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Arthur Bryan and Christine Crawford both wanted to lose weight, so when they heard about the 10 Pounds in 10 Weeks Challenge offered by MWR at the Drill Hall, they signed up, hoping it would work for them.

“Between the PRT [physical readiness test] standards and my own ambitions, I knew it was time for me to get in shape,” said Bryan, who is an aircrewman second class with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20.

Bryan arrived at NAS Patuxent River a year ago at 200 pounds and had already dropped weight working out at the gym three to five times per week. He hoped the 10-week challenge would help him with those hard-to-lose final pounds he wanted to shed.

Crawford, the spouse of a retired Sailor, said she wanted not only to look better, but to feel better physically and emotionally.

“The class challenged participants to lead a healthy lifestyle and lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks,” said Jillann Hamilton, assistant fitness coordinator and certified personal trainer. “In the beginning, everyone was given a packet of information about calories and exercise. There was a weigh-in each week and an hour-long workout that included kickboxing, strength class, circuit training and Zumba.”

According to Bryan and Crawford, the class taught them how to eat, how to exercise and the simple message of accountability.

“I learned that by cutting out 500 calories per day, I could lose a pound a week,” Bryan said. “That was the basis for the number of calories I’d eat in a day or a week. They’d also challenge us to avoid sweets, or fast food, or soda for the week. This wasn’t a diet, it was a lifestyle change.”

Exercise played another important role.

“The exercise classes were challenging, but I also found myself having fun,” Crawford said. “Having a different type of exercise class each week helps you decide what you enjoy; which ones you can tolerate and what classes are just not for you.”

Their families supported their efforts by joining them in healthier eating. Bryan and his wife further tweaked their diet by using smaller plates to control their portion size.

It wasn’t easy. It required motivation and “a lot of prayer,” quipped Bryan. But it worked.

Bryan reached his goal by dropping another 13 pounds and now fluctuates between 150 and 155. Crawford lost 15 pounds the first time she took the challenge and another 15 pounds the second time she took it.

The next 10-week program being offered by MWR is Points to Fitness, where participants will be challenged to earn points by logging their food, working out, weighing in and making their goal weight.

Registration is required and the class is limited to 50 participants.

Register at Drill Hall in the Fitness and Sports Office by Feb. 5.

Exercise classes begin Feb. 12.

For more information, call 342-5449 or email