Monday, January 26, 2015

When Beauty Matters

Shattering the mold of beauty in beauty pageants and other contests

I thought about not watching the Miss Universe pageant because I knew there would hardly be any black female contestants in the final lineup.  I knew the final contestants would be Latinas and they would throw a few other ethnicities in the mix just to say the contest was fair and just.  To be fair, Miss Nigeria was voted Miss Congeniality, I guess, if that counts?  I would’ve even settled for an Asian woman in the final line up just to prove this was truly about representing the beauty of all ethnicities.  But once again, the European standard of beauty prevails and Miss Colombia was crowned Miss Universe 2015.

I love my Latina sisters and I think they are blessed with beautiful looks and beautiful hourglass figures.   However, let’s not forget about our beautiful African sisters with dark, mocha or caramel skin, beautiful curly hair and full lips.  Or our beautiful Asian sisters with their beautiful long, luscious locks of hair and ivory porcelain skin.  And who can forget our beautiful naturally red-haired sisters who probably have to dye their hair just to make it on stage.  If we’re going to judge on beauty, let’s make sure we have an all-inclusive view on beauty from many different perspectives.

Let’s move on to the size of the contestants.  As most of us who have seen beauty pageants know by now, the girls are usually a size 0-2 as this seems to be the standard.  Interestingly enough, women from many of the other countries do not adhere to this standard because their body frames were not made to be thin sized women.  It’s the opposite in other countries where the more weight (healthy of course) the woman has on her body, the more beautiful.  According to the book, “Survival of the Prettiest” by Nancy Etcoff, there are some African countries where girls are encouraged to gain weight in preparation for child bearing.  These women come from very poor countries where they don’t know where their next meal will come from one day to the next one.  Now, as a newly certified fitness coach, I’m certainly not advocating obesity or being overweight but that these women have a different level of healthiness based on their size and we should learn to respect those differences.

What about a woman’s hair?  Well, as you can tell from past year’s contestants, the hair is usually long and straight with a few spiral curls as an added bonus.  Virtually, no contestants go “au-naturale”.  In fact, I can only guess most of them wear extensions, lashes and other enhancements to achieve what is believed to be the perfect Eurocentric look that wins beauty pageants.  And who can blame them, of course?  As the old saying goes, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do!”

So why should we care about a beauty contest?  Well, first I believe that beauty contests set the stage for beauty around the world, even if it’s an unintended consequence.  In fact, Etcoff states in her book that, “every woman finds herself, without her consent, entered into a beauty contest with every other woman…no matter how irrelevant to her goals, how inappropriate to her talents and endowments or how ridiculous the comparison.”  We find ourselves buying fake hair, fake breasts and nowadays even fake buttocks just to look like the girls on TV even when that mold doesn’t really fit us. 

And secondly, these are the images our kids subscribe to in finding role models with which to look up to in beauty pageants and other contests.  Maybe little Myra doesn’t look like Miss Colombia or Brazil but she is a curly-haired, brown-skinned angel that has the cutest smile you’ve ever seen.  She sees the beauty in these ladies on stage but could never see winning the competition because she doesn’t see anyone who looks like her. 

We live in this world together.  Our differences are what makes us unique.  If we all looked alike, think about what a boring world this would be.  Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.  As a former pageant queen and fitness model, I know the pressure to try to conform and fit into the European standards imposed upon us by society.  Whether it’s our hair type, skin complexion or body type, it’s tough to break that mold of what society sees as beautiful.  But that we must.  We must stand up and tell the world that each and every woman of every ethnicity is beautiful and that every little girl has a chance to win the crown she’s always dreamed of!

And while this change isn’t going to happen overnight.  I believe it will come someday.  I have a dream.

Thanks for reading!

For more helpful dating tips, please check out my blog at or you may inquire about my life/relationship/fitness coaching services at 

What’s New?  We have meet up groups for both men and women for those living in the Baltimore-DC area.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dear God, Where Is He (or She)?

“Oh ye of little faith”….(and plenty of excuses!)

Have you been questioning your faith recently?  Do you find yourself envious of other people because they have what you want?  Your friends all seem to be happily in love while you struggle to find a date?  I do a plethora of workshops and seminars and this is always the sentiment I get from a workshop member who questions their faith in finally finding the one.  But maybe this isn’t the time to question your faith as much as it is to restore it.

Keeping the faith is a hard pill to swallow because you have to believe in the invisible.  You have to believe in something that you cannot see, hear, touch or feel as of yet.  They exist only in your mind.  The uncertainty of what is to come kills you on the inside to the point that you find yourself simply giving up the dream.  But it is at that precise moment when your faith must be the strongest to avoid having those doubts and anxieties.  I’ve seen so many times where people give up hope just when their dreams were about to be realized. 

Go with me for a second.  We’re going to see into the future.  Imagine if the guy you’ve been seeing for a while at your local cafĂ© finally asked you out on a date.  Or what if “Mr. or Mrs. Right” were standing next to you in the subway station and just so happens to get off at the same stop as you.  Let’s go a bit further into the future.  Imagine standing next to them at the altar while your family and friends are congratulating you.  How does that make you feel?

