"If you identify that you have destructive behaviors and remove them from your life without filling in with something positive, you're setting yourself up for failure" explains Mehaffie.
Now that he's lost the weight and kept it off, he and his wife Kym have started M Fit Strength to help people get stronger by reaching their fitness goals in an inclusive environment. He believes everyone has an athletic side and welcomes all levels of experience to his gym.
Mehaffie mainly wants to get people moving and becoming more active by simply having the room to move in an indestructible space. That's why the couple has put a lot of effort into designing a gym experience that partners strength training with fun: imagine an indoor professional-grade sports field that’s 70’ x 30’, with room to host soccer and lacrosse games.
They even started a dodgeball league, adding to the “fun” concept. In the colder months they host dodgeball games on Monday nights, which are open to anyone who wants to participate. Keep an eye out on their Facebook page for upcoming games.
You won't find rows of fitness machines at M Fit.
“People aren't machines,” Mehaffie said. “We want people to move how they are supposed to move naturally."
In fact, the only objects in the fitness rooms are kettlebells, TRX straps, and punching bags.
"We want people to have functional strength and mobility, meaning they can do anything from defending themselves if need be to playing with their grandchildren," he said.
Group training with personalized attention is the norm here, and people of all fitness levels participate in the same classes because the exercises are modified for each level. Speaking of levels, M Fit trains people gearing up for marathons, as well as people just looking to shed a few pounds or get in shape for the first time.
Even without traditional gym equipment, the workouts are designed to be challenging. Not everyone working out at M Fit enjoys it, but they do appreciate it.
"I don't like it, but I like how I feel after a workout,” said gym member Summer Pace. “And I like that Dave lets me cuss at him!"
After a year at M Fit, Pace has lost 50 pounds and has enjoyed some unexpected benefits.
"I had this 'what the hell' moment after training for a while – I made it up a few flights of stairs without getting winded,” she said. “That's when I realized it was working."
More than any other factor, Pace appreciates how comfortable she feels working out at M Fit after joining a string of gyms where she didn't feel as engaged.
"We're a family business, so it means a lot hearing people say they're comfortable here," Mehaffie said.
But the focus on a healthy lifestyle doesn’t stop at the gym. The Mehaffies are currently working on M Fit Meals, a meal service in partnership with Christopher’s Restaurant. They’ll post updates on Facebook.
What are some of the ways you like to stay fit in Dayton?
Want to go? WHAT: M Fit Strength & Training
WHERE: 603 Watervliet Ave, Dayton
HOURS: Call to book a session (937) 272-2557
INFO: (937) 272-2557 | http://www.mfitstrength.com/ | https://www.facebook.com/mfittraining