Turbo-charged crescendo for fitness campaign

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Timothy Kim
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
This article is the third and final installment in the Turbo-Charged Challenge series.

For six weeks, the 52nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron and fitness center sponsored the Largest Loser Campaign - a campaign that started Jan. 5 to promote physical fitness, wellness, nutrition awareness and healthy eating habits.

The six-week Jump Start Challenge, part of the broader Largest Loser Campaign, came to a close Feb. 20 with the third Turbo-Charged Challenge. The challenge marked a milestone for the participants of the campaign.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Denise Campbell, 52nd AMDS health promotions dietitian, and U.S. Air Force Airman Kimberly Collins, 52nd Force Support Squadron fitness apprentice, co-facilitated the campaign as nutrition and fitness experts, respectively.

Six weeks of challenges have ended and Campbell, the coordinator of nutrition classes and cooking demonstrations for the campaign, looks back on the experience as a success.

"For folks that stuck with the program, we definitely saw success," Campbell said. "When it comes to programs like this, small sustainable changes make the biggest difference and we hope folks are able to continue with their healthy habits throughout the entire year."

Collins, the coordinator of the Turbo-Charged Challenges, reflects on the past six weeks of the campaign she started with Campbell.

"The overall six-week Jump Start was a success," Collins said. "We taught people workout ideas and the tools they needed to eat healthy. I hope people take what we taught them and continue to apply them for the rest of their lives."

Despite its success, Collins voiced concerns she had throughout the challenges.

"I expected some people to drop out of the program because saying 'you want to be fit' is a whole lot easier than actually becoming fit," Collins said. "Also I feel like a lot of people got discouraged because they didn't see results right away like they expected."

Even Campbell acknowledged the shortcomings the campaign faced and ways to improve for the future.

"This is the first time we've run a new year's challenge like this at Spangdahlem, so we're walking away with some lessons learned and ways to improve for next year," she said.

Though no campaign is perfect, a successful one is often riddled with shining rhinestones of perseverance and effort.

"I would first like to congratulate them for completing the six-week challenge and putting in the effort and staying committed these past few months," Collins said. "If they continue on, they will see the new, improved version of themselves and that's what I hope for."

The Jump Start Challenge ran a steady pace for six weeks, complete with cooking demonstrations, nutrition classes and turbo-charged challenges. That challenge ended, but the effort continues with its successor, the Transformation Challenge, which ends April 20.

Collins even lead a cooking demonstration, stepping for a moment out of her usual role as fitness apprentice, and prepared a chicken pot pie soup - a healthy alternative made with flour, water, fat-free milk, celery stalks, chopped onions, baby portabella mushrooms, chicken bouillon, ground pepper, thyme, mixed vegetables, potatoes, salt and diced chicken breasts.

Campbell, being in charge of overseeing and running the demonstrations and nutrition classes, explained the necessity they posed for the campaign.

"The cooking demos hopefully provided a new perspective on how to make healthy eating tasty, easy and affordable," Campbell said. "Our goal with the Jump Start Challenge was to provide tools to individuals and for the folks that attended the challenges, demos and classes."

Though the Jump Start Challenge concluded, Campbell and the staff continue to look forward to potential participants who wish to join their quest in promoting health and fitness.

"Thank you to everyone who participated," Campbell said. "We have a large number of people still working on the 16-week challenge that ends April 20.  Even though we're 40 days away from the end of that challenge, it's not too late to sign up-- if you're looking for your own 'jump start' come into the fitness center and their staff can get you signed up!"

As she steps down from her role as co-facilitator, Collins wishes her former clients luck and parting words.

"Never be scared to try new things and try to find something you loved to do," Collins said. "You don't have to come into the gym and lift; you can go rock climbing or swimming. Being physically active doesn't have to be boring."