Now let’s flip that script and imagine if in the process of meeting that person you had already completely given up hope because of the excuses you’ve made up in your mind of never being able to meet the one.  Humor me for a second and let’s explore some of our most common excuses examining whether they should be considered true or false:

True or False

1.       “I’m just too old”False!  You’re never too old to meet the one!  I just had a client of mine get married and they are well above the age that you would think people should marry.  And they’re like school kids in love.  You can’t tell if they’re 21 or 51!  Age doesn’t matter when you meet the person you want to spend the rest of your life with as long as you meet them!

2.       “It’s the ratio of men and women”False!  The only ratio there is, is in your head!  I can’t tell there is a ratio because people are still getting married!  I’m sure if there was a decline in marriages because of the ratio, wedding planners would let us know immediately!  The wedding industry is still a billion dollar industry and they’re not complaining and neither should you!  Besides, you only need one person and your chances of meeting him or her are still pretty good!

3.       “I just can’t seem to get a date so I must be destined to be alone”False!  Just because you can’t get a date doesn’t mean you’re destined to be a spinster!  It just means you need to try a little harder to find him.  Maybe you need to go out more.  If going out meeting people isn’t your thing, try dating online.  Whatever you do, don’t give up!

4.       “I’m just too busy”True and False!  Well, if all you’re doing is going to work and going home then you may be right!  You will have to make the time for that special someone.  Finding someone takes time and effort.  Keeping them takes even more effort.  But if you’re serious about having someone in your life, you’ll make the time.  Prioritize!

5.       “He’ll find me”True and False!  As the old saying goes, “when one looks, one never finds”….true but only if you’re open to being found.  I hear many of my girlfriends say this but then they’re not open to someone finding them either.  If your head is always in the books or if you’re always at work, how is he supposed to find you?  Let’s be honest, he would need to wear a sign on his back to get your attention!

6.       “All Men (or insert women) are no good! – False!  Do you really believe this?  Many times when I hear people say this I know they have been hurt in their past and they’re letting their past dictate their future.  They all say they’re over their ex but the residue of bitter feelings still remain only to be carried into the next relationship.  If you need to cry, meditate or find some other constructive way to vent your feelings, do that.  Just don’t take this out on your future companion hurting your chances of having a great relationship with the next person.

In short, I wrote this blog to give you a piece of encouragement if you’re feeling down and questioning your faith.  Maybe God has not forsaken you but you have forsaken yourself with your own set of excuses.  Many of the excuses we give ourselves are to avoid taking the action and the effort it takes to create a loving relationship.  Maybe God wants to open doors for us but wants us to at least be able to walk through them.  I believe we create our own destiny in life.  There are no excuses except the ones we create for ourselves.  Sure, there are environmental influences that are outside of our own control but I believe those are there to make us stronger so we are better prepared when those things we want in life come true and that includes meeting that special someone.  But if you give up hope and the faith your dreams will come true, then you’ll never know what could happen. 

Be Encouraged!

For more helpful dating tips, please check out my blog at or you may inquire about my life/relationship coaching/fitness consulting services at 

What’s New?  We have meet up groups for both men and women for those living in the Baltimore-DC area.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Valentine’s Day Weight Loss Challenge

Are You Ready For A Transformation?

Who is this for?  Anyone looking to lose weight and transform their lives inside and out.

What is it?  Free Valentine’s Day Weight Loss Challenge with cash prizes for the winners.

What’s the catch?  There is none!  This is the perfect challenge for you if your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight or you just want to look good for that special someone.  And the best part is that if you win you get paid for losing weight!

Where will this take place?  Online (complimentary conference calls) and Offline (optional based on the number of applicants) to help you maintain your weight loss goal!

When does the contest start?  January 10th - February 12th 

Why should I participate?  If you’re like me and want to look like you’re in your best shape, this contest is for you.  We’re just giving you more of an incentive to put your best foot forward.  Staying active is a great way to make new friends, create more intimacy and ensure you are around for your partner a very long time.

How much weight would I have to lose?  We’re not just judging the winner of the contest on how much weight they’ve lost but on how much effort they’ve put in and how much they’ve learned in the process.  We would rather take an overall approach and look at their total transformation.

What do I get if I win?

There are 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. 

1st place:  $50 cash/prizes

2nd place: $30 cash/prizes

3rd place:  $25 cash/prizes

How do I get started?  Registration is easy.  Simply contact us directly at so we can give you further information regarding contest rules and regulations.  In general, all that is required is your height and body weight measurements.  You’ll also need to provide us with a clear body shot image of yourself.   

Can I get started now?  Absolutely!  Once you’ve submitted your information to us, please do begin your workout routine and diet regimen.  We’ll also be creating video content as well as sending you useful articles that will help you on your weight loss journey!  Good Luck!

Good Luck!

Kind Regards,
Monique Boyd, CEO
"Where hearts unite for a common goal"
Phone:  855-843-3582

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Looking For A Great Way To Meet People?…..Try Your Local Gym!

Have you avoided looking for love in the gym….you may want to reconsider!

