The Essential Lighter Side

May 23 2020 11 73 mins

Everyone is essential to someone. I'm talking to front-line, tires on the ground, essential workers and people for the foreseeable future. You'll hear from doctors, nurses, firemen, food-service workers, Broadway performers, teachers, musicians, kids, personal trainers, and maybe even a celebrity or two. Please spread the word. These stories need to be told. And now.

The Essential Lighter Side: Author/Filmmaker/Newspaper Man
May 27 2020 • 90 min
Eric Shapiro shares my mental health issues. So that's fun. We both over-analyze every single we do, both never think we are doing enough, both are filled with guilt. Jewish and Italian, respectively. Must be a hometown thing. BUT, Eric is WRONG about...

Jared and Tyler - Gay Out Loud
May 26 2020 • 111 min
Jared and Tyler Picone are two intelligent, compassionate, empathetic brothers who happen to also have two of the most amazing singing voices I have had the pleasure to be in the same vicinity as. They are part of the Milian Mafia, a throwback to time...

The Essential Lighter Side: Mudhustler Part 3
May 25 2020 • 78 min
Jonathan Giordano, aka "Mudhustler" was the single most influential weight-loss personality for me when I got serious about using social media as a system of support. His recipes, like the Big Ass Waffle, the One Point Donut, and Bird Balls, were so...

The Essential Lighter Side: Speech Pathologist Jackie Anderson
May 24 2020 • 63 min
Jackie Anderson is the owner of Ascend Speech Therapy, LLC. She is a certified speech-language pathologist specializing in diagnostics and treatment of speech-language disorders in toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children. When I met her, she was...

The Essential Lighter Side: Joel Freeman of Beachbody
May 23 2020 • 62 min
Joel Freeman is responsible for some of the most intensely grueling and inarguably effective on-demand workout programs ever created. I know because I've done them all, and I hate Joel Freeman as much as I love him for the pain that he is inflicted upon...

The Essential Lighter Side: Comedian/Writer M. Dickson
May 22 2020 • 63 min
M. Dickson is a comedian and writer in LA. She has worked on shows you have seen like Superstore, Instant Mom, Disenchantenment, the MTV VMA's, etc. We grew up near each other and traveled in distant circles until we performed together in the Rocky...

The Essential Lighter Side: Dr. Lowell Korman
May 21 2020 • 78 min
Lowell Korman is a Hospitalist. He taught me that is basically your General Practitioner while you are in the hospital. So, he knows A LOT. But, even he and his colleagues did not know how to handle the COVID-19 pandemic when it hit, and they are...

The Essential Lighter Side: Dr. Nzinga A. Harrison MD
May 20 2020 • 82 min
Dr. Nzinga Harrison is Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder of Eleanor Health, a value-based provider of comprehensive, outpatient addiction treatment. She approaches addiction with an innovative, long-term, whole-person philosophy that challenges the...

The Essential Lighter Side: Family Counselor Caroline
May 19 2020 • 85 min
Caroline is a Family Counselor and therapist in an area of California with a 90% percent poverty rate. She sees firsthand the children who are unable to do their work remotely because they don't have computers. Or internet. She counsels families who are...

The Essential Lighter Side: Journalist Lauren Duca
May 18 2020 • 84 min
Lauren Duca shot to viral fame when she published "Donald Trump is Gaslighting America," an exploration of the nature of truth and reality, for Teen Vogue in 2016. She then famously appeared on Fox News where she handled herself with pose and...

The Essential Lighter Side: Loss of Loved Ones -Margot Traverso Bruemmer
May 17 2020 • 62 min
Margot Traverso Bruemmer lost her father and her uncle to COVID-19 within the same week. The story has been featured across several news outlets, but getting to speak to Margot, whom I have known for 25 years, and hearing firsthand what it feels like to...

The Essential Lighter Side: ICU Nurse Teresa
May 16 2020 • 78 min
Teresa is an ICU Nurse in Ohio. I won't lie to you, some of this is not easy to hear. Not easy, but definitely important to the full understanding of the scope of this pandemic. Teresa has seen things that many of us will never ever have to see, and she...

The Essential Lighter Side: Dietitian Andrea D'Oria
May 15 2020 • 75 min
Andrea D'Oria has been an outpatient dietitian for almost 20 years, counseling thousands of patients and clients. She has focused her practice largely on bariatric patients over the last 5 years, but we certainly did not constrict our conversation to...

The Essential Lighter Side: Joe Russo of Almost Queen
May 14 2020 • 57 min
Joe Russo is the lead singer of Almost Queen, an absolutely electrifying Queen cover band. He has an almost inhuman vocal range and a work ethic that is truly awe-inspiring. Before the pandemic hit, Almost Queen was riding the success of "Bohemian...

