The 56th Force Support Squadron recently held a “biggest loser” contest on Luke Air Force Base. Airmen and civilians from across base measured and weighed in weekly to chart their progress, all vying to be the one who would lose the most weight.
But, as this contest goes, there is only one biggest loser. Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs community engagement NCO in charge lost the most.
When the contest began, Seltmann was a healthy 124-pound weight but wanted to tone up her muscles and get stronger.
“A big thing for me was setting a realistic goal and figuring out what I needed to do in order to meet that goal,” she said. “At first I was skeptical because I really didn’t have a huge amount of weight to lose and entering a competition was the last thing on my mind.”
The Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center provided her and 68 other contest participants classes on nutrition, fitness and provided coaches if they chose to use them. Seltmann knew that she would not be able to do this alone, so she employed the help of her own personal trainer. Senior Master Sgt. Dave DeRemer, 56th FW PA superintendent, was the trainer who helped her stay the course. DeRemer is a certified trainer and nutritionist and also a two-time men’s physique champion in competitive natural bodybuilding.
“I was in the gym one day and saw the poster for the contest. I was the one who told her she should join, so she did,” DeRemer said. “Seltmann had actually already been a client of mine for a few weeks before the contest started. I thought it would be another good way to keep her on track and motivate her, while I educated her on nutrition and helped her reach her goals.”
The goal of the contest was for participants, and possibly those around them, to achieve more awareness of their fitness in life. The 56th Force Support Squadron fitness professionals at the fitness center want people to know the effects of obesity can be reversed. DeRemer, though not affiliated with the fitness center, agrees.
“The advice I’d give to anyone wanting to get healthy or lose weight and fat is to find someone credible to educate them on nutrition. Most just don’t know enough about it or only trust what they read on the Internet. Find someone certified in nutrition or who has some sort of nutrition education and absorb as much as you can.”
With a final weight of 103.3, Seltmann won the contest with more than 15 percent body weight loss.
“It is an amazing feeling to not only have won the competition but to have met most of my goals. I can honestly say this is the most confident I’ve been with my body in years, especially after having three children,” Seltmann said. “After back-to-back pregnancies and gaining more than 70 pounds, I honestly never thought I’d be able to lose the weight or the ‘mommy tummy,’ but to my surprise, I stand here today weighing less and being leaner than ever.”
While the Biggest Loser contest is only held once per year, the Bryant Fitness Center can be contacted year round for help with developing a workout plan.
For more information regarding a workout plan, call 623-856-6241. Luke AFB Health and Wellness Center professionals can also help with nutrition and meal planning to help maintain or lose weight. For more information, call 623-856-3778.