My name is Dana Shemesh. I was born in Jerusalem, Israel, on August 31, 1975.
Growing up, I loved dancing, art and playing volleyball. Being the youngest in my family made me both very competitive and independent. At age 18—like most young people in Israel—I served in the military for two years. After the army, I had studied graphic design at Hadassah College in Jerusalem and for several yearsI’d been working as an art director in the largest advertising firm in Tel Aviv. For years, it had been my dream, but it didn’t take long for me to feel exhausted and drained sitting at my desk, staring at a screen all day. Through the stress of deadlines and long hours, I began to daydream and wonder about what would come next. My personal life also felt like it had been coming apart; I’d broken up with the boyfriend I’d had for the last nine years. My mom had just been diagnosed with cancer. I felt tired and unhealthy. So I decided to change my life; At 29 I stopped smoking and started to workout in a gym for the first time in my life! and I love it! I lost 15 Lbs and I felt healthier, and happier! That journey would soon completely change my life.
WHAT CHALLENGE US CHANGE US - STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE AND OVERCOME YOUR FEAR!
At 29, I quit my job and began studying to be a personal trainer at Wingate, Israel. At first, it was difficult leaving the world of advertising and design to which I had dedicated so many years and long nights. I was taking a chance with my financial security and my future. Everyone thought that I was crazy, but I didn't listen to them.I had a vision of what I wanted, It was a dream and I worked hard to make it something that I could pursue and catch in small steps. I wanted to challenge myself, and that challenge gave me focus and determination to succeed.
One day, a friend took me to a bodybuilding show in Israel. I loved seeing the impressive combination of strength, proportions and aesthetics—an art, like sculpture in real-life. It was a revelation that women could be strong and beautiful at the same time, and I was inspired to begin the journey myself. Soon, at 35 years-old, I stepped on stage and won 1st Place in my first bodybuilding competition in Israel. I was overwhelmed and full of joy and pride for what I was able to do in such a short time. Even if I hadn’t won that first show, I understood that there are huge rewards for persistence and determination.
LIFE IS WHAT WE CHOOSE TO BE
I choose to make a change in my life; I change my job, my lifestyle, to be more healthier and happier. It didn't happen by mistake. I worked hard for it, and you can do it too, let me help you. I have been a personal trainer and training now for over 17 years, and it's lead me to do things that I didn’t think were possible at the beginning of my journey. After first stepping into a gym at 29, I became Miss Fitness Israel when I was 35, as well as the first and only Israeli IFBB Pro women’s physique athlete in history. Thanks to these achievements, I was fortunate enough to get an Athlete USA Green Card. In 2016, I moved to the United States and settled in South Florida, Miami. On August 17, 2022, another dream of mine came true, I received my American citizenship in addition to my Israeli citizenship. Thank you America for the freedom! God bless you all never stop growing and dreaming, because dreams do come true when you believe and do whatever it takes!
LET ME HELP YOU - YOU DESERVE MORE!
We usually measure our achievements and accomplishments through things outside of ourselves—from awards or recognition others have bestowed on us. But that’s not really the most important part of the story. More than anything, my life in bodybuilding and fitness has made me happier, stronger, more disciplined, persistent, focused, patient and confident in myself and my body. It’s also lead me to see that anyone has the power to be successful—not just in fitness, but in anything they choose to do. My experience also taught me that it’s never too late to begin your journey. Let me show you how!