(Editorís note: The following is a commentary by Sgt. Amanda Tucker, a military journalist assigned to the 82nd Sustainment Brigade. As a participant in the Armyís performance triad pilot program, Tucker is chronicling her journey to better health. This is the first of a multi-part series.)
I looked at the scale in disgust. It has betrayed me yet again in this constant battle of fat. I exercise five to seven times a week and yet the digits go higher. It is confusing, frustrating and when it is time to weigh in, it is embarrassing.
This is a problem that someone of my measly 5 feet 3 inches has constantly when combined with my motherís metabolism. Iíve talked to more than a few individuals who have admitted defeat and have accepted the fact they will never meet that number that the regulation gives us. They have resorted to the worst kind of weight loss, the one or two-day purge. Iím sure you have heard of it. Hit the sauna with a sweat suit, do as much cardio as you can, take a diuretic, wrap yourself up with some Preparation H overnight and voila!
While I do not want to resort to these measures, can we all agree that every Soldier has a do-what you-have-to-do mentality when it comes to crunch time? That is why I was ecstatic when I found out that one of the battalions within my brigade, 189th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, was identified to participate in the pilot Performance Triad program.
This program focuses on three major factors that contribute to health: activity, nutrition and sleep.
In an article from Ann Bermudez, Army Medicine states, ďThe life space is where people make decisions about their health related to activity, nutrition, and sleep. Army medicine estimates that most patients visit a doctor one to five times a year, and each visit is about 20 minutes in length. Those 100 minutes are where Army Medicine can impact patient health. The other 525,500 minutes are when people are at work, or at home with their families, or where health happens. It is in this life space where the choices people make impact their lives and their health.Ē
This is why Army leaders have developed this pilot program, to educate Soldiers on health-promoting behaviors in their daily lives.
I am going to follow this program in simple steps, following rules that I set for myself and give you information based on research on why you should try it to. For this first article, however, I will first tell you what I will not be doing.
I will not be taking weight loss supplements. Why not? These miracle pills are more hazardous in some cases than those couple of extra pounds. After looking up one weight loss supplement, I found that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration linked it to cases of severe liver injury. This is an over-the-counter drug. Am I willing to risk liver damage so I can lose some pounds a little easier? The rational answer is no. So if you are currently taking supplements and start to notice itching, yellow eyes or skin, dark urine, loss of appetite or light-colored stools, you may want to contact your healthcare professional.
(Editorís note: For part two, see next weekís Paraglide.)