Area Teacher Aims For Body Building Championship
By Space Coast Daily // August 17, 2012
Draws Motivation From Competition
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – When Zahira Landestoy decided she had to do something about her passion for body building and physique training, she did it in a big way.
The 32-year-old fifth-grade teacher and dance instructor at Community Christian Elementary School in Melbourne recently returned from the 2012 NPC Team Universe Competition in Teaneck, N.J. where she finished 11th overall in the country in physique training.
Originally from the Dominican Republic, Landestoy is a graduate of the University of Florida and would like to someday also launch a career as a professional fitness model.
Landestoy said she has been working out for much of her life, but never really reached the fitness goals she has desired.
She thought entering an organized competition would be the motivation she needed to accomplish those goals.
“I have always been competitive especially having three brothers, so I entered a competition and really enjoyed the training and the entire process,” Landestoy said.
“If you want to compete on stage with the best in the country in front of people you have to look good to win.” Zahira Landestoy
She also enjoyed the dieting for the event and being on the stage in the competition.
“My first show was in West Palm Beach two years ago and I won first place,” Landestoy said.
She works out every day for 90 minutes with 45 minutes reserved for cardio and 45 minutes for strength training.
In order to qualify for the national show Landestoy had to win a series of state qualifiers and that’s not easy.
Right now her focus is on a national show in Atlanta in November and finishing higher than 11th place.
Doing well at the Atlanta show would certainly be a step closer to gaining a nutrition sponsor and her professional card.
Currently she has Shape Shifters Fitness in Melbourne as a sponsor and they help defray some of her expenses for competitions.
“I went in to Shift Shifters Fitness on Highway 192 in Melbourne with my power point presentation looking for a sponsor and owner Nathan Schwartz decided to help me,” she said.
Landestoy also is coached by Don Long and her trainer is Erik Johnson.
Considering show entry fees and tanning sessions, plus the food supplements required to compete, it can get very costly. The food costs just for her training runs about $75 a week.
She eats her nutritional meals seven times a day and carries them with her everywhere in her Tupperware containers. She must eat the meals at the same time every day.
“I have always been competitive especially having three brothers, so I entered a competition and really enjoyed the training and the entire process.” Zahira Landestoy
Her last meal is 11:30 p.m. and it requires a tremendous amount of discipline not to stray from her diet regimen.
“If you want to compete on stage with the best in the country in front of people you have to look good to win,” said Landestoy, who is 5-foot-4 and weighs 125 pounds.
With her discipline, commitment and passion, her ultimate goal is to be in the hunt for a national championship.
Her short-term goal is to get a professional card with the National Physique Committee so she can obtain a sponsor to finance her travel to national shows.