TODAY   |  December 12, 2011

Newest Joy Fit member lost 150 pounds by walking

Caroline Jhingory weighed over 300 pounds when she found out she was pre-diabetic, and tells TODAY this was the wakeup call that made her determined to become “Joy Fit.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we are back with look at me now, the joy fit club and the induction of its newest member. she is a 30-year-old fitness blogger from washington, d.c., who lost a whopping 150 pounds.

>> her name is caroline . before we meet her, let's look at her story.

>> hi, my name is caroline . i'm 30 years old. by the time i was in the eighth grade i weighed 300 pounds. as a teenager, i used my allowance money to buy and eat an entire medium pizza and package of cookies alone in the basement. it felt so good devouring it, but i always felt bad about myself afterward. being overwhat it caused me to miss out on simple things in life. i didn't go to my prom. i hadn't worn a bathing suit since i was 9 years old and i couldn't fit into amusement park rides. at 21 years old in college, a dermatologist told me the dark blotches on my skin were an indication i was prediabetic. i finally had my aha moment. i began altering my relationship to food and eating and exercise became an appetite depressant. the more i walked every day the less i thought about food. i adhered to no specific diet. i limited my intake of white foods. sticking to my regimen of walking every day and eating healthy resulted in my losing 100 pounds within a year. a total loss of 150 pounds. i finally accepted that there are no short cuts or secrets to weight loss . exercise has taken my passion for food from a dirty love affair to a committed relationship of self-control.

>> what a way to say it. before we ask her to come out, we'll talk to joy bauer who will tell us more about her eating habits.

>> this is another beauty. she is radiant. what i love most, after she accomplished this huge feat, she now believes the impossible is possible. she challenges herself at work, in her personal life . she is a go-getter. she did this nine years ago.

>> and you said she is a fitness blogger. i'm sure that has come as a result?

>> yes. this is about nine years ago. it was the beginning of the summer. she made one change. she decided to walk. she gave up the bus and she would walk 2 1/ 2 miles to work then 2 1/ 2 miles home five days a week. at the end of the summer , just two months, she covered 190 miles. that's about the equivalent, i love to do these calculations of walking from washington, d.c. to pittsburgh, pennsylvania.

>> and lost how much weight that first summer?

>> in the couple of months she was already down well over 20 pounds. she burned 34,000 calories in those two months. i have to show what you that translates to. 230 frosted holiday cookies, she walked this off.

>> that is unbelievable. it puts it in perspective.

>> i can't wait to meet caroline . let's look at her before picture. caroline , come join the joy fit club .

>> oh, my god!

>> oh, yeah!

>> take a step back.

>> she's still walking .

>> i get the chills.

>> you look great, honey. congratulations.

>> she's stunning.

>> first of all, you are a jaw-dropper. absolutely gorgeous. i love that you started off with walking. it's not easy when you're that overweight to take the first ten steps, is it?

>> right. it's step by step . i started out with 15 minutes , 20 minutes and moved up to about an hour walking almost every day.

>> would you catch the bus later each time.

>> later or my step sister would kick me up and give me a ride.

>> i love how you said it went from a dirty love affair to a committed relationship with food. how do you view food now?

>> i view food as something, i don't view it as an addiction. i have an appreciation for quality, locally grown food and healthy food.

>> she is an amazing chef, too.

>> did your friends freak out?

>> you've been so heavy so long of your life. you never remembered a thinner time, right?

>> right. when my friends of high school see me, they don't recognize me.

>> by the way, your mom is so sweet. i see her sitting back there she must have been a big encouragement.

>> she was.

>> i can tell. she is sunshine from back there.

>> we'll make sure all these cookies go to a deserving group of young people so you don't have to be tempted by them.

>> caroline , thank you for coming