Make changes for a lifetime, not just once a year

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Dan Gage
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
A month into 2013, many people may have given up hope on New Year's resolutions weeks ago.

The 90th Medical Group and Health and Wellness Center at F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., would like to offer advice to those trying to make improvements in their life.

"We have the means on base, we want to lift people up," said Capt. Joaquina Fontes-Lopes, 90th Medical Group health care integrator.

"The Family Health Clinic is on your side," she added, "we're not only here to heal your ailments, we're here to give you a pedestal to stand on and rise above your expectations. Meet your goals; manage your health, not only as a daily basis but over a lifetime as well."

Those trying to make changes to improve their health can contact the clinic or their primary care provider to create a plan or get a better direction to services on base.

"We have all these resources on base to help people stay healthy and strong," Fontes-Lopes said. "No one is alone here when it comes to improving themselves."

According to numbers from the Center for Disease Control, 34 percent of Americans are obese and 68 percent are either overweight or obese.

In the military, the numbers are not far behind, of all active-duty in the U.S., 26 percent are obese, a number the 90th MDG clinic and the HAWC are working to reduce here.

"The Air Force is taking these figures very seriously and we're working to implement change here at Warren," Fontes-Lopes explained.

"People have to lose a lot of weight before basic-training," she added. "It's not easy, and a lot of people fall back to their bad habits afterwards."

"Sometimes people set unrealistic goals for themselves," said Alison Morrell, 90th Medical Operations Squadron. "There's a tendency to expect to see changes before you would realistically see them.

"People get frustrated and question why they are doing the work," said Morrell.

"It takes 21 days to create a habit; change isn't going to happen overnight," she added.

When it comes to making changes, Morrell said it's best to find what works best for the individual.

"Establish a routine that works with you," she explained. "Always be prepared, whether it's keeping a gym bag in the car or planning your meals in advance."

Along with planning ahead, Morrell said people find it helpful to keep a journal of their activities, meals and progress.

"Back away from the long-term goals momentarily and focus on the short-term, even down to the week," Morrell explained. "Then after a month those routines will begin to set in."

Keeping a journal helps to see improvements, she said, even if they are not immediately evident every day.

The 90th MDG and the HAWC have resources and programs to help the members of the Mighty Ninety stay fit to fight.

For more information, or to start planning a healthier future, contact the 90th MDG clinic at 773-3461 or the HAWC at 773-4292.