My friends used to make fun of my pantry. I remember times when there would be three guys handing each other items out of my family's food closet, and breaking up in laughter. They'd come over and scoff at the hard pretzels that had sesame seeds on them instead of salt. They'd chuckle at the healthy cereals, while wondering aloud "Where are the Fruit Loops?" A smirk at fruit as a snack, a guffaw at the lack of Hostess and Little Debbie products.

Paul playing in the surf with his nieces in Outer Banks, NC

I complained to my mom. She couldn't have cared less. In her mind, a 12 year old was not fit to make nutrition decisions, and it turns out she was right. When we did have highly processed, sugar-filled items in the pantry, there was a limited amount, and that amount wouldn't be refilled until the next round of grocery shopping was done.

I wasn't allowed to have cereal that had sugar as one of the main ingredients. When I was hungry before dinner, my mom would say, "Have a piece of fruit." That sounded like about the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard.

What my mom did for me may have been the best gift anyone could give to me. Because I wasn't raised on sugar, I now don't have a taste for it. I can't remember the last time I had a Twinkie. Though I understand the allure of them, and were I to eat one I'd probably enjoy it, if I ate two, or one two days in a row, it would gross me out. My body hasn't been fed that kind of sugar, and that is why I believe I don't crave it.

There is something about the purity of the diet that I had to eat when I wasn't in charge of  the food that has led to my love of good, healthy food now that I do. I am certain that it has been a great force for health in my life.

Paul's mom and dad at the celebration of their 70th birthday...she's a YOUNG 70, that's for sure

It probably didn't hurt that my mom started every day with 45 minutes on the Nordic Track, Treadmill, or with a walk. Fitness and nutrition were a reality for me as a child, and now they are things that I not only consider to be of the utmost importance, but things that I truly enjoy. I love the feeling of being fit. I love when I play a sport, go skiing, go hiking, or have to do some heavy lifting around the house and I know I have the strength and vitality to do so.

If you are not in the shape you'd like to be in, I am here to tell you that you can be as close as two months from being a completely different person. It is possible for most people to go from where they are right now to significantly healthier, stronger and happier in a short period of time. Make it a part of your lifestyle, and you can reach heights that you may not currently be allowing yourself to imagine.

It's possible! If you need help, please feel free to contact me while I'm on the air, or through my email at