Success Stories

Joy's clients have discovered the secrets of her plan and how it can help them take off weight and stay thin forever. Here are some of their inspiring stories.
Pamela B.
After putting everyone else's health first for years, Pamela finally decided to take care of herself. On Joy's plan, she lost an amazing 85 pounds and regained control of her own health!

Pamela B.

Age: 39
Height: 5’ 5”
Starting weight: 230 pounds
Current weight: 145 pounds
Goal weight: 135
Pounds lost: 85 pounds

After caring for a mother-in-law who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for five years, Pamela had emotionally hit rock bottom. She was always volunteering to care for everyone else and never took any time to look after her own health and wellbeing. She felt depressed and had no energy, and had difficulty breathing or sitting comfortably. She couldn’t even play with her 5-year-old son without becoming out of breath.

After a trip to the emergency room, Pamela knew she had a choice to make: continue with her life the way it was and suffer the health consequences, or make a change so that she could watch her son grow up and be able to truly be there for her family. Determined to get her life back, Pamela decided that it was time for a change. “There was no looking back; just looking forward to the outcomes and happiness that only I could create from accomplishing my goals,” she says.

The next day, Pamela saw Joy Bauer on the Today show discussing her popular weight loss book, Your Inner Skinny. Pamela had been a member of other weight loss programs before and while she loved the food and ideas, she needed a menu that would teach her to eat right and make smart choices — and Joy’s book fit the criteria. Pamela knew the basics of counting calories and exercising; what she didn’t know was how to eat meals that would keep her feeling full. “I ate as a binge eater, to satisfy emotional needs and to comfort myself. Joy taught me to eat healthy foods that helped control my hunger,” says Pamela. She was amazed that she could still eat delicious meals without all the extra calories from the carbs, butter, oils, and creams she was used to eating. Most importantly, Pamela learned which foods to avoid, and eliminated all of the packaged convenience foods from her diet.

The transformation did not happen overnight, but as Pamela made healthy changes to her lifestyle, the pounds slowly began to come off. Now, when Pamela is hungry between meals, she nibbles on something nutritious. “My favorite snack is ¾ cup of frozen berries and 15 pistachios, because I get two snacks in one and it’s very satisfying!” she says. “Sometimes I will even microwave the berries and chop the pistachios on top for a quick and healthy cobbler.”

For Pamela, “The most important thing I learned on Joy’s weight-loss plan is that only I have control over what goes into my body. I can still eat good, healthy food and be satisfied; it’s simply a matter of making smart choices.”

For others who are just starting on their weight loss journey, Pamela recommends staying focused on your schedule and goals. “Keep a journal of everything you eat. You can still enjoy celebrations, but remember why you are celebrating — the holiday, the vacation, or the office party. If you feel pressured to eat or feel the need to eat, then fill up on the veggie tray or chew a piece of gum. You can still enjoy life, without all the calories from unhealthy foods!”

Everyone in Pamela’s life has noticed a huge difference in her appearance, and the compliments continue to pour in. “My friends say how happy and healthy I look and my husband commented that I am smaller than when we got married! When my size 4 daughter (who is also on Joy’s plan!) said we’d be sharing clothes soon, I couldn’t believe how far I had come. I’ve lost 85 pounds and finally regained control of my health and my life.”

*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve these results.

Leslie F.
Leslie's weight has yo-yo'd for years. But once she started on Joy's plan, she was able to lose 47 pounds — and show her children what can be done with a little determination and a healthy diet.

Leslie F.

Age: 54
Height: 5'5"
Start weight: 214 lbs
Current weight: 167 lbs
Goal weight: 140 lbs

Leslie is a successful real estate agent with a history of dieting failures and a love of fattening foods.  Before Joy's plan, Leslie's diet willpower was nonexistent, but after a couple of months on the plan, she has lost 47 pounds* and looks like a new woman!  She now tucks her shirts in — something she hasn't done in a long time — and she values setting a healthy example for her children.

*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve these results.

Jon S.
Jon lost almost half of his body weight (!) before hitting a plateau. By following Joy's plan, he's finally reached his weight-loss goal.
Jon S.

Age: 37
Height: 5'11"
Start weight: 430 lbs
Current weight: 200 lbs

In 2007, Jon weighed 430 pounds, had high blood pressure, and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He was depressed and overwhelmed…but also determined to turn his life around for the better. He started his journey back to good health by making a commitment to start walking every day. At first, he could only manage a short walk to the end of his driveway and back, but after a few weeks he was able to slowly increase his endurance and distance. Fueled by a feeling of accomplishment, Jon then started to cut his meal portions in half — and with these small changes, Jon dropped over 100 pounds in just 14 months. Soon after Jon met Joy Bauer through a mutual friend and used her guidance and program to knock off the remaining excess weight and reach his ultimate goal.

Today Jon is a fit 200 pounds and looks and feels like a new man. The weight loss helped him feel comfortable enough to begin dating again; he met his soul mate and the stunning couple married on a beautiful spring day. Together, Jon and his wife stay active and support each other to lead a healthy lifestyle. Now, that's what I call a fairytale ending!

*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve these results.

