By Alanna Nuñez
January 11, 2011

Online support groups are hot, hot hot today. That's why we're excited to introduce our new and improved SHAPE Community. The new community features the same features that you know and love from the original community, along with some brand new ones. Whatever your fitness or weight-loss goals are this year, the SHAPE community is here to cheer you on, provide nutrition and fitness advice, or just cry with you when you're feeling defeated. Here are the top 5 ways the new SHAPE community can help you meet your healthy living goals.

1. We have new blog templates. With the new community, you can create your own blog, read others' blogs, and keep up with the SHAPE bloggers, like our weight-loss coach Cynthia Sass, or our girl on the go, Renee Woodruff. You can bookmark the blogs you like, ignore the ones you don't, and change your themes to represent your goals, interests and personality.

2. The forum threads have been updated. These are similar to the blog templates, but you have the option of responding only to the threads that you're interested in. This option is also good for those who want to have a voice in the SHAPE conversation, but don't have time to maintain a full-on blog. If you're interested in healthy eating, you can swap healthy recipes or diet ideas with others like you. If your interests lie more to the fitness and workout arena, you can post questions or comments to those threads instead. If you comment only occasionally, or you're more of a lurker than a commenter, you'll love the forum threads.

3. We have a chat room! Chat rooms have the potential to wander into creepster territory. Not ours! With our chat room, you can converse in real time with other SHAPE readers about your weight-loss goals and plans instead of waiting on people to respond on the forum threads.

4. You can choose to follow certain content. Or you can hide content from your feed. It's a bit like Facebook for SHAPE.

5.Galleries. Once you're a registered user in the SHAPE community, you can use the gallery feature to document your weight-loss success by uploading photos of yourself or things that inspire you to stay motivated.