Team Robins collectively loses more than 1,000 pounds in Team Lean Challenge

  • Published
  • By Holly Birchfield
  • 78 ABW/PA
Sometimes being a big loser is something to be proud of.

That was certainly the case for Natasha Dunomes, a financial manager who works in the Financial Management Section in the 542nd Combat Sustainment Wing who individually lost the highest percentage of weight at Robins in the 2007 Team Lean Challenge, an Air Force Materiel Command-wide weight loss initiative that ran from April 16 to Sept. 30.

Ms. Dunomes, who lost 30 pounds in the challenge and 110 pounds since June 2006, said a combination of working out and watching what she ate helped her reach her goal.

"I joined the challenge basically for accountability," she said. "I knew that I would have to be weighing in and keep on track."

Ms. Dunomes, who joined up with friends to form Robins' second place winning Dieting Divas team in the challenge, said in addition to losing weight, she's enjoying the health benefits of the weight loss.

The Combat Foxy Five team placed first as a group in the challenge. The Dieting Divas took second place and the 78th Mission Support Group's Dream Team took third place in the local challenge.

The 330th Aircraft Sustainment Wing was named as the unit that lost the highest percentage of weight.

Winning participants were presented with plaques and pen sets at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center's Quarterly Awards Ceremony at the Base Theater Nov. 16.

Phyllis Burns, a process analyst in the 580th Combat Sustainment Group, who lost 10 pounds as a Combat Foxy Five member, said it took a group effort to keep on the track to weight loss.

Robins' first place team members helped each other make the right food choices and sweated their way to the challenge's finish line in Rhonda McKnight's aerobics class at the base gym.

"We decided we were going to stop eating fast food every day for lunch," Ms. Burns said. "(We) decided we were going to do Lean Cuisine for lunch and stayed around the office area. We used our one hour, three days a week to go to the gym."

Ms. Burns said having a support group and setting small goals helped her make a lasting weight loss.

Joyce Roberson, a resource analyst in the 402nd Maintenance Wing's business office, lost 25 pounds in the challenge with her Dieting Divas team. She said she began losing weight as part of her goal to get healthier.

"I feel really good about the weight I've lost, but I feel best about the fact that I'm achieving what is optimal health, which is making sure your body is operating the way it's supposed to because you're eating the right food and you exercise and you do the things that are healthy for you," she said. "That also includes doing things that help you mentally as well as exercising."

Kelley Denney, Civilian Health Promotion Service coordinator and a registered nurse who worked with the Health and Wellness Center in managing the 2007 Team Lean Challenge, said Robins' participants lost 1,187.4 pounds and 2.2 percent body fat in the challenge.

"I think it was a great success," she said. "Although a lot of people who started the weight loss initiative didn't really follow through with it and end with it, those who did finish it did very, very well.

"They were the ones who needed an initiative like this to jump start them and give them motivation to get out there and exercise and eat right like they should do all along, but they just needed support to do that. I feel like that's what the Team Lean Challenge has done."

Participants received encouraging messages via e-mail to keep them on the right track, Mrs. Denney said.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, was the top performing base in the overall AFMC Team Lean Challenge.

Colonel Theresa Carter, 78th Air Base Wing commander, congratulated the Robins group and encouraged them to continue on their path to a healthier lifestyle.