Commissary offers 'Choose to Lose' encouragement
March 3, 2014
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (Feb. 28, 2014) -- Once the initial novelty of green juices and daily runs wears off and the temptations of chocolate Valentine's hearts and cream-filled Easter eggs rear their ugly heads, many New Year's resolution-makers fall off the healthy lifestyle bandwagon and back into old habits.
To help Soldiers and family members stick with their goals, the Schofield Barracks Commissary, here, has brought back its "Choose to Lose" program for a second year.
"This program is designed for (participants) to make a healthy lifestyle change -- eat healthy and workout -- but at the end of it, someone's going to win a couple thousand dollars in cash and prizes," said Denise Logan, produce manager, Schofield Barracks Commissary, and the person in charge of the Choose to Lose program.
"We try to encourage them to go to the fitness center to take a class or introduce them to new foods, but it's actually up to the person to keep the lifestyle going," Logan continued. "It's not just about trying to win the money and then that's the end of the program; it's to get you exercising and to promote you to eat healthy."
The program began Jan. 17 and will conclude April 18. Over the course of the three-month competition, the commissary will provide contestants ample opportunities to make positive changes to their diets and lifestyles through in-store healthy food demonstrations and group workouts, such as fun walks and a Zumba class.
"If they go to the gym or come here to participate in the demos that we have going on, they get the Choose to Lose buck that they cash in at the end of everything," said Logan. "Also, if they come in on a Wednesday and spend $25 on produce, I give them a free gift -- oranges, apples, just something healthy."
Now a little more than one month into the program, participants are beginning to see results.
"I started (this program) because I noticed that the more weight I gained, the less energy I had, and with my two kids, I want to keep up with them, but I can't," said Kinga Grant, a military spouse who has lost a total of six pounds so far.
"It's only been six pounds, but, wow, I already can feel the difference and have a whole lot more energy," Grant stated. "And of course, the competition always helps. I'm competitive, so that?'s extra motivation for me."
According to Logan, 75 people signed up for the program at its launch, with the option to enroll as an individual or as a family.
"We've cut back on the bad stuff -- processed foods, fast foods -- and are trying to eat more fruits and vegetables and get out and exercise, get off the Xbox," said retired Sgt. 1st Class Ed Dawe, who is participating as a team with his wife, Kendra, and their 9-year-old son, Skyler.
"My goal is that we can make a change for the rest of our life; that it's an actual change of a lifestyle," added Kendra Dawe. "That's a hard goal to keep, but that's my goal."
The program held its second weigh-in Saturday, Feb. 15; however, Logan noted that the winner will not be decided by the number of pounds dropped, but by the difference in body weight percentage.
"Just because you're thin doesn't mean you're healthy; it's more about a healthy lifestyle change," Logan explained.
In addition to better health and habits, the victor of the Choose to Lose program will receive a monetary award and other prizes from commissary vendors and supporters, including gift baskets and at-home workout equipment.
"Oh, I will be the winner; I'm positive about that!" said Grant, with a laugh. "I know I cannot reach my ideal weight (by the finish), but I know this is enough time to get me to start reaching for the healthier foods and being more active. I am trying to keep going, from the start to the finish, and that's the most important thing."