Weighing 386 pounds, Jesus Segura wasn’t happy with his weight, but he had been heavy all of his life. After high school he remembers gaining even more weight when he stopped playing sports, but continued to eat like an athlete. Thanks to a friend and a painfully honest conversation, Jesus realized that he had to make a significant lifestyle change before he left his wife and children all alone.
Now, 156 pounds thinner, Jesus is using his new-found energy level to inspire others and tackle one of his deepest fears, public speaking.
I would skip meals, specifically breakfast. Then I would overeat at lunch and dinner.
We hear this from people all the time, and it breaks our heart. Skipping meals is never a good idea. Bodies need to be fueled by a steady stream of healthy calories and nutrients all day long. In addition, Jesus became depressed, which led to drinking, and even more overeating.
The thought of leaving my kids fatherless at a young age made me think long and hard about my lifestyle.
On their way to a concert, Jesus’ best friend and former roommate expressed concern over Jesus’ significant weight gain telling him that he was destined for a heart attack. Though it stung, Jesus knew his friend was simply trying to help, and his words struck a nerve. Jesus started a walking regimen the next day.
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Support systems are nice to have when you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle. For the past few years, the Twitter world has offered information and a support network for people who may not have found it IRL (in real life). By adding a certain hashtag to your tweet, you can instantly join with the most supportive and trusted weight loss resources online.
We’ve found a few Twitter memes, or communities, that have really grown to be the go-to resources for socially supported weight loss, fitness, and health. Not only do you get a virtual support group, but accountability, guidance, and access to resources are part of the package, or rather hashtag.
The running community is brought together on #runchat, organized by @RunningBecause and @iRunnerBlog. Whether a beginner or marathoner, there is a place for you at #RunChat. About one million people unite on this trending topic on Twitter. Followers benefit from a sense of a community that cares deeply about the sport of running and are willing to share information with each other. Join this Twitter community on #RunChat on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month at 8pm EST.
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If you’re involved at all in the online healthy living community – whether you’re a blogger, blog reader or general fitness enthusiast – you’ve likely heard of FitFluential. As a blogger and fitness geek myself, I’d seen the name pop up numerous times online without realizing what it was. This week I had the pleasure of speaking with the woman behind the whole movement – owner and CEO of FitFluential, Kelly Olexa.
Olexa, 43, lives in Chicago and founded the company in April 2011 after seeing an opportunity for an online fitness community and realizing she was uniquely suited for the job. “I’d been working in sales for a social media agency and found myself drawn to helping out with the blogger relations side of things,” she said. “I also observed that, although there was no shortage of ‘Mommy Blogger’ or ‘Foodie Blogger’ networks, no one had effectively developed a digital network for fitness influencers. Furthermore, the networks that were in existence all seemed to be functioning in an ad network model, which is one that I find to be the least effective manner of promoting a brand’s product or service.”
With experience as a fitness blogger and brand influencer for big name companies like Ford, Sears, and Polar USA, Olexa set out to build her own network in hopes that it would provide a nice additional, part-time income. Instead, the company grew so quickly without any investment or PR that she was forced to quit her full-time job by August 2011 just four months after FitFluential’s launch. “We had brands inquiring about our pricing and I had not even established price points,” she said. “That was a huge ‘wow’ moment for us.”
Olexa now employs a four-person executive team and leads more than 1,000 FitFluential ambassadors and 7,000-plus members overall. She estimates that FitFluential is currently reaching more than 150 million people online each month, inspiring people to live healthier more active lives day in and day out.
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