News: ACC-KU takes on Biggest Loser Challenge
By Silentip LeRoy
Army Contracting Command Cadre
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – More often than not, changes in an organization occur with each rotation of leadership. For some leaders, a vision of a fit workforce begins with setting the example. The 408th Army Contracting Support Brigade, Army Contracting Command-Kuwait took on The Biggest Loser Challenge here.
Shortly after the arrival of Lt. Col. Bob Brinkmann, commander, ACC-KU, 408th CSB, ACC-KU and San Antonio native, he initiated a get-healthy jump start program.
This opportunity to get healthy was a turning point and a life-changing experience for those who participated.
"The contest not only improved the health and fitness of the participants by shedding excess body weight, it also helped improve the morale of the unit by getting members involved in a fun and competitive activity," said Brinkmann.
The 14-week challenge was aimed to trigger awareness of individual health and wellness and to kick-start a diet program that many have been contemplating but never put into motion.
It was also an opportunity for everyone to come together in reaching a common goal, physical fitness.
Participation was open to everyone ranging from military personnel, DA civilians, and government contractors. Ten individuals took advantage of this opportunity.
While each participant had their own personal goal, the common bonds were the determination and desire to improve one’s health. The program established a mandatory weekly weigh-in to track progress.
While group activities were not mandatory, the program was based on motivational and mental competition approaches.
Conversations and exchanges on the subject of nutrition and exercise were common topics around the office. During the challenge, participants engaged in a total of nine 5K run/walk events.
To meet everyone’s interest, there were also other activities available through MWR such as Zumba aerobics, spinning (cycling), step aerobics, and the weekly military physical training sessions. Some participants continued to run/walk the same 5K route on their personal time as part of their exercise routines.
Continued encouragement through distribution of information for events here and weekly progress status updates were the key to keeping participants focused and in the game. Through a combination of move more and eat right and less, the group lost nearly 75 pounds collectively within the first five weeks. By week 10, the total weight loss had doubled.
At the final weigh-in, the group lost a total of 217 pounds. The winner lost 45 pounds, followed by Brinkmann at 30 pounds, and third place with 29 pounds.
The winner was determined by the total percentage lost, not total weight. However, the weight loss success was across the board. Everyone was a “loser.”
The result of this competition is a testament that it’s never too late to start making positive changes in one’s health, especially in a deployed environment. It has also sparked interest in bystanders who are now eager to join in the next round of this journey to self-improvement.