One man’s lifelong weight loss battle turned into the creation of a supportive Facebook community, then a podcast, and monetized content. He’s sharing his health story and detailing how that led to becoming a paid content creator.
Jay Casale is a lifelong performer and educator who lost almost 200 pounds after having bariatric surgery in 2018. After struggling with his weight for most of his life, Jay sought out an online community designed for those who were dealing with the same weight loss issues. When his experience with Facebook groups was less than great, he started his own Facebook Group, The Lighter Side of Weight Loss with Jay, where anyone struggling with weight loss can find everything but judgement. Today, Jay’s group has grown to over 20,000 members, his daily Podcast just reached 100 episodes in 100 days, and he’s turned his personal journey into monetized content.
Jay spent most of his childhood as the “the chubby kid”. He was able to keep his weight stable through high school and then past trauma resurfaced during college that damaged his mental health, causing him to quickly gain 100 pounds. This experience led Jay down a hard path of struggling with weight loss. A seemingly endless cycle, Jay spent his days trying any weight loss trend out there – looking to find the magic solution for finally keeping the weight off without quickly gaining it back.
An important part of his journey was sharing his story and finding community. He joined popular Facebook groups, but soon realized that people were tearing each other down, instead of supporting each other. He decided that he could do better, and created The Lighter Side of Weight Loss with Jay, a community of over 20,000 people.
About a year later, when the birth of his second child caused enough stress for him to lose any progress he had already made, Jay made a life-changing realization- that he wanted to undergo weight loss surgery. In 2018, Jay had Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery (VSG) and has never looked back. He changed his eating habits, started exercising regularly, and the weight fell off.
Sharing his story was just getting started. Jay launched his Podcast, The Lighter Side, where he made the announcement about his life-changing decision. His first episode earned over 2,000 downloads – a massive success for a new podcast. Why did it work? He says he built a community who he openly shared his story with, built a connection, and when he was ready to release content – they ate it up. He continues to share inspiring stories daily on his podcast, and will keep it up until there are no stories to tell. (Listen to Tamika’s interview on The Essential Lighter Side!)
What else can you expect in this episode?
- Why Jay saw himself “Yo-Yo Dieting” and the mindset that makes it so easy to fall into.
- The lightbulb moment when he decided he wanted to have surgery and the hardest part of that experience.
- The ways losing weight changed Jay’s life for the better.
- The business side of things, and how Jay was able to build a successful online presence.
- The power of sharing a story.
Where to find Jay and The Lighter Side:
- Visit and join his Facebook Group, The Lighter Side of Weight Loss – With Jay
- Listen to his podcast, The Lighter Side
- Find Jay on Instagram
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