TODAY | September 24, 2012
>>> look at me now the joy fit club of the one woman who was desperate to make a lifestyle change.
>> when she had a hard time being the mother she wanted to be, she needed to do something fast. take a look at her story.
>> my name is jenny and at 369 pounds, i was always the biggest person in the room. i tried to make jokes about my weight, and i was always thought of as the funny fat girl with the pretty face. when i became a mother for the third time in three years, my weight really began to take a toll on me. it was very difficult to take care of my children's most basic needs. i couldn't bathe them in the bathtub because i couldn't get up off the floor from a kneeling position, so they took their nightly bath in the kitchen sink . i couldn't get down on the floor and play with them, and it was a struggle to take them to the park. i felt like i was failing them. in the summer of 2008 , i fell in the backyard while i was attempt attempting to play kickball with my kids. the kids had to run for daddy. he had to roll me on a blanket and drag me inside the house. i was humiliated and scared. i knew that if i didn't do something, that i was going to leave my children without a mother and no way was i going to let that happen. i had to learn how to put myself first and leave the guilt of the previous 37 years behind. i was a woman on a mission. my weight loss has given me confidence that i can do anything. my family is so proud of me, but more importantly, i am proud of me.
>> wow, what a great story. the leader of the joy fit club is joy bauer.
>> that's really an inspiration for anyone who feels overwhelmed and strapped down. she did this while she was in graduate school and with three gorgeous kids.
>> one is in love with hoda woman, wanted to hold her hand.
>> all three are in mommy's pants. all three fit into mommy's pants.
>> are you guys proud of mommy?
>> of course.
>> they can't breathe. not easy to be in the middle.
>> we're going to wow hoda and kathie lee .
>> talk about the food.
>> there were a few things that she did that i think were really smart. first, she allows herself a treat after dinner every single night, but she keeps it consistent. and we know through people reporting and through research, when you don't have a whole lot of variety, it's easier to lean on your sweet tooth . so this is her go-to snack, it's a greek yogurt pop. the reason i'm showing black bean soup and this turkey chili is because in her past life , she never cooked. it was fast food and she would order in. her husband taught her how to cook and the secret ingredient in the chili, cocoa powder and beer. i'll throw these recipes on twitter and facebook.
>> here is jenny's before picture.
>> okay, jenny, come join the joy fit club .
>> oh, my god.
>> you go, girl!
>> hot mommy.
>> my god.
>> how much time did that take, jenny?
>> two and a half years, 20 months.
>> you did it the right way.
>> must be such a different ball game now being able to play with your kids.
>> it's amazing the things that we can do together now that we couldn't do before.
>> and you'll live a lot longer to be with them as well.
>> absolutely, absolutely.
>> what about the exercise program?
>> the exercise is phenomenal. i found exercises that i love to do and i think that's been a key part to my success has been finding an exercise that i love and then sticking with it and involving the kids.
>> now you're just showing off.
>> triathlete now, add that to my list of accomplishments.