This week I got the chance to sit down with another ambassador for the Tales of Reese cause, Omar Torres. After just a few minutes with this guy you realize he’s more than just a pretty face (but quite the pretty face nonetheless!) It was quickly apparent he had a heart full of love for all that cross his path, and a desire to inspire any that he can. Here’s what he had to say about his childhood, the lessons he learned along the way, and discovering the Tales of Reese organization.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into the world of fitness.
Most people would never guess, but I was raised in the Island of Puerto Rico for almost 10 years. Lived with my mom, dad and sister and as you can already imagine, an extremely loud Puerto Rican family. As a kid, I loved the outdoors and doing all kid things: riding my bike, running track, baseball, basketball, you name it. I was involved in everything. My father was very much into fitness at the time. Other than bodybuilding, he was in a professional softball team in Puerto Rico. Being exposed to this, I quickly learned the value of fitness and health. He wanted me to always be involved in any physical activities even if I didn't really enjoy it. We then moved back to NY where I lived in Yonkers (Westchester area) for 8 years and completed middle & high school. By the time I finished High School, I was 235lbs. I had not exercised in over 5 years and my self-esteem was lower than ever. I had clearly lost control of my life. When I turned 19 my life took an unexpected turn which led me to accomplish one of my long time goals. Now that I was out of the house and living on my own, I took this opportunity to start from zero. I started exercising daily, eating right and striving to have a better understanding of what a healthy lifestyle looks like. You know what they say, once you see results it becomes an addiction. Those words could not be more true in my case.
What are some of the challenges and joys that come along with writing a Fitness Blog?
Recently I decided to start an Instagram page with the motivation from one of my fellow Bloggers that not only motivated me to continue in my fitness venture but also other people trying to reach their goals. I post a weekly Blog on just about anything fitness related, or lifestyle. I want to connect with as many people as possible. My page is all about balance. And I know how much I struggled with this quality, so I want to help people see that it is doable. And what I love the most is that I can’t be put into the 'he was always in shape' mold, because clearly I wasn't. Fitness Blogging has really opened my eyes to a lot more things in the industry. From crazy fads to crash diets that I can't seem to get on board with. But that's okay, because that's not what I encourage. To be honest, you decide the challenges that come with Fitness Blogging. It's such a marketable subject that it's almost becoming perspective based. So anyone that has seen fitness improve their life can lend a helping hand & be successful. Joys are many. From up-building comments to friends and family acknowledging your accomplishments, I really can't ask for more.
How were you first introduced to Sparkly Ray and the Tales of Reese organization?
I remember the first time I met Ray, fun curly hair, unique style and a remarkable presence. Since our circle of friends was connected through a few individuals, we all planned to meet up one evening and workout together. That evening, we got to talk about my weight issues as a teen and my involvement in fitness and health. Incredibly therapeutic. I was stoked when a few weeks later she asked me to become involved with the Tales of Reese organization. I already followed @thetalesofreese & loved the cause, but now I couldn't believe I was going to be a part of it.
What about the Tales of Reese organization drew you to be an ambassador?
I am attracted to the fact that this organization is being managed by genuine people in which LOVE is their most dominant quality. Also, as someone who is already trying to spread a message of hope in my everyday life, it's almost a gift to be involved with this organization. Everyone wants a little ray of hope in their life, and I want to contribute in any way possible, this is why I am honored to be a part of this team.
What exactly does a Tales of Reese Ambassador do?
As a Tales of Reese Ambassador I strive to promote and encourage all who can to lend a helping hand and get involved in promoting healthy lifestyles not only for them but for children who are fighting undeserved chronic diseases as well. So many of us are so fortunate to not have been struck by the unjust wave that life can sometimes be. So why not assist those who have and help them win the battle.
How has Tales of Reese impacted your life, and what upcoming projects are you working on?
TOR has impacted me in so many ways. Having had cousins and uncles pass due to cancer, I feel the need more than ever to educate myself more on what these causes can lead to and ways to not ultimately prevent, but support and fight with high hopes of succeeding. I am currently exploring the possibilities of getting TOR involved with direct health care agencies to continue promoting and further helping those in need.
It's easy to see Omar’s warmth and enthusiasm for the Tales of Reese organization. But how has he made an impact? Sparkly Ray had a few words to say about that.
When I first met Omar I was immediately smitten. He had an extremely contagious energy. I remember thinking he was charismatic, entertaining, humorous and witty. But what came across most predominantly was his warm hearted spirit and genuine character. When he started to talk about his struggle with body image and the ways he has overcome mental barriers and challenges I fell in love with his candor. Tales of Reese was after all formed out of heartache and is built on a message of overcoming and rising above. As I got to hear him explain his journey and then openly share his story in his blog in an effort to now let his story help others I realized something very important. Omar has the same type of unique heart that is beating inside my sweet little Reese. His sweet soul belonged on our team and I am so grateful he accepted our invitation.