The Essential Lighter Side: Behavior Analyst Craig Domanski
May 13 2020 • 73 min
Craig Domanski, Ph.D., BCBA-D has been working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders using ABA for almost 20 years. He is the Clinical Director of the DATA Group, focused on parent-training and optimizing teaching conditions for learners with...

The Essential Lighter Side: The Box Maker
May 12 2020 • 63 min
Linzi works for a box company. Quite possibly the LAST profession I would have thought about when considering the effects of the pandemic. She taught me, however, that box making is not only essential, it is complicated. I was FASCINATED by this, and I...

The Essential Lighter Side: OCD and Anxiety- Dr. Maggie Perry
May 11 2020 • 74 min
If ever there was a perfect union of guest and host, this would be it. Dr. Maggie Perry is a licensed psychologist who holds all of her sessions online via the website, which she founded. She specializes in me. (OCD and Anxiety and Stress...

The Essential Lighter Side: Ken Marino
May 10 2020 • 62 min
Ken Marino is here. He is one of the founding members of The State. He has been in, written, and directed so many things that this interview was originally longer than the Director's Cut of the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which are incidentally...

The Essential Lighter Side: Homeschooler/Mask Maker
May 09 2020 • 63 min
Lori DesRochers is a teacher by trade, and made the decision to homeschool her daughter many years ago. Little did she know she would be faced with the ultimate homeschooling challenge when the world shut down. She's hanging in there, though, and has...

The Essential Lighter Side: Actor Jared Gertner
May 08 2020 • 57 min
Jared Gertner is one of the nicest human beings on planet Earth. He also happens to be a star of stage and screen, having performed on Broadway In The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Book of Mormon and appeared in guest starring roles on such...

The Essential Lighter Side: Performer Remember Jones
May 07 2020 • 74 min
Remember Jones/Anthony D'Amato is a touring musician, bandleader, and philanthropist. He arranges some of the most original, inspiring covers of popular music you will ever hear, and has quite a few tasty originals as well, like the new song Save the...

The Essential Lighter Side: Family Guy Writer Dan Peck
May 06 2020 • 73 min
Dan Peck and I went to high school together. One time I slit his throat wide open on stage. It was a whole thing. Now he is a writer for Family Guy, which you may have heard of. He also has a podcast called The Game of Rassilon, A Doctor Who Roleplaying...

The Essential Lighter Side: Autism with A Side of Fries
May 05 2020 • 65 min
Eileen Shaklee is an unlikely hero. Her blog, Autism with a Side of Fries, is read by tens of thousands of parents every day. Her relatable, no-nonsense style has really struck a chord with the special needs community, and also with this guy right here....

The Essential Lighter Side: Stephanie Wittels Wachs Returns
May 04 2020 • 83 min
Stephanie Wittels Wachs, despite her best efforts at being disgruntled, remains aggressively delightful. She and I discuss parenting in quarantine, 90 Day Fiance, and her incomprehensible (to herself) decision to get a puppy during a pandemic. We...

The Essential Lighter Side: Hospitality Sunday- NYC Restaurants
May 03 2020 • 61 min
DJ Brown is the General Manager of Anejo, a fabulous Mexican restaurant in Hell's Kitchen in NYC. Obviously, his job, and the business itself, are in a state of uncertainty as a result of COVID-19. We talk about what it was like when the restaurants in...

The Essential Lighter Side: Hospitality Sunday - Austin Hotel Industry
May 03 2020 • 73 min
Ray DeJohn and I are eerily similar. Our names are one letter apart, our mental health issues are near identical, and our mothers both passed away suddenly at an early age. We talked about it. We also talked about how Ray, Director of Marketing for a...

The Essential Lighter Side: Pharmacy Technician
May 02 2020 • 66 min
Melissa is a Pharmacy Tech at a Massachusetts location of a national chain. Pharmacy techs tend to take a lot of crap from customers under normal circumstances, so you can imagine what it is like when tensions are high. We talked about all of that, as...

The Essential Lighter Side: Nurse in a COVID-19 Ward
May 01 2020 • 74 min
*if this episode sounds "off" please delete and redownload!*Andrea is a nurse in the COVID-19 wing of her hospital in Utah. The wing has been converted from Telemetry, which is a "watch and wait" situation, to COVID-19, which is decidedly not. Though...

The Essential Lighter Side: Author Amy Dresner
Apr 30 2020 • 70 min
Amy Dresner returns to the Lighter Side to talk about dealing with recovery during the COVID-19 outbreak. She wrote the phenomenal "My Fair Junkie" which you should read. (I recommend the audio book.)She's just as badass as ever, and I always love...

The Essential Lighter Side : Gigging Musician Gerry Rosenthal
Apr 29 2020 • 70 min
Gerry Rosenthal plays in many bands. He is also the voice of the main character " Jimmy Hopkins" in the classic video game, "Bully". He has been in some movies and on some tv shows. But, most importantly, he is a genuinely good guy, a SUPREMELY talented...

