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.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force Photo by 2nd Lt. Lacey Roberts)

Arizona Airmen memorialize fallen Iraqi fighter pilot

Members of the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing honored the life and memory of Iraqi Air Force Brig. Gen. Rasid Mohammed Sideeq Hasan during a memorial service here July 7. Hasan died June 24 after his F-16 Fighting Fa...
 
 

Deployed A-10s take to the skies

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano) An aircraft maintainer assigned to the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron inspects the oil levels of an A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft engine during a theater security package deployment to Lask Air Base, Poland, July 13. The U.S. and Polish air forces will conduct training aimed at...
 
 

Airmen leverage TFI concept

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – Thirty-eight service members, including individuals from the 944th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal section, participated in a Battlefield Forensics training course here at the end of June. Together, Senior Master Sgt. Stephen Hunter, 944th Civil Engineer Squadron EOD program manager and Joshua Nason, General Dynamics Information Technology ...
 

 

Celebration and education; Equal Opportunity

  In 1948, Ester Blake became the first enlisted female in the U.S. Air Force, pictures were still black and white, and families gathered around radios for the evening news. Since then, the U.S. Air Force has gone through many changes. The Davis-Monthan Equal Opportunity office specializes in making sure that everyone is treated equally...
 
 
DoD

Final rule puts more teeth into Military Lending Act

  WASHINGTON – The Defense Department today closed loopholes to protect U.S. men and women in uniform from predatory lending practices, President Barack Obama said this morning at the 116th Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The heightened level of financial and consumer-rights protection against unscrupulous practices, called the final rule of...
 
 

AF continues to work with DOD, OPM on cybersecurity incident

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force maintains its commitment to protect personal information from cyber threats by continuing efforts with the Defense Department and the Office of Personnel Management to assist those impacted by the recent cyber incident involving federal background investigation data. OPM and an interagency response team, including investigators from the FBI and...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>