ST. LOUIS — There are people throughout the St Louis area who are considered “influencers.” Jennifer Matus is one of them.
She has thousands of followers on social media, and she’s using her platforms to inspire people to make change in their lives by showing them the change she’s trying to make in her own life. Matus is putting herself out there and holding nothing back.
“Being real and honest,” she said.
Matus is making her real struggle to lose weight public.
“God, I wish I could just lose this jiggle,” she said in one of her social media posts.
She once weighed more than 350 pounds and knew she had to do something.
“It was just a cycle that kept going, going and going,” she told 5 On Your Side.
But it took a heartbreaking breakup for her to finally wake up.
“He needed to be with somebody who lives a healthy lifestyle, and I was not that person,” Matus said. “If he thinks that about me who else does?”
Just over two years ago she started working out and eating better. Matus even got involved in one of those online fitness challenges.
“They want me to post photos of myself on the internet and I was scared,” she said.
But those photos fueled her motivation.
“I can be better. I can do better.”
She started posting her pics on social media to make sure she kept getting better and stayed on track.
“I started the account because I needed accountability and that is what I failed at for so, so many years,” Matus said.
She said she is blown away by the number of followers, but it took some time for her to start exploding with confidence on the platforms.
“Took at a lot self love, really,” she said.
She has found what she calls her “why.”
“My why is because I want to be healthy. I want to be happy.”
And she is happy with who she is becoming.
“You’re not that person anymore. You’ve moved forward and you’re never going to be that person again,” Matus said about herself.
She’s moving forward at her own pace though.
“I’m in that mindset of, you know, take it day by day,” she said.
And each day she is trying to inspire others to make change.
“Help motivate them because they motivate me,” she said.
Matus had lost 70 pounds but then contracted viral meningitis. She is feeling better now and is back in the gym again.