The Essential Lighter Side: Hospice Care
Apr 28 2020 • 55 min
Tiffany Ann is a Hospice Administrator in Flint, Michigan. Yes, that Flint, Michigan. Where the water is still not pure, and the protests against stay at home orders really began. We talked about the difficulty of running a hospice during this outbreak,...

The Essential Lighter Side: Medicare (with Jenny Bee)
Apr 27 2020 • 65 min
Two years ago, Jenny Bee and I had bariatric surgery within two days of each other. We have lost a combined 320 lbs. She has been on the show at least 6 times. She is the Robin to my Howard. This time, Jenny is here to discuss her role as a Medicare...

The Essential Lighter Side: Actor Parvesh Cheena
Apr 26 2020 • 69 min
You may know Parvesh Cheena from the criminally underrated Outsourced, or from Crazy Ex Girlfriend, or from one of the many other roles he has performed/voices he has provided. What you probably don't know is how amazingly intelligent, thoughtful, and...

The Essential Lighter Side: Recovery in a Pandemic
Apr 25 2020 • 107 min
Mike Studley is one of my oldest friends. A neighborhood kid. We used to ride bikes together. Our paths have diverged since, and while I was off dealing with my own mental health issues, Mike has been on a decades-long struggle with addiction. But,...

The Essential Lighter Side : Smithfield
Apr 24 2020 • 82 min
Nicole and Rob live in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where the Smithfield Meat Plant, Rob's place of employment, has seen 783 cases of COVID-19. The building itself almost accounts for the majority of the cases in the state. We talked about that. They shed...

The Essential Lighter Side: Human Resources
Apr 23 2020 • 61 min
Katy Gray works as an HR Director for the supply chain of a major international retailer. She is in charge of the people who are in charge of making sure the stores have toilet paper. So, you can imagine. She lends her unique perspective, we chat about...

The Essential Lighter Side: Actor Adam Pally
Apr 22 2020 • 40 min
Adam Pally has been in a lot of things (Happy Endings, The Mindy Project, The Mandalorian,The Main Event, Sonic the Hedgehog, Champaign, ILL,so many more) Right now, however, the only thing Adam Pally is in is his basement, where his family banished him...

The Essential Lighter Side: Respiratory Therapy
Apr 21 2020 • 69 min
Lisa is a respiratory therapist in the middle of a respiratory crisis in the middle of Chicago. She has performed CPR on COVID-19 patients. She has seen PPE disappearing en masse. Yet, somehow, she has the most positive attitude of maybe anyone I've...

The Essential Lighter Side: The NYC Subway
Apr 20 2020 • 73 min
Helen is an MTA Conductor for the NYC Subway system, an organization that is losing 3-people per day to Covid-19. She and her co-workers requested masks in January and were denied. 50 of her fellow MTA workers died before masks were distributed. We...

The Essential Lighter Side: Broadway
Apr 19 2020 • 73 min
Aaron Kaburick is a seasoned Broadway performer, having appeared in Billy Elliot, Sister Act, Motown, Hello Dolly, and Mrs. Doubtfire, which gave precisely 3 performances before COVID-19 shut down Broadway. He is a ray of sunshine and I loved every...

The Essential Lighter Side: Family Medicine
Apr 18 2020 • 68 min
Dr. Kashif Anwar is a Family Medicine Dr. in New Jersey, where COVID-19 has hit the 2nd hardest in the country. We spoke about changing landscape of family medicine, the anxiety that is overwhelming his patients, and what its like to be a father of...

The Essential Lighter Side: First Responder
Apr 17 2020 • 63 min
Jennifer is a Paramedic Firefighter in a Chicago suburb. The hospital has 4 floors full of COVID-19 patients. The ICU is 90% full. She is re-using PPE because the federal government intercepted her station's shipment. When we spoke, she had just...

The Essential Lighter Side: Food Service
Apr 16 2020 • 66 min
Nicole is a cafeteria worker who is choosing to go into work to make lunches in a district where 61% of students are on free lunch. She has 2 of her own children. They are very flatulent. Stacy is holding down 2 jobs. One of them is as a manager of...

Hello Out There from Quarantine
Apr 01 2020 • 11 min
Quick hello and rundown of corona life.

Males and Weight Loss
Feb 16 2020 • 45 min
In this episode, Jay talks to weight loss personality Jonathan Giordano (aka Mudhustler) about the unique challenge of being a male in the weight loss community. In Season 4, Jay Casale (formerly 375lbs, full of anxiety, depression and OCD) and Michael...

