The Lighter Side

The Lighter Side
Real Stories of TransformationEach week, host Jay Casale* tries to work out his own sh*t by talking to people about their sh*t. Guests include people who have lost weight, addicts in recovery, authors, musicians, tech gurus, actors, you get the point. …

Feb 16 • 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 • 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…
Males and Weight Loss
Feb 16 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 6, 2019 • 3 min
Season 4 is coming in the New Year!!
Me And Jenny Bee- Season 3 FInale
Oct 8, 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 8, 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 1, 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 21, 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…
Martha Duke
Jul 7, 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…
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…
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 2, 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…
State of the Podcast
May 5, 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 21, 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 7, 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…
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…
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…
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…
Liquid Shano
Feb 3, 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,…
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…
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…
The Fat One
Dec 17, 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 9, 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 2, 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…
A Very Special Thanksgiving
Nov 21, 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…
Nov 11, 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…
The Middle Bits
Nov 4, 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…
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…
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…
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…
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,…
Basta Pasta
Oct 7, 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.…
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…
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…
Keto Kate
Sep 9, 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…
Sep 3, 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…
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,…
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…
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…
Jul 8, 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…
Lamb Shank
Jul 1, 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…
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,…
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…
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…
Jun 3, 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…
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…
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…
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…
Balls (Bariatric Interlude)
May 6, 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.…
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 6, 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…
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 9, 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 2, 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 9, 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 2, 2018 • 11 min
Jay tells a secret in order to bait you to subscribe