However, when husband Dale developed 100 percent blockage in three arteries leading to his heart despite being a two-time Ironman competitor, she decided to try to bring attention to heart disease in a way with which she was familiar.
Yake, 30, won the Mrs. Georgia International pageant in April and finished in the top 10 in the national pageant in Chicago in July.
“When you have the title of Mrs. Georgia behind you, it does wonders,” said Mrs. Yake, referring to her work to raise awareness of the need for statewide education about the signs of heart disease in both men and women.
The Alabama native competed in the Miss Alabama pageant while in college. She said she entered Mrs. International to help bring attention to the work of the American Heart Association. Her platform was titled “Healthy Moms = Healthy Families.”
“I entered only because I had a platform,” she said.
Yake’s physician discovered the blockage in blood flow to his heart as he worked on his third Ironman competition — a mix of bicycling, swimming and running. Dale, who was a vegetarian but whose family had a history of heart disease, now has three stents working to keep his heart healthy.
The CEO of PT Solutions now is a spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Health, advocating cardiovascular health, Mrs. Yake said.
“He does it all from evidence-based research,” she said.
She recently has been working with Atlanta-area Girl Scouts to develop a badge for girls to raise awareness of heart health. It is associated with the Heart Association’s Circle of Red effort dedicated to fighting heart disease among women.
Yake supports such groups as Fit Momz and Fit Girlz, which works in area schools to show the need for fitness among young people. She noted studies showed 60 percent of Georgia youth were found to be overweight.
“I wanted to raise awareness,” she recalled. “I struggled with my weight as a young girl. I knew something needed to be done.”
The Mrs. International pageant showcases married women 21 to 56 years old, according to the pageant web site. However, Yake said losing the national pageant to Mrs. Minnesota International, Sarah Bazey, did not sour her on the process.
“It was absolutely wonderful,” she recalled. “The national stage was great. It’s not based purely on beauty … it’s someone who also has intelligence.”
Many of the contestants also were business owners, she noted.
“It was very strong women of character ... and faith, and women committed to marriage,” Yake said.
She also noted that, contrary to some popular misconceptions, pageants encourage academic achievement — many offer scholarships as prizes.
“It does a lot for some girls’ self-esteem,” she said.