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Deployed Airman loses 40+ pounds, scores 99.8 on fitness test, wins Biggest Loser

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Shane Sullivan
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Equal Opportunity
Editor's Note: Master Sgt. Shane Sullivan, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Equal Opportunity officer, lost more than 40 pounds, scored a 99.8 on his fitness test and won the Wing's "Biggest Loser" competition during his deployment here.

You want to get in shape during your deployment, but what does that mean? Do you want to lose weight or score better on your fitness test?

Before I left Keesler Air Force Base for this deployment, I promised myself, and my leadership, I would return a new person. I set a lofty goal and told anyone who would listen, which initially helped me be accountable for my choices. I predicted I would lose 40 pounds. People encouraged me, but still pointed out it was a lot of weight and it would be tough.

After allowing myself a couple weeks to get acclimated, I began the assault on my waistline. I kept hearing about early risers who participated in an exercise regimen that was intense, awful, awesome and fun all at the same time. I decided to try it. Just before Thanksgiving, I went to my first class. Three days later, I regained movement and was able to go back. I scaled my workouts and tailored them to my abilities.

The more I focused on skill work and proper form, the more my body responded. I was running faster, lifting more weight and recovering quicker. When I needed motivation, my workout brothers and sisters were there to encourage and inspire me - and each other.

While I attribute much of my success to exercise, I had to do my part in the dining facility as well. I drastically cut carbs, ate smaller portions and made better choices. I didn't starve myself and yes, I had a cookie or two once in a while.

Did I have setbacks? Yes, I was down for a few days with arthritis pain and there was at least one week, during which, I gained weight instead of losing it. I didn't let it discourage me. I used those moments to motivate me to work harder.

I was also able to compete in the Biggest Loser competition. By the time it started, I had already lost 13 pounds and was entrenched in my routine.

When the biggest loser contest was over, I had lost an additional 30 pounds and placed first. I scheduled my PT test with the hope that having lost more than 40 pounds and having worked out for five months I would be ready. I could never have predicted just how ready I was.

I scored better at forty years of age than I ever have, a 99.8. Twenty years ago I ran my 1.5 mile test in 10:24. This time I ran it in 10:06. I reached my goal of losing 40 lbs., took seven inches off my waist and I'm in the best shape of my life.

I set a specific goal, set my mind to it and stuck to it. I know I am not alone. Miracles do not happen overnight. They can take days, weeks or months depending on what the goal is.

Now it is time for a new goal. I have to promise myself I will never look like I did five months ago ever again.

You, too, can accomplish your goals. Dream big and work hard to achieve that dream, you can do it.

Air Force fitness centers offer a variety of workouts, just visit your local staff and find out which one is right for you.