When Army civilian Chrisabel McClendon decided to make a lifestyle change to achieve her weight goals and overall health, she turned to the Army Wellness Center, known as AWC. Located at Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic, the AWC helps Soldiers, family members, DOD civilians and retirees achieve and sustain healthy lifestyles to improve their overall well-being through integrated and standardized programs and services.
McClendon, with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, said her job is “very sedentary” because she sits at a desk most of the day. She said her weight had started to creep up, she was unhappy with the way she looked in photos, so she decided to check out the AWC to help her achieve needed lifestyle changes. At the AWC, she said, health educators gave her nutrition advice, exercise guidance, and the motivation she needed to help her reach her weight loss goals.
McClendon began her program with AWC in December 2016. Since then, she has lost 35 pounds and 12 inches off her waistline. She also has significantly lowered her Body Mass Index, or BMI. She also works out frequently – five or six days a week. She said that when she exercised in the past, she did it without a purpose and viewed it as a chore. Now, because of her increased activity, she found that she can physically do more and she feels she has better stability. A big motivator, she said, is being able to wear clothing sizes she had never worn before. She even had to get rid of clothes that had become too large for her. She said going to AWC helps her stay accountable with her weight loss goals and seeing the health educators helps her stay motivated.
One tool of the AWC is the Bod Pod. This machine measures body fat and lets clients know if they fall within a healthy body fat percentage range. McClendon said Bod Pod results help her to better understand if her exercise regimen is helping her lose body fat and gain muscle weight. She comes in once a month to track her weight loss progress.
McClendon also recommends metabolic testing. The metabolic test measures an individual’s resting metabolic rate (RMR) which is how many calories a person burns at rest. From that calculation, the health educators at AWC can determine an individual’s recommended caloric intake.
McClendon said that being able to determine the amount of calories she needs to eat through the metabolic testing was very helpful because before her lifestyle change, she ate a lot of fried, sugary foods and very few vegetables. Now, she focuses on smaller portion sizes and eating healthier. She also uses an app on her phone called Myfitness pal to track her caloric intake from the metabolic test.
The AWC approach to service is holistic. It takes into account all of an individual’s physical, psychological and social circumstances when providing services. The holistic approach considers the whole person.
includAWC Core Programse
Health Assessment Review- An analysis of a person’s health status, risk for disease, and ability to increase physical activity safely.
Physical Fitness- Using state-of-the-art equipment, physical fitness level is assessed and used to create an individualized exercise prescription.
Healthy Nutrition- Use of metabolic testing that synchronizes an individual’s resting metabolic rate to provide tailored strategies for weight loss, gain or maintenance.
Stress Management- Education in biofeedback and stress relief techniques, positive coping skills and good sleep habits.
General Wellness Education- Classes on topics such as healthy lifestyles, increased resiliency, preventing chronic disease through healthy living habits, and self-care.
Tobacco Education- An assessment of an individual’s readiness to change, a discussion of possible options for becoming tobacco-free, and provision of the appropriate tobacco cessation education.
For more information about the AWC, or to make an appointment, call 410-306-1024 or visit the AWC Facebook page at facebook.com/ArmyWellnessCenter.