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Joint Base Andrews Features

NEWS | May 12, 2011

Team Andrews members lose inches to gain miles

By Staff Sgt. Kris Levasseur 11th Wing Public Affairs

Physical fitness should be an important part of anyone's weekly routine, but for members of team Andrews, it is a way of life.

One particular program hosted by the West Fitness Center here, is designed to help motivate Andrews members to obtain and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The Biggest Loser competition, modeled after the popular television show, is an annual contest for Team Andrews members. This year's champions, 'Team WOW!', lost a total of 56.2 pounds.

"The Biggest Loser contest was created to inspire people to get in shape and keep our members healthy," said Casey O'Donnell, 11th Force Support Squadron recreational aid. "The eight-week program starts off with a weigh-in for each team of four. The rules are explained and the teams begin their workout routines."

The competition allows the teams to earn points for various fitness and health activities, including time spent on fitness center equipment and even health classes provided by the Health and Wellness Center. The majority of the points earned come from the overall combined team weight loss during the eight-week period.

"Participating teams are pretty much on their own to decide what their workout routines are," said Mr. O'Donnell. "But if the teams need any guidance at all, the staff here is available to point them in the right direction."

According to Tech. Sgt. Heather Nottingham, member of 'Team WOW!', this competition was the motivating factor she needed to jumpstart her fitness.

"My friend and I thought that this competition would be a good way to kick off the new year and help us loose a little weight," she said. "I feel that it has helped me gain a renewed commitment to a healthier lifestyle."

Sergeant Nottingham, along with her teammates, Master Sgt. Guadalupe Robson, Angela Johnson, Beverly Simmons began the competition together with the understanding that they were participating in the contest to have fun, but also to help one another get in shape.

"Having my teammates by my side, keeping me accountable throughout the competition was a huge help," said Sergeant Nottingham. "Even though the competition is over, our team still keeps in touch and gets together work out."

Sergeant Nottingham added that even though they won the competition, she still strives to improve her fitness and she is thankful to the Biggest Loser competition for giving her a head start.

The efforts of 'Team WOW!' did not go unnoticed by fitness center staff. Mr. O'Donnell noted that the competition wasn't even a close call, with the next closest team trailing by nearly 20 pounds.

"Teams like 'Team WOW!' Are the reason we hold competitions like this," said Mr. O'Donnell. "The effort they put into this competition was nothing short of inspirational."