Most use Facebook to stay connected to friends, family, and colleagues. However, there’s a new use for the popular social networking site that’s helping people slim down, shape up, and start getting fit.
Meredith Prince is a former student at the University of South Florida, who currently lives in Rochester, New York. She’s struggled with her weight her entire life and recently decided to do something about it.
“I was so unhappy on so many different levels,” Prince said. “I remember one day I was at a friend’s house and we were watching The Biggest Loser. Her mom said to me, ‘Oh, Meredith, you should go on that show! You’d be great!’ That was a wakeup call for me.”
That’s when she made the decision to make a change and start getting serious about losing weight. Having tried nearly every diet that’s out there, Prince knew she needed to take a different approach this time around. That’s the reason why she turned to the internet and created a “weight loss” page on Facebook.
“I first thought about creating a blog but for me, Facebook has all the tools I wanted,” she said. “I can upload videos, pictures and blog all in one place while getting feedback and comments from my friends.”
A month and a half ago is when she first created the page. Prince says she would never have predicted the massive response she received.
“I didn’t even know this community existed but it’s so wonderful,” said Prince. “I’ve met some great people and would consider them dear friends.”
For Prince, it’s all about the support system. She says the Facebook page has helped her stay accountable.
“My whole family is healthy and average weight, so they’ve never been able to connect with me,” she said. “To find these people who are going through the same struggles is a huge help.”
But it doesn’t work if you don’t tell the truth. Prince could easily become too busy to update her page after visiting a vending machine. However, she says that would defeat the purpose behind creating the page in the first place.
“I weighed 383 pounds at my heaviest and I’m at 304 right now,” said Prince. “I have no problem putting that out there and saying, ‘Yeah, that’s me.’”
Prince credits the Facebook page with helping her lose 26 pounds in the past 45 days. But she still has a long way to go. Her goal weight is 155 and she says her newfound “friends” are the only way she’ll ever make it there.
“It’s no longer a diet to me. It’s just part of my life,” Prince said. “It’s not easy one bit, but the success is so worth it.”