Biggest Loser comes to Osan

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- With a new fitness program starting January 2010, Airmen from the 51st Medical Group are getting started with their preparation.

By taking a popular television show and adapting it to a military lifestyle, the Airmen have created their own "Biggest Loser" competition.

The 10-week competition consists of 49 people on nine teams. The weight of each competitor was recorded Aug. 11 and is now recorded each week. The person/team with the biggest percentage of weight loss at the end of the competition is crowned "The Biggest Loser."

"The goal is for Airmen to develop a lifestyle of better eating and physical fitness," said Tech. Sgt. Darlene Santana, Osan Health and Wellness Center flight chief. "By doing this they will improve on their fitness score and get ready for January, when the test goes to twice a year."

Each Airman in the competition received the tools needed to accomplish their individual goals. The HAWC provided the education, but the motivation is up to the Airman.

"We started the program because the first sergeant and I saw the need for some change within the medical group," said Sergeant Santana. "Since the HAWC does the fitness testing, we see a lot of people struggle with their weight as well as their PT test."

Although Staff Sgt. Taliah Ingram is not struggling with her weight, she saw the competition as a great opportunity to get in better shape and achieve a healthier weight.

"My short-term goal is to lose about 10-15 pounds," she said. "However, my long term goal is to adopt and maintain a healthier lifestyle. I've lost five pounds so far."

Sergeant Santana said they started with their own group because they are the ones who take care of the patients.

"Because of that, we should be in the best health possible," she said.

Each workout plan is designed for the individual; however, Airmen in the competition can receive all the support they want or need through their teammates.

"We are using the team concept because you have others encouraging you to work out, and helping you to watch the things you eat," said Sergeant Santana. "Your team members are like your wingmen."

"I have received all kinds of great tips since starting the program," said Sergeant Ingram. "The workout plan I've found most effective consists of circuits and muscle confusion."

Sergeant Ingram also said she has become more conscious of the foods she eats, and more involved with high-intensity activities, such as running and biking.

"We are hoping to make positive changes in our personnel's lives both physically and emotionally," said Sergeant Santana. "We are hoping they take what they learn in the challenge and continue on to make a positive change in their future."

The winning team and person will receive a trophy for their achievement, but there is a bigger prize.

"The winning team/person will receive bragging rights about their success in losing weight," said Sergeant Santana. "This alone is the best prize, not to mention a better looking body."