An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Make a change to get fit

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Timothy Boyer
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
Fitness is a core component in the Air Force today and I have found as time passes, it takes more effort to maintain required standards.

I joined the Air Force several years ago. At the time, it was not too difficult for me to meet the minimum requirements of the Air Force Fitness Program. Unfortunately, as time has passed and standards have become tougher, it has become more difficult to pass my biannual fitness test.

For a while I blamed my ever-increasing work load and family obligations to my declining fitness. The truth of the matter is, unfortunately, I am getting older and it is getting more difficult to stay in shape.

A large part of my struggle to stay fit lies in bad eating habits I formed when I was in my younger years. Growing up I was always the skinny kid. I remained skinny through my late twenties. I could eat whatever I wanted and it never seemed to affect my weight, so I assumed I was healthy. What I did not understand at that time was being skinny and being healthy are two different things.

When I reached age 30 I had to start working a little harder to keep the weight off. I also noticed physical ailments, tiredness and my overall health not being as good as it once was. It was not until a couple weeks ago, at age 32, I took notice of the foods I was consuming.

When I joined the Air Force I was a maintainer, but was forced to retrain due to the manning situation. Now my time is spent mostly at a desk 15 feet from the snack bar. To most people, that is probably not a problem. To me, the temptation of candy bars and soda is overwhelming.

Since I was used to eating unhealthy foods when I was younger without any perceived impact on my health, it was difficult to stop those eating habits once they started impacting my health.

I have begun to slowly change my eating habits throughout the past couple weeks, along with making the time to exercise on a regular basis. It is a difficult transition - one that is going to continue to take a lot of hard work and accountability, but my health and career are worth it.

It is my hope that if you are a younger Airman with habits that are bad for your health - whether it be consuming too many energy drinks, candy bars or alcohol - you will think about your future and consider ways you can make small changes now to improve your future health. This will help you maintain the standards set by the Air Force and live a long, healthy life.