BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – Giving up a career as a media executive, one Bronxville resident decided to create a health company to help teenage girls struggling with their weight.
Linda Frankenbach is the founder and chief executive officer of the health company Life 180 Inc., which created the coaching and service websites fitsmi.com and fitsmiForMoms.com. The websites offer support and behavior modification tools to teen girls trying to loose weight, in addition to advice for their mothers.
After researching ideas for a new television channel, Frankenbach said she realized there wasn't anything in the area of weight loss.
"In my opinion the best way to tackle this area was to segment the market, which for me meant teenage girls,” Frankenbach said. “Our first goal was to create something that a broad number of teenage girls could easily follow step by step. We decided to do this by creating a community, something like a virtual support network."
Frankenbach’s idea for the websites came from her personal experience struggling with her weight throughout her adolescence. Frankenbach didn’t know where to turn for advice growing up, and although her mother wanted to help, she didn’t have the necessary tools to do so.
Construction of the websites began by assembling a team of executives skilled in research, marketing and content production, Frankenbach said.
“We put together an advisory board of psychologists, doctors, dietitians and weight loss physicians to best benefit these needy girls,” she said. “Our websites are now updated weekly, and include stories on various issues from food to fitness. A big part of what we offer is tools to teach girls how to change their perception on health and better their understanding on how to change."
Frankenbach’s first media job was with Home Box Office. She went on to help launch Cinemax, Comedy Central and Court TV. Finally, in the ’90s she created Parenttime.com, one of the earliest Internet parenting services.
The websites aren’t about dieting, they’re about helping girls know what is healthy from portion control to exercise, Frankenbach said.
"It's amazing how many girls feel that they have nobody to talk to," she said. "We’ve already had so many success stories. One girl became very active in commenting on the site and actually became a blogger for us because she was feeling better about herself and actually loosing weight. It's a great feeling to enable someone to better their own lives."