Origin Story
Feb 16 2020 • 54 min
In this episode, Jay explores his origin story with the assistance of his sometime co-host, the inimitable Jenny Bee. In Season 4, Jay Casale (formerly 375lbs, full of anxiety, depression and OCD) and Michael Buckley(Certified Personal Trainer full of...

Feb 16 2020 • 52 min
In this episode, Jay talks to author Amy Dresner about her personal struggles, as well as the overlap between all addictions. In Season 4, Jay Casale (formerly 375lbs, full of anxiety, depression and OCD) and Michael Buckley(Certified Personal Trainer...

Paying it Forward
Feb 16 2020 • 60 min
In this episode, Jay talks to Alex Brecher, CEO of Bariatric Pal, about the origins of his Bariatric Empire. In Season 4, Jay Casale (formerly 375lbs, full of anxiety, depression and OCD) and Michael Buckley(Certified Personal Trainer full of...

Feb 16 2020 • 105 min
In this episode, Jay talks to Tammy Duncan, mother and survivor, about what happened when her husband held a secret no one could have imagined. In Season 4, Jay Casale (formerly 375lbs, full of anxiety, depression and OCD) and Michael Buckley( Certified...

My Forever Valentine
Feb 14 2020 • 65 min
A little over a year ago, I sat down with my wife Aimee for a gloves off talk about married life. We are still married. Stay tuned for new eps. Catch me on "Good Kids: How Not to Raise an Asshole" Tuesday February 18th

Last Year's Christmas
Dec 25 2019 • 65 min
Michael Buckley joined me live for a Christmas Special last year. Special guest star: my kid.

Season 4 Announcement Trailer
Dec 06 2019 • 3 min
Season 4 is coming in the New Year!!

Me And Jenny Bee- Season 3 FInale
Oct 08 2019 • 84 min
The Lighter Side ends Season 3 the same way it started Season 1, with the inimitable Jenny Bee. We discuss what it's like to be 1.5 years out of surgery and just generally enjoy each other's company.

Constantine Maroulis
Sep 23 2019 • 69 min
Constantine Maroulis is a Tony Nominated Actor (Rock of Ages) who rose to stardom as the 6th place finalist on the 4th season of American Idol and has maintained a diverse and successful career ever since.

Stephanie Wittels Wachs
Sep 09 2019 • 85 min
Stephanie Wittels Wachs talks about her brother Harris, her podcast Last Day, and why Stranger Things will never jump the shark.

Jessica Cordova Kramer
Sep 01 2019 • 63 min
Jessica Cordova Kramer is the co-founder, CEO, and Executive Producer of Lemonada Media, a podcast network she formed with Stephanie Wittels Wachs in order to share the unfiltered version of the human experience

Emily Martens
Aug 19 2019 • 80 min
Emily Martens is one half of the Mom's Spaghetti Podcast, and one whole groovy lady. She has shockingly red hair and the kind of fiery wit that keeps me on my toes.

Bonus Episode: Jay's 40th
Jul 31 2019 • 107 min
It's my birthday!! Join me as I celebrate by having my best friend and hetero life mate Michael Buckley ask me questions HE doesn't know the answers to!

Kelley Gunter
Jul 22 2019 • 79 min
Kelley Gunter's book "You Have Such A Pretty Face" tells the story of a woman who lost 240 lbs, and then lost everything. Kelley and I talked about what happens when you are not psychologically ready for such a massive life change, and how the true work begins when you face your inner demons.

Martha Duke
Jul 07 2019 • 111 min
Martha Duke is the founder and CEO of Recover Out Loud LLC, a company focused on the de-stigmatization of addiction. She is a sober mother of two who has been been through extreme emotional and physical abuses, but come out the other side in true phoenix fashion.

Wendy Adamson
Jun 23 2019 • 86 min
Wendy Adamson's memoir, Mother Load, opens with her shooting her husband's mistress in the arm in a meth-addled craze. It ends with her being 25 years sober, a counselor, a motivational speaker, an entrepreneur, an author and a philanthropist, helping her son to operate Have a Sole, whose mission is "to provide the homeless and at risk youth population with quality footwear to encourage healthier lifestyles and prevent disease, while fostering a sense of community along the way"

Jun 10 2019 • 103 min
Jenny Bee, my sometimes co-host but always boo, returns and we talk about everything from life a year after weight loss surgery to Michael Jackson to staying out of reproductive organs that don't belong to you.

Return of the Mudhustler
Jun 03 2019 • 103 min
Jonathan Giordano, aka Mudhustler, returns to the Lighter Side to talk about his mental health, his weight loss journey, and, of course, his balls.

Mom's Spaghetti Podcast
May 28 2019 • 1 min
Check out Jay's appearance on The Mom's Spaghetti Podcast this week while you wait for a brand new Lighterside to drop on Monday.

