Center aims to promote healthy lifestyle

Christina Calloway: Cannon Connections

The staff at Cannon Air Force Base’s Health and Wellness Center (HAWC) is encouraging the Cannon community to participate in the classes they offer for weight management and a healthy lifestyle.

HAWC health promotion manager and flight commander Joseph Althoff is organizing the Fit to Fight Weight Management class on Tuesday, Mar. 20.

Althoff believes in a different approach from traditional methods when it comes to teaching weight management.

“We have a different flavor here at this HAWC, we try to be more interactive,” Althoff said.

Althoff’s goals are to clear up any weight loss myths and he emphasizes that eating healthy is all about making smart choices.

When Althoff began working at Cannon’s HAWC back in Dec., 2010, they originally did a standard presentation for weight loss management information.

From that point, Althoff and other HAWC staff gathered feedback and then changed the class based on the needs of individuals.

“The class is mislabeled, people think, ‘They’re going to tell me I have to starve myself’,” said Althoff. “What the class is really about is a chance for you to talk to people who actually know what’s going on.”

Althoff says they aren’t going to try to sell people supplement or pitch a fad diet, he is all about the honest truth of how things work and how things should work.

“We’ve probably heard it, we’ve been there, we already taught it,” Althoff said.

HAWC classes and staff focus more on the educational and nutritional component of healthy living.

Between Althoff and Anthony Cook, the exercise physiologist at HAWC, they provide about 15 years experience each.

They understand that many active duty members don’t eat much throughout the day and often to make unhealthy choices.

Althoff believes that this problem is universal because many working people tend to eat rush through the workday and eat what’s convenient.

Althoff wants to offer alternatives to those challenges.

The HAWC will have cooking classes three Saturdays in March for national nutrition month. The classes are mainly designed for people who can’t cook or have little experience cooking.

The recipes are basic and the classes plan to tackle at least two recipes per class. The kitchen at the HAWC is fully stocked according to Althoff.

The HAWC offers standard monthly and weekly classes designed to give basic information on how to lose weight smartly, according to Althoff.

Classes are free and also give people an opportunity to ask questions. Althoff describes the atmosphere as, “very realistic and down to earth.”

Three things that Althoff lives by and teaches:

1. You have to eat to lose weight

2. Best weight loss diet is 5 fruits and vegetables day, 1/2 a cup a serving

3. There’s no such thing as a bad food.

“If you want to know more about the third one, come to the class,” Althoff says.