed like so much effort with such little results but that these days would never stop me from reaching my goal if I refused to give up.
(Q) Who is your biggest inspiration?
(A) My biggest fitness inspiration by far is Kim Dolan Leto. Not only is she the woman who first inspired me to set my own fitness goals but she is also a mother of a young daughter, is so beautiful inside and out and is extremely humble despite being one of the most successful fitness models in the industry. My biggest daily inspirations are my children. We learn more from what we see then what we are told and as such I want to continually work towards being the best person that I can be in order to set an example for my children. By setting values for myself like the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, having self-confidence, being kind to others, setting and working towards goals, going after my dreams, the importance of happiness and unimportance of material things, accepting and embracing my flaws and imperfections, forgiving myself when I make mistakes and forgiving others for theirs, respecting others but also respecting myself enough to let go of anything or anyone that may be harming my happiness, helping others when I am able, accepting and letting go of the things that I can’t change and always looking for the best in others and in situations, I know that I am also teaching my children to have the same values. Knowing that the choices that I make affect my children and shape who they will become inspires me to be a better person to myself and to those around me.
(Q) What advice would you give to other women?
(A) The most important part of reaching any goal is believing that you can reach it, “Believe that you can and you are already halfway there.” With that said, it is important to know why you are setting the goals that you are and what you feel that you will achieve by reaching them. Make sure that you are setting goals for the right reasons. Many women who set out on weight loss goals want the quickest possible way to get results. It is important to understand that many of these quick fix methods such as extremely restricted diets, diet pills, cleanses etc. will only get you results for a short period of time. The way to get lasting results is by focusing on health and by working with your body to get them. It will take a lot of work and a lot of effort but the results and benefits from doing it the right way far outweigh any struggles on the way to reaching your goal. In life we are all searching for happiness and by taking a route to weight loss that will harm your body in the process, the end result will never be true or lasting happiness. “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” If you really want to become truly happy and truly healthy, then set being healthy over any other physical goal. While working towards your goal imagine how incredible it will feel when you reach your goal and focus only on the end result and never on how far you still have to go. Break your goal into many small goals and be proud of yourself for every little bit of effort that takes you towards each and every small goal. Surround yourself with positive people and do not listen to any negative thoughts from yourself or from others telling you that you will not be able to reach your goal. Understand that you will have set backs along the way and that you will make mistakes. When this happens it is important to quickly forgive yourself, move on and use the next opportunity to get back on track reminding yourself of how far you’ve already come.