CONQUERING HER NERVES
Once scared to do a speech in front of her class, now Shannah Baker is walking in front of hundreds of people in a bikini. She chats to Oxygen about how she overcame her nerves and used training and nutrition to become the ambitious, positive and happy person she is today.
Name: Shannah Baker
City: Gold Coast, QLD
Occupation: Front office receptionist
CONNECT WITH SHANNAH
Facebook: Shannah Baker
Hey Shannah, can you start off by telling us what life was like before you started training?
Before training I led an unhealthy and lazy lifestyle. Constantly in and out of the nightclub scene, working in bars, eating processed food and fast food at early hours of the morning and surviving off energy drinks. I used to work until 5am, so needless to say, I literally slept my days away and woke up in the late afternoon to “start” my day. I was always lethargic, grumpy and negative and found it hard to maintain any kind of healthy living. While I still did fun things in my spare time, I never truly had a passion for anything. I was definitely lost when it came to the direction in where I wanted my future to go.
How different do you feel now compared to then?
I guess you could say I started to believe in myself. My attitude towards life took a complete 360-degree turn. I love feeling this way! I find myself to be full of energy, fit and healthy, happier, ambitious, more positive, extremely determined and I’ve learned to love my body whether in competition condition or not. Working out makes me feel good.
Was there is pivotal moment that motivated you to start training? If so, what was it?
I think the moment that hit me hardest was when I first watched the Olympia 2013... I was in absolute awe! I wanted to look like the girls on stage so much. So I started to take the necessary steps, before I knew it, I had finally found my passion for the fitness industry.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of training for you?
I think the most rewarding part of training has been the ability to inspire others. I often get emails from woman asking me for help and I always do my best to give them as much advice as I can. I also love that I have learnt how to manipulate my body into looking the way I want it to. It has given me the courage, belief and confidence to feel comfortable in my own skin! From not being able to stand in front of a class at school to do a speech, to being able to walk in front of hundreds of people in a bikini was a huge achievement for me in itself. It was a confidence I never thought I would have.
What have you had to overcome to get to where you are today?
I had to overcome the fear of being in front of a crowd of people. My partner, close friends, family and coach gave me a little boost of confidence in myself that I needed. I was constantly told "you have to believe in yourself!" I remember the first moment I was about to step on stage, my legs were so jelly-like, I thought they were going to give way! But once I stepped out there, the adrenaline rush kicked in and the fear of going on stage slowly washed away. If you just push yourself to get over that first little hurdle, you'll be surprised how much further you can actually push yourself; you can do things you never thought you could!
What was your reason for taking health and fitness to the level you have?
I took my journey to the level it’s at now to challenge myself. I never thought in my wildest dreams it would open as many doors as it has. I have definitely found a love for the industry and I have become so passionate towards it. Taking care of your health is important because you're only given one body in your lifetime. You need to take care of yourself and fuel your body with the right nutrition. You want to be fit and healthy so you can live your life to the absolute fullest.
What has continued to motivate you throughout your training?
My husband, family members, friends and idols are what keep me motivated. I know there is always room for improvement. I will step off stage after a show, look at a few pictures and think to myself, "yep, I need to improve this, this and this"... Then it’s straight back to the gym! I want to be the best version of myself.
What is the number one lesson you have learned about health and fitness through your training?
Always stay humble and remember that everyone is different. What might work for you, may not always work for someone else.
Do you have a quote that you live by?
My favourite quote would probably be: "Stay true in the dark and humble in the spotlight!"
What advice would you give to women wanting to get into the best shape of their life?
My advice would be to have a "goal"... Sit down and think, in 12 weeks, where do you want to be? How do you want to look? Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons too. If you are unsure on how to start, look for a trainer or a coach, and remember, everyone started somewhere. Never feel intimidated or uneasy about going into a gym, everyone is there to improve themselves and you should never feel uncomfortable about that.
We all have days where motivation is low – how do you overcome these?
On the days I'm feeling low, I'll hop onto my social media and browse through some pages that inspire me. Or, I’ll look through some pictures of myself at fitness competitions as a reminder of why I have been pushing myself so hard and where I want to go with my journey. Sure enough, I’ll be up out of bed or off the couch, into my gym gear, pre-workout in hand and on my way to the gym! I try not to overthink it. I've got a goal, and to meet that goal, I need to put in the work!
- April 2014, WBFF – top 5 Fitness Diva Tall
- June 2014 ANB Asia Pacific – 1st place Bikini
- November 2014 Musclemania – winner of Ms Bikini America (professional status)
- June 2015 Musclemania Pro Debut – 2nd place Bikini
- October 2015, IFBB Bikini – 1st place Novice Tall
- November 2015, IFBB Bikini – 5th place Amateur Olympia, Bikini Open Tall
- March 2016, IFBB Bikini – 4th place Arnold Classic Amateur, Bikini Open Tall
Meal 1: 100g grilled chicken, 4 egg whites + 1 yolk, ½ cup basmati or brown rice and 120g blueberries.
Meal 2: 120g turkey mince/white fish, 1 cup fresh green beans, ½ cup pumpkin and 30g almonds.
Meal 3: 120g white fish, 1 cup steamed green veg + 1 carrot and ½ cup pumpkin.
Meal 4: 110g white fish/tuna, 1 cup steamed green veg and 30g almonds.
Meal 5: 130g grilled chicken, 1 cup steamed green veg and ½ cup roast pumpkin.
Before bed: 2 tsp chia seed in lukewarm water + ½ lemon pulp and 1 serve of greens.
Monday: Shoulders – volume training and 30 min stair master.
Tuesday: Hamstrings and glutes isolated and 20 min stepper.
Wednesday: Back, biceps and triceps and 30 min stair master.
Thursday: Shoulders – strength training and 20 min stepper.
Friday: Hamstrings and glutes isolated and 30 min treadmill.
Saturday: Back and abs.