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.


 
 

 

New paradigm aims to ‘zeroize’ sexual assault

Why does the U.S. Air Force need a Sexual Assault Awareness Month? Is it really a problem? Isn’t sexual assault more prevalent outside the military? Where do these statistics come from anyway? Is it realistic to aim for zero assaults? Thankfully, these outrageous questions represent the vestiges of a retreating mindset. A new paradigm aims...
 
 

Gaining Altitude – Growth Opportunities for the Week of 29 Aug

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community - Labor Day is a holiday that is held in honor of working people but we must see work as more than something we do to earn a paycheck.  Work is honorable because God establishes Himself as the very first worker...
 
 
Untitled-1

Leadership Lessons: Do you know our Air Force Heritage?

U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Luis Loza Gutierrez The United States Air Force was founded by the aviators who learned their tradecraft in World War I, like Capt. Frederick Libby who became the first American ace. America...
 

 

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

- In the late 1920s, in a Supreme Court decision, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes justified sterilizing a young girl.  He stated, “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from...
 
 
U.S. Air Force illustration by Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter

15 seconds: A rude awakening

U.S. Air Force illustration by Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter Airmen and their families hit the road every summer to travel and enjoy a little relaxation. When making travel arrangements that involve driving long distances, be sure...
 
 

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

Who are you living for, or in other words who is writing your life’s story?  Do you call the shots in life or is there someone bigger?  The famed writer Wendell Berry says, “the significance – and ultimate quality – of the work we do is determined by our understanding of the story in which...
 




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>