Amy Dresner
May 19 2019 • 93 min
Amy Dresner wrote "My Fair Junkie" , a harrowing story of "getting dirty and staying clean". I reached out to her to let her know how much her book touched me, thinking she'd probably ignore me. Instead, she sat down with me for a deep dive into both of our neuroses, and I loved every second of it.

State of the Podcast
May 06 2019 • 16 min
Jay tells you of his plans moving forward with The Lighter Side. They most definitely involve moving forward with the Lighter Side.

Anthony DiDomenico
Apr 22 2019 • 77 min
Anthony DiDomenico is a stand up comic who, until recently, had a hard time standing up. He's lost over 170 lbs on WW while hosting the WW Bros Podcast and sharing his journey both on and off stage.

Val Emmich
Apr 14 2019 • 75 min
Val Emmich is a New York Times best-selling author (Dear Evan Hansen), an actor (30 Rock, Ugly Betty, commercials you've seen), a musician (Tizzy, Slow Down Kid), and my friend from High School.

The Gastric Guru
Apr 07 2019 • 78 min
Aisha Walker aka "The Gastric Guru" created that plate. The one with the different sections for Protein and Carbs and Vegetables. You've seen it. She and I met in the Bariatric Facebook Groups and finally connected for a lovely chat about the ups and downs of bariatric surgery, running a social media community, and the Milk Diet. The MILK DIET. Why?

No Fools
Mar 31 2019 • 78 min
10 years ago, Anthony D"Amato decided he no longer wanted to weigh 375 lbs. One year later, he was 200 lbs lighter and completely confused. Today, he has kept off the weight, and has taken the concept of #transformation to an entirely new level by adopting the stage personality "Remember Jones".

Feb 24 2019 • 102 min
In the 50th episode of the Lighter Side Podcast, I am once again joined by my partner in surgery, crime, and naps: Jenny Bee. Jenny and I reflect over the 10 months since our surgeries, our unlikely friendship, and, of course, snacks and naps.

Feb 17 2019 • 111 min
Joanne Pollicella returns to the podcast a year (to the day) after her first appearance. The last time we spoke, I was 155 lbs heavier than I am today. She has happily maintained her weight and continues to be a total Cross Fit and Marathon Beast, but while the scale may not have moved, the last 365 days have changed her in many ways. Listen to her last appearance (Season 1, Episode 4) Be sure to visit and sign up for the Box of the Month Club! The code "LighterSideBox" will get you 50% off your first Box!

Feb 10 2019 • 90 min
Chasity Force-Lopez wakes up at 1:45 am, runs 7-8 miles, spends two hours in the gym, and then goes to work in juvenile criminal justice. In case you don't feel lazy enough. On the outside, Chasity can seem like another instagram fitness model (@chasityforcefit), but her chiseled exterior belies a lifelong battle with binge-eating and compulsive behaviors.

Liquid Shano
Feb 03 2019 • 88 min
Shane Lekata hosts the "Coffee Talk with Liquid Shano 1973" Podcast," in which he gives his musings on life and weight loss over a morning cup of joe. He is also one of the founders and admins of No Finish Line Nation, a thriving weight loss community, and the co-host of "Two Kitchen Tables, One Mic", a video podcast which he co-hosts with Jonathan Giordano aka Mudhustler.

Amanda Johnson
Jan 27 2019 • 99 min
Amanda Johnson currently stars on TLC's hit show, "Family By the Ton.", in which she bravely shares her journey as both a food addict and a cancer patient. When I met her two years ago, she was a sassy graphic designer with perfect makeup and a short temper, who had no time for nonsense or ignorance.

A Very Special Christmas
Dec 24 2018 • 65 min
Michael Buckley joins me live for a Christmas Special. Special guest star: my kid.

Dec 23 2018 • 93 min
Angela Benedict is a YouTuber with around 50,000 followers. She is also my cousin. She and I have led separate, but eerily parallel lives, always staying in touch but just out of reach. This is what happened when we finally sat down and talked about our pasts.

The Fat One
Dec 18 2018 • 65 min
I sit down with my wife as she fields questions about me, my weight loss, and our family. We manage to stay married.

From the Neck Up
Dec 09 2018 • 93 min
Lisa Sharon Belkin wrote the book on cooking for yourself and others after bariatric surgery. Literally, she wrote a book. It's called Comfort Cooking for Bariatric Post Ops and Everyone Else, and it looks delicious.

Dec 03 2018 • 86 min
Jay returns from a somewhat harrowing Thanksgiving break to talk to Elissa Maxwell, a 36 year old nurse from Iowa who had gastric bypass surgery in July and has lost 130 lbs. We talked about her rare and terrifying health concerns, her past abusive relationships, and her cat.

