Late last week I got a surprise email from my friend (and one of my greatest inspirations), regular Today Show contributer Joy Bauer, who was in Los Angeles for several television interviews. She let me know she was appearing on Access Hollywood Live the next day and wanted to know if I was up for hanging out in the "green room" (aka backstage) with her. Of course, my answer was a very quick "Yes." Little did I know that Joy planned to pull me on the air.
The next morning I woke up to a slew of emails from the Access Hollywood Live producers, letting me know where to be and when to be there. It was an early call here on the West Coast because the show shoots "live" for the East Coast feed. But the producers didn't have to ask me twice. I picked out what I hoped was a dapper outfit and rushed over to the studio.
Spending time with Joy is always, well, a joy. And the pun is intended. She is such a big ball of energy and usually has a crowd of people hanging around her (many of whom are people who work behind the scenes) -- all because she is so happy, so full of inspiration and also has a wicked sense of humor.
Joy was appearing on the show to promote her New York Times best-selling book The Joy Fit Club (yeah, the one with yours truly along with a few others featured on the cover). The book has been a big hit, and Joy was sharing some of the secrets of her Joy Fit Club members so that people watching would realize if her Joy Fit Club members could lose weight without surgery or fad diets, so could they.
I was slated to walk out at the end of the segment, and that I did -- in the goofiest way possible. In fact, when co-host Billy Bush asked me to start dancing, I didn't think twice -- I went for it. Those of you who know me or who regularly follow my blogs on The Huffington Post might have surmised that I'm a ham at heart (and you'd be right).
But along with getting a kick out of hearing from friends who happen to see me on TV, I love being able to help Joy get the message out that anyone, no matter how much they weigh, how many diets they've tried or how long they've been overweight, can lose their excess weight and keep it off. Having lost more than 250 pounds of excess weight myself (after topping out at more than 450 pounds) and having kept it off for more than a decade, I'm living proof of that. And I want everyone to know they can do it as well. They have what it takes. You have what it takes. And that journey to dieting success can begin today.
While appearing on air, Joy shared some great tips from members of her Joy Fit Club, including one from Kim DeMundo (who has lost and kept off 110 pounds). Kim uses a "Bag of Tricks" to avoid cheating (she keeps several pieces of paper inside the bag, each listing something to do other than cheat on her diet -- simple activities that are all geared to take her mind off of food). Great idea, right? And one we can easily incorporate ourselves.
Another Joy Fit Club member, April Hudson (who has lost and kept off 109 pounds), uses creative additions to make her salads more enticing. These additions include using a tablespoon or two of pine nuts or raw cashews, adding fresh sliced fruit or avocado and also using flavored vinegars (ones that are so tasty that no oil is required on the salad).
The show segment ended up running a little long, so I came out after the last commercial break -- and appeared during the end credits of the show. This is especially hilarious because the producers "squeezed" the picture (so it's visually thinner) in order to accommodate the credits appearing on the right hand side of the screen (as you can see in the clip below). Thus, I look especially thin (when dancing like a goofball).
If only we could all be squeezed (visually) like this in daily life. Then we wouldn't have to worry about losing weight and fitting into our skinny jeans. Then again, with inspirations like Joy Bauer getting the word out that anyone can achieve dieting success, we can leave all of the squeezing (including into clothes and other tight spaces) behind us once and for all.
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