Biggest Loser's Vanessa Hayden Wants a Big Wedding Now That She's Lost Weight
09/20/2014 AT 03:15 PM EDT
But now the former WNBA player is ready to show off her new body for all her loved ones to see.
"Initially, I thought we would just have something at the courthouse," Hayden, 32, tells PEOPLE of her plans with her fiancé. "But now I want to invite all my family and friends."
Although Hayden – who is 6'4" and arrived at the ranch weighing 366 lbs. – was sent home from the NBC reality weight loss competition after just two weeks, the former Los Angeles Sparks player has now lost more than 45 lbs. and has altered her wedding day attire accordingly.
"I wasn't even planning on putting on a white dress – or any of these different off-white colors I never knew existed," says Hayden. "But now, I want to wear a beautiful dress. It doesn't have to be completely white, but I'm going to wear a tight dress. I want to be sexy for my husband because I haven't done that in so long."
And as Hayden continues on her weight-loss journey back home in Orlando, Florida, she is excited to take her 7-year-old daughter and 18-month-old son along on her path to healthier habits.
"My fiancé is a vegan so he has been super happy, and my son has been eating all the string cheese in my house, but my daughter is taking some time to adjust," says Hayden. "She's just so used to eating fast food every night, but I'm working on her."
And Hayden's weight loss has had unforeseen benefits for the mom and bride-to-be.
"We were at the playground and I took off running and my daughter said, 'Mommy, you can run now?' " she says. "I kind of wanted to burst into tears, but it made me feel good and like I am doing the right thing. I am on the right path and just to be able to run with my daughter … I never knew it meant that much to her."
The Biggest Loser airs Thursdays (8 p.m. ET) on NBC.