Team Malmstrom member talks about sucessful weight loss

  • Published
  • By Valerie Mullett
  • 341st Space Wing Public Affairs Office
The second season of Largest Loser, a program designed to help Team Malmstrom members lose weight, is underway. Seventy-five registered to participate Jan. 7 through 11 and those same people received their initial assessments Monday through Wednesday. The contest got started Thursday and runs until April 4. 

The winner of last season's competition was Pete Woelkers, the chief of weapons safety here. He lost 45 pounds during the competition period and has lost a total of 81 pounds since starting the program. 

In a question and answer session with him, he spoke candidly about his accomplishments and the program, in general. 

Q: What prompted you to sign up to participate in the Largest Loser competition?
A: "Several things in my personal life helped me see the road I was headed down. It is so easy to develop bad habits when you are younger that you end up paying for later in life. As you progress in your career and take on more responsibilities, the job has a tendency to be less physical and more sedentary. I have made a resolution every year for the last several years to lose weight. Finally in 2007, I did it." 

Q: How much weight have you lost?
A: To date, I have lost 81 pounds and my goal is to lose 29 more pounds

Q: What are some of the major changes you have made to achieve such success?
A: "I made the physical commitment to work out on a regular basis. For me, that is at least three aerobic work outs a week. Most weeks, I do four. You have to make working out a priority in your life, just like eating is a priority and sleeping is a priority, working out has to be one, too. It is like going to work or going to church. You have to develop the mindset that you are going because you want to go, not because you have to go. The other major change I made was to my eating habits. I am conscious now of everything I put into my body. I really think about what I eat." 

Q: What keeps you motivated?
A: "I have three barrel-sized boxes of clothing that I can no longer wear, nor do I want to wear again. I am going to donate them to the Prison ministries - people who get released from prison don't have clothes. And the greatest need is for big-man sizes! The other thing that keeps me motivated is how great I feel - both mentally and physically." 

Q: What has been your greatest reward?
A: "Being able to go hiking and hunting and kayaking again and having the physical capability to truly enjoy what I am doing." 

Q: Who has been your biggest supporter through all of your transformation?
A: "I can't single out any one person - there have been a lot of people. Certainly my family and my co-workers have been supportive. The HAWC and Fitness Center staffs have been incredible. But really, everyone who knows what I am trying to achieve has given me support." 

Q: What advice would you give to others just getting started in the program or trying to lose weight on their own?
A: "Stick it out for at least a month; it gets easier as you go. Listen to what the HAWC and Fitness Center staffs are telling you They give you information in a way that is easy to internalize and is beneficial. Plan down the road to set yourself up for success." 

Q: Do you have any final thoughts?
A: "I keep asking myself, 'Why didn't I do this five years ago?' All of the equipment and the experience of the trainers is free and there for the taking! It's a benefit we have earned from being in the military and it's a shame more people don't take advantage of it." 

To find out more about healthy living or for assistance getting started on a weight-loss program, call Kelley Suggs at 731-4482.