We're Eric & Maleka Beal
We are master nutritionists and a health coaching duo who believes better nutrition can transform your overall health, create sustainable weight loss, and improve the overall quality of your life.
We are the founders of BetterChoices, a health and nutrition coaching company and social community focused on educating, advocating, and promoting better health and wellness through lifestyle, nutrition, and physical activity.
We are very passionate about health, nutrition, and wellness.
It’s personal for us.
"What began as a moment of fear became an inspirational journey that would transform our lives..."
Our journey began in 2006.
When most people are the butt of a joke, they get angry. I got motivated. I had no idea I was 400lbs. Thoughts of dying raced through my mind. I realized, at that time, there were a thousand ways a 35 year old, obese man could die. The only question was, what would I do to change it?
…and did I say obese? Yep, OBESE! Both of us.
That was my tipping point. Tipping points, by definition, are when small things make a big difference. We go through life asking God questions but many times, we find ourselves not willing to accept His answers. Even after losing my mother to colon cancer, I still refused to acknowledge the answers that were right in front of my face!
Maleka and I continued going about our everyday lives unwilling to see the bigger picture. That bigger picture was the two of us. (It WAS a really BIG picture!) The bigger picture included our boys, our family, our quality of life, and our future.
What kind of future would we have if we continued our bad eating habits, being inactive, and simply, continued not being focused on changing anything about our health and our lives?
Well, we will tell you…
Born & Raised Nola
"...If you don't take time for you, then who will?"
After about 2 days of him eating better and exercising, he told me he wanted to talk with me. Eric sat me down and said he had one question for me:
“If you don’t take time out for you, then who will? You take time out for me, the kids, your clients, family, & everybody else but you don’t make time for you. The truth is, you are the only person who can make time for you.”
He told me he wanted us to take this journey together so we could be healthier and be around for our boys. He wanted us to take this journey together.
That was my “A-HA” moment! That day, we got a few things we would need to begin working out at home. I found a few exercise DVD’s and we mapped out a walking route. We started reading so many books on health, nutrition, and exercise.
We learned and reinforced everything we learned! We found healthier ways to fix our favorite foods, we committed to working out 5-6 days a week, and yard work became a new perspective on fitness.
Just shy of one year, 10 months to be exact, Eric and I lost over 100lbs each! A few months later, Eric dropped 156lbs & I lost 138lbs. In 2011, we were thrilled to be 2 of 100 guests appearing on Oprah’s Weight Loss Finale Show!
It was an amazing experience. We had no idea how that moment would change the course of our lives into something so much bigger. After the show aired, we were bombarded with questions. We spent a lot of time helping others, offering tips & support. The more we offered, the more people would email us and connect to us socially.
As a plan that only God could create, we launched BetterChoices.co. Our goal was simple. We wanted to teach, motivate, and empower others to change their lives, one betterchoice at a time.
We realized our 300lb weight loss was not a reflection of a diet or quick fix. It was the result of making betterchoices every day. All those choices, no matter how small, empowered us to create a healthier lifestyle & change our lives.
It has been 17 years!
As we look back, it amazes us that Eric wore a size 60/4XL & at my heaviest, I wore size 22/24W…it has been one AMAZING journey!
"...enjoy the journey!"
we ride together...
My husband and I are from New Orleans. If you know New Orleans, then you know the essence of New Orleans…FOOD! We absolutely LOVE TO EAT!! At no time prior to or after Hurricane Katrina did we realize our eating habits and weight were out of control. We did not have any diagnosed health issues.
To be honest, we never saw ourselves as being unhealthy or being obese. It’s funny how we walk around unaware of our true selves. It wasn’t until after a life changing experience in 2006, that we decided to change our lives.
After coming down with a sore throat, Eric went to see his doctor. Of course with any typical doctor’s visit, they need to take the basic vitals. At the point in which they needed to take my husbands weight, the medical scale could not read it.
The nurses made sly remarks about the scale and stated they couldn’t figure out why the scale was not working. So they gathered other nurses and to my husband’s surprise, he became the butt of their jokes. He heard them laughing at him. The truth was, the scale was not working because my husband’s weight exceeded the scale weight limit.
At that moment, he weighed 400 lbs! When he came home, I could see how terribly angry he was. I asked him to tell me what happened. He proceeded to tell me about his experience. He was angry. What was surprising was that his anger was not towards the nurses, but he was angry with himself for allowing his weight to get out of control.
I, myself, weighed in at 276lbs! I recall the day I asked Eric what was he going to do about it. He told me he wanted to make some changes that day! In the beginning, I resisted the idea of change. I knew change was needed but I was afraid. I was afraid of the unknown. I did not know what that change was going to look like.
The first thing I thought about was all the things we would have to give up! So, I resisted and made up all kinds of excuses as to why I could not get started with him.
However, Eric was adamant about making some changes.
More about us...
AS MASTER NUTRITIONIST, WE PROMOTE
Nutritional balance, prioritizing daily physical activity, making time for self care, self control, & accountability, process and patience mindset.
AS HEALTH COACHES, WE DO NOT
Promote fad diets, quick fixes, diet supplements, weight loss products or programs, gym culture, or unrealistic expectations.
IN PURSUIT OF
LITTLE KNOWN FACT
WHAT WE CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT
Meet The Team
BetterChoices In The Press
What began as a moment of fear, became an inspirational journey that would inspire and change the lives of others. Over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to share our story and mission of BetterChoices on The Oprah Show and Essence Magazine, just to name a few.
The Pursuit of Health
"Remember, the foods we choose to consume daily will either fuel better health or feed chronic disease."
A FRIENDLY REMINDER FROM BETTERCHOICES