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Adventures in weight loss

HAWC first Lose to Win

HAWC first Lose to Win

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Staff Sgt. George Solis, from the 30th Space Wing, utilizes the Health and Wellness Center’s BOD POD here Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012. A BOD POD is an egg-shaped chamber which uses a method to determine a person’s lean body mass. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Scottie McCord)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Staff Sgt. George Solis, from the 30th Space Wing, utilizes the Health and Wellness Center’s BOD POD here Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012. A BOD POD is an egg-shaped chamber which uses a method to determine a person’s lean body mass. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Scottie McCord)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- I walked into the room and it stood there taunting me, reinforcing years and years of negative body image stereotypes.

Laughing at me.

It was my personal egg-shaped cocoon of shame.

Fortunately, I was ready to overcome any news that was headed my way. Sometimes the worst information is the best motivation.

Today, my motivation was coming from the Bod Pod.

Although measuring body fat is not the most pleasant activity, it can give necessary insight into what is actually happening internally.

"Knowing your body fat percentage is important," said Jonathan Low, Vandenberg Health and Wellness Center health promotion manager. "A high body fat percentage can increase the risk for serious health issues like diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol."

To start my weight-loss journey with the 12-week Lose to Win program conducted by the Health and Wellness Center here, I had the opportunity to use the Bod Pod, a machine designed to measure body fat quickly and accurately.

As I stood in my bathing suit ready to get into the bod pod, it gave me pause. Sure, I have put on a few pounds in the last year, but, hopefully, it had not taken that much of a toll internally, right?

I stepped in, the door shut, and then it was just me and my thoughts... and a strange panting sound above my right shoulder, which I am told is totally normal.

After two rounds of the test (for accuracy), the page printed out with my results. 

The memory of all the great food I had indulged upon in the last year made this moment the most daunting of the day.

As I have learned, it is hard to hide anything from the Bod Pod -- good, bad or ugly.

Because of my indulgences, I had been placed in the risky category with high body fat. It was a shock I have to admit. I am not morbidly obese and I work out, but the hard truth was that I had not been taking care of myself the way I should have been. Now, I have to put on my big girl running pants and fix it.

I made it a point to not let this unpleasant news get the best of me; it was time to get down to business.

My first plan of action was to find a group of people with the same health-oriented mind set as I wanted to adopt. Luckily, the Lose to Win participants had that in mind as well and created a facebook page that can be accessed at http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/145855318861553/.

"A community coming together is going to be a much more powerful movement for wellness than just one person trying to be healthy," said Low.

A great side effect of having an online community is the ability to make changes as a group.

"If enough people are interested in a class then they can request an additional class as a group," said Low.

The HAWC offers many options when it comes to weight loss and maintenance education. Upcoming classes include a healthy eating and exercise class Jan. 25 at 1:30 p.m.; and for those who know that they have high cholesterol or hypertension, a class on that topic is offered Feb. 1 at 1:30 p.m.

To register for classes or find out more about the Lose to Win program call the HAWC at 606-2221.