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'Biggest Loser' participant bikes across the country

A familiar face from the hit NBC show The Biggest Loser is hoping to inspire others to get healthy.
/ Source: WSMV-TV

A familiar face from the hit NBC show The Biggest Loser is hoping to inspire others to get healthy.

"Everyone who signs this bike inspires me along the way," Joe Ostaszewski said. "All these signatures inspired me to keep my journey going."

The journey will take Ostaszewski coast to coast on his bike.

"I started in DC, in Chevy Chase, MD, riding through Virginia mountains and Tennessee mountains," Ostaszewski said. "For a Florida boy, these mountains are pretty tough."

Ostaszewski will eventually end up on The Biggest Loser Ranch in California, a place he knows very well. He competed in season 14 of the show, initially weighing in at 370 pounds.

A former athlete, Ostaszewski struggled with his weight for years.

"When we're done playing ball, we keep eating the way we have our entire life and cut out exercise," Ostaszewski said. "Before you know it we're 50, 60, 100 pounds over playing weight."

Ostaszewski lost 147 pounds through a combination of working out and eating right.

Now, he is building on his experience by teaming up with the National 4H Council for a program called Riding it Forward. The goal is to get children engaged in healthy activities early on.

"How do you pull kids away from the virtual world? You've got to introduce them to things that are fun," Ostaszewski said. "Don't want to run track? How about rock climbing, biking. It allows them to get confidence, self-esteem and healthy at the same time."

Wednesday, Ostaszewski brought that message to Middle Tennessee. He challenged others to join him by making a commitment to fitness.

Those who can't join Ostaszewski can still pledge to run, walk, bike or hike a certain number of miles. You can take a picture of the distance and use the hashtag #RidingItForward to share it on social media.

To follow Ostaszewski's journey, click here.

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