The day a stack of watermelons represented part of my weight loss

I will never forget the first time I appeared with Joy Bauer on NBC’s “Today” show.   Joy is the long-time diet and nutrition expert on the show who also hosts the very popular “Joy Fit Club” segment each Monday morning.  The segments tell the personal stories of individuals who have lost 100 lbs. or more;  I am proud to say that I am the official Joy Fit Club Member #2.  It’s crazy to think that it has been almost six years since my first appearance; five years since the second appearance when I was joined by two other Joy Fit Club members.

Vivian Dimmel, also known as “Bunny”, April Wood and I sat on the Today show set along with a three-foot high pile of watermelons that represented the collective 530 pounds we lost.  It was a bunch of fun and a whole lot of watermelons that day!  The three of us agreed that it put things in perspective to see the pile of watermelons that represented the excess fat we lost.  I’m pretty positive that it had an impact on each of us.  We are proud to say that we have each maintained our weight loss.

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Bauer not only features these personal stories on the “Today” show, but she also included many of these success stories in a book that was released in April 2012.   I love that Joy includes more than 75 recipes, detailed meal plans, and motivational before-and-after photographs of our weight-loss success stories.  I highly recommend this book and I have a feeling that you might just recognize one individual on the front cover!

There is another recipe by a Joy Fit Club member that I did not find in the book but I wish it would have been included; Dale’s Granola Bars.  They are absolutely delicious!  These bars are satisfying and packed with nutrient-rich ingredients like whole grain oats, pumpkin puree and dark chocolate chips.  And are they ever yummy!

Dale’s Granola Bars

Makes 16 servings


3 cups old fashioned oats
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dark chocolate chips
¼ cup honey
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon kosher salt


Preheat the oven at 350 degrees and line a 9×9 baking pan with non-stick foil.

Whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, honey, and vanilla until smooth. Then stir in oats, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Once oats are well moistened, add in cranberries and dark chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and evenly press throughout.

Bake 35-40 minutes until golden brown, remove from oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Serving size: 1 bar

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 150
Protein: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 32 grams
Fat: 3 grams (1 gram saturated)
Sodium: 40 milligrams
Fiber: 2 grams
Sugar: 20 grams


Photo credit: mynameisharsha

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