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News > Following his own advice: Chief Master Sergeant gets fitness help from the HAWC
Following his own advice: Chief Master Sergeant gets fitness help from the HAWC

Posted 3/9/2011   Updated 3/9/2011 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Andrew Davis
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

3/9/2011 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- Asking for help can be one of the hardest steps toward achieving a fitness goal and for one Airman that was the case.

Chief Master Sgt. Raymond Pelletier said he struggled with his weight for years, until recently when he took it upon himself to ask the Health and Wellness Center Staff for help.

"My battle with weight has been pretty much a life-long endeavor," said the chief. "About a year before joining the Air Force I weighed as much as 348 pounds. When I went in to visit the recruiter he basically laughed me out of his office while saying come back when you can lose 100 pounds, so I did a year later after losing close to 150 pounds."

His most recent issue and the reason he sought assistance from the HAWC came after he hurt himself playing intramural volleyball last year.
"I messed up a hamstring and was not able to work out the way I wanted to, but foolishly kept eating the way I wanted to," he said. "I knew I was getting out of hand when I went to Clothing Sales to buy the largest uniform I have worn in my career, but I did not realize how bad I had gotten until I weighed myself on my 46th birthday and saw 274 pounds on the readout.

"At that point, especially with a new fitness standard and test facing me in the very near future, I knew I was in trouble. For the first time in my life I sought help from someone: the HAWC staff," he said.

Up to that point Chief Pelletier said he felt that his weight issues were his problem to solve, and that it was up to him to get out of the situation.

"It did not dawn on me how foolish that thinking was until one morning when I was talking with a young NCO who was struggling with weight issues as well, and I referred them to the HAWC for help," he said. "I had been doing that for years and never thought to follow my own advice."

After seeking assistance from the HAWC staff they set up a program for the chief to follow. The program consisted of nutritional guidance, exercise and running information.

"Perhaps the greatest area where they helped me was in simple encouragement," said the chief. "Some days I would walk in the Fitness Center with no energy to do anything and I would see Laura (a HAWC staff member) or one of the other folks and they would tell me how happy they were to see me doing well, and that would pump me up to push myself."

Not only did the HAWC provide a plan that the Chief could follow, but they also guided him to other events they offer throughout the year.

"One of the best programs the HAWC offered to help me and many others though is the Biggest Loser events," he said. "I have always been a very competitive person and when they presented a contest to improve yourself physically, and help others do the same thing, it was just a win-win situation for me."

Currently deployed as the superintendent of he 380th Expeditionary Operations Group, the chief continues to improve upon his fitness.
"My immediate goals are to get and maintain my weight under 210 pounds by May 1st and to break 90 on my next PT test in June."

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