Bring on the burn

Feb 172011
Authors: Sarah Banes

Michael Ventrella lost 257 pounds in eight months on his way to winning “The Biggest Loser.” But since then, he has gained so much more.

Almost 100 students and other members of the Fort Collins community of all shapes and sizes spread out in CSU’s Student Recreation Center’s MAC gym on Thursday afternoon to workout with Ventrella, during an event put on by the Association for Student Activity Programming.

“My main objective here is to be inspirational, your motivation needs to come from within,” Ventrella said.

Personal trainers from the Recreation Center instructed the free class, while Ventrella enthusiastically worked out alongside them.

“I really liked the class. There was a good turnout and a lot of good energy,” said Kaitie Huss, a sophomore journalism major.

Huss teaches a kickboxing, stretch and boot camp class at the Rec on different days of the week.

“I think it is important to see that you don’t have to be active all your life in order to be fit. You can start at any time and still be successful,” Huss said.

A couple of hours later, Ventrella was eagerly welcomed by members of the Fort Collins and CSU community to give a motivational, and humorous, speech about his experiences with weight loss and his life on the show.

“I was always looking for the quick fix,” Ventrella said. “There were times in the process when I would look in the mirror and say, ‘Oh my God, I look like a pregnant walrus with a bad tan.’”

After the death of his good friend, his grandfather and grandmother, Ventrella found intrinsic motivation to audition for “The Biggest Loser.”

“At that moment, I told myself I was going to do it. I am not going to give myself an option to fail,” Ventrella said. “It is about knowing the difference between your needs and wants.”

Ventrella described his experience on the show as horrible and traumatic yet fun and very rewarding.

“I’m happy. I’m funny now because I feel good about myself, not because I’m hiding my embarrassment,” Ventrella said. “You all being here is a very proactive step in the process of weight loss.”

Staff writer Sarah Banes can be reached at

Ventrella’s tips

  • Be active
  • Self analyze
  • Eat healthy
  • Ask your doctor about your body type
  • “If you don’t quit, you won’t fail.”
 Posted by at 4:07 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.