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.


 
 

 

News Briefs January 23, 2015

Fitz-Gerald pedestrian crossing work Through next week, road work will be taking place near the Fitz-Gerald Blvd. and Doolittle Parkway intersections, which is located in the housing area near Chapel 2. This work will result in better visibility of the pedestrian crossings and make crossing at these locations easier and safer for all. Fitz-Gerald and...
 
 
juveniel-court

JIC aims to maintain good order, morale, discipline

In the Sept. 9, 2014, Desert Wings, an article titled Vandalism costs school district $12,000.î The story was about damage that occurred at Bailey Elementary School. The 412th Test Wing has taken to address not only that insta...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

SecAF, CSAF discuss future of the Air Force

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James deliver their, “State of the Air Force,” press conference Jan. 15, 2015, in Washi...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Driving on base could make you eligible for gas tax refund

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber The state of California may refund taxes paid on gasoline to residents who use the gasoline while driving on a military installation. Claims must be submitted to the California State Contro...
 
 

Air Force senior leadership addresses need to stabilize RPA enterprise

During a State of the Air Force address held at the Pentagon, Jan 15, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James announced immediate preliminary steps to develop a get-well plan to improve the health of the MQ-1B Predator and MQ-9 Reaper enterprise in light of extensive combatant commander operational needs. (Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance)...
 
 

AFIMSC headquarters site announced

Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas,†was selected as the host base for the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Headquarters. Air Force officials chose the installation after analyzing operational considerations, installation attributes, economic and environmental factors at four candidate locations. “Following site surveys at the four candidate locations, we ultimately ...
 




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>