Debra A.
Debra hid inside t-shirts, sweats and plus-sized outfits until she shocked herself by losing 25 pounds on Joy's program. Now she's upgrading her wardrobe, showing off her new shape and garnering plenty of compliments.

Debra A.

Age: 60
Height: 5'5 1/2"
Pounds lost: 25

60-year old Debra, became frustrated and concerned with weight gain related to peri-menopause. And after the passing of her father and, shortly after, a 21-year-old cousin, she realized that life truly is precious. After these tragic events, Debra decided it was time to make lifestyle changes toward better health.

Within a few months of starting Joy's diet plan, Debra not only felt vibrant and energetic, but she also dropped 25 pounds! She now regularly exercises and rarely eats processed, fatty and sugar-laden foods. She tries to minimize her salt intake and pulls way back on wine. She feels absolutely phenomenal.

As a woman who has never enjoyed being photographed and who has been relatively shy about her appearance, she is amazed to be receiving compliments from bank tellers, former coworkers, and even her OBGYN for her amazing health transformation. She feels on top of the world.

Now thanks to her new fit physique, Debra was finally able to ditch the baggy clothes that were literally falling off of her. She decided to donate several shopping bags filled with gently worn woman's clothing to a local charity and hit the store for some new fitted items.

*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve these results.

Andrea D.
Being "chubby" made Andrea unhappy and insecure. Using Joy's program as her guide, Andrea resolved to get fit — and succeeded at surpassing her goal weight. Now she's all smiles!

Andrea D.

Age: 29
Height: 5'4"
Pounds lost: 35*

In Andrea's family, weight has always been a big issue. When she was growing up, her father was known as Big Papa Bear because he weighed nearly 400 pounds. Although Andrea never considered herself fat, she knew she was carrying extra weight and didn't feel on top of her game. Instead, she felt chubby, thick, and somewhat self conscious. Determined to feel comfortable in her own skin, Andrea (and her dad, Big Papa Bear) followed Joy's program. She strategically planned out her meals, started to cook slimmed-down versions of her favorite foods, and walked as much as possible (she was in dental school and had a hectic schedule). She eventually lost 35 pounds, and went from a size 12/14 to a tiny 2/4!

Today, Andrea is a successful dentist and will seize any opportunity to pass along health advice and slimming recipes to her patients. And by the way, her father has dropped over 200 pounds and has transformed his life as well!

*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve these results.

Nick C.
Nick's doctor told him he was killing himself when he tipped the scales at almost 400 pounds! Now, after following the principles of Joy's program, he's dropped more than 100 pounds — and is happier, healthier, and fitter than ever before!

Nick C.

Age: 47
Height: 6'0"
Start weight: 380+ lbs
Current weight: 278 lbs
Goal weight: 200 lbs
Pounds lost: 102+*

As a young adult, Nick was heavy, but his weight wasn’t out of control. Eventually, though, his body took a turn for the worse. At 38, he had a minor heart attack. By 42, he was pushing 400 pounds, his blood pressure had soared dangerously high, and he was at risk for type 2 diabetes. That year, at Nick's annual physical, his doctor bluntly said, "I don't know what else to tell you, Nick. Change or you’ll die."

Nick changed. By closely following Joy Bauer’s healthy eating principles, Nick lost more than 100 pounds, and he continues to lose. He doesn't intend to stop until he weighs 200 pounds.

In His Own Words

Personal Diet Struggle: I need well-defined boundaries. I could go a year without eating pizza, but if I eat a single slice today, I'll want two slices tomorrow — and a whole pie next week!

Life Changes Since His Weight Loss: I can bend far enough to tie my shoelaces, ride on a subway or bus without shame, buckle up on an airplane without a belt extender — and wear jeans!

Life Plans: I'm already registered to compete in a full triathlon in 2010. I will be ready!

Life Dreams: I'm on my way to getting what I've never had: self-esteem, self-respect, self-acceptance, and self-love.

Life Lessons:

  • - Who knew water was so important?! I drink two glasses 15 minutes before meals. By the time I eat, I feel too full to overeat.
  • - I start every dinner with a low-calorie, fiber-rich salad or vegetable soup to help fill me up, keep my appetite under control, and extend the meal so I don't feel deprived.
  • - I avoid personal trigger foods, the things I simply can't stop eating once I begin. For me, pizza and candy bars are dangerous.
  • - I stick with my meal plan when eating out by making special requests — serve the salad dressing, sauces, and condiments on the side; grill the chicken instead of frying it; and please don't bring the bread basket to the table.

*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve these results.

Susan T.
Susan hoped that by taking a job working for Joy Bauer, she'd be inspired to lose a few pounds and could stop camouflaging her weight with clothes. It worked — now she's 30 pounds lighter and looks 15 years younger.

Susan T.

Age: Late 50s
Height: 5'2"
Start weight: 144 lbs
Current weight: 114 lbs
Goal weight: 119 lbs
Pounds lost: 30*

Susan is the director of services of Joy Bauer Nutrition. Ironically, when Susan was hired she was between 20 and 25 pounds over her normal, ideal body weight. Luckily, having spent years in the fashion industry, she knew how to dress to disguise her figure faults. She thought that she hid those extra pounds pretty well, but she knew they were there and she was miserable. She knew that her clothing was getting tighter and tighter and that she was very out of shape. Susan secretly hoped that by working in an environment centered on healthy nutrition, she would be able to take off the weight that made her 5'2" frame look thick and shapeless. When Joy asked her to try out her new diet plan, Susan jumped at the opportunity.

