HQ USMEPCOM, North Chicago, IL –
A common resolution for many at the start of a new year is losing weight, feeling better and living a healthier lifestyle. As the weeks go by and winter storms are at their strongest, those resolutions can soon be forgotten. Old habits come back and soon, we are binge-watching TV under the throw blankets and binge-eating junk food.
As a way to encourage employees to live their healthiest lives and start the year off strong, USMEPCOM HQ encourages employees to compete in their annual “Biggest Loser” program. Both military and civilian employees were invited to participate in the voluntary program that kicked off Jan. 24. Participants met with “Biggest Loser” coordinator Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Marc Ascher for their initial weigh-in.
“USMEPCOM HQ does this every year in January following the holidays as a way to encourage people to lose weight and lead healthy lifestyles,” said Ascher.
The goal for contestants is to shed the most pounds before the contest ends on April 15. One civilian and one military competitor will claim the title as USMEPCOM’s “Biggest Loser” after their final weigh-in and receive a trophy, certificate and a feature in the Messenger.
It is up to contestants to monitor their progress with scales located in the first-floor locker rooms. Utilizing the building’s gym is an option, but losing the weight is up to the individual. The gym has recently been updated with new cardio equipment, and has 20 different machines as well as a variety of weights and equipment.
“You’d be surprised how many people forget that we have a gym downstairs,” said Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Edgar Jimenez, last year’s weigh-in coordinator.
Jimenez said competitors excelled during the competition in 2021 by utilizing the USMEPCOM Wellness and Readiness Program. The program authorizes civilians three hours of administrative leave per week, with no more than one hour per day. Physical fitness activities, preventative health events, education on health promotion topics (such as nutrition) are examples of activities covered by the program. Those who want to participate will sign a contract with their supervisor then log their hours in ATAAPS.