TODAY | March 04, 2013
>> it is time for look at me now, the joy luck club . this woman lost 270 pounds.
>> she is 49-year-old theresa . before we bring her in, let's take a look at her amazing story.
>> hi. my name is theresa . growing up i was an emotional eater. i learned at a young age that food made the good times better and the sad times more bearable. when my father died, i was only 8 years old and well-meaning adults tried to comfort me with an extra scoop of ice cream or grandma's rice pudding . food became my escape. i learned to hide my pain behind a bag of chips or cookies and i became addicted to all things sugary. i went back to college at 42, and by the time i had graduated, i weighed 428 pounds. i could barely walk across the stage to receive my diploma. i was in constant physical pain and was diagnosed with rheumatoid athletes. before long i became dependent on a cane and then a walker to get around. one morning i woke up, and i decided i no longer wanted to li like an invalid. i dumped the bottles of soda into the sink, emptied my sugar bowl in the trash and began to count calories. at first i told no one about my efforts, but once i made that decision, i never looked back. today i am a walking miracle . i am 276 pounds lighter and 14 jean sizes smaller. if i can go from a wheelchair to a treadmill and lose the equivalent of two adults, anybody can do it.
>> we're joined by the leader of the joy fit club , joy bauer. this is unbelievable.
>> she went from a wheelchair to a treadmill, and she really shows you the power of well. everybody wonder how did she do it. she didn't follow a specific diet. she got calorie smart. she started reading labels, and she bought a book that had calories, and she just ate better. i want to show you a few things that were very surprising to her. in the past she was buying something that sounds healthy, the canned pears, but in heavy syrup. this is 350 calories. 20 packets of sugar in here. if you go to the natural, natural juice, then it's onlying 210, but even better, a regular pear, 100 calories. then when she was cooking, she would take the oil. she would pour it right into the pan.
>> glug, glug.
>> it would be about two table spoons. 340 calorie brz you add the food. now a mister. she just spraz it right on. i didn't pump it. you know, it's about a teaspoon, and covers the whole surface. only 40 calories.
>> let's meet her. i can't wait.
>> here is theresa 's picture before. all right, theresa . come join the joy fit club .
>> come on, girl.
>> oh, my god.
>> are you kidding?
>> no. you are kidding.
>> oh, my gosh.
>> wow. oh, my gosh. scloo look at that waistline on you.
>> you are unbelievable.
>> how long did it take you from the day you made that decision to lose all the weight?
>> about 22 months. it was two years on friday.
>> you said -- joy was saying the treadmill, so you get moving on that. is that the exercise you get?
>> i do now. november 1st was the first time i stepped on a treadmill.
>> at first how difficult was it for you?
>> well, i had a dress and high heels on the treadmill at my college where i work, and i walked down and said will you show me what this is about? that's the first thing i said. where is the seat belt ? i got on that, and i walked and i walked and i walked and i felt like i was running a marathon.
>> you know what, that's incredible. i love that you made the decision one day. you didn't tell a soul, and then you just took it and ran with it.
>> people don't even recognize her now.
>> i bet. what do people say when they see you if they haven't seen you in a while?
>> they don't know who i am. when i go home at christmas or the holidays, people that i went to church with every day, people that i worked with, people that knew me, they don't know who i am.
>> what do they say when they realize it's you?
>> it's a miracle.
>> it's a miracle.
>> same thing i say.
>> thank you.
>> nice to meet you. congratulations.
>> all right. the better weather,