A:I was born and raised in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. It is a beautiful suburb just outside of Vancouver.
Q:When did you discover the gym?
A:When I was 3 years old my parents put me in gymnastics, and as a child I was very active playing various sports such as: volleyball, basketball, track and field, field hockey, skiing, snowboarding and cross country running. However, my main sport was soccer. I played from the age of 7 until I was 18. When you grow up playing sports, the gym almost becomes ingrained in your DNA. It is not a question of if you will exercise, it’s a question of when and how frequently. Attending the gym regularly while training for tournaments, finals and Provincial’s was very important in order to be competitive. Having just 2 soccer practices a week was not enough, as you need to maintain your cardiovascular stability and muscle strength. So at a young age I discovered the gym and how important it is for overall health. Now, the gym feels like a second home to me.
Q:I know that feeling! How did you know you were ready to become a personal trainer?
A:I was in a bad car accident about 5 years ago and due to back problems and ongoing pain I was unable to work out for a long duration of time. Because of this I gained excess weight. My sister (Marja Chow), is also a Personal Trainer, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Yoga Instructor, Cross Fit instructor...and the list goes on and on of credentials. She is basically my best friend, fitness advisor and has always been a big influence in my life. When I was somewhat healed and able to return to the gym, she did my assessments. I remember standing on the scale and in tears, as I was in complete denial. I could not believe that I was at the borderline of the 'overweight' classification. Being fit and active my whole life I tried to make up excuses as to why my clothes were tighter. But I came to the realization that I was eating bigger portions with excess calories and not working out, which ultimately leads to weight gain. But through my sister’s motivation and my hard work through a healthy diet and work out routine, I was able to lose 30 pounds in 6 months and get my body in better shape then it had been pre-accident. Since then, I have managed to keep the weight off and I work out 5 days a week while eating a healthy whole foods diet. Because of this, friends and co-workers started to ask for fitness advice. I started to go to the gym with different friends and realized how fun it is to teach them exercises, and help people reach their fitness goals like I did. Further, for my own personal knowledge I wanted to educate myself on personal training so I could apply it to my own life. Because of these experiences it led me to pursue personal training, help others and also help myself.
Q:Awesome. How do you motivate your clients?
A:I motivate my clients through encouragement, and through bi-weekly/monthly assessments to compare progress. Visual cues are also good, by doing a picture from their first assessment and another picture months later. I always let my clients know that results do not happen over night, and there is no pill that will magically make you a fit and healthy individual. It is through hard work and dedication. I am honest with my clients through my own personal struggles with weight loss and try to create an open environment where my clients feel comfortable.
Q:How did you transition into modeling?
A:On top of modeling, two of my biggest passions are acting and writing. My father works behind the scenes in the film industry, and as a young kid I grew up visiting him on different movie sets. The first time I ever saw an acting scene filmed in front of my eyes was when I was 6 years old standing behind the scenes of "Little Women" watching Winona Ryder (who played Jo March), and a young Christian Bale (who played Laure) act out their scene together. From that moment on I knew how much I enjoyed acting. As a child I was one of those kid who loved to do class speeches and plays. I would spend weeks planning my next speech, making my own props and would put on elaborate acts. When I was a teenager I was active in high school drama, school plays, and had an agent. However, when I hit my late teens/early 20's I decided to put my passions on hold and attend Simon Fraser University. I successfully graduated with my Bachelor's Degree in Social Sciences with a major in Criminology, and quickly after graduation obtained employed in Social Services with the Provincial Government. However, I found myself unhappy. I was in my early 20's and felt as if I was wasting my life away and not pursing my creative passions. So I decided to get back into acting. I enrolled in acting classes, scene study and got my headshots done. I signed with Jager International Management, which signs both actors and models. My agent wanted to put me both on her acting and modeling rosters, something I was a little unsure about. I never thought I would ever pursue any type of modeling. But it just kind of came my way, and I realized that I liked it. I currently do more bikini and glamour modeling. However, I have also done 3 different runway shows this past year. I think I enjoy modeling because it also motivates me to continue to stay fit and healthy with the gym. It has only been a little over a year since I decided to pursue my passions more steadily, and when I look back at my resume and all I have done within the past year, it makes me very excited and motivated for the future.
Q:Where have you been featured?
A:I am currently a spokes model for Ovide Couture Swimwear, which is a luxury swim wear company located in Vancouver. You can check out these gorgeous swimsuits at www.ovidecouture.com
I was a bikini runway model in Vancouver Fashion Week for the Summer 2014. This past June, I was selected as a world finalist from 100 international bikini models around the world to compete in Miss Tropic Beauty World Finals at the MGM Grand Las Vegas.
In terms of acting. I have played roles in many independent films, short films, music videos, mobile apps, web commercials, and corporate videos.
Q:What's next for you and your career?
A:For fitness, my sister and I are opening boot camps together in August/early September. Classes consist of a Cross Fit style workout with high intensity training, circuit training, compound movements, isolated movements and stretching. This class will help you burn calories, relieve stress and push yourself to new limits! Classes are Monday and Wednesday at 6pm at Dyer Fitness 3972 Hastings Street In Burnaby. Packages are sold in 10-session punch pass, our boot camp page will be coming soon to: http://invigoratinghealth.ca where all the information can be found.
Further, in the near future I would like to train for and be a competitor in an INBF Canada fitness competition. (In terms of) modeling, I continue to spokes model for Ovide Couture Swim wear, and am I excited to model their new upcoming collection. The photo-shoot is scheduled for the end of July.
In terms of acting, I am always actively taking acting classes and continue to go for auditions on a regular basis. I have a couple upcoming roles booked for independent films that I am very excited about.
For writing, I am in the process of doing final edits on my novel, "Yellow Diamond", which is a fictional modern day drama set in New York City. One of my goals is to get this novel published. I further write a lot of poetry, screenplays and music lyrics. One day I would love to write, direct and act in my own film or series.
Q:Can you give us all of your social media handles?
Facebook: Shana Marlayna
Agency Website: http://www.jagermodels.com/pro-file_shana.html
(Jager International Management)
Interview done by Elliot Rivera for healtHaven.com