Name: Zahira Karina Landestoy
Hometown: Melbourne, FL
Christian Duque: When and why did you first start weight-training? Also what are you favorite and least favorite bodyparts to train?
Zahira Landestoy: I started weight training in college, but have been working out since I was a little girl, with my dad who is also an athlete and truly my main inspiration. My favorite body parts to train are shoulders, back, legs, glutes and abs. Less than favorite (since I love to train them all) are chest and arms..
Christian Duque: Talk about what made you decide to compete, notable shows, and of course your recent win. How does it feel to make it to the top? How do you stay hungry?
Zahira Landestoy: Although, I have always worked out, I had never reached my fitness goals, which is what made me decide to train for an actual show. Once I did the first show, I fell in love with the whole aspect of bodybuilding as a competitive sport. Some of the more notable shows I have done were the Ft. Lauderdale Cup 2010 where I competed in the Bikini division (2nd place); Southern States 2011 where I competed in the Figure division (1st place) and then most recently at the Anna Level Championships (6/12) where I took 1st place and the Overall title for the WPD (Womens Physique Division). I just returned from NJ where I competed in the Team Universe National Show in Physique where I was trying to attain my Pro Card, but came in at 11th place.. So now going back to the drawing board, strategizing, getting back up and trying again before the year is up. Very exciting times!
It is very humbling to have reached the level that I have in such a short period of time, considering the citizenship setback (last year after qualifying for figure at Southern States, I found out you had to be a US citizen to participate in a National show-so I applied and trained hard while I waited..). I acknowledge that God has blessed me genetically and that my body is an instrument that I must use to minister health and vitality to people by inspiring them to live healthier lives in a holistic way. I look forward to influencing many people as I continue to get more exposure.
I stay hungry because I see the positive impact I have every single day on the people around me and/or friends and family that are inspired to be healthier by what I do. Sometimes we don't think we are having any influence or making any impact in the lives of those around us, but when we are doing positive things, we can rest assured that we are planting seeds. I also stay hungry because this has been a dream of mine, to grace the covers of several magazines, since I was a little girl. Its very important to me, especially because I'm a teacher, for little boys and girls to have positive roles and images that they can identify with on the magazines, so that they too can feel like they are "beautiful" according to societal standards of beauty.
Christian Duque: Kudos - a time to thank all those from workout buddies to coaches to friends and. family.
Zahira Landestoy: I thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, through whom all things are possible. I thank my parents, my brothers, and my entire family for being so supportive of me always. I thank my Coach Don Long and his wife Sarah Long, for the immeasurable amount of support, faith in me and guidance they have provided this year as they prepped me for my contests. I thank Erik Johnson for being my trainer who got me started in the wonderful world of BB. I thank my students and clients for inspiring me each and every day to never quit. I thank my gym families (anytime fitness/sunbay fitness ) and all of those that have supported me along the way.
Thank you to my sponsor, Nathan Schwartz, CEO of Shape Shifters Fitness, for helping make my dreams a reality.And thank you so much for the great opportunity!
I thank God for His provision of always bringing the right people in my path, and in HIS perfect timing.