Commentary

May 9, 2013

Deployed Airman loses 40 pounds, scores 99.8 on fitness test

Tags:
Commentary by Master Sgt. Shane Sullivan
380th Air Expeditionary Wing Equal Opportunity
(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Timothy Boyer)
Master Sgt. Shane Sullivan works out on a rowing machine May 2, while deployed to Southwest Asia. Sullivan lost more than 40 pounds, scored a 99.8 on his fitness test and won the wing’s Biggest Loser contest. Sullivan is assigned to the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Equal Opportunity office.

SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) — You want to get in shape during your deployment, but what does that mean? Do you want to lose weight or score better on your fitness test?

Before I left Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., for this deployment, I promised myself, and my leadership, I would return a new person. I set a lofty goal and told anyone who would listen, which initially helped me be accountable for my choices. I predicted I would lose 40 pounds. People encouraged me, but still pointed out it was a lot of weight and it would be tough.

After allowing myself a couple weeks to get acclimated, I began the battle on my waistline. I kept hearing about early risers who participated in an exercise regimen that was intense, awful, awesome and fun all at the same time. I decided to try it. Just before Thanksgiving, I went to my first class. Three days later, I regained movement and was able to go back. I scaled my workouts and tailored them to my abilities.

The more I focused on skill work and proper form, the more my body responded. I was running faster, lifting more weight and recovering quicker. When I needed motivation, my workout brothers and sisters were there to encourage and inspire me — and each other.

While I attribute much of my success to exercise, I had to do my part in the dining facility as well. I drastically cut carbohydrates, ate smaller portions and made better choices. I didn’t starve myself and yes, I had a cookie or two once in a while.

Did I have setbacks? Yes, I was down for a few days with arthritis pain and there was at least one week, during which, I gained weight instead of losing it. I didn’t let it discourage me. I used those moments to motivate me to work harder.

I was also able to compete in the wing’s Biggest Loser competition. By the time it started, I had already lost 13 pounds and was entrenched in my routine.

When the contest was over, I had lost an additional 30 pounds and placed first. I scheduled my fitness test with the hope that having lost more than 40 pounds and having worked out for five months I would be ready. I could never have predicted just how ready I was.

I scored better at 40 years of age than I ever have, a 99.8. Twenty years ago, I ran my 1.5 mile test in 10:24. This time I ran it in 10:06. I reached my goal of losing 40 pounds., took 7 inches off my waist and I’m in the best shape of my life.

I set a specific goal, set my mind to it and stuck to it. I know I am not alone. Miracles do not happen overnight; they can take days, weeks or months depending on the goal.

Now it is time for a new goal. I have to promise myself I will never look like I did five months ago ever again.

You, too, can accomplish your goals. Dream big and work hard to achieve that dream, you can do it.

Air Force fitness centers offer a variety of workouts, just visit your local staff and find out which one is right for you.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Thanksgiving and our Native Americans

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — On the fourth Thursday of every November, we as Americans celebrate the national holiday Thanksgiving. This day focuses on honoring the early settlers, and their harvest feast, which we know to be the “First Thanksgiving.” However, long before settlers came to the United States’ East Coast, the area was inhabited by...
 
 

Keep safety in mind when cooking Thanksgiving feasts

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries.  Every year hundreds of Americans die, thousands more are injured and roughly $500 million...
 
 

Resolutions aren’t just for the new year

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — It’s almost that time of year when most of us will commit to reforming a habit, lifestyle or just change our lives for the better. It starts when we take a critical look at ourselves and determine what we can do, or stop doing, to make the improvements we desire. These...
 

 

How did we lose this young Airman?

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) — She was an Airman Leadership School distinguished graduate, earned staff sergeant her first time testing, received all 5s on her enlisted performance reports and took part in two deployments. Clearly she was a high-performing Airman. But, in her words, the Air Force had made it clear it didn’t...
 
 

Air Force Enlisted Village: Not just a place to live, a place to call home

I first visited the Air Force Enlisted Village as a young first sergeant in 2009, when I was stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. I went to visit with the Tyndall Active Airmen’s Association, Tyndall’s E-1 to E-4 Professional Association, and was amazed at what I saw. This was also the first time I...
 
 

New EPR challenges status quo

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — The enlisted performance report is going to drastically change. These changes seek to combat inflated ratings, which have been a prevalent complaint from Airmen over the years. The change is right around the corner and many Airmen are asking themselves, “How will it affect future promotions, and what can I do...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin