TODAY

TODAY   |  June 24, 2013

Opera singer gains confidence, loses 167 lbs.

The newest member of the Joy Fit Club is 21-year-old Ted Pickell, a vocal performance major at the University of the Pacific, who used to justify his weight by his height, but finally found a diet he could stick to.

Share This:

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

>>> we're back with look at me now, the joy fit club and a man fed up with his weight decided to make a change.

>> ted pattel lost 167 pounds in 11 months. before we meet him, let's take a look at his amazing story.

>> hi. my name is ted. growing up, i loved to perform, but there were plenty of roles i wasn't cast for because of my size. once upon a time so i turned to opera where i thought i could rely on my voice to carry me on stage. i've always been a pretty tall guy. at 6'6", i thought my height could justify my weight of 362 pounds. i tried to convince myself that i don't look that bad. but who was i kidding? i was obese. my weight also affected my personal life . i could never get a date. i figured that no one wanted to be with a fat kid . but in my junior year of college, my friend told me about a diet called medifast. i was sick and tired of being winded at my opera rehearsals so i gave it a try. friends and family didn't believe i could stick to my diet but a month into the program, people started to believe in me and cheer me on. today i've lost 167 pounds. i have more energy, self-confidence -- oh, what a beautiful morning and better vocal abilities. not only do other people see me differently, but i see myself differently, too. everything's going my way

>> it sure is. here with susthe leader of the joy fit club , joy bauer. hi, joy.

>> see how handsome he was before he lost the weight. when i first met him, i thought he was a model. you guys are going to flip out. so if a few things he's completely changed. one, like so many people, he loves chipotle. before he was getting these double steak burritos with rice, cheese, beans, sour cream. 1280 calories. now what he does, he's ordering the bowls without rice so there's chicken, lots of vegetables and he adds salsa and guacamole. only 500 calories.

>> you can have brown rice once in a while , right?

>> yes, he doesn't but you can. another thing i think that people don't realize is the sweetened iced teas have just as much sugar as the soda. so he was drinking about eight of these 16-ouncers a day. 1280 calories. but 78 teaspoons of sugar.

>> that's unbelievable.

>> how many calories?

>> 1280 just from the liquid. he is brewing four bags of peach tea and four tea bags of raspberry over eight cups of hot water, putting it over a pitcher with ice and jazzing it up with frozen raspberries and peaches.

>> i can't believe that visual. what about diet snapple?

>> then you are getting the artificial sweeteners.

>> here is ted's before picture. all right, ted, come join the joy fit club .

>> oh, my god!

>> awesome.

>> standing ovation.

>> give us a tah-dah as you do that. tah-dah

>> wow!

>> didn't losing the weight change your vocal abilities?

>> absolutely. i think a little more lyrically which is more helpful for someone that's my age. i'm still a really young singer and so it's, you know, where i was singing dramatically was not quite the right place for me. it's like carrying around four 50-pound weights.

>> and he's getting the hunk rolls now.

>> he's a hunk.

>> how is the chick situation?

>> it's going pretty good. a lot of things in the works so, yeah.

>> we're so happy for you. you look terrific. we wish you the best of luck. great success in your career, too. joy, you always, always amaze us.

>>> you can't imagine how many books this man has sold. he's been moonlighting again.

>> he's going to tell us all about it.