Now about 30 pounds lighter (as is her husband, Neil — that's almost 60 pounds lost between the two of them!), she feels and looks as if she has a new lease on life. She is the talk of their town!

*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve these results.

Kathy M.
When Kathy's cholesterol numbers hit a dangerous level, Joy's plan helped her drop 40 pounds. She went from a size 16 to a size 4 and had to buy an entire new wardrobe!

Kathy M.

Age: 60
Height:
5’8”
Starting weight:
165 pounds
Current weight:
125 pounds
Pounds lost:
40

Kathy had always been slim, but as she got older, overeating coupled with her sedentary job led her to pack on extra pounds. The weight began to take a toll on her physically — in addition to knee problems, her doctor informed her that her cholesterol numbers were dangerously high and that she needed to lose weight to avoid being put on medication.

Then, Kathy saw that Woman’s Day magazine was looking for people who wanted a chance to lose weight and get in shape by teaming up with Joy. She sent in her story and was selected as one of 12 participants. She received a copy of Your Inner Skinny as well as a Joy Bauer diet coach. Joy’s plan was just what Kathy needed to get in shape. She learned how to eat, what to eat and how much to eat to strip off the pounds that had crept on over the years. (In fact, Kathy still eats many of the meals in her food plan today. She always keeps Joy’s Turkey Chili in her freezer!) Yoga and lifting weights, as well as a half hour walk before lunch every day, also helped to fuel her weight loss efforts.

Kathy went from a size 16 to a size 4 and her cholesterol numbers are now under control. Kathy’s doctor was completely floored by her transformation and the health improvements he saw at her next physical. She donated all of her old clothes and had to buy an entire new wardrobe — shopping in a store and trying on clothes in a dressing room for the first time in years!

Kathy has kept the weight off for over two years, and swears by Joy’s diet principles. She says Joy’s two glasses of water before lunch and dinner were critical to her success, as well as eating clean the majority of the time so that she can enjoy her little indulgences, like Christmas cookies and fudge with her grandchildren during the holidays. “You have to take Joy’s advice to heart and really think before you eat something,” she says, “Ask yourself, is this moment worth it?”

It wasn’t easy, but Kathy is happier — and healthier — than ever. Her friends are amazed by her boundless energy. “I have turned back time,” she says, “I look (and feel) like I did when I was in my 20s!”

*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve these results.

Sheri H.
Sheri was tired of being an overweight mom, so she lost more than 100 pounds through diet and exercise. But she was still more than 20 pounds shy of her goal weight. Four months into Joy's program, Sheri finally fulfilled her dream!

Sheri H.

Age: 39
Height: 5'8"
Start weight: 164 lbs
Current weight: 141 lbs
Goal weight: 141 lbs
Pounds lost: 23*

Sheri struggled with her weight since she was a teenager. For her, the most painful aspect of being overweight was feeling that she was an embarrassment to her two boys. Nothing hurt her more than the thought that her own children might feel humiliated by their "fat mom." Although she never disclosed her fear, the thought often haunted her.

Instead of taking action, she generally just ate more to ease the pain. Eventually, though, she said, Enough is enough — and made a commitment to herself to turn her life around. Sheri lost 127 pounds on her own through sensible dieting and exercise. She was inducted into the Joy Fit Club in September 2008, with 23 pounds to go to reach her goal weight of 141 pounds. Sheri made a pact with Joy to drop the last pesky 20-odd pounds using Joy's healthy eating principles as her guide.

Now, after just four months on the diet, Sheri has reached her goal — the first time she's weighed less than 150 pounds since she was a freshman in high school! A tough cross-training routine helped her drop the last few pounds, and she has participated in several 5Ks in the past year. She even got her teenage son to hit the gym with her! Sheri is in the best shape of her life — and she’s thrilled with her success. "More than anything," she says, "I appreciate what I see in the mirror every day, and that is very cool!"

*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve these results.

Allison B.
Allison didn't like what she saw in the mirror, and set out to shed the pounds for good. Joy's plan helped her drop 20 pounds, and now she looks and feel great!

Allison B.

Age: 45
Height:
5’4”
Starting weight:
178 pounds
Current weight:
156 pounds
Goal weight:
149 pounds
Pounds lost:
22

With another birthday right around the corner, Allison was in a funk. A self-described emotional eater, she hated the way she looked and felt, and was frustrated and unhappy with her weight. Working nights and caring for her two sons meant dinner on the run, little time for exercise, and constant grazing on her kids' favorite snack foods. She knew she needed to make a lifestyle change, so together with her sister Celeste, she started Joy's plan. Working as a team, Allison and Celeste helped each other stay motivated and focused when the going got tough. Allison liked the simplicity of Joy's menus and simple recipes, and after just a few weeks she had developed a solid routine and found her weight loss groove.

