Posted 17 July 2011 by Interview:

Mr & Mrs Dyson

How did you both meet?

We met in junior high school, and to be quite honest have been crazy about each other every since. We went to different colleges, but still maintained a very close relationship.

Nikia: I noticed him first in our English class and asked my friend about him. Yes, I was only 12 yrs. old at the time.

Trelas: I eventually joined the military and we ended up getting back together for good during that time. Like people say…if it’s meant to be it will be.

How does it feel to be the 2011 transformation challenge winners?

Trelas: Honestly, I’m still in shock. I’m extremely honored and blessed to have been chosen. I know how much time and effort I put in to reinventing myself and to be rewarded for it makes the whole experience even better.

Nikia: Everything about this moment has been completely amazing and nothing short of a blessing. I am so thankful and humbled by this experience, the journey it took to get here, being chosen and being able to inspire others. Over the last few weeks I have found myself thinking about everything that has happened, and I still feel the shock factor, but also this overwhelming feeling of thankfulness and appreciation.

What advice would you give to someone taking on the challenge in the future?

Trelas: I would say give 110%. Don’t short change yourself, because when it’s all said and done, you get out of it what you put in. Don’t be that person that says I should have done more or could have done more, because then it’s too late.

Nikia: I would say that the most important thing is to set your goal and create a plan of action to follow through with it. Create a step by step plan that details everything from the way you will train each week, your daily nutrition and supplementation. Once you have a plan in place, practice Discipline, Drive and Determination, remember to train smart with intensity and push yourself beyond fears and limitations each day.

What prizes did you get and how are you going to use/spent them?

Both of us received the same prizes - $25,000 cash prize, 1 year gym membership & Stayfit Package, $1200 gift certificate, professional photo shoot with Optimum Athletes, all expense paid appearance at the Fitness Expo (BFE) in Boise, Idaho, and a day with an Optimum Nutrition fitness celebrity. In addition to the prizes, our full story and workout will be published on in July.

As far as how we will spend the prize money….We are not lavish spenders, we definitely believe in planning and saving, so that’s always a priority. We already had a few trips planned for the family this summer, so this is definitely an added bonus. Once we decide our next step/goal, we plan to use some of the prize money to pursue other goals in the fitness field for school/education, certifications, etc…..and yes of course, we will probably treat ourselves to a few treats!

Do you train together? Is it easier to train as a couple than with a training partner?

Trelas: Occasionally. When we first started out we would work out together, but as we both progressed we trained together less and less because our workouts were different.

Nikia: Part of the reason as to why we don’t train together as much now, is due to Trelas schedule. Throughout our challenge he was gone for the first 11 weeks with work overseas, when he returned home during week 12 we trained together. I enjoy training with him, but I must admit he pushes me super hard (which I love), but I honestly think he forgets that l am not a guy, lol!!! When I go heavy, he’s always right behind me saying you can do more-go harder-go heavier! Having a training partner is fine, but with Trelas I know for a fact that he will continue to push me and he knows my limits and strengths (even when I don’t realize them).

Do you have kids?

Yes, we have a crew of six total. Our four little ones at home with us are 8, 6, 4 and 2 yrs old. The two oldest, before our marriage are 12 and 10 yrs. old.

How do you manage the work/life balance to keep in top shape and maintain your Marriage?

We both feel as though family is the most important thing, and nothing should come before that, this includes our children, our relationship and our entire family dynamic. We have a standard for our family and how we want our marriage to be, and we work hard towards accepting nothing less.

Trelas: With my hectic work schedule I try to get a workout in whenever I can so it doesn’t take away from family time. I make the adjustments where they are needed, so I get up around 2am to work out before I leave for work. I work 10 hour days when I’m home and I don’t make it in until 6:30 – 7pm. I commend my wife, because she is a stay at home mom that still finds the time to work out and take care of everything else while lugging around four little ones. From the time she gets up to the time she lays down she in on the move.

Nikia: For me it’s all about organization and planning. I have to admit that I do have the luxury of being home full-time, but my schedule is quite hectic with our children, school, simply daily tasks, etc. I have to stick to schedules and plan everything accordingly. This helps me out and creates a regimented environment that everyone can follow and appreciate. Everyone knows their routines, where they need to be, the times, expectations, and this results in a balance home/environment.

Who does the cooking?

Most of the time we cook our own meals.

Trelas: She will occasionally cook my meats for me whenever I ask, but for the most part I don’t bother her with it. I like to cook in bulk so that way it’s ready and I can measure it out and go. She likes to eat all of her food fresh daily.

Nikia: I love to cook, so before Clean Eating I did all the cooking. Our meals are quite different now and as Trelas stated, I prefer to prepare all my meals fresh. For me it’s simply more enjoyable to have chicken or tilapia that is prepared right before time to eat, instead of having to reheat it.

What are both of your future goals

Both of us desire to become personal trainers and have an interest in becoming certified nutritionist as well. Maybe open a gym down the road…never know!!!

Nikia: In addition to the shared goals, I’m at the point where I am considering competing. More than anything I acknowledge that everything that is happening to us is truly a blessing from God, and I desire to use this wonderful experience and platform as a way to encourage and inspire others to get active and commit to a healthier lifestyle for themselves and their families.

How do you deal with cravings for junk foods, sweets and salty food? Who deals with the challenge best?

Trelas: She definitely deals with it the best. Since we are not competing or anything, but still eating clean 90-100% of the time, we allow ourselves a treat meal once every week or two. We don’t like to say “cheat” because that implies that you are doing something bad or wrong. We figure if we eat clean the majority of the time, as a treat we will have something different that is not on our meal plan. Usually it’s after church, on a special occasion or something like that.

Nikia: Maybe I will agree with Trelas on this, I do pretty good with the cravings and sticking to my plan, especially considering all the kids snacks I am around on a daily bases. However, what you may not know is that when Trelas is overseas with work, all his meals are prepared in a Military Dining Facility. From my experience on military installations and just from what he tells me, he has a lot of temptation daily. I have to commend him for passing up all the pastries, hot wings, and pizza, to get chicken breast and broccoli everyday…he may not give himself the credit, but that’s some serious WILLPOWER!

How long do you both spend in the gym during a typical workout?

Trelas: With my workout, abs and cardio about 1.5 to 2 hours.

Nikia: I have a two hour block to train while the kids are in the Kids Club at the gym. I utilize the full two hours each day, except Sunday which is my rest day.

What 3 tips would you give to other couples trying to maintain a healthy proactive lifestyle?

1) Always motivate and encouraged one another.

2) Be supportive of each other’s goals.

3) Enjoy the journey together and make it a family affair.

Photos By: Paul Whiteman of Cashman Brothers Fine Photography

Throughout our challenge we worked with a phenomenal online trainer, Steve Poynter or SteveP78 on BodySpace who created our individual meal plans and workouts.


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