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How A Plus-Size Latina Model is Using Social Media to Encourage Women to Be Healthy

After her marriage fell apart and her son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, plus size model Rosie Mercado turned to food. The plus size model hit 410 pounds before being forced to face her weight gain. She took back her life and the transformation has been captured on her Instagram.

Rosie Mercado is a plus size model on a mission to get healthy…not skinny.

A photo posted by ROSIE | MERCADO (@rosiemercado) on

A shocking wake up call motivated her to start changing her life.

Raw Fitness

A video posted by ROSIE | MERCADO (@rosiemercado) on

She surrounded herself with a great support system from her trainer…

With trainer Justin Blum raw fitness #blessed

A photo posted by ROSIE | MERCADO (@rosiemercado) on

To her son who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Never let what other think of you hold you back!! ?? proud of my son Valentino

A video posted by ROSIE | MERCADO (@rosiemercado) on

Rosie stayed dedicated to her weight loss journey and credits her discipline for the transformation.

She was never shy to admit when she was feeling tempted.

What should I have !!! GREEN JUICE back to it ❤️??

A video posted by ROSIE | MERCADO (@rosiemercado) on

And temptation is especially challenging during a kid’s birthday party. ??

Well, eating healthy is tough with kids.

Ice cream

A video posted by ROSIE | MERCADO (@rosiemercado) on

Through it all, Rosie stayed focused on her overall goal no matter how hard it got.

The moment my trainer tells me not to give to keep going Think about the results #relentless

A photo posted by ROSIE | MERCADO (@rosiemercado) on

She celebrated all the little milestones that eventually led her to where she is now.

5 pounds down! #rawfitness

A photo posted by ROSIE | MERCADO (@rosiemercado) on

Rosie’s strong commitment has helped her shed 210 pounds.

Hey guys it's @the_beautiful26 my mom is on her grind again gym and meal prepping! ??

A photo posted by ROSIE | MERCADO (@rosiemercado) on

Her family has been there to cheer her on the entire time.

Amazing time working out with my family

A photo posted by ROSIE | MERCADO (@rosiemercado) on

And it looks like her journey and dedication are definitely paying off.

Omg!! Riding a bike first time in 10 years at my cousins house!! #happy #weight loss #transform #Latina @mongoosebikes

A video posted by ROSIE | MERCADO (@rosiemercado) on

Share this story with your friends and family and remember that no journey is impossible if you put your mind to it.

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This Latino In His Sixties Spent Half Of His Life Behind Bars, Now He’s Graduating College With Honors

Things That Matter

This Latino In His Sixties Spent Half Of His Life Behind Bars, Now He’s Graduating College With Honors

Photo via Facebook/Miguel de la Rosa

Once in a while, a story comes along that makes you realize that the phrase “you can do anything you put your mind to”, isn’t just an old cliche. One California Latino man proved that the phrase has some truth behind it.

62-year-old Joseph Valadez just graduated with honors from Cal State Long Beach after spending the half of his adult life behind bars.

Valadez’s story went viral when one of his fellow students tweeted about the California Latino man’s incredible story. “This man accomplished something incredible AND took the coldest pic of 2021,” said that caption.

The post is a screenshot of a Facebook post Valadez wrote, accompanied by some stunning graduation photos of the 62-year-old.

“I finished my last two semester at Long Beach on the ‘President’s Honor List’ for making straight As,” wrote Valadez on the CSULB alumni Facebook group. “Was also on the Dean’s List with a GPA of 3.67. Not bad for someone who spent half his adult life in prison.”

“There’s a misconception about guys like me that I want to break,” he added. “If I can do it, anyone can.”

Since the picture went viral, Valadez opened up about the journey that took him from rock bottom to where he is now.

Like many people in the prison system, addiction fueled Valadez’s life of crime. In an interview with Long Beach Post, he revealed that he began using heroine when he first joined the army at the age of 18.