A Very Special Thanksgiving
Nov 22 2018 • 69 min
It's Thanksgiving! Show regular Michael Buckley returns to dissect the best side dishes, the worst topics of conversation, and tips for getting through the Holiday without qualifying as a float in the Parade.

Nov 20 2018 • 78 min
Kathy Rodriguez is not Mexican. Everyone always thinks she is. But Kathy has really made a habit of not being who you think she should be. Through a difficult childhood, a devastating loss, and a littany of health issues, Kathy has managed to remain endlessly optimistic. Her positive attitude will make you feel bad about yourself. But in a good way. This week's BariatricPal contest: Go to either Or And leave the beeeest five star review you can muster for the podcast. One reviewer will win a free BariatricPal Box!

Nov 12 2018 • 109 min
You know that I like Sam Worthley because she told me she doesn't like lasagna and I continued the conversation. She's a dental hygienist from South Dakota who lived in Alaska for a year, lost 70 lbs, and spends most of her days surrounded by gigantic dogs. She opened up to me about the frustration and heartbreak of infertility, and inspired me with her determination to stay positive and productive.

The Middle Bits
Nov 04 2018 • 119 min
Shelley Swann checks a lot of boxes: lost 120 lbs, survived an abusive relationship, had a complicated situation with her family, and has a hard time understanding her relationship with food. But, regardless of the boxes she may check, Shelley doesn't fit inside of a box at all. She is a strong, independent, HYSTERICAL woman with a kick ass Australian accent who is in the process of launching "The Middle Bits", a platform for women in the middle part of their lives to connect and provide each other support.

A Very Special Halloween
Oct 30 2018 • 57 min
Join me and special guest Michael Buckley of Buckley Body Solutions as we dissect the most decadent day of the year. We discuss the absurdity of sending our children out to panhandle in our neighborhoods, the truth about those candy poisonings, how Hocus Pocus is overrated (fight me), and those costumes in a box that cut the sh*t out of your face.

Oct 28 2018 • 95 min
Alex Brecher is the CEO and founder of BariatricPal, the world's largest weight loss surgery forum. He has also had bariatric surgery. Three times. Yep. He started Bariatric Pal because he didn't feel he had the support he needed online or off. Years later, the small forums he created have spawned a giant, AMAZING online store at, and a Hospital dedicated solely to Bariatric and Plastic Surgery. Also, he's just a cool guy with a great story. BariatricPal is The Lighter Side's newest sponsor, and I couldn't be happier! Please visit their store and use the code "lighterside15" for a 15% discount.

Don't Ring the Bell
Oct 22 2018 • 95 min
Wesley McCoy used to weigh over 400 lbs. Now he competes in triathlons. His weight loss journey has been full of meal preparation and self-realization. Somewhere in the middle of his dramatic weight loss, he managed to become one of Weight Watcher's Connect's most visible posters,to help create the #wwbros, and to train for and compete in TRIATHLONS.

Swallow the Noodles
Oct 14 2018 • 102 min
Mathew Harrington, a 31 year old American transplant, found himself on the floor of his apartment in China, unable to move. He screamed until his throat bled, and a neighbor finally came to his rescue. This wasn't even close to the beginning, or the end, of his story.

Basta Pasta
Oct 07 2018 • 86 min
How did Capicolla come to be called Gabagool?

The Dad
Sep 30 2018 • 102 min
The first time J. Matthew Nespoli ever took an opioid, he took it from a drug balloon that his girlfriend had smuggled across the border. In her body. Years later, he kicked his opioid habit by taking an obscure hallucinogenic he heard about on a podcast. All of J. Matthew Nespoli's stories are like this. Somewhere along the line he has managed to build and sell a successful physical therapy business, write two books (including "Daddy vs. the Suck Monster" available on Kindle Unlimited), and create an online persona called "The Dad"( , dedicated to "parents who drink, cuss, and love their kids."

Dana Rae
Sep 23 2018 • 93 min
Dana Rae Gutierrez is likely the coolest grandmother you have ever met. She has lived through addiction, abuse, depression, and extreme health issues, and has somehow managed to come out the other side even stronger. She's lost a bunch of weight, but that's probably about the least interesting thing about her.

American Drug Addict
Sep 16 2018 • 101 min
Brett Douglas wrote one of the most raw and unflinching drug memoirs I've ever read. His stories are as brutally insane as you would imagine, but what really made his memoir stand out among the rest for me was his relentless self-awareness and biting insightfulness into his own psyche. He brought that insight, as well as his over 2 years of sobriety, with him when he did me the honor of shooting the shit with me for 90 minutes. We get into the craziness, the sobriety, the infuriating nature of social media, and the inescapable similarities between drug and food addiction

Keto Kate
Sep 09 2018 • 94 min
Kate Jaramillo aka "Keto Kate" is the founder and owner of KetogenicLiving101, a website and lifestyle focused around the increasingly popular Keto Diet. Kate talked to me about the diet, its origins, and its somewhat cultish following. Kate answers all of the most common questions about the diet (is it sustainable? is it Atkins? is there such a thing as too much bacon?), and manages to achieve the seemingly impossible goal of being a Keto Dietician without making you feel like you've done something wrong by not following Keto.

