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My goal to be Pope's "Biggest Loser"

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jon LaDue
  • 43rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Just like I do every other year, I promised myself to make a few New Year's resolutions
and stick to them.

This year, I vowed to reduce my speeding, study harder for promotion and lose weight.
Attempting to lose weight is something that I have thought about before, but never really taken seriously. As a result, I've watched my waist grow each year, my annual fitness scores have declined and both have led to self esteem issues as well.

When I heard about the 43rd Services Squadron's "The Biggest Loser" competition,
I felt like the program couldn't have come at a better time. I enrolled and am excited to use the program as a catalyst and personal motivator to improve my overall fitness.
I am going to write about my trials and successes over the next seven weeks to hopefully motivate others to obtain their fitness goals.

Before I go any further, I have to first explain how I got to be unhappy with my fitness
and body composition. I am only six years removed from high school ... a time
when I weighed a measly 170 pounds.

Two years after enlisting my weight had climbed to 190 pounds.

The problem began shortly after I got married, four years ago. Since then, I have gained 30 pounds. That's almost the size of a large bag of dog food.

I attribute the weight gain to dinner dates with my wife, eating on the go and, more than anything, her mashed potatoes. We find ourselves eating more from the frozen section than from produce which also doesn't help. I play intramural sports here, but the consistent activity is just not there.

To this day we still carry on a tradition of stopping for fast food after a grocery shopping trip, a stop that usually averages more than 1,200 calories for each of us.

This is exactly the kind of mindset that I believe has contributed to my ever so steadily increasing waist size. The waist is where my real issues lie. Whenever I talk to someone about wanting to lose weight, they say I don't look fat. All I have to say about that is my battle dress uniform hides it pretty well. Every time I see myself in the mirror it gets more and more depressing. I recently saw a senior enlisted Airman whose buttons on their uniform were about to burst. With the trend I've been on the last few years I realize that I could soon portray that image. From my first assessment until now, I have gained five inches on my waist. Five inches equates to almost five points which keeps me down just above passing.

I still go through my mandatory fitness sessions. I still improve my run time, pushups and situps, but I have found that my waist still continues to grow -- until

My resolution is to lose 25 pounds. I would like to accomplish this before the end of the competition which only gives me six more weeks.

Week 1
I feel like I did very well my first week. I did not eat any fast food and I drank water at work instead of my usual bottle of soda.

During my fitness sessions, I rode the recumbent bike and focused on keeping my heart rate elevated. I was told that the elliptical machines at the gym worked more muscles
and were more beneficial than the bikes. More muscles mean more work ... which equates to greater weight loss. So, one morning I decided to give it a try. Little did I know that it takes a little more effort and coordination. I felt really stupid at first but once I got the hang of it, I started to feel productive. I think it has become my machine of choice for my weight loss venture.

One night this week I was talking to my wife on the phone about something healthy to eat at home. I searched through the cupboards at home for about 10 minutes before I finally became frustrated and told her I'm just going to eat some chocolate cream cookies. I had given up on healthy, I was hungry and I didn't care, until ... I read the nutrition label. Two cookies were 160 calories. Only two. I usually have eight! Needless to say, the package hasn't been touched yet.

I worked out over the weekend and it felt really good. It was much more productive then sitting at home and eating out of boredom like I usually do.

I'm not sure about the 57 other contestants in "The Biggest Loser," but I weigh myself frequently; before bed, when I wake up, sometimes at lunch and when I get home from work. I have become obsessed.

This first week I have managed to lose eight pounds. To me that is amazing. All I've done is step up my workout regime a little, stopped eating fast food and substituted soda with water.

I do wonder how much of my weight loss is water weight. I still drink plenty, but eight pounds seems surreal. I am worried about next week. I already feel a need for a taco or burger. For now, I'm headed in the right direction