Sharing & Caring With Friends

Finding Joy – Part 6

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Although Joy’s story is certainly not over, here is the next part of Joy’s journey (provided in a weekly 8 part series) through better health and wellness!  If you missed the earlier segments, please see Parts 1 – 5 on the website at “A Healthier You” (Testimonies):

I’d been up, down and now I was back at it again and this time with a vengeance!  I graduated high school in 1979 and was a size 7/8, which by 1970’s standard was fat!  Since I was in love with a good looking, muscled boyfriend most of my senior year and first year of college, I thought I was doing quite well.  Remember, my worth was always tied to what a male thought of me.  Then one day I looked at him and realized he was not the guy I wanted to marry, we broke up and I moved on.

Here are a few pics of us from 1979 and one of him this past summer.  Of course he still has the same 31” waist and is in the gym 6 days a week.  He’s also one of my best guy friends, and I’m thankful for that now (we’ve worked through our issues) … not so much back in the 80’s, but keep reading.



In 1981, at the ripe old age of 19, I started my career at Southern Bell.  I thought I’d made it in the big time, and my 20’s were spent going out every weekend, drinking and dancing with my friends.  I had a few really good relationships and put on a few pounds along the way.  That’s what happens when you’re happy.

Then I ran into the old high school boyfriend (at a convenience store at the beach) who now was into body building and looked really ripped.  I was of average size (10/12) and when he saw me his jaw dropped.  To this day it is still burned in my brain.  He said, “Joy?  Oh my God!  You sure have let yourself go!!!”  I laughed it off, but it cut through me like a knife!  If he thought this way about me, then others must too, right?!

It sent me into a feeding frenzy, and over the next few years, it sent my weight up.  I know this now, but of course at the time … clueless.  I was engaged three times, first two ended, and then I married the third one.  HUGE mistake, divorced 16 months later and then another eating depression.  See the cycle yet?

In 1991 I met my husband of 23 years.  He’s the kindest, most loving man you’d ever want to meet.  I was fat when he met me and fat when he married me in 1992 in beautiful Jamaica.  I weighed 220 lbs.  Now let’s see what I’ll do with someone who loves me in spite of being fat, and so the pounds began to climb.  What I know now is he, unknowingly, enabled me to stay fat because he never once called me anything but beautiful!  He loved me no matter what the scale said.  I ate when I was happy, sad and stressed.  Heck, I’d eat just because it was the second Tuesday of the month – LOL!


I had two stepchildren and while they were a blessing, they came with their own issues (their mother).  Anyways, three years later, my stepdaughter came to live with us.  She was 12, awkward and in a new town, new house, etc.  Soon after, I lost 50 lbs. and then I found out I was pregnant.  Unplanned, but oh so happy, I had our son the following summer, 1996.  Now she’s 13 and her brother is 11 ( my husband spend every other weekend driving to pick up my stepson since he lived with his mother in Orlando).  The next year, 1997, he came to live with us, and now I’m a full time mother of 3, working full time and putting myself last on the list as we moms do.  By then, I was 285 lbs at 5’2”, was diagnosed with type II diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol & triglycerides, etc.  Translation:  Hot mess train wreck!  I dieted, lost some weight, gained it back, lost it again … Yo-yo time!


See you here next Monday for more of Joy’s story to better health and weight loss! 


Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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  • Julie S. says:

    I really think your story points out that if people call us out on being overweight, it causes us to stress-eat, but if people love us anyway and don’t look at our clothing size, we don’t do anything about it either. And yes, letting all that extra weight pile up really hurts our health. That’s amazing that you lost 50 pounds then, and surprise pregnancy is one way of your body showing you that it was getting healthier. Though, I bet you gained it all back while pregnant. I know I did, all the weight I lost before I got pregnant came back on. So I’m fighting the challenge again to lose it. Thanks for sharing your story and your journey!

    • Clare says:

      Well – Joy’s story is amazing… she actually lost over 100 pounds after experiencing a health crisis! The best is yet to come about her struggle and journey….. stay tuned for next Monday! And I appreciate your sharing your experiences, too!

  • It sounds like you have really overcome a lot, and losing 50 pounds is no easy feat! Congratulations on sticking to a healthier lifestyle!

    • Clare says:

      Wow – stay tuned for more on Joy’s successful health and weight loss journey – she actually ended up losing over 100 pounds! We will see you back here next Monday and thanks for stopping by!

  • Jenn Slavich says:

    I have to say, I really look forward reading this each week. Your journey is so inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing this. I look forward to reading how the journey continues.

    • Clare says:

      So glad you are inspired by Joy’s struggles and overcoming them…. stay tuned for Part 7 next Monday morning! Thanks 🙂

  • GiGi Eats says:

    I love reading your story, because obviously NOW you’re healthy and super happy… You learn from your past and hopefully others who read your story will learn too! 🙂

    • Clare says:

      Joy’s story is such a success story! Thanks for be so encouraging… wait for the next few weeks – the conclusion…. very encouraging and amazing! 🙂

  • Joy is beautiful and amazing! Thank you Clare for providing such a sweet platform to host this important and powerful story that resonates with all women of every age and body type. I will stay tuned for the next installment.

    • Clare says:

      Joy is beautiful and amazing – thanks for sharing that! Thanks for encouraging Joy and all readers that this is certainly a powerful and important message…. more to come next Monday!

  • Cara says:

    I really enjoy reading these stories each week, Clare. Joy is such a beautiful and brave person for sharing her story, and I can’t wait to read the next part.

    • Clare says:

      Yes, Cara, Joy is beautiful and brave! Thanks for stopping in and we will see you back here next Monday! I appreciate your taking the time to comment!

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