The most difficult part of Allison's journey was staying on track during the weekends when events such as restaurant outings, birthdays and holiday gatherings posed temptations. She eventually found a compromise that worked for her: instead of nibbling on a little of everything, she learned to pick one or two "treats" that she really wanted, serve herself a small portion, and then take small bites to make it last. She has also developed new healthy cravings, the latest being crunchy baby carrots, an "unlimited food" on Joy's weight loss plan. As Allison describes, "they're cold, ready to eat, inexpensive, and you can eat a million of them!"

Allison couldn't wait for her Friday weigh-ins — she actually started to like the scale — and loved watching the numbers decrease every week! After losing 22 pounds on Joy's program, Allison says she "looks and feels pretty darn good!"

*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve these results.

Katie B.
Getting engaged was just the motivation Katie needed to lose weight. On Joy's program, she learned lifelong healthy habits and got ready to walk down the aisle — 27 pounds lighter!

Katie B.

Height: 5’5”
Starting weight: 167 pounds
Current weight: 140 pounds
Goal weight: 140 pounds
Pounds lost: 27

Katie had been overweight — and unhappy about it — for years, but getting engaged was the motivation she needed to finally lose the weight. She didn’t want to look back on her wedding photos and see herself looking unhealthy and unhappy.

Beyond the photos, her impending marriage also made Katie think about some serious issues regarding how her weight could impact her future. Recently diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which affects fertility, Katie learned that one way to improve her chances of having children and combating other symptoms of PCOS was to lose weight. There were also other health issues plaguing her family, including diabetes. As she began a new chapter of her life, building a family with her fiancé, there was no better time to shed the extra pounds for good.

Katie was introduced to Joy Bauer’s program through Woman’s Day magazine, when she was chosen as a blogger in the Woman’s Day Slimdown Challenge with Joy Bauer. Getting started was difficult: Katie disliked cooking and rarely made her own meals; she relied on processed foods like popcorn and cereal. The hardest change was learning to make healthy meals and to make meal preparation a part of her daily routine.

Katie had given up on previous diets, but telling everyone about her weight-loss efforts through her Woman’s Day blog helped hold her accountable. Even her coworkers cheered her along on her weight-loss journey and helped her to eat healthfully at the office and to stick to an exercise routine. “That accountability is vital to me,” she says. “Otherwise, I can quickly get tired of putting in the extra effort.” Another key to Joy’s plan that worked wonders for Katie was learning moderation. “During the holidays, I didn’t bake any cookies or bring any temptation into my house until the week of Christmas — and on Christmas I indulged, but I also exercised a lot,” she says. “Then the next week, I got back into my normal routine. You don’t have to avoid the holidays like the plague; you should enjoy them. But you really don’t need to indulge for two solid months.”

It wasn’t easy, but Joy’s program taught Katie healthy habits that have helped her to not only lose 27 pounds, but to maintain her healthy weight as well. “Joy's plan didn’t require me to learn a lot of rules or count a lot of calories or points,” says Katie. “It just taught me to be healthier, simple as that.” Now, instead of processed foods, Katie’s favorite snacks are blended frozen bananas as a substitute for frozen yogurt and Joy’s Double Chocolate Muffins. At parties and events, she makes sure to fill her plate with vegetables and allows herself one cookie so that she doesn’t feel deprived or guilty.

Katie’s biggest advice is to eat! “Cutting back so much that you’re hungry is a great way to set yourself up to cheat. But also be aware of what you’re putting into your mouth,” she says. “Know how much you are putting into your body, and how much you’re burning, and don’t kid yourself. If you think you might be, write it all down!”

*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve these results.

Jennifer W.
After losing some weight on her own, Jennifer found the extra push she needed to keep going on Joy's program!
Jennifer W.

Age: 40
Height: 5’7”
Starting weight: 287 pounds
Current weight: 251 pounds
Goal weight: 150
Pounds lost: 36

Jennifer had been having weight-loss success on her own, using a “calories in, calories out” motto to drop pounds. But when she reached a plateau, she knew she needed a plan to help her continue losing the weight, and she found Joy’s plan was the most realistic and all-encompassing.

In the beginning, Jennifer’s ultimate goal was to lose weight. But Joy’s program taught her the importance of all aspects of health, including cholesterol levels and blood pressure. She began to realize that a healthy diet wasn't only about watching calorie and fat intake, but also looking at nutrition as a whole. “I needed something that was more about seeing the big picture,” Jennifer says, “and that’s exactly what Joy’s plan helped me to do.”

The first week was the toughest for Jennifer, as she had to eliminate all artificial sweeteners from her diet. As someone who often snacked on processed foods and soda, she found the transition difficult. But once Jennifer made it to week two, she felt like she had overcome a major hurdle — she had gained the power to conquer and eliminate sugar cravings. Now instead of soda and cookies, Jennifer snacks on homemade fruit smoothies, which satisfy any sweet cravings without compromising her healthy eating plan.

Working full time and going to school keeps Jennifer's schedule packed, leaving little time for preparing meals. But she and her husband love to cook and found Joy’s recipes to be delicious and easy to follow. “They don’t take much time to prepare, so her plan really fits with my busy life!” she says. The secret to Jennifer’s success? “Tracking! I track everything I eat, drink, and do. It gives me a good idea of what I’m doing and where I’m having trouble,” she says, “If my weight loss slows down I can take a look back and see what I ate and pinpoint where I might have had difficulty. I also enjoy having tasks that relate to my goals, so taking the time to track/journal what’s going on is a huge help for me.”