As a “veteran” member in multiple gyms over the span of my lifetime, I have seen and heard it all.  I have seen people come and go in the gym.  Most of us veterans know that the month of January is when all the new people come in hoping for a solution to their weight loss goals.  And I would say somewhere between the 15th and the 31st of January is usually when they realize losing weight is not quite so easy as those infomercials selling fat loss would have you to believe.  But what if those same new members met someone special in their local gym.  I can almost bet you they would not only stay as active members but would also lose their desired weight as well.

In the past, I must admit I was very against meeting someone in the gym until I began fitness consulting services for my own business and started spending more and more of my time there.  While training in the gym, I started meeting lots of nice people and became very acquainted with them.  But what really changed my mind is the community connection you get in local gyms that cannot be replaced online.  People in local gyms all seem to root for the same teams, share the same community struggles and most importantly, get to know one another far better than dating some unknown person online.  This seems to be a much better way to meet someone since the person you meet in your local gym will more than likely live near you.  What more could you ask for in convenience!

There’s also more singles in the gym!  Most of the married people that I know, particularly the ones with kids, do not have the time to spend in the gym and will generally purchase at home gym equipment to maximize their time with their family.  On the other hand, singles have more time to dedicate to the gym and may spend countless hours there.  This is really good news if you’re single because it gives you a plethora of options to choose from in a mate.  And don’t forget most of the singles there tend to be in healthy shape too!  A huge plus in my book! 

In general, meeting your mate in the gym has many other benefits including having a “work out buddy” to cheer you on and encourage you through the roller coaster ride of losing weight.  From what I’ve seen in many gym newcomers, the ones who have partners or friends to work out with, maintain their goals far better than those who work out alone.  Besides, having your own “spotter” doesn’t hurt either!

So how does this process work you say?  Well, first you need to really work out!  Seriously!  Most of us veterans can spot the newbies very quickly because 1) they’re too scared to lift weights and 2) they look confused on the machines!  It’s quite alright though because most of us were new to the gym at one point in time and will appreciate your effort in being there.  However, to gain someone’s interest, you’ll need to look the part.  Please allow me to explain further.

If you look like you’re only going to the gym to meet your husband or wife, you’ll be identified immediately!  As I said before, most of the active members know the ones who are there to really work out and those who are there to put on a show.  The members who are truly there to work out are actually working out and don’t have hours to chat as if they’re in a club.  Your best bet is to have a purpose for being there and stick to it.

So to get you started on your fitness “love” journey, I have listed a few tips to help you!

1.       Dress The Part – If you’ve been out of the gym since the late 80’s then you’re probably in need of a wardrobe update.  And of course, if you’re just out of college where wearing a dirty t-shirt and sweatpants were the norm, think again!  Remember, first impressions count, especially when you’re single.  If you want to truly impress that special someone, spend a little extra money on quality work out attire.  It doesn’t have to be glamorous nor necessarily “En Vogue”, but it should fit you well and have a sense of your own taste and style attached to it.

2.       Establish Your Weight Loss Goals – Have a goal that you want to accomplish in the gym.  Most gym-goers have specific goals they want to hit including losing weight for that special date, school reunions, looking good in that bikini, etc.  Establishing a goal upfront will give you more purpose and will let others know you are not just there to flirt but also to improve yourself as well. 

3.       Hire a trainer to help you work out – If you’re new to the gym, hiring a trainer is a great to help you get started.  They’ll show you various equipment and fitness techniques you can use to hit your goals.  While you’re working out with the trainer, this can be a great way to get to know others in the gym with similar goals as well.

4.       Engage In Fun Group Co-ed Activities – If you’re going to be consistent in the gym, you’ll need a few incentives and having fun is one of them.  The more fun you have with your work out, the more you’ll stick to the plan.  Local gyms have made enormous strides in ensuring their members have access to the best group fitness instructors and the best group training programs to help their members lose weight.  From group cycling to group yoga, the group classes range from low intensity to high intensity based on your level of fitness.  And more importantly, you’re having fun with others and that is enough to make anyone fall in love!

5.       Be Friendly And Welcoming To Everyone – The best way to meet people is by being open and friendly to them.  Now some people in the gym take their workouts much too seriously but maybe you can be the one to help them lighten up!  These tend to be your neighbors and community leaders all in one place.  What better way to meet them than in your local gym.  Besides, you never know which one of them could be your soulmate!

 In short, there are no shortage of singles in the gym.  If you’ve tried online dating or dating in bars and clubs, this may be your next best option.  It’s safe, convenient and can be a positive experience for you.  There are many benefits to meeting your mate in the gym including sharing the same values/goals and a sense of a community connection as well.  Now I’m certainly not saying it’s a guarantee that you’ll meet “the one” there but it’s certainly worth a try!  So the next time you pass the gym on your way home, stop in and look around.  Your special guy or girl just may be there.

Thanks for reading!

For more helpful dating tips, please check out my blog at or you may inquire about my life/relationship coaching/fitness consulting services at 

What’s New?  We have meet up groups for both men and women for those living in the Baltimore-DC area.

We also offer personal training services as well!  Please contact me at!