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Vanguard spouses lose to win
Connie Ligus, left, and Sarah Hall, right, participants in the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Teams Biggest Loser competition, stand with event organizer, Traci Wheeler, 4IBCT Family Readiness Support Assistant, April 30, at the Vanguard Fitness Center on Fort Stewart, Ga. - photo by Sgt. Mary S. Katzenberger

Fort Stewart, GA


Twenty-eight “Vanguard” spouses learned they could win by losing during a three-month biggest loser competition, which ended April 30.

The spouses of Soldiers from 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division, competed amongst themselves to lose weight, worked out and attended weekly weigh-ins and nutrition classes together throughout the course of the contest.

Traci Wheeler, 4IBCT Family Readiness Support Assistant, and competition organizer, said that as the inches dropped the spouses realized they were gaining energy and building strong alliances.

“Some of us are really competitive,” Wheeler said. “We’re military spouses so I think the Soldiers wear off on us a little bit [and] we tend to be competitive ourselves.

“[The competition] was a way to start off the new year healthy,” Wheeler continued. “It was a way to … be with other spouses and work out … [and to] build some camaraderie.”

Connie Ligus, who said she participated in the competition for the camaraderie she believed it would provide, said being in the contest gave her a sense of being held accountable for her choices.

“The need to want to come to the gym was not something I desired before,” Ligus said. “But I could tell a difference in myself when I didn’t go—in my mood and in my demeanor.

“It’s mind over matter,” Ligus continued. “If you don’t change the way you think, then you’re not going to change your habits.”

Wheeler said the “Vanguard” brigade will continue its mission in helping to build healthy bodies and relationships by hosting a second biggest loser competition, slated to kick off soon.

For more information about participating in the competition, call Wheeler at 912-435-7894.

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