Commentary

March 28, 2014

100 pounds later: The new me

Tags:
Master Sgt. April Lapetoda
380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affaira

A before and after photo of Master Sgt. April Lapetoda, who lost 100 pounds and has since completed a marathon and several half marathons. She is the superintendent of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing public affairs.

SOUTHWEST ASIA – I never used to push myself physically. Even as a high school athlete, I didnít feel the drive to push harder. I spent my first 10 years in the Air Force getting by just fine as a smoker, who barely exercised. I steadily gained 10 pounds per year during the first four years.

Then, I got pregnant with my first child and gained 70 pounds and lost all but 10, without trying.

I hovered around the same weight unitl four years later, while pregnant with my second child, I gained 70 pounds again. The weight didn’t come off.

I looked at the scale and realized I had to lose 100 pounds.

I stared at the number each time in disbelief. ìWhere do I even begin? Itís impossible,î I would think to myself. I didn’t believe in diet pills and I thought a little bit of physical activity would do the trick.

It didn’t.

I hated for people to see me in my Air Force uniform. I was embarrassed. I knew I didn’t meet standards and at six months postpartum, I failed my fitness test Ö Miserably, with a 51.1 percent.

Everyone at work gave me sympathy and assured me I was a “good Airman.” I hated it. I just felt fat and knew I needed to change. The fitness test failure and the desire to show everyone that I didnít need their sympathy proved to be my turning point.

Fortunately, I was provided with gym time. I started going four days per week and co-workersí sympathy provided the fuel. I soon started making time to jog on the weekends as well.

I began to see a change in me. Not just in weight, but in energy and self-esteem. I passed my next fitness test, but I wasn’t done. I knew I could do much better. I began to count calories and utilize portion control in my diet. I pushed myself harder in the gym. On the next fitness test, I scored a 93.8 ñ an excellent.

There was no turning back at that point. I knew I had to maintain that excellent, but also find new ways to challenge myself. I did so by running farther — first the Army Ten Miler, then half marathons, then incorporating weights to increase my strength.

Now, almost five years after I began the change, I’ve kept that 100 pounds off for two years. But, more importantly, I’m in the best physical shape that I’ve ever been in and I also feel better and healthier than I ever have. I continue to set new goals to challenge myself.

Iíve maintained an excellent on my last four Air Force fitness tests. During my deployment to Afghanistan in 2011, I quit smoking. During my current deployment, I was afforded the opportunity to train for and complete a full marathon, which I did. Now, my next goal is to get my half marathon time to less than two hours.

For me, finding new goals and signing up for races helps me stay committed to fitness and allows me to set goals to continue to challenge myself.

I found it within me ñ not in a pill or weight-loss surgery. Once I began challenging myself, I met every single challenge. I have proven myself to me. There’s no going back.




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


 
 

 

2015 Memorial Day message from 412th TW/CC

Team Edwards, Thank you for the outstanding welcome!†These past two months have been dynamic and exciting and I am honored to work with each and every one of you.†I truly appreciate your dedicated service and tireless efforts spent developing the needed capabilities for our Air Force and joint partners. This is my third assignment here...
 
 

This Memorial Day, reflect on true meaning

It was nearly 150 years ago that our nation first observed a day of remembrance for those who died in service to the United States of America. Over the years, more than one million American Soldiers, Sailors, Coast Guardsmen, Marines and Airmen have given their lives in defense of our great nation. We owe our...
 
 

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community

- Memorial Day is a time to remember the men and women who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.  These brave Americans are part of a tradition of sacrifice, a theme highlighted in a recent book by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Washington Post reporter Rajiv Chandrasekaran called “For Love of Country: What...
 

 
Untitled-1

What’s your social thumbprint?

U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Jessica Hines Just as you would lock the front door of your home or secure your wallet, social media users should aim to lockup and secure their online personal information and do regular ch...
 
 

Have you really joined the Air Force yet?

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska–For those of us in uniform, particularly enlisted members, memories of how we came to be in the military are fairly easy to call to mind – whether the process was more than 20 years ago, or closer to 20 months ago. As I recall the experience, that trip to the Military...
 
 

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community

“What do you do?”  That is the question most asked of people when they meet for the first time.  It implies that we are what we do. But deep down we know we are more than our job. Our character, personality, hobbies, and family life are not often considered when we meet. It would be...
 




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>