Her Slimming Secret: Workout Videos
Taisha Juanita Hayes dedicated 30 minutes a day to her fitness videos and lost big
Vitals Taisha Juanita Hayes, 30,Washington,D.C.
Job Owner, THayes-Fitness, and paralegal
Weight Before 280
Weight After 160
The Buildup A love of snacking and a distaste for exercise made Taisha Juanita Hayes a chubby kid, and by junior high, she’d hit 230 pounds. At 13, she started cycling through trendy diets, but nothing lasted. Midnight breakfasts in college made things worse, and for four years, the scale held steady at 280.
The Breaking Point Hayes didn’t get serious about slimming down until 2003, at age 23, when she saw an episode of MTV’s True Life about a high school boy who wanted gastric bypass surgery. Hayes thought, “Look at this kid—he’s lazy and he’s given up.” Then a voice in her head asked, “What’s my excuse?”
The Changes Unwilling to overhaul her food habits right away, Hayes focused first on exercise. She started with a half-hour Tae Bo tape every day. “I told myself, ‘It’s only 30 minutes—you have to do it.'” After a month, she’d lost 10 pounds. Then she cut out soda and juice. Eventually, she switched to low-fat versions of her favorite snacks. “Once I lost weight, I started craving healthier foods,” she says. She added new video workouts, sessions on her recumbent bike, and walks or jogs. About four months in, she began wearing five-pound ankle weights everywhere. By 2004, she had shed 100 pounds and reached her size-12 goal. When she discovered the StairMaster, she took her fitness up another notch and got to her current size-8, 160-pound figure. In September 2006, she created a MySpace page (myspace.com/thayesfitness) to keep herself motivated and to inspire others: “People depend on me. If I went back to my old weight now, how would I explain that?”
Best New Exercises for Every Part of a Woman’s Body
The Bonus Hayes celebrated each big loss with a shopping trip to replenish her wardrobe. “Just fitting into a smaller size was reward enough,” she says.
Get a gym habit. “Treat exercise the way you treat brushing your teeth. If you see it as something you must do, you’ll do it.”
Don’t cheat just to cheat. “Unless a treat is exactly what you’re craving, all you’re doing is eating more.”
Ignore the scale. “Watch the fit of your clothes, not the scale, and treat every dress size down like a victory.”