Sep 03 2018 • 90 min
Jonathan Giordano, aka Mudhustler, was an unassuming, socially-anxious, overweight owner of a concrete company in Massachusetts when he began posting his recipes on social media. Before he knew it, he was chatting with Oprah and quickly becoming one of the most recognized names in weight loss.

Bionic Bitch feat. Jenny Bee
Jul 29 2018 • 94 min
Jenny Bee returns for another bullshitting session. We talk about racism. We talk about addiction. We talk about how much weight we've both lost since having surgery, and how our lives have dramatically changed. But most of all, it's just a good, old-fashioned Jenny and Jay mess around

Jul 22 2018 • 34 min
For the 25th episode of The Lighter Side, I decided to take on my most difficult subject yet. She has gone from 4 lbs, 8 oz to 43 lbs in almost 6 years, and refuses to listen to anything I say to her. Of all the transformations I’ve had on this show, this one is the most brutal. Because it feels like it happened over night, and I’ve seen the whole thing first hand. Please join me and my daughter as we discuss such topics as why JoJo Siwa is trash, who sings the better lullabies at night, and how I am just not good at being good. Presented without interruption (but with the constant sound of a chair squeaking) by Palm Insurance (

Jul 15 2018 • 86 min
15 or so years ago, Doug Orleski and I sang and danced for a living. We haven't really spoken since, and 2 wives, four kids, 5 or 6 careers, and about 150 lbs has gone by. Now, Doug is a successful graphic designer and the owner and operator of RVA Coffee Stain, a custom art company, where he creates unique and charming prints, MANY of which have to do with food. (subconscious much?) Doug is fresh off of a 55 lb weight loss, and we talk about everything from how he dramatically changed his lifestyle to those awful youtube videos where kids open toys. Check out Doug's work at Sponsored by Comprehensive Cranium Care ( and Digital Effex (

Jul 08 2018 • 89 min
It’s not every day you get to talk to a self-indentified “basic bitch”, who covets Pumpkin Spice Lattes by day, and is the head of a Burlesque Troupe by night. Skylar Hansford is full of these contradictions, and that’s what makes her so completely bad ass. She’s the mother of a 2 year old, a pinup girl, a former addict, a survivor of abuse, and a diehard fan of Law and Order SVU. Join us as we talk about her post-baby weight loss, her affinity for baristas, and how she has worked tirelessly to reclaim her body and show other women how to do the same. Check out Skylar’s instagram at: Check out Skylar’s Burlesque Troupe, “The Radar Dames Burlesque” at: Sponsored by Comprehensive Cranium Care ( and Digital Effex (

Lamb Shank
Jul 01 2018 • 92 min
Joe Arcabascio returns to the podcast after his thrilling performance in Episode 2. We talk about what it’s like to be on maintenance, intermittent fasting, stealing porn from video stores, and, of course, Taylor Swift. Sponsored by Comprehensive Cranium Care ( and Digital Effex ( Follow the show’s instagram at

Whoop Whoop
Jun 24 2018 • 87 min
When the conversation starts with, " I was raised in the circus", you know it's going to be good. Stacy Earl's experience living a circus did not end when the big top came down. As a recovering addict, her journey has been wrought with adversity, instability, and, thankfully, recovery. Oh, and she lost a bunch of weight too. Now almost 4 years sober, Stacy talks candidly about her past, and optimistically about her future.

Chalk and Cheese
Jun 17 2018 • 82 min
Liv Walde is, simply put, a true warrior. When chaos and tragedy struck at a young age, Liv turned to something she felt she could control. Her body. Unlike most of the stories I’ve had on the podcast, Liv didn’t overeat for comfort. Instead, she began a years long battle with anorexia. When she was 14 years old, Liv weighed 77 lbs. She was told she would not make it to 16. Today, she is a happy, healthy, intelligent 20 year old. Fully recovered, and working to become an advocate for mental health and eating disorders. My talk with Liv is a true testament to the power of conversation. The ability to reach out across the world and connect with someone whose journey is so different, and, yet, so similar. Take a listen to the other side of the coin.

Homes by Holmes
Jun 10 2018 • 83 min
Andrew Holmes is kind of an asshole. But, he's working on it. As a certified personal trainer, Andrew uses a tough love approach that is embraced by some, and hated with the fire of ten million suns by others. We discuss why his approach caused one of the biggest Facebook Group riffs in modern history. Andrew fields such questions as, "Why are you the way that you are?" and "How dare you?" We also manage to discuss fitness and nutrition, as well as Andrew's own journey to a healthy lifestyle.

