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Fit to fight… fight to be fit

Members of the first 9G Force Fitness class continue to apply what they learned weeks after the rigorous program ended. (From left to right) Staff Sgt. Kathleen Branch, Tech. Sgt. Mary Thompson, Tech. Sgt. Mike Coleman and Staff Sgt. Jose Toro warm up with jumping jacks. (Photo by Capt. Gabe Johnson)

Members of the first 9G Force Fitness class continue to apply what they learned weeks after the rigorous program ended. (From left to right) Staff Sgt. Kathleen Branch, Tech. Sgt. Mary Thompson, Tech. Sgt. Mike Coleman and Staff Sgt. Jose Toro warm up with jumping jacks. (Photo by Capt. Gabe Johnson)

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Members and their spouses here can have a healthy experience becoming the "Biggest Loser" during the second six-week 9G Force Fitness class scheduled for April.

In the inaugural 9G Force Fitness class, the "Biggest Looser" chucked nearly 9 percent body weight and 16.5 inches around the waist.

"It's not a six-week program - it's a changed lifestyle. Mutual support is the key," said Maj. Windy Hendrick, program designer. "I teach fitness the way fighter pilots learn to fly. Just like the F-16, our bodies are complicated pieces of equipment and we are influenced by so much more than just what we eat and how we exercise. It's important to learn the basics, then figure out the 'whys' to what we do." she said.

Sixty members of the 162nd Fighter Wing participated in the first-ever 9G Force Fitness class. The program goes far beyond the typical "diet" that focuses on only the quantity of food eaten and exercise. Quality of food consumed and a variety of exercises is stressed to teach about healthy choices for the whole person - mind, body and spirit.

Members also learned how to set goals and objectives that are realistic, attainable, but challenging.

In order to achieve those goals, classes included step aerobics, plyometric drills, weight training and spinning, to name a few. Members were also required to keep a daily food log that required reading labels, ingredient lists, and measuring proper proportions.

During a recent meeting of the Top Three, Major Hendrick asked why corn was not a good vegetable to eat. Several members in the room responded because there was no nutritional value in corn, and that corn was mostly starch. The answer may surprise you. It's because corn isn't a vegetable - it's a grain, stated a participant from the previous class.

Major Hendrick urged the Top Three to support those in the program. She also stressed that it's not a "get out of work" program, but rather an opportunity for our members to become healthier.

They meet five days a week to exercise and have a log book to complete each day. She's received emails from commanders that the people are happier, more-productive, and sick less often, said Major Hendrick.

Members and their spouses will have another chance at becoming the "Biggest Loser" during the next 9G Force Fitness class, so keep your eyes open for the announcement coming soon.