I think I've added years, maybe even decades to my life thanks to what Miramont Lifestyle Fitness helped me do. This is just one of the many reasons I'm indebted to some of the people there and why I'm so proud to be a part of another Dare to Lose Challenge to help other people turn their lives around too.

If you don't know what the Dare to Lose Challenge is, here's the gist: We have two teams of listeners from 99.9 The Point and Tri 102.5 who were selected to participate and try to get themselves in shape utilizing many of the tools Miramont has to offer. At the end of three months, a combination of fitness measurements will determine a winner that gets a full year membership to the club, but in the end, I hope everyone will walk away feeling as good as I did when I first got myself back in shape.

At the time of writing this, we're just over two weeks in to the challenge and I know some of our teammates are starting to hit some walls and are getting pretty sore. It's hard work to make these initial changes, so hopefully my story might be a little bit of an inspiration for them, or for anyone trying to get healthy to hang in there and keep going.

Why did I first start working with Miramont? Well, a few years back I was...well, very overweight. Since college, I had let myself and my active ways go to waste and had blossomed to near 250 pounds, which is a lot to carry around on a 5 '  8" frame.

I started a program working with Matt Yacca, a personal trainer at Miramont's north location, and lost over 40 pounds in under four months. Want proof?

Beano before and after 2009
My 'before and afters' from October of 2008 to February of 2009.

This may be one of the few times you ever see me shirtless, I'm just not that type of dude, but if me sharing an embarrassing (to me) picture of what I looked like before fitness became a priority in my life can help motivate anyone else to get healthy, I'm happy to do it.

(Thank you Miramont, and Matty, and Michelle, and Tim, and Ethan,and Amy, and Jenna, and everyone over there who has helped me along the way.)

I don't work out to have washboard abs and a beach-ready body, I work out because I l want to be around to watch my little girl grow up. I've lost count of how many scientific studies link obesity and lack of fitness to diseases and health problems. I have already had cancer once, and there is no way I am going to let any kind of preventable illnesses take any years away that I could spend with my family.

I always tell people that the first step to getting healthy is simply showing up. It's not the only step, nor is it the most physically demanding one, but it is the most important. If you are struggling with your weight or your fitness level and you are out there trying to make it better, then you are already on a path to a much happier life and I wish you the best.

There will be sweat, there will be pain, there will be body aches and feelings like, "I can't do this." I speak from experience. I felt them too, but keep on working your tail off and you will get to where you want to be, and you'll be a lot happier for it.