97.1 The Fan host Jonathan T-Bone Smith lost 102 pounds. Here's how. – The Columbus Dispatch

97.1 The Fan host Jonathan T-Bone Smith lost 102 pounds. Here's how. – The Columbus Dispatch

Jonathan Smith used to be terrified of going to the gym.
Convinced people would stare — or worse, laugh — if they saw a man pushing 400 pounds on a treadmill, he made every excuse not to go.
But that all changed in the past year after he had lunch with a longtime friend who used to weigh as much as Smith and now runs marathons. The radio talent decided he was tired — tired of feeling uncomfortable, tired of not being able to do things he used to do easily.
“I’m hot, sweaty and tired. Everything is aching,” Smith said, recalling how he felt during that meal and the short walk afterward.
Known as “T-Bone” to the thousands of sports fans who tune in to “Common Man & T-Bone” on 97.1 The Fan (WBNS-FM) each weekday afternoon from 3 to 6 p.m., he shed 102 pounds in the past year after committing to a more active lifestyle.
Now at 287 pounds, Smith is a handful of pounds away from what he weighed a decade ago, and within 25 pounds of what he weighed in 2005. He said he’s feeling stronger lately and more fulfilled. And he’s sharing his journey through posts on social media in hopes of inspiring others.
“I feel more confident just in my own self, that I can attempt bigger things and try to do stuff that I otherwise would not have done,” Smith said.
These days that includes something he never would have expected — running. Smith is participating in this Saturday’s 5K race organized by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon.
What’s the Columbus native’s secret to losing weight? It starts with simply moving more.
This past year, Smith spent less time sitting and more time walking around his Marysville neighborhood and on the treadmill at the Union County Family YMCA. He walks for at least 20 minutes each day, often while listening to an audiobook or podcast, then rewards himself with something fun — like shooting hoops.
That can be an effective strategy, according to Dr. Ben Bring, a physician at OhioHealth who specializes in family and sports medicine.
“I think a lot of people get so fixated on ‘I need to run for exercise.’ But really the cardiovascular benefits of walking are almost identical to running,” he said.
Smith, in spending more time outside, has gained a newfound appreciation for nature. He frequently posts pictures to social media of what he sees while hiking, usually at Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks.
“That’s a part of the world that I neglected and I wish I would have paid attention to for my first 39 years,” Smith said.
Being more active led to other healthy habits. Smith started watching what he ate with the help of a calorie counter app.
“Some people it gives them anxiety, for me it gives me peace of mind,” Smith said of the app.
And although the radio host still eats fast food, he doesn’t indulge as much.
“I know I could probably lose weight quicker if I didn’t, but I didn’t get this way by not liking fast food,” he said. “I don’t eat it three times a day, and I don’t get the biggest thing, but I still enjoy some of those things from time to time.”
Smith isn’t done losing weight. He’s aiming to start lifting weights and wants to lose at least 50 more pounds. He would eventually like to get down to 200 pounds, just 20 pounds more than what he weighed in high school.
His long-term goal is to hike the Grand Canyon.
And as far as the other people at the gym he used to worry about?
“I’ve realized now that no one cares. They’re all worried about themselves,” Smith said.
Monroe Trombly covers breaking and trending news.
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