“All the crimes I did were related to trying to get drugs, selling drugs,” the California Latino man told the Long Beach Post. He would spend 38 years of his life battling addiction.

After that, his life spiraled into a cycle of addiction, homelessness, violence, and crime. In total, Valadez has been to prison 40 times. He has spent more than 30 years behind bars.

Valadez finally decided to change his life in his 50s, when he realized that if he kept living this way, he would die soon.

In 2013, Valadez checked into an adult rehab facility. He stayed there for a year while he got clean. Soon after, he enrolled in Orange Coast Community College before ultimately transferring to Cal State Long Beach. In total, it took six years of challenging coursework for him to graduate. But from the look of pride in Valadez’s face, it was worth it.

Throughout his journey in the educational system, however, Valadez has discovered all the ways that the system failed him. Despite getting good grades in high school, teachers didn’t suggest college as an option for him. Instead, they suggested he pursue landscaping or construction. Similarly, when Valadez bounced in and out of jail due to his addiction, no one ever suggested rehab as a way for him to break the cycle.

Now, Valadez wants to take the lessons he learned and give back to his community.

At CSULB, Valadez excelled in sociology, and was interested in exploring how the criminal justice system is set up to target people of color. “I know a little bit about that subject because I lived it,” he said. “I wanted to understand the ‘why?’.” As of now, he is waiting to see if he gets accepted into CSULB’s Social Work masters program.

Valadez wants to use his new degree to help young kids who are at-risk of being failed by the system, like he was. “I’m going to inspire somebody, I’m going to motivate somebody, I’m going to give somebody hope,” he said. “That’s what I’m supposed to do.”

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JLo Celebrates 20 Years Of “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” By Perfectly Recreating The Iconic Music Video

Entertainment

JLo Celebrates 20 Years Of “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” By Perfectly Recreating The Iconic Music Video

It’s been twenty (20!) years since Jennifer Lopez’s iconic album J.Lo debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. Since then, a lot has happened for the “Let’s Get Loud” international pop icon, not to mention the world.

But to help us all take a stroll down memory lane, J Lo recreated the music video for “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” and it’s honestly perfection. And perhaps kinda strange, since honestly, Lopez doesn’t look any different!

Jennifer Lopez celebrates the 20th anniversary of her album J.Lo in the best way possible.

JLo took us back over the weekend, all the way back to 2001, in honor of her second album J.Lo, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary. The singer re-created a moment from the “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” music video to celebrate the last two decades.

J.Lo specifically re-created the scenes on the beach where she discards her possessions and most of her clothes. This time around, she even threw her bracelet into the sand. And while she stopped short of replicating the original video’s ending in which she took her shirt off while walking into the sea, J.Lo ended her micro-update of the clip with a fake-out nodding to that original ending.

“As I reflect on the fact that it’s the #JLo20thAnniversary, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for being with me, loving me and supporting me through all the ups and downs,” Lopez captioned a second post. “Thank you so much for all the love over the past 20 years!! I love you so much!!”

It’s obvious that JLo herself knows just how iconic the song is – which is why, in another Instagram post she ended her caption with the hashtag #MyLoveDontCostAThing.

And, in case you were wondering, this is the original video from 2001.

The original music video was also a work of heart that did justice to the now and forever iconic song.

Her new take on the classic video has also spurred the #LoveDontCostAThingChallenge on social media.

While some tried their best to meet J Lo’s challenge, others pointed out that this must be a rich person’s challenge. I mean, not many of us are going to be ripping off our non-existent diamond jewelery and throwing it into the ocean or sand.

Lopez has a big year ahead of her and we can’t wait to follow along.

It’s been twenty years since J.Lo hit the charts so obviously a lot has happened for the pop star. Most recently, she performed “This Land Is Your Land” at the 2021 presidential inauguration. But she’s just getting started. This year, we can expect so much more, including a new rom-com called Marry Me with Maluma coming out on Valentine’s Day 2021.

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