As an overweight girl sick of boys teasing her curvy and voluptuous body, this then 11-year-old decided to commit to a cleanse.
“Boys would look at me, laugh and make fun of me,” Elina Shaffy said. “I decided I would not be the fat girl in class.”
This was the first step in her lifetime commitment. She decided to continue to be smart, beautiful and stay physically active participating in ballet and tennis growing up in Beverly Hills, California. A figure that was once target practice for mean school boys later became the body that cracked Shaffy into Maxim’s “100 Sexiest Women in the World”, Status Fitness “Top 10 Fitness Models in the World”, GQ International and other publications where she was the featured cover girl.
Through fitness, Shaffy has created a name for herself doing what she loves most, taking care of her body. While she continues to workout twice a day, cardio in the morning and weight training in the evening, the self-proclaimed “bad ass” who’s “very driven” helps others with their health for living. She’s turned her passion for fitness into a career opportunity where she helps many clients, including celebrities, as a fitness guru, nutrition consultant and life coach.
Making a name for herself, she’s added the title of Miss Beverly Hills to it. As an Armenian of Persian descent she was happy to be given the title not only in her hometown but in a city with a large Persian population.
It was an “excellent fit,” Shaffy said. “I was the most ideal person.”
As Miss Beverly Hills she was an ambassador to a city she already knew the culture to calling Beverly Hills a “town that is so much more in-depth than beautiful people, cars and architecture.”
Before falling in love with this role she was named the spokesperson for Michelle Obama’s “Shape Up America” campaign, a program raising awareness for healthy eating and physical activity.
“It struck a cord for me,” Shaffy said. I was helping “children struggling with the same thing I struggled with. It was a wonderful thing to be involved in.”
For Shaffy, helping others is the most rewarding part of her journey serving as a role model and “giving back to the community.” After working closely with Mike Torchia on the campaign, Shaffy said he took her under his wing and the two look forward to doing more work together where they can give back.
On a daily basis, she’s pushing her clients to better their health. One of her most inspirational clients is Hollywood producer Jon Peters. Shaffy saw him when he was 40 pounds overweight coming off a major surgery. While she gave him the blueprint, Peters took the initiative to follow through and lost 35 pounds.
“I look at him with awe,” Shaffy said. “He probably looks better now than he did 30 years ago.”
Stories like Peters is why Shaffy loves her career.
“Not many professions inspire, transform and empower,” Shaffy said. “They put all their trust in [me]. Working out, eating [healthy] but mainly its mental…having the will, determination, tenacity and desire to overcome.”
Shaffy’s admiration for Peters, just shows how far she’s come. Once an overweight girl who made a commitment to better her health, she found a passion in fitness and along the way helped others to achieve the very same mental commitment she made. She stays low-key and admits she doesn’t do a lot of social media but the cover girl who once appeared in a national commercial for Beverly Hills based fashion designer Amir is also the founder and chief designer of high-end athletic line, ES Sportswear.
“I’m going to be a phenomenon,” Shaffy said. “It’s a matter of time before reaping the benefits.”
Being able to carve out a career in her niche has been “incredible,” Shaffy said.
“I would not have thought this would be a means to a career [but] I knew this made me feel good,” Shaffy said. “If you are passionate about what you love everything will fall into place.”
She encourages everyone to make a living following their true passion.
“It’s a lovely feeling,” Shaffy said. “Do what it is that makes your heart stomp.”
By Gino Terrell