Thursday, June 5, 2014

Giving Birth to The #LiveALittle Project with the Help of Online Dating

Getting more active in a new city was exciting. Kansas City wasn't really a new city it just felt like it. I actually grew up about 70 miles away but like everyone else from my hometown I only really knew the surface of Kansas City. During my new personal active #LiveALittle lifestyle, of trying new things and getting out more, I discovered museums, festivals, restaurants, and other cool things, but I was doing it alone. Most of my friends from my hometown didn't come to Kansas City that often and my trips to Topeka were becoming less and less. My anticipation for weekends was amazing. I couldn't wait to do something new, and I was losing weight. Yep, pounds were falling off me.

The weight loss was motivated by a flight to Las Vegas on a Southwest Airlines jet.  I weighed right around 405lbs. Do you know what they have on airplanes that don't fit around 400lbs+ people? Seat belts. Asking the flight attendant for a seat belt extender was horribly embarrassing. I promised myself during that uncomfortable flight that I would never have to ask again for the extender.

Weight was falling off me, I was 70-80lb. lighter, and more active in the city. It was time to start dating again. I had used online dating in the past but it wasn't nearly as popular as it was when I decided to do it again. Wow, there were a ton more people logged in. This was going to be interesting. I wrote a pretty humble but yet, I thought, entertaining profile and added a few recent pics of myself highlighting my weight loss. 

"Well, I'm Joey. Been a Kansas City resident for a little over 3 years. Love that Kansas City always has something going on, rather it's concerts, active parks, and festivals. 
I actively try to live my life a little bit more every single day. Learn something new, trying something outside my comfort zone, or meeting new people. 
I love positive motivated people. I'm drawn to those who also are on a path of constant self discovery. 
I work marketing. 
I love beautiful smiles and positivity. 
I love sports but I don't have to sit in front of a tv for hours.
I love road trips. Memphis is a destination a few times a year."

Shauna & I
I connected with some pretty cool women online. I met one lady who kicked ass. I don't remember what started the conversation with but she was going through the same transformations I was. She was trying to also live a little bit more everyday too. We had a few conversations online and eventually we became Facebook friends.  Watching Shauna's posts coming through my Facebook news feed was impressive. She was on fire with the #LiveALittle lifestyle. She also, like me, started attracting others that wanted to make a change but didn't know where to start. I had found my first peer in a challenging part of my life. Shauna and I were forces to be reckoned with. Soon I started meeting others just like Shauna and adding them as friends on Facebook and suggesting them to connect with Shauna as well. Justine was one of the first too. Talk about a girl that was kicking ass. Justine and Shauna were two peas in a pod when it came to motivation. These girls were my rocks. Then came Kevin (already knew Kevin and nope didn't meet him through online dating) and Amie. My network was becoming larger on Facebook with motivating people that were wanting, and were living, the #LiveALittle lifestyle.  About this time is when I started really preaching my personal #LiveALittle promises and invited all my new friends to join in.

1. become a healthier more active person.
2. don't sit around complaining to be bored. Make a life. Get out and do things. You have no right at all to complain about being bored.
3. stop making excuses. All excuses. Stop lying to yourself.
4. cut all negativity from your life. Situations, people, choices, vices, you name it.
5. Inspire others to find a #LiveALittle lifestyle and make the same five promises to themselves

Out of all of this new networking a private group page on Facebook was born titled "The #LiveALittle Project". Here was a private community posting board on the biggest website in the history where new friends can ask questions, post accomplishments, vent when they need to push the restart button and share it all with amazing peers understanding exactly what they are going through. It was labeled a "Project" because we quite didn't know exactly what it would grow into. A true human/social networking project. Soon the few members of the project we did have started asking if they could invite others they knew into the private group claiming that the inspiration, dedication and motivation that was being displayed could help out tons more. 

 The project started to grow....and grow....and GROW. Today that little private group has grown into 625 members reaching across the country and a few in Canada. Members are still being added. If The #LiveALittle Project is something you need in your life all you need to do is three things; 

  • Make the 5 #LiveALittle Promises (see above)
  • Add me on Facebook so I can add you to the project. Click my name ---> Joey Little
  • Send me a message on Facebook letting me know that you'd like to join. 

Next time; how my life turned into selfies, 5K training, and a brand new way to use Facebook.