Her best advice for others is to plan ahead. Jennifer spends every Saturday planning her menu for the week, making her grocery list, and going shopping. She then cooks ahead so that she always has fresh meals ready for lunches and dinners. If she knows she will be eating out, she looks at the menu before she goes so she knows her options, and never hesitates to ask for modifications or substitutions. She also loves that Joy encourages you to enjoy a 150-calorie treat, and plans for a piece of dark chocolate or a glass of wine in her daily menu.

Jennifer is still working to lose more weight, but is well on her way to a healthier lifestyle! “My best compliment has been not so much that I’ve lost weight, but that I just look good,” says Jennifer, “A co-worker told me that I just looked happier and that I was glowing, and that felt great! I feel so much better on the inside and it’s nice to know that shows!”

*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve these results.

Eve M.
When hit with the wake-up call of being diagnosed as a prediabetic, Joy's program helped Eve to take control of her weight, and her health!

Eve M.

Age: 42
Height: 5'5"
Starting weight:166.5 pounds
Current weight: 140 pounds
Goal weight:135
Pounds lost: 26.5 pounds

Diabetes has run in Eve’s family for decades, so she knew that with age would come some health problems. But when Eve was diagnosed as a prediabetic in October of 2010 at the age of 38, it was a huge wake-up call. She wasn’t ready to start dealing with serious health issues at such a young age and knew that it was time to make changes.

Aware that her weight and eating habits were playing a major role in her health issues, Eve was ready to finally take control. She knew that committing to a healthy eating plan and regular exercise could reduce, and even eliminate, her health problems. When she was selected as one of 12 women to participate in Joy’s Woman’s Day Slimdown Challenge, she jumped at the chance and never looked back.

While Eve did have some difficulty staying motivated to exercise every day and resist her food cravings, getting to know Joy, her staff, and the other challengers provided just the type of support system she needed.

Eve stresses that Joy’s weight loss program isn’t so much a diet as it is a healthy lifestyle plan, which made it easy for her to follow. She not only learned positive eating habits, but also changed the way she thought about food. Her tip for others trying to lose weight? “Don’t deprive yourself of cravings or sweets,” she says. “Take the time to learn how to modify your favorite recipes, and always use portion control.” Before getting healthy, Eve loved popcorn. And she still eats it! But instead of going for the high-calorie options loaded with butter, she buys 100-calorie packs at the grocery store. “[These] are an awesome way to snack because it is already portion controlled for you so you don’t have to worry about overindulging,” she says.

She picked other healthy habits, too. “I like to keep my vegetables precut in the refrigerator for easy access, and I always try to have a water bottle with me everywhere I go,” she says. “I try not to grocery shop on an empty stomach. and I eat salads every night before dinner. When I am at parties, I try to stay away from dips and fried foods.”

Since losing over 25 pounds, Eve is receiving compliments left and right. But her favorite thing to hear is that she looks healthy — because it means she achieved the goal she had initially set!

*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve these results.

Maureen D.
When Maureen's cholesterol hit shockingly high levels, she knew it was time to get healthier. With the help of Joy's plan, she made permanent lifestyle changes and lost 70 pounds!

Maureen D.

Age: 34
Height: 5'8"
Starting weight: 220 pounds
Current weight: 150 pounds
Goal weight: 145
Pounds lost: 70 pounds

Maureen was only 32 years old and battling dangerously high cholesterol. Her weight was holding her back from truly enjoying life – she couldn’t even run around with her kids without becoming out of breath. When her cholesterol levels spiked so high that she had to take a three-hour glucose test, she knew it was time for a change. When a friend told Maureen following the four-step plan in Joy’s book, Your Inner Skinny (previously titled Joy's Life Diet), she hung up the phone and said to herself, “No more excuses— I’m starting right now.” Maureen picked up the book and headed to the grocery store.

Right away, the numbers on the scale start to decrease. “It was so rewarding to me every time I went down a number. I hit 200, then 190, then 180,” says Maureen. “Each time, I would say, ‘I am never going to be over that number again’.” Vowing to never return to her unhealthy weight and lifestyle, Maureen threw away all of her “big clothes,” which felt great! She attributes much of her success to her kids, husband and other family members who supported her and continue to motivate her every day. “I want to be healthy for myself and for them,” says Maureen.

Stepping on the scale once a week is what helped hold Maureen accountable for everything she ate. While weekends posed the most temptation, Maureen stayed committed to the program by telling herself the splurges would not be worth it when it came time to step on the scale. Planning ahead for indulgences also helped Maureen to lose weight — and continue to keep it off. “If I know I'm going to splurge at a holiday function, I'll be extra good for the rest of the week,” she says.

Changing her diet wasn’t easy, but Maureen learned to completely avoid trigger foods and opt for healthy snacks instead. She now snacks on cucumber slices with Laughing Cow Light Cheese to curb hunger pangs between meals. After losing 70 pounds, Maureen looks and feels better than ever! The best compliment she has received? “My mom told me that I was her motivation to get healthy!”

