Nearly two years ago I published my list of happiness as sort of a roadmap to make changes, evolve and grow as a person and to become a better man. My list of happiness also got a little happier back in October by meeting some of the goals, one of which was to lose weight. There is a small secret to how I’ve help to stay motivated to lose the weight though, DailyMile.com, a social networking site for athletes.

A friend on a photography forum suggested it to me after I posted up a few photos of my road bike and sent me an invite, they were in private beta but I quickly got accepted. While still a bit new, the site has done nearly everything that a stat geek could want and more. The site is meant to help runners, cyclists, swimmers and athletes track the miles they’ve covered, compare the data in graphs and build friendships to encourage and train with others, even if they are in another state or another country. Additionally a forum can be found to get questions answered like, How do I start running, What’s your food weakness or What songs rock your workout? The site’s Web 2.0 uber clean interface makes using it a real joy and it has Twitter integration built in with other social networking tools coming soon.

If you are a racer, or want to be, a user entered database of upcoming races lets you find ones near you to participate in and show a count-down of how long you have until the big day.

There’s even widgets you can install on your blog to show your progress and upcoming races, really cool stuff.

Since signing up just over three months ago I’ve logged nearly 2,000 miles, met some great people and been motivated to ride a few extra miles to catch up to some of my new friends or pull further away from others. I’ve also become more interested in running and have a goal of completing a 5k this spring in fewer than 30 minutes. Those 2,000 miles, a proper diet and motivation from my friends, both in real life and on DailyMile have helped me loose nearly 20% of my body weight. As long as I don’t eat too many holiday cookies today I should weigh in tomorrow morning 50 pounds lighter than I was just four short months ago!

Thank you DailyMile (Kelly & Ben!) for creating such an amazing site and everyone I’ve met through it. You’ve successfully combined my addiction for stats & numbers with Web 2.0 social networking while actually encouraging me to get away from the computer and go do something productive.

DailyMile is out of private beta and open for the public, go sign up! Follow me on DailyMile here: http://www.dailymile.com/people/mikepanic.