VOTE for This SparkPeople Member--She Could Win the Makeover of Her Dreams!


By: , SparkPeople Blogger

Joy Greenwald--also known as JOYELYSE, a 34-year-old stay-at-home mother of two and a loyal SparkPeople member since 2006--needs our help.

She's lost 85 pounds using SparkPeople, but reorganizing and restocking her wardrobe has been challenging and expensive. Luckily, she has been selected as a finalist in the Macy's & Clinton Kelly Make Over America Contest and could win a $5,000 wardrobe and makeover. As anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight knows, new clothes that fit properly are more than a luxury--they're a necessity. Vote for her HERE--and hurry, because voting ends soon! (She's "Joy G." and in a red sweater.)

Joy talked to us about her makeover and her weight loss journey with SparkPeople.

dailySpark: Which SparkPeople feature has helped you most?

Joy: The nutrition tracker! No doubt. I eat an average of HALF the calories when I enter my foods as I go (or in advance). It's why I joined initially, and it's still a daily part of my life. I especially love that it's not all about calories or fat. I've paid a lot of attention to my nutrients over the years. Partnered with SparkRecipes, I strive to really understand what I eat.

dailySpark: Can you tell us a little bit about your makeover?

Joy: I was chosen by Macy's and Clinton Kelly Make Over America for a two day makeover. I'm a huge fan of "What Not to Wear" so when I saw Clinton was going across the country making over women, I applied and forgot about it. (Editor's note: We like What Not to Wear, too. Read Jen's post about its positive and supportive message.) I never thought I'd win. But I did!!! I got a bra fitting, and a new outfit and haircut, but the highlight was getting to meet Clinton. He's been a big inspiration for me, and he is so nice! It was great getting to show him a flip book of my weight loss and style transformation and to thank him for his role in helping me succeed. The other women were also fantastic. I've written ALL about it in my blog.

dailySpark: What would it mean to you if you won?

Well, of course, I'd love to win the $5,000 Grand Prize makeover, but I honestly don't know if voting will influence that decision. It would also be a fun affirmation of the changes I've made over time.

dailySpark: Why did you decide to lose weight?

Joy: I started losing weight, because I was afraid to go back to the reproductive endocrinologist to start trying to conceive my second child. I was up to 210 pounds (a BMI of 38.4 at my measly 5' 2") and was barely squeezing into my size 20 clothes. I knew I was up, but, really, I was just afraid of how bad the doctor would make me feel. Thankfully, I'd managed to lose some weight before I went in to see him. But, he told me I would have to lose some more before I could do a fresh IVF Cycle, but I could transfer my frozen embryos after a testing cycle.

During my testing cycle, I continued to lose so well that we decided to put off transferring the embryos so I could lose more weight. Then we postponed again and again, as the weight came off. Then something strange started happening. I started getting my period every 28 days. I had a progesterone check, and lo and behold, I was ovulating on my own!

Five months later, I conceived Jocelyn without any help from the docs!!!

dailySpark: What is a typical day like in terms of eating? What are your menu staples?

Joy: I LOVE food, but I have found that some regularity helps me stay on track. I eat the same thing for breakfast almost every morning and for afternoon snack, but I vary my foods the rest of the day. Most days begin with a bowl of Multi-Grain Cheerios with one cup of 1% milk. Lunch is frequently made up of leftovers from the previous day's dinner. This helps me keep my food bills down! (I used to throw out a lot of rotting leftovers.) But I also eat homemade pizzas, sandwiches, or chicken franks, etc when I don't have any leftovers. Afternoon snack is always yogurt, almost always with flax seed, but lately I've been alternating the flax seed with natural popcorn. Either one makes me feel full and gives me a fiber burst.

Dinners are where I shine. I love to cook veggie rich dinners with a little meat in them for flavor: curries, stir fries, sautees, bbq. I don't even need to make a lot of substitutions to make healthy dinners. Just anything cooked at home tends to be healthier. I like things to be spicy. When my food is spicy, I don't miss fats. I'm a huge fan of Cooks Illustrated, and I use a lot of their recipes. I especially like to cook recipes that incorporate the veggies into the dish, so I don't need to make side dishes. Oh, and I'm HUGE baby spinach fan. I tend to eat cups of it several times a day with cut up fruit. It was the first veggie I learned to like (I used to hate them all), and it's still a big part of my diet. Now I really like veggies, I'm looking forward to next week, when my cooperative farm opens up again for the summer.

dailySpark: What advice would you have for someone who is just starting his or her healthy journey?

Joy: Banish the word "diet" from your vocabulary! Diets fail. Diets set you up to be yo-yo. Get ready to change your life, and realize that the change has to be permanent, so you'd better be able to stick with what you decide to do. Don't starve yourself or deny yourself the things you love to eat. (It's all about portions) Don't work out at a rate you can't maintain. Instead, make slow and steady changes in your life. It won't happen overnight, but when it happens, it will be yours to keep.


dailySpark: Now that you've lost the weight, what are your other life goals?

Joy: SparkPeople has given me the knowledge and drive to help others reach their goals. I'm pursuing a certification as a Nutrition, Wellness, and Weight Management Coach and am looking forward to helping other people change their relationship with food and exercise. I believe in a sane approach to losing weight. That's why SparkPeople is such a good fit for me. But I've talked to enough people now to know that some people need a little bit more personal, one on one, interaction, and I'm looking forward to giving that to them!!

Leave a motivating thought for Joy in the comments below, and don't forget to cast your vote! Thanks for helping a fellow SparkPeople member.

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