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Pope Crowns the biggest loser

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Cammie Quinn
  • 43rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
Staff Sgt. Shane Barry, 3rd Aerial Port Squadron, is the Biggest Loser on Pope, and both he and his wife, Jennifer, are proud to admit it. 

For three months, Sergeant Barry has competed in the Biggest Loser Contest hosted by the Pope Fitness Center - and the results have been phenomenal. "I went into the gym one day for PT and saw the advertisement and figured why not - I could stand to lose some weight," Sergeant Barry said. 

The program, back by popular demand, was available to all of Team Pope to include civilians and family members. It kicked off in June with more than 70 participants and ended with only 20. 

To provide a guiding light for proper work out procedures and nutrition planning, the Biggest Loser Contest partnered with the Health and Wellness Center, said Tech. Sgt. Terrence Bessellieu, 43rd Force Support Squadron. 

Sergeant Bessellieu was the coordinator for this year's program and attributes the program's success to the support of the HAWC as well as the numerous prizes awarded at the end of the three months. Winners of the Biggest Loser Contest received a plaque, certificate, backpack stocked full of goodies, water bottles and a token for a free smoothie. First through third place winners received a free workout with a personal trainer and a 30 minute massage session from the gym masseuse. 

With a total weight loss of just over 12 pounds, Sergeant Barry said that while he started the competition at 250 pounds, he still wants to lose another 40. And he's well on his way with the help of his wife, who began to incorporate fat free foods into their household's diet. "My wife mainly does the grocery shopping, she made sure I stuck to a diet and a few months later, it's still working," said Sergeant Barry. "He has come a long way from his ice cream habit - now we're eating frozen yogurt, and watching our portion sizes," added Mrs. Barry. 

But the journey wasn't always smooth sailing. "I got a knee injury after I signed up and unfortunately was put on profile," said Sergeant Barry. Luckily, he didn't let this bump in the road steer him away from getting into shape. "I spoke with Mr. Davalos [the HAWC's fitness program manager] about getting a personal workout program that I could do without breaking profile," said Sergeant Barry. "I was surprised at how effective it was and still is." 

With the aid from the personalized workout plan and his goal of ultimately losing 40 pounds, Sergeant Barry kept his eyes on the prize. "Not only did I stick to the workout program Mr. Davalos set up for me, I also do the Spin classes," he said. He even comes in on his days off to attend an aerobics class. 

The Biggest Loser Contest is a yearly program; however, due to its popularity and demand, it was re-instated for a second go around this year. For more information on future fitness center programs, to include an upcoming Aerobics-thon, contact Sergeant Bessilieu by calling (910) 394-2671. 

Pope's Biggest Loser is a standing testament to how rewarding the program is. "I don't intend to stop now - losing almost 13 pounds is great, but I won't be satisfied until I reach my goal," Sergeant Barry said