*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve these results.

Celeste C.
Celeste was disgusted with how she looked and felt. So with the help of Joy — and her diet buddy(her sister!) — she dropped 25 pounds

Celeste C.

Height: 5’1”
Starting weight: 152 pounds
Current weight: 130 pounds
Goal weight: 130 pounds
Pounds lost: 22

Celeste had reached a point of “disgust” with her health and her body. Her unhappiness about how she looked and felt drove her to take action, so she joined the Woman’s Day Slimdown Challenge to lose weight. Celeste was pleasantly surprised to find that Woman’s Day had teamed up with Joy and had asked the participants to follow the four steps outlined in her book, Your Inner Skinny. Joy’s program worked well for Celeste because it introduced her to unfamiliar food combinations that helped her get out of the diet rut she had fallen into.

Being held accountable, to herself and to others, helped Celeste succeed. She began blogging twice a week about the challenges of losing weight, and kept an official weight loss log with diet coaches, all of which helped her stay on track.

Dieting with a buddy — her sister, Allison — also helped keep Celeste motivated, as they made bets bets with each other on who could lose more weight. “A support system can make all the difference in your success or failure to stay on track,” says Celeste. “Don’t be afraid to reach out and say that you’re struggling. That quick phone call may save you from going crazy at the buffet!”

Celeste’s best advice for other dieters is to log your food. “Journaling what you eat keeps you honest,” says Celeste. “For the first few weeks, write down how you’re feeling and when, so that you can really assess why you’re eating — is it hunger? Stress? Anger? Happiness?”

After following Joy’s program, Celeste dropped 25 pounds, and now receives tons of compliments and feels great! The best compliment she received? “My mother told me I looked slim — and my mother doesn’t say stuff like that!”

*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve these results.

Amy B.
Amy was so uncomfortable with her weight that she dreaded leaving the house. With the help of Joy's program she lost 49 pounds and gained the confidence to hold her head high!

Amy B.

Age: 40
Height: 5'7"
Starting weight: 175 pounds
Current weight: 126 pounds
Goal weight: 125
Pounds lost: 49 pounds

Amy reached a point where she avoided looking people in the eye. She was so unhappy with her weight that she cringed at the thought of going to the store and running into someone she knew. Then, Amy came across Joy’s four-step program in Woman’s Day magazine, and was surprised to see that the menus were filled with foods she loved! Seeing how easy Joy's tips were to follow, Amy decided to give the program a try and see how far she could go.

Initially, Amy didn’t expect to make it through all four steps, but to her surprise, the weight starting falling off fast! She lost 25 pounds in the first two weeks and couldn’t believe the numbers on the scale. She was amazed that she had dropped so much weight even while feeling like she was eating all the time. “I was so excited,” Amy says, “I felt my confidence growing every time I stepped on the scale!"

Being conscious of what — and when — she was eating was the most difficult change for Amy. “I wasn’t a breakfast eater and never really paid attention to what I ate throughout the day,” says Amy. “The most difficult part for me was getting used to eating breakfast, lunch, a snack and dinner, and sticking to that routine. Joy’s plan is a great way for me to stay in control and be aware of what I am eating throughout the day.”

Now Amy, asking herself: “Will this take me forward or set me back?” before she eats a food. If the answer is yes, she allows herself a small amount, and then records it in her daily food journal. Planning and tracking her daily food intake helped Amy become more aware of what she was putting into her body. Plus, since Joy’s program allowed for Amy to enjoy occasional splurges, and adjust her food plan as needed, she never felt deprived or guilty. She also learned to love healthy snacks like an apple with peanut butter or a few of Joy’s Chocolate-Cherry Oatmeal cookies.

Joy’s cookbook,Slim and Scrumptious, taught Amy how to prepare meals for herself and for her family using healthier ingredients. She has also become aware of serving sizes — something she had never thought about before. “They are smaller than you think,” Amy says. “I definitely took advantage of Joy’s list of unlimited foods — it got me through if I still felt hungry between meals.”

The most rewarding part of Amy’s weight-loss journey has been finally feeling confident again. “I’ve always been an outgoing person, and it feels incredible to look people in the eye and not feel the shame that I felt before,” Amy says. “I hold my head higher, smile more and enjoy life a whole lot more!”

She encourages others trying to lose weight to ask themselves, “How will you feel after you eat this?” before they indulge. “But don’t feel guilty if you go off track,” Amy says. “Just pick up where you left off as soon as possible. Each moment is a new opportunity to begin again.”

The best compliment she has received? “Someone told me I don’t look like I’ve ever been a pound overweight. I was overweight for more than 10 years, so it’s an awesome feeling to hear those words!”

*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve these results.

Lisa J.
After trying countless diets, and failing to lose weight, Lisa was ready to give up. When she decided to give one more program a try, she was amazed to find that Joy's plan actually worked!

Lisa J.

Height: 5’ 2”
Starting weight: 158 pounds
Current weight: 124 pounds
Pounds lost: 34 pounds

Having tried — and failed — to lose weight with countless diets in the past, Lisa found herself discouraged and gave up trying to shed the extra weight. The number on the scale slowly began to creep up, as a diagnoses of Hypothyroidism combined with the stress of attending nursing school began to show up on her waistline.

