Halfway there: a recharging checkpoint

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Timothy Kim
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
This article is the second installment of a three-part series about the Turbo-Charged Challenge.

A New Year's resolution is oftentimes the igniting spark of motivation that propels individuals to make a change to their lifestyle. Individuals may initiate a work-out plan with thoughts such as, "it's a new year - it's a new me."

However, for those who do not exercise on a regular basis, this feat may become intimidating a few months into a new work-out schedule.

"I shouldn't have done this - this is too much."
"What was I thinking? There's no way I can complete this."
"I don't even know what I'm doing!"

Doubt and regret may be a natural cause for people to drop out from their self-made work-out regime as they abandon their resolution and goal.

Enter the Largest Loser Campaign, a campaign endorsed by the 52nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron and the Eifel Powerhaus fitness center. It started Jan. 5, 2015, with the purpose of aiding and helping Spangdahlem community members reach their fitness goal, with proper education, motivation and support.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Denise Campbell, 52nd AMDS health promotion dietitian, and U.S. Air Force Airman Kimberly Collins, 52nd Force Support Squadron fitness apprentice, both facilitators of the nutrition aspect and fitness aspect of the campaign, continue their efforts in ensuring the participants remain motivated.

Throughout the campaign, struggles have confronted the group on their progress, but it is still a progress that remains on track.

"A progress I'm pleased with is folks knowing about different resources for fitness, health and nutrition on base," Campbell said. "The Turbo-Charged Challenges are quick individual and team challenges that make fitness fun using equipment and facilities here at Spangdahlem. Our goal with all of our programs is to provide evidence-based nutrition and fitness information to our community, and I feel we've been doing that through our challenges, classes and cooking demonstrations."

Collins also expresses her motives and inspirations with the campaign.

"My goal for the Largest Loser started off small," Collins said. "I was really concerned if people would even sign up for this program, but then I came into work and saw that 15 people signed up. My goal was to have 50 participants enrolled, and that objective was met."

Participants of the campaign also shed light on the new things they learned from the campaign involving healthy lifestyles, fitness tips and more.

Brittny Gainey, a Family Advocacy intervention specialist and participant of the Largest Loser Campaign, said nutrition classes helped her become more cognizant of what she eats and how it affects her health and wellness.

"It makes you track what you eat every day and what you are supplying your body," said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Sara Howard, 52nd Comptroller Squadron budget analyst. "The fitness portion forces me to work out harder and ask instructors about what is necessary for me to help tone my body."

The program helped some participants focus on their physical fitness, whereas others learned more on health, nutrition and healthy eating habits.

"I went into this campaign to help provide additional motivation to the individuals that I work with who are trying to lose weight," said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Dennis, 52nd Maintenance Group maintenance management analysis NCO in charge and campaign participant. "I think the cooking demonstrations are working the best for me. I don't think any part of this campaign could be labeled as ineffective so far. All I could see is possible benefits from competing."

However, as much as progress exists, so do struggles and obstacles, much like the two faces of a coin. In this instance, it is an issue most members of the Spangdahlem community face every day.

"Lack of time and busy schedules are usually the culprit of folks not finishing wellness programs," Campbell said. "Hopefully, our participants are learning how to make nutrition and fitness a priority, so they can continue with their habits throughout 2015."

As facilitators of the program, Campbell and Collins constantly face newly-developing issues that arise throughout the duration of the campaign, but they marked the half-way point with hope and a promise.


"I would definitely recommend this campaign to everyone who would like to work on their health, whether it is diet or fitness," Howard said.

"I would highly recommend this campaign to others," Gainey said. "It is comprehensive in that it addresses not only the physical component but nutrition as well. It is also nice to have a team of people to support you and hold you accountable."

"I would recommend this to everyone because it's a good way to get a jump start into enhancing your personal fitness and wellness," Dennis said. "People should not only focus on their general fitness only as a New Year's resolution, but make it an everyday part of their normal lives."

"Stick with your healthy habits and be as consistent as you can with your nutrition, fitness, sleep and hydration," Campbell said. "No one is perfect, but if you make the 'healthy' choice 80 percent of the time, you'll be on track to meet your goals."

"To everyone still working hard toward their goals I would just like to say there is a reason why you started - remember them through the burn and the pain," Collins said. "Pain is only temporary - so yes, you can finish that last set; yes, you can keep running, and yes, you can finish what you started."

To be concluded in Part 3...