Tuesday, July 31, 2012
“I was turning 38 in February. I needed a new step. I'm always looking to do something better,” she said. So the Massachusetts native decided to sign up for a fitness competition in April at the Fitness New England show at Foxwoods. A lot of training would be needed to get in perfect shape to impress the judges (and everyone else watching) in the Ms. Bikini New England Classic Class for women 35 and older. “It's all about training and nutrition,” she said. Judges are looking for “a lean look. Your posing. Your walk. Your stage presence. Your body and tone.” There were more than 30 contestants in her category. She won! “It was unbelievable. I was a rookie coming in. I was just so happy to be on stage because of the training I had put in. When they called my name it was overwhelming. All the hard work paid off.”
Last month Tyan went to Miami to compete in the Ms. Bikini Universe (in the same Classic Class, though this time for women 35 to 45). Her field this time had some of the fittest and most beautiful women from across America and around the world. And, it would be another classic victory for Tyan! “I just went there to compete with all these girls, and then they called my name out again. I'm still celebrating,” she said. Next up will be Ms. Bikini America in Las Vegas in November.
Tyan is not unfamiliar with challenges and setting goals for herself - and others. For one thing, the mother of two runs Kelley's Bootcamp for Women at CrossFit Center. When she formerly did makeup and makeovers, she said, she saw a lot of women had low self-esteem about their bodies. Kelley's Bootcamp combines exercise with teaching good nutrition (“eating clean,” as Ms. Tyan puts it) in a four-week program that many women repeat. “I've always loved making women feel good about themselves,” Tyan said.
One of the impetuses, in turn, for Kelley's Bootcamp, which Tyan opened in 2009, was an “out of the blue” diagnosis of breast cancer in 2008. “As I went through it, I wanted to put the focus on something else. I put the focus on fitness,” she said.
Tyan was studying to be a fitness trainer when she “felt a lump. I found it myself. I never thought it was anything. I put off (going to) the doctor for three months. Then I went.” The bad news came in a phone call. “I was absolutely devastated. My whole world stopped,” she said. “I only let it stop for a moment, though. I had my cry and said, 'OK, I'm not going to let this get a hold of me.' ” She had a lumpectomy and then radiation treatments. As she dedicated herself to fitness and also studying nutrition, “I developed a business plan for Kelley's Bootcamp. That's what got me through everything. Kelley's Bootcamp started and is still going strong today.” She is clear of cancer.
Tyan graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in early childhood education and Spanish. She taught at an elementary school, and with her husband, Tony Tyan (an insurance agent), also opened a tanning salon.
“I always did the gym thing. I always liked to work out. But it wasn't until I had my second child in 2006 that I made some big changes.” One of the results, as she became increasingly fit and ate better, was that migraines that had bothered her since childhood went away.
Karon Shea of La Femmina Modeling Training Center/ Karon Shea Model Management said that Tyan was a student of hers more than 30 years ago. They stayed in touch. “I've seen her develop into a beautiful and amazing woman over the years,” she said. After finding out that Tyan had been sick, some of Shea's friends took the “boot camp.” “At 5 a.m. they would drag themselves in because they said 'If she can work that hard with her cancer, so can we,' ” Shea said. Actually, the first class of the day for Kelley's Bootcamp for Women is at 5:15 a.m. “That's my busiest, believe it or not,” Tyan said. Women range in age from 18 to 60. She's never had anyone over 60. However, “I'll take them.”
She works out six days a week, an hour to an hour-and-a-half each workout. As for eating clean, “Just clean foods in their natural state. Not canned and processed. I just like to eat pure foods. I shop in the perimeter of the market. I don't shop in the aisles.” That means “fresh veggies and meats.” She's not a vegetarian. Furthermore, “I have two kids so I'm not 100 percent perfect.”
By the same token, “Some people feel that after they have kids it's all over, and I change that all around,” she said. “Once you turn 35, life's just starting in my eyes.”