Lisa felt helpless and depressed. She often watched Joy Bauer’s segments on the Today show and one day decided she had nothing left to lose, and decided to give her program a try. To her amazement, Joy’s plan actually worked. Lisa closely followed all of Joy’s steps and advice, and began losing weight immediately. She admitted that the first two weeks were difficult; giving up carbs at dinner, diet soda and artificial sweeteners proved challenging. But Lisa weighed herself everyday — seeing the consistent weight loss helped keep her focused on her goal.

Over the holidays, Lisa allowed herself to indulge — enjoying a few of the cookies she would bake – but got right back on track with her diet the following day. “I felt so great losing weight that I didn’t want to overindulge,” she says. “So I took Joy’s advice, had a little of what I wanted and then went right back to my healthy eating plan — it worked! Not only did I not gain wait, I continued to lose through the holiday season!”

She found that Joy’s healthy snack ideas helped to keep hunger at bay, and kept her from overindulging at meals. Her go-to snack? “I loved being able to munch on carrots. They were so helpful to me, especially in the beginning of the program. I used them as my side dish, in lieu of potatoes and rice.” She also loves peanut butter and bananas on toast and cottage cheese mixed with berries and cinnamon.

Now, when people see Lisa, they are shocked! “People pull me aside and say, ‘You’re getting so skinny, what you are you doing?’ — I am so happy to share Joy’s program!” she says, “And it doesn’t hurt to hear that I am ‘hot’ from my husband!”

Lisa’s advice to others is to use the online plan and follow it closely. “Follow the steps and don’t deviate. I did Step 1 twice, which helped me kick some bad habits,” she says. “Utilize your coaches, the comprehensive website, and Joy’s fantastic recipes to stay on track.”

*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve these results.

Ralph Oswald
Before starting the "6 Months to a 6 Pack" challenge on the Today Show, 64-year old Ralph was always tired and felt like his energy was dragging. And just 6 short months later, Ralph not only looks fabulous, but his health and quality of life have significantly improved.

Ralph O.

64 years old

Starting weight: 200 pounds

Weight lost: 32 pounds

Before starting the "6 Months to a 6 Pack" challenge on the Today Show, 64-year old Ralph was always tired and felt like his energy was dragging. And just 6 short months later, Ralph not only looks fabulous, but his health and quality of life have significantly improved. Ralph went from feeling shortness of breath with minimal exercise, to now being able to energetically walk, talk, and jump around the classroom while teaching three-hour long lectures. As a paramedic, Ralph can now respond more quickly to his patients because he is physically stronger and more comfortable getting through tough situations with less stress. Before this challenge, he used to take medications for his blood pressure, cholesterol, and acid reflux; now, he takes NONE. With his wife as a major motivator by his side, Ralph lost 31 pounds, six pants sizes and also signed up for a 5k race.  I’m incredibly proud of him for working so hard and maintaining a positive attitude throughout this entire challenge! By eating proper foods and exercising regularly, Ralph managed to lose weight, lower his cholesterol and blood pressure, and gain an entire new outlook on life. (Plus, he can proudly take off his shirt and flex with his 6 sons!) 

 

 

Tamara Halsell
With her 40th birthday around the corner, Tamara decided that this was the perfect time in her life to lose the weight she had put on in her thirties. While she was hesitant at first to go on National Television baring her stomach, Tamara has had an amazing transformation and experience.

Tamara H.

40 years old

Starting weight: 178 pounds

Weight lost: 32 pounds

 

With her 40th birthday around the corner, Tamara decided that this was the perfect time in her life to lose the weight she had put on in her thirties. While she was hesitant at first to go on National Television baring her stomach, Tamara has had an amazing transformation and experience. She’s learned to make smart choices every day- whether she’s ordering a side salad in place of French fries, or walking home instead of taking the bus. In the past, cookies and brownies were staples in Tamara’s diet..... But now, Greek yogurt and berries have become regular mainstays. She still indulges every once in a while, but is much more selective and always watches her portions. In addition to eating filling and nutrient dense foods like beans and avocado, Tamara works out at least four times per week, either spinning, going to the gym, or doing a workout video at home. Now six months later, Tamara is a new woman with a healthy lifestyle. She has even taught her friends and fellow church members a few of her weight loss tricks, like starting the day with a bowl of oatmeal and fruit instead of buttery biscuits and fatty sausage. Today Tamara is 30 pounds thinner and down from a size 12/14 to a size 8! She looks terrific and I’m so proud of her hard work and dedication. Now that Tamara feels her best, she is ready to start dating again to find that special someone; whoever finds her will be incredibly lucky!

 

 

Kelli Dinola
Before joining the 6-pack challenge, Kelli had tried every diet under the sun. Needless to say she had a lot of reservations and was not entirely optimistic that she would be a success.

Kelli D.

