By: Rick Bellanti – 11/20

In this new age of Social Media that surrounds us in our daily life with the likes Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Tik Tok, it’s a miracle that anyone gets any work done anymore. From the President of the United States with daily tweets to my fourteen-year-old daughter posting cat videos on YouTube, it’s now part of our daily lives. It’s time we learn to embrace it and use it to our advantage.

I have used social media to my advantage many times (even taking online ukulele lessons from YouTube). I have a health and wellness Facebook page (Getting Healthy with Rick Bellanti) as well as a Tumblr blog page where you can read all my past columns conveniently on one page. There is a wealth of information out there right at our fingertips 24/7, so no more waiting for libraries to open or pulling out the old dusty encyclopedias when researching.

Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram can help you when you are starting a wellness program and being transparent and honest publicly will help keep you accountable and also get you the support from friends doing the same. Sometimes, the problem is that people around you do not support what you are trying to do. They don’t understand because they are not having the same problems that you are having and everyone knows having a support system is crucial for changes in lifestyle and successful weight loss. It is very hard to do it on your own and stick to it, but now you can visit Facebook pages with the same healthy interests you have and make friends with similar interests and goals as well. On days when you feel overwhelmed as if your goals are impossible, your Internet weight loss community can help you.

Twitter can also be an effective tool in a weight loss program because of the increased access to instant sharing, accountability, and social support. Updates in real time that followers can comment on and re-tweet is very helpful when posting diet or workout tips that can help others. TikTok is fun and you can post quick video updates on your journey and even workout tips. Studies have recently shown that people with stronger social media connections use these online relationships as an exchange of ideas, encouragement, accountability and motivation, showing greater weight loss and positive outcomes.

As you see your success happening, a healthier, slimmer or toner you, don’t be afraid to share it with your followers. Post your before and after pictures, send out Instagram photos and get yourself out there to inspire others. It will also help to see your old self when you start to feel like you need motivation to keep going, just look back at your pictures to see how far you’ve come (and don’t forget to celebrate your successes). When you post pictures of yourself on social media websites, your followers have a chance to congratulate you on your success; this can work as an incredible motivator for you because public recognition serves as a great motivating force in our society today.
I use my personal Facebook page to post things such as workout tips, before and after photos, healthy recipes and give helpful advice for those that reach out to me with questions. Sometimes people just need a little inspiration to help them along with their own wellness journeys. I try to surround myself with positive uplifting people and get inspired almost on a daily basis from the same people that say I inspire them.

So, post about signing up for a weight loss program or joining a gym. Adapting a new lifestyle or weight loss program is not an easy task to take on by yourself. Let your online community help you adjust to the new you and inspire you. There is no doubt that social media sites can help you live healthier and reach your weight loss goals and you just never know who you will inspire in return.
Rick Bellanti is a wellness columnist and is on a journey himself to lose 240lbs, and has lost 140lbs since the start of 2015. You can find Rick on Facebook at: Getting Healthy with Rick Bellanti ◊