Hayley Foust: Future baby inspires her to lose 130 pounds

Hayley Foust often felt ashamed of her body, but wasn’t sure what she could do to change it.

It wasn’t a matter of a simple month-long diet and she’d drop those last few pesky pounds. She had a lot of weight to lose — so much so that it felt impossible to achieve. Then she heard about a new program at Mercy Health System called New Direction Weight Control System and decided to go in and talk to Dr. Feezell about her options.

“I’ll never forget being in Dr. Feezell’s office and just breaking down in tears because of how awful I felt about myself and how I looked. I had given up, and I hated myself,” said Hayley, Senior Art Director at NWA marketing agency The Retail Zone. “Nobody should feel the way I did in the doctor’s office that day. It was humiliating. I was almost 300 pounds and didn’t even recognize myself anymore.”


Hayley said the couch was her best friend and she didn’t even want her husband to look at her. When she heard that recent scientific studies have shown that (even if obesity doesn’t genetically run in your family) if you’re significantly overweight when you get pregnant, you can imprint your child in the womb to be predisposed to obesity in childhood and adulthood.

“That bit of information very much woke me up!” Hayley said. “I don’t even have a child yet, and the very thought that I could do that to anyone (especially my own baby) was very disturbing.”

So here’s Hayley now:


You look amazing, Hayley! Dr. Feezell, a Motherlode sponsor, told us about Hayley when we were inquiring about the success of the New Direction program. She was among several  women that Dr. Feezell, a well-respected Mercy Health System physician, mentioned as inspirational examples. We asked Hayley to share her story with us here and she graciously agreed. She was willing to share so openly in the hope that someone else could benefit from the program. Even if you don’t have over 100 pounds to lose, New Direction could be an option for you if you have adult onset diabetes or even if you don’t have as much to lose as Hayley. CLICK HERE to read more about the program.

We asked Hayley the following questions and she answered with brutal honesty:

What made you think New Direction Weight Control System could help you after so many “failures”? In all honesty, I’d tried everything else, so I thought why not. I think the one thing that made it partially compelling for me, is that it was SO different from all of the other diets I’ve ever tried.

You are monitored by a doctor, and they give you absolutely EVERYTHING you need to take off the weight. There’s no “here’s a list….now go fend for yourself” type of feeling. Really, what it came down to, is that I trusted Dr. Feezell as a doctor, and knew he wouldn’t lead me down a wrong path. He REALLY seemed to care and be excited about what he could do for me. So, after years of mentally giving up, I went home, had one last HUGE order of cheese sticks…stuffing myself to the brink so that I could remember that depressing feeling of gluttony for a while, and I started on the diet the next day.

How does the system work? They provide absolutely everything you need to eat. Some people do opt to try more of the hybrid approach (in which you are allowed a salad for dinner), but I used only the product. The way I looked at it was, “real” food — for lack of better words — would be my reward once I took the weight off. I never in a million years thought I could actually be looking forward to eating an juicy apple, or some flavorful asparagus. Some of those healthy things I never would have touched in the past, sound mighty good right now! It’s a lot easier pushing away fried pickles when you’re already at a size 8 instead of a size 24 and being like (ah…what the heck’s the use!!!)

I meet with the doctor every 2-3 weeks to make sure my vitals are all okay. Exercise has not played a very big role in losing the weight, but that’s not to say it won’t in keeping it off! Exercise can mentally help, but it is not critical to taking off the weight on this system. Dr. Feezell, and his team help cheer you on and keep you accountable, but at the end of the day, the only person I was most worried about letting down was myself.

What is different about this system than others you have tried in the past? This system is different in that they give you everything you need. It takes all of the guess work out of what you should or shouln’t be putting in your body. You don’t get discouraged on this diet, because you are CONSTANTLY taking off 3 to 5 pounds EVERY week. There’s nothing more discouraging that thinking you’ve been doing all the right things all week, and then stepping on the scale, and only losing a half of a pound!

You were considering gastric bypass. Why did you want to avoid that procedure? Well, for starters, my insurance didn’t cover it. Secondly, I did some research and found that even WITH the procedure, it wasn’t like it was “magic”. You still had to work at taking it off, and if you didn’t change your eating habits, over time you STILL could gain back weight again (even more for some people) WITH the procedure done. Talk about a lot of pain and waste of $25,000!!

How much more weight do you want to lose? My goal is to lose 130 lbs. Once I start eating, Dr. Feezell said I can anticipate going up 5 pounds with normal food back in my stomach again. So long story short my ULTIMATE goal is to be 125 lbs. lighter.

Why are you so hopeful that you’ll be able to keep the weight off after you reach your goal weight? l’m hopeful, quite frankly, because I’ve NEVER looked like this as an adult. Mentally, when you look in the mirror and can say to yourself “I feel like a rockstar” vs. “I could look worse I guess” it gives you the boost you need to STAY there. NOTHING tastes as good as skinny FEELS!! 🙂

How long have you been married? My husband and I will have been married 4 years come January.

When do you think the two of you will try for a baby? I for SURE want to keep the weight off for a few years before considering it, just so that I know that I can maintain. At this point I’m just taking life one day at a time. All in all though, the thing that makes me the MOST happy, is that if it WERE to accidentally happen at this point, I wouldn’t be worried that my weight could be detrimental to my unborn child. Those precautionary reasons are incentive in themselves to keep the weight off — regardless if we wait 2 years or 10!

How do you feel right now? I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life and I FINALLY feel like I can start to SHOW the person I’ve always felt like inside.


  1. Words can not express how proud I am of my sister. She not only took control of her own health, but the health of her future baby. Once she committed to the program, she stuck to it- through holidays and everything.
    Still, the good part was with the program she never really felt hungry.
    She looks like a rock star!! I can’t wait to share clothes again!

  2. Hayley is such an inspiration to everyone! Not only is looking gorgeous on the outside she is just as gorgeous on the inside…wow she is so awesome!!! Go Hayley Go!!!
    Love ya Susan and thank you for encouraging ME.

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