Jasmine Mays, a local fitness expert, encourages individuals to respect and believe in their own health journeys
Jasmine Mays is living proof that athletes aren’t born, they are made.
When she was about 5-years-old, after a traumatizing experience, she struggled with emotional eating. Mays turned to snacks for comfort, which led her to consume copious amounts of unhealthy food.
“I ended up using food to cope,” explains Mays. “I would eat two or three TV dinners [and] a huge family-sized bag of Doritos in one sitting, like food was my thing. I totally used it as an emotional crutch.”
Years later, at the age of 21, while she was preparing to see a movie in a theater, she had a panic attack.
“I remember I had went to the movies at Palms Casino. I just didn’t feel good that day. I couldn’t find anything to wear,” says Mays. “I had this navy blue moo-moo like dress top thing on and I remember walking around. I saw these girls that were my age, and they were so stinking cute. And they had on cute outfits and this and that. And I just thought, ‘Man, I feel so jealous.’”
She continues. “So as I broke down, literally in the middle of the public casino, crying, hyperventilating. My sister’s freaking out. I’m having a whole situation because I hated the way I looked. I hated the way I felt. And so that was the moment that I was like, ‘Yeah, we are changing.’”
Through weight training, group exercise, and clean eating, Mays lost 70 pounds. She continued pursuing her interest in the health and wellness industry by becoming a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified fitness instructor, nutrition coach, and group fitness mentor. While working as a successful accountant, she was also a fitness trainer for multiple franchise gyms in town.
She left behind her esteemed accounting career to follow her calling while on furlough during the COVID pandemic. Mays understands the difficulties her clients face as they work through internal conflicts.
One of the most gratifying parts of her work goes beyond helping people accomplish their fitness goals. Through her fitness programs, she helps people change how they perceive themselves.
“You have changed not just somebody’s body, [but] you have changed their mindset about themselves. They had a belief about themselves that they cannot do this, [that] they are not strong enough, not fast enough,” says Mays. “And they have now pushed themselves in order to rise to the occasion, and just did it.”
Jasmine Mays’ path to becoming a successful fitness business owner was not easy. Along the way, aside from her own personal health journey, she’s defied odds stacked against her. When she found a potential space for her business, where she could train her growing clientele, it proved to be a significant obstacle.
“I was 30-years-old, I’m Black, and I am a girl. The realtor told me, ‘You’re not gonna get this space. I just want you to know that there’s no way that this little Black girl is going to get this big old, you know, commercial space and pay for it.’ And I’m not saying it’s because I’m Black, or because he’s just from outside the community.”
Everything changed when she met with her landlord, who also happened to be a gym owner. Mays believed that this unprecedented connection was more than just a coincidence. She gives God the glory for uniting them and making her fitness studio dream a reality.
“I am a Christian and I totally believe that God kind of maneuvers people. And so my landlord ended up owning 17 gyms. He didn’t know me, I didn’t know him, I didn’t know anything about it. But the person who owns the shopping center where my studio was, he owns 17 big box gyms. He was in the fitness space,” says Mays. “When I first applied to get a lease, he said he wanted to meet me. He said, ‘I believe that you can do this’ and so he paid for my space. He said, ‘I wish that someone would have believed in me when I got started and so I want to do this for you.’”
“The realtor, of course, was shocked when I actually got my keys. The way that things are set up with society, you wouldn’t typically think that someone like me would have something like that.”
Today, she owns a local fitness studio, Jasmine Mays Fitness, and has over 150k followers on her Instagram. Mays has garnered attention for her six-week fitness challenge. She gets new clients every day from around the globe through her social media platform, which comprises of original content to solve her clients’ problems.
Her hard work and dedication to her craft continues to open up more opportunities for her business. The North Las Vegas Business Connector actively invests in small, minority businesses to empower local organizations. During National Black Business Month (August) this year, Mays was a recipient of $25,000 from the Invest North Las Vegas Revolving Loan. The City of North Las Vegas Revolving Loan Fund (Access Community Capital) achieved a milestone this year. The Revolving Fund has distributed $514,450 to their clients to help their enterprises flourish and recover from economic hardships that struck the nation over the last few years. In the U.S., Black business owners account for only 10% and make up about 30% of all minority-owned businesses, according to a press release.
“The interest rate [is] so much better with the Revolving Fund. It allowed us to pay down other debts that had a higher interest rate, [so] we could save money on interest,” she says.
In the future, she hopes to expand her fitness studio to include exercise equipment and host workouts in other cities. Her goal is to keep expanding her brand to connect with more people and have a positive impact on their lives. She imparts words of wisdom for anyone looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
“Don’t compare yourself to anybody else. Because I think we compare ourselves to people who have never been in our situation before. Respect your journey and always continue to improve who you are.”
Jasmine Mays Fitness is located in North Las Vegas at 3117 W. Craig Rd Ste. 110.