Jun 03 2018 • 87 min
The always fabulous Jenny Bee joins me to discuss our lives after surgery, insect phobias, depression, addiction, and Roseanne.

May 27 2018 • 105 min
Tammy Duncan's 150 lb weight loss is, by far, the least dramatic part of her journey. Tammy is a widowed mother of 2, living in Washington and working as a speech pathologist. She is also one of the most brave and honest people I have ever had the pleasure of speaking with. She is a survivor of sexual assault. Her husband took his own life. She has persevered and created a wonderful life for herself and her children. This episode is slightly longer than some others because there was not one word I could live without. Please listen to every second. You will not regret it.

Stretchy Pants
May 20 2018 • 73 min
I talk to Jennifer Tracy, a NJ transplant living in Las Vegas who has survived botched surgeries, partial paralysis, and extreme weight gain. Jennifer is a walking example of how you can never tell what is going on with someone, no matter how together he or she may seem.

A Different World
May 13 2018 • 53 min
24 year old Whitley Clemente sits down with Jay to discuss her decision to have the duodenal switch at 21 years old and the (several) surgeries that followed. Whitley lived through doctors not believing in antibiotics or pain meds and managed to lose 175 lbs. One. Hundred. And Seventy. Five. Pounds.

May 10 2018 • 49 min
Charles Kwiatkowski talks to Jay about his massive weight loss. Charles is somewhat ambivalent about his decision to undergo the duodenal switch, and he discusses the good, bad, and ugly of his choice. This episode is sponsored by Team Elliot. Elliot is a 6 year old Superhero. He was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis as an infant, and has been fighting ever since. Please consider a donation to Team Elliot to help Elliot and the others afflicted with TS find a cure.

Balls (Bariatric Interlude)
May 06 2018 • 66 min
I sit down with Nicole Perkins, badass mother of two who is rocking a lapband like it's her job. When she's not trying to keep her teenaged sons from walking around flapping in the breeze, Nicole is running 5Ks and maintaining a 100+ lb weight loss. Sponsored by C3- Comprehensive Cranium Care and DigitalEffex Music by Jared Mancuso and Remember Jones

Bariatric Bonanza Part 2: Bariatricker
Apr 26 2018 • 97 min
Jay sits down with 3 Bariatric Patients who have had wildly different experiences: 2 Sleeves and a Bypass.

A quick update
Apr 19 2018 • 6 min
Just a short post-op update from Jay.

Bariatric Bonanza Part 1: Pre-Op
Apr 13 2018 • 58 min
Jenny Bee and I are both getting bariatric surgery next week. We talk about the downs and downs of the pre-op liquid diet and field questions about the worst two weeks of our lives for your general entertainment.

You've Come a Long Way, Kid
Apr 06 2018 • 79 min
I sit down with two powerful, inspirational women who have overcome tremendous hurdles and come out the other side stronger, wiser, and leaner.

"Go Slow"
Mar 30 2018 • 84 min
Anthony D'Amato, my dear friend and former eating partner. shed 215 lbs in one year. Then the hard part started. Listen to his incredibly inspiring story and learn how he came to be known as Remember Jones, a tour de force musician with a stage show unlike any other.

Sit on a Cactus
Mar 22 2018 • 80 min
I sit down with Anne-Mieke Bovelett, a nerd, chef, and owner and operator of She has lost over 75 lbs. Or kilos. One of those. We talk about Holland, dreadlocks, and how food almost literally talks to her.

Egotistical Ass
Mar 15 2018 • 81 min
Jenny Bee stops by and turns the tables on me. If you have ever wondered who this "with Jay" character is, we get way into it this week.

"I don't even like sports"
Mar 09 2018 • 81 min
I sit down with Michael Buckley, a Certified Personal Trainer, unapologetic WWE fan, and my best friend.

Just like a Doctor
Mar 02 2018 • 57 min
I sit down with Kashif Anwar, an MD board certified in Obesity Medicine, to discuss the role the medical profession does and doesn't play in weight loss.

"There's like...luggage"
Feb 23 2018 • 52 min
I sat down with Joanne Pollicella, a badass chick who has lost 130 lbs and is a total Crossfit beast.

"I ate a bagel..."
Feb 15 2018 • 52 min
I sit down with Joe Arcabascio, a father of 2 who dropped 155 lbs. We talk about roller coasters, fat brain, and changing 2XL shirts to 3XL shirts.

"Black People Love Jesus"
Feb 09 2018 • 38 min
My good friend Jenny Bee sits down with me to talk bariatric surgery, being on top, and Jesus.

In Which a Secret is Revealed
Feb 02 2018 • 11 min
Jay tells a secret in order to bait you to subscribe

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