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NEWS | April 11, 2018

‘Biggest Losers’ win big at Fort Eustis

By Airman 1st Class Monica Roybal 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The top male and female competitors in Fort Eustis’ “Biggest Loser” fitness challenge were recognized in Anderson Field House at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, April 9, 2018.

The 633rd Force Support Squadron hosted the 12-week long event to teach participants the importance of properly monitoring diet and physical fitness habits.

Michele Giuseffe, Anderson Field House recreational assistant, said the staff works to remain involved with the community despite the ever-changing military member lifestyle. The programs are meant to bring members with common health goals together to make new friends or workout buddies and keep each other motivated.

“It’s all about learning small ways to change your lifestyle,” said Giuseffe. “We provide resources, encouragement and a central forum for participants to depend on one another and maintain personal accountability.”

Challenge participants monitored progress through the group’s Facebook page and bi-weekly weigh-ins. Daily workouts, notifications of free classes and words of encouragement were primary elements used for improvement.

The annual challenge concluded with prizes awarded to the top male winner, U.S. Army veteran Danny Weatherly, Alpha Company, 210th Aviation Regiment, 1st Aviation Battalion, 128th Aviation Brigade aviation maintenance instructor. Weatherly said he lost a total of 13 pounds as a result of the challenge.

“I was surprised to hear that I won because I was not anticipating very much weight loss,” said Weatherly. “The biggest change I made was in my diet. I never kept track of what I was eating, but this made me a lot more conscious of what I’m taking in and taught me to read nutritional labels.”

The top female winner was Amanda Strickland, Training and Doctrine Command Military History and Heritage Office museum specialist. Strickland took first place with an approximate weight loss of 18 pounds.

“I have done this challenge at a previous duty station, but I believe the staff here really set this challenge apart from my last one,” said Strickland. “I thought about stopping at one point but they talked me through it and motivated me to keep going.”

The Anderson Field House staff partnered with the Army Wellness Center to provide presentations from personal trainers and classes on nutritional label reading.

The top performers were awarded gift cards, cookbooks and workout aids, but they are also walking away with new knowledge and resources to propel them further toward self-improvement.

“All these programs that are offered really make a difference,” said Weatherly. “There are so many opportunities to do different things and learn new ways to apply yourself for a prolonged healthier lifestyle.”