Las Vegas Sun

February 21, 2018

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Guest Columnist:

Taylor Makakoa: I am stronger now than I have ever been in my life


Tom Donoghue/

Taylor Makakoa, Walter T. Airedale and Terry Fator arrive at the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 1, 2012.

Guest Columnist Taylor Makakoa

Guest columnist Taylor Makakoa. Launch slideshow »

Military Honors Terry Fator, Taylor Makakoa

Terry Fator and his wife, Taylor Makakoa, are honored by the military Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, at the Mirage in Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

Editor’s Note: As Robin Leach ends his trip to Costa Esmeralda on Sardinia to spend a week outside Rome in Santa Marinella on the coast before moving onto his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy, many of our Strip personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their words of wisdom.

We continue today with comedy magician Nathan Burton and Mirage headliner Terry Fator’s beautiful onstage sidekick, his ex-wife Taylor Makakoa. Here’s Taylor:

It is an honor to be asked to write an article for Robin Leach. It reminds me of that moment in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” when Tom convinces his friends that it’s an honor to whitewash the fence for him while he takes the day off to play. So, in that tradition, I will fill in while Robin is on vacation!

We are of course hard at work on “Terry Fator: The Voice of Entertainment” at the Mirage and our many touring dates throughout the U.S. One of the most difficult things I have learned over the years of being onstage is that staying in shape is not only a necessity of the show, but also so important in everyday life to keep a healthy body and mind.

I wanted to share with you my experience over the last year and my attempt (successful, BTW, but nonetheless a daily challenge!) at getting the body in shape as you need to each night you are onstage or traveling. And staying in physical and mental tiptop shape is important whether you are onstage or sitting at a desk all day — actually maybe more important if you don’t have the luxury of getting away to exercise.

Now it’s easy for Terry’s puppets. All they need is either rustproofing or water sealant to stay in shape. But for an onstage performer, you need to work hard to be show ready, which means for a showgirl that you can have one of many body types: athletic, thin, curvy, zaftig or other.

I have been at least three of those since I began Terry’s show nearly seven years ago. The body type I like the most is athletic. To achieve that, last year I began weightlifting coupled with high-intensity training, and I was pretty amazed with the results.

It’s easy to do the 40-plus weeks a year Terry is headlining at the Mirage, but for the other 40 days we perform on the road, my routine has to be flexible enough that traveling will not get in the way of the hard work I’ve done at home.

Here’s a confession: Like most people, I despise cardio. I found that when I am traveling, I do not have the willpower to push myself to perform high-intensity cardio. I learned to do what is right for me, just as you have to learn what is right for you.

While traveling, I learned that occasional — make that very occasional — “steady state cardio” (focusing more on a steady stream of movement versus intervals) coupled with heavy weightlifting helped me to make great strides in my muscular development. In fact, I found myself gaining more strength while traveling than when I was working out in Las Vegas.

I’m proud to say that I am stronger now than I have ever been in my life, and now I love to track my muscle gains, which is something I have never done before. Women and the word “gain” don’t normally go hand-in-hand!

There also are a great number of health benefits to weightlifting. One of my favorites is that muscle fights fat. Well, in my mind, the more you lift, the more you can eat — and in a town with 5,000 fantastic restaurants, that’s a great incentive to work out.

Not only that, but weightlifting puts stress on your bones, and your body responds by increasing in bone density — something especially important as women get older. Not that we actually get older in Las Vegas or anything, right?! Or at least we don’t normally talk about it.

And, of course, lifting also helps control blood sugar, can help with spine health and makes you feel accomplished and fantastic, which is where the mental benefits enter.

Bottom line, with all of the potential benefits to lifting weights, why not talk to your doctor and find out if lifting is for you, and give it a shot. And I’ll see you (the new, stronger you!) at the show, onstage and at the gym.

Check out our other guest column today from comedy magician Nathan Burton. On Wednesday, our guest columnists are former showgirl siren Angela Stabile, who now oversees the topless temptresses at “X Burlesque” at Flamingo and “X Rocks” at the Rio, and amazing stunt-racer Ricardo Laguna.

Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at

Follow Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at

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