By Lisa Fisher, Health Educator at AWCNovember 1, 2018
Every January, many people set a New Year's resolution to improve their health. As the year passes, the goal is often forgotten and by the end of the year most are back where they started. The Army Wellness Center (AWC) can assist individuals in reaching and maintaining their health-related goals. The AWC provides resources that are designed to empower individuals to identify current health risks, set goals, and achieve change. Those who take advantage of the resources available at the AWC are often successful at achieving their goals.
Sgt. 1st Class Sean Sigmon has been serving in the Army for 12 years and currently works as a career counselor. Sigmon spends his days like many others, sitting at a desk. Curiosity initially brought Sigmon into the AWC.
"I had been working out in the gym for about four months when I decided to look into it. I had never been to the AWC and I wanted to see what it all entailed. I had the initial in [processing] brief when I first got here that mentioned it and I continued hearing different Soldiers talk about it. I thought to myself, it couldn't hurt, and decided to look into it," Sigmon explained.
Improving overall fitness was Sigmon's initial goal. Medical issues had reduced his physical activity for the previous two years and he had recently resumed his exercise routine.
Sigmon's first appointment at the AWC was a body composition analysis in the BOD POD. "My initial reaction when I received my results from the BOD POD was anger" said Sigmon. Although he was not pleased with his body composition results, Sigmon viewed it as a challenge and immediately began making changes. He scheduled a metabolic test to determine how many calories he should be consuming, then started meal prepping.
"The AWC was able to give me some guidance on what kind of diet changes I should make to really improve my results. I was not very educated on this at the time so the AWC was able to point me in the right direction," said Sigmon.
Sigmon now eats every couple hours throughout the day. His meals contain a variety of vegetables, protein, and usually a serving of grains. He snacks on fruit when he gets hungry throughout the day. Sigmon also increased his exercise and balances cardio with resistance training. In addition to the cardio he typically does with his unit during PT in the morning, he also goes to the gym at lunch to lift weights.
Sigmon said that going to the gym is the easy part for him, but, having the discipline to control his diet has been the real challenge. He said that he misses the flavors of burgers and fries
"To still feel human I will have a cheat meal, not a cheat day, once every couple of weeks," he said.
Sigmon's efforts have certainly paid off. In January of this year Sigmon, weighed 176 pounds and had 23.4 percent body fat. By September, Sigmon had reduced his body fat to 16.4 percent and weighed 170 pounds. Although the weight scale shows minimal weight loss, Sigmon's improved eating habits and exercise routine reduced body fat and increased muscle mass at the same time.
Sigmon has continued to come to the AWC throughout the year to track his progress.
"It's an amazing feeling when you can see your achievements and hard work pay off," he said.
As Sigmon has achieved his goals over the months, he has continued to make new ones. He is now working to reduce his body fat to 10 percent by next summer.
Sigmon said he has had a very positive experience at the AWC.
"The staff has been extremely helpful and very friendly. There is no judgement at all and they truly have my best interest at the forefront," he explained.
"Go to the AWC to see where you are at," Sigmon advises anyone who hasn't been yet. "It's so much more than just getting your weight and body fat. Everyone has different fitness goals but your experience at the AWC will be tailored for you."
The Wiesbaden AWC team works to personalize a program to each individual who comes in, taking into account their unique situation, and the specific outcomes that they are working to achieve.
The AWC provides standardized primary prevention programs and services that are aimed at improving the overall health and wellness of the community. Assessments include body composition analysis using the BOD POD, metabolic tests and fitness tests. Educational classes on nutrition, exercise, stress, and sleep are also available. All AWC services are FREE and available to all Department of Defense ID cardholders ages 18 and older. The Wiesbaden AWC is located in building 1201 on Clay Kaserne, open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call 06371-9464-1478 or DSN 590-1478. More information can be found at http://rhce.amedd.army.mil/wiesbaden/Services/ArmyWellnessCenter.html or www.facebook.com/AWCwiesbaden.