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Only one shot hits the wellness bull's eye

ELLSWORTH AFB, SD -- If the phrase "Fit to Fight" doesn't inspire one to adopt a healthy lifestyle, how does "You're drilling a hole in your own pocketbook" sound? 

New scientific evidence shows being fat is a good way to thin out the amount of money one has in the bank. 

"Obese people spend approximately $485 more on clothing, $828 on extra plane seats and $36 more on gas each year than their thinner counterparts," said Ms. Amy Kubal, 28th Medical Operations Squadron wellness installation dietitian. "Researchers say an overweight driver burns about 18 additional gallons of gas a year and plus-sized clothing costs 10 to 15 percent more than smaller sized clothes. 

"A recent article in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine estimated the extra weight of obese Americans caused airlines to spend $275 million to burn 350 million more gallons of jet fuel," she said. 

Starting a healthy lifestyle doesn't have to be a traumatic, drama-packed experience. Tips provided by Ms. Kubal that can easily be adopted include: 

· Eat the white meat of turkey or chicken and remove the skin. Animal fat is the number one dietary source of unhealthy saturated fat. 

· Start using lean ground beef, pork tenderloin or fish instead of high-fat cuts of meat. 

· Change your cooking methods. Bake, grill or broil your meals instead of frying. Use non-stick sprays--or better yet, non-stick pans--instead of oil. 

· Drink more water. Slowly reduce the amount of soda you drink and replace it with herbal tea or water. Aim for eight cups of pure water each day. 

Ms. Kubal said she can assist active-duty personnel and family members if they want a good starting block to begin a new chapter in a healthier lifestyle. 

"We have a series of classes called 'Sensible Weighs,' which runs every month for four weeks," she said. "Each class in the series focuses on a different aspect of health and weight goals." 

Ellsworth's senior leadership said the installation has a great asset in what Ms. Kubal can offer. 

"Ms. Amy Kubal offers our Airmen invaluable advice and guidance regarding health and nutrition," said Col. Pete Castor, 28th Bomb Wing vice commander. "Her expertise is an incredible resource available free of charge to active-duty personnel and their families. In the civilian world comparable programs charge a significant fee. I encourage everyone to seek out healthier lifestyles, make an appointment, and avail themselves of Amy's advice." 

Ms. Kubal said there are no "alibi-rounds" when it comes to taking care of one's health.
"Take care of your body," she said. "It's not like a car - you can't trade it in." 

Ellsworth's Health and Wellness Center also offers classes for smoking cessation, a
highly-intensive workout routine called Boot Camp and other courses designed to allow for a balance of physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual health. 

Ms. Kubal's office is located at Ellsworth's HAWC. For more information concerning wellness or to schedule an appointment, call (605) 385-2349.