46 years old

Starting weight: 177 pounds

Weight lost: 45 pounds

Before joining the 6-pack challenge, Kelli had tried every diet under the sun. Needless to say she had a lot of reservations and was not entirely optimistic that she would be a success. Plus, Kelli is a private person and the thought of national television was wayyyy out of her comfort zone and somewhat terrifying. With health as her major motivator, Kelli has certainly conquered. She made a conscious effort to eat healthy and exercise regularly, no matter what the circumstance. She found ways to still enjoy her love of cooking and eating with family and friends, while keeping her eye on the prize. She even started making her own vegetable hummus. After lots of hard work, and trying almost every workout class at her gym, Kelli has noticed a positive change in her attitude and a dramatic downward trend on the scale. She has lost a whopping 42 pounds and went from wearing a size 12 to a size 6. She fits into clothing she has not worn in 8 years, and she looks fantastic! After six months, I’m beyond thrilled that Kelli is finally more confident and comfortable in her own skin, and no longer feels the need to hide under layers of baggy clothing. Kelli now possesses the skills, knowledge and motivation to make healthy choices stick. I could not be more proud of her!

 

Name: Heidi Callahan

Age: 37

Height: 5’5”

Hometown: Rockville Centre, N.Y.

Starting weight: 182

Goal weight: 150

What was the hardest part? The hardest part for me was having the determination and willpower to say NO to the foods I normally would say YES YES YES to! Like the salty snack foods, chips, pretzels, and popcorn. Those are the foods that I have learned are trigger foods for me — once I start I can't stop. Now, I snack on almonds, carrots, peppers, a slice of cheese and green tea instead.

What is your new favorite healthy food or recipe? My three favorite recipes are: the Buffalo Chicken Chilli, Lettuce Wraps and Turkey Burgers (sorry couldn't pick just one!).

What one change was most effective for helping you lose weight? The one change that was most effective for me was planning my meals ahead of time and having the right foods on hand in my fridge. I used Joy's meal planner in the beginning of the week to plan three days at a time and printed out the grocery list from the website. This helped me stay on track.

What's the best compliment you've received? The best compliment I have received is when people say I look like the "old Heidi" from college! College was over 15 years ago for me, so that puts a smile on my face.

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Age: 48

Height: 5’5”

Hometown: Rye, N.Y.

Starting weight: 168

Goal weight: 145

What was the hardest part? The hardest part was the first week — the "detox' week. Cutting out the carbs, sugar and salt was difficult for the first few days but the cravings stopped after that and I began to feel clearer and more energetic.

What is your new favorite healthy food or recipe? My new favorite healthy recipe is Joy's Chicken Parmesan. I don't miss the breading at all and it is quicker and easier to prepare than traditional chicken parm. The best thing is everyone loves it so it is my "go to" on busy nights.

What one change was most effective for helping you lose weight? I think that eating breakfast was one change I made that has really helped me lose weight. I boosted my metabolism, had more energy and was not ravenous at lunchtime by eating one of Joy's recommended breakfasts.

What was the best compliment you've received? I have gotten a lot of compliments! One thing I am so happy about was that a goal of mine was to be able to tuck my shirt in my jeans and I was able to do that for the finale episode. That made me feel good even in jeans and a cast when the others looked so fabulous in their beautiful dresses!

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Use of this site is subject to our terms of service and privacy policy. All material provided on this website is provided for informational or educational purposes only. Consult a physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.

Age: 49

Height: 5’5”

Hometown: Montclair, N.J.

Starting weight: 198

Goal weight: 160 (or less!)

What was the hardest part? Figuring out what to do when I would normally mindlessly emotionally eat. Sometimes just acknowledging it would be enough, sometimes going out for a walk or cleaning out a drawer would do the trick and sometimes I would eat...but I ate only unlimited food choices!

What is your new favorite healthy food or recipe? Zucchini Linguini, Chicken Parmesan, pumpkin mousse, chocolate muffins, spicy chicken "wings" with blue cheese dipping sauce and many more! What one change was most effective for helping you lose weight? Not snacking between meals on anything but unlimited foods, leaving my 150 calorie food until the evening and being aware of moving more because of my pedometer.

What's the best compliment you've received? That I'm sending such a positive message to my children, Van and Bryce, who I love more than life itself.

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Use of this site is subject to our terms of service and privacy policy. All material provided on this website is provided for informational or educational purposes only. Consult a physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.

Age: 35

Height: 5’0

Hometown: Merrick, N.Y.

Starting weight:145

Goal weight: 115

What was the hardest part? Fitting in exercise. As a working mom you can come up with lots of excuses not to exercise — I'm too busy, I have to cook for the kids, etc. But once I stopped making excuses and fit in exercise (or just walking around my office or taking the stairs when I could), I found that it just became part of the routine.

What is your new favorite healthy food or recipe? HMMM....I would have to say Zucchini Linguine! It's delicious and won Team Hoda one of the competitions.

What one change was most effective for helping you lose weight? The one most effective change was how I socialize at parties. I realized that you don't need to have a drink in hand and food on a plate all the time when at a party. You can have just as much fun "working the room" or dancing (plus, dancing gets many, many steps in)!

What's the best compliment you've received? The best compliment I have received is "OMG you look like you did on your wedding day when you were 22". It's also an incredible feeling when my husband and kids keep telling me how good I look and they know how good I feel too!

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here

Copyright © 2014 Everyday Health, Inc.
Use of this site is subject to our terms of service and privacy policy. All material provided on this website is provided for informational or educational purposes only. Consult a physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.