Airman 1st Class Ty Gonzalez

by Airman 1st Class Xiomara M. Martinez , 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Stripes Japan

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- His feet become heavier with each step, sweat rolls from his forehead. ‘I can do this,’ he thinks to himself. The Airman quickly runs to the finish line. Out of breath, he crosses and drops to the ground.

“Just walk it off!” yells his trainer.

He eyes his options to take a seat. Running is just one of this Airman’s struggles while on his path to losing weight.

“I realized I was starting to gain weight after being placed on midnight shift at the dining facility,” said Airman 1st Class Ty Gonzalez, a 35th Force Support Squadron food specialist. “I would lose track of the food servings I gave myself every day, and nothing was open after getting off work at 1 a.m.”

In a short time span, Gonzalez gained approximately 50 lbs.

“When I saw myself in the mirror and saw my size, I couldn’t believe it,” he expressed. “Seeing my clothes fitting tightly and struggling to put them on gave me a reality check. I knew I had to make a change, so I decided to hit the gym and lose the excess weight.”

After seeing his image in an unhappy light, Gonzalez discovered multiple activities to accomplish his goal.

“I ran more, went to the gym more than twice a week, lifted weights, did sets of various exercises and cut back on my food portions,” he explained. “After a couple of weeks, I saw a drastic difference and lost 30 of my 50-pound goal.”

Gonzalez expressed many of his physically-fit customers encourage him to work harder, inspiring him to put more effort in his fitness.

He accomplished his goal with the help of his friend, Airman 1st Class William Mowery, a 35th FSS fitness specialist.

“When I trained Gonzalez and saw the improvements he made, I was very proud,” said Mowery. “My favorite part of teaching him was having him do exercises he felt he couldn’t achieve. Pushing Gonzalez to overcome challenging exercises brought a smile to my face.”

Gonzalez is grateful to his wingmen for having his back.

“I couldn’t be more thankful to have others willing to devote their time and effort to help me,” Gonzalez said.

On top of losing 30 pounds, he plans to keep exercising in order to reach his 50-pound weight loss goal.

“For anyone wanting to make healthy lifestyle changes I recommend consuming junk food in moderation,” Gonzalez said. “The food does not have to be the healthiest, but just keep it balanced and in control. Keep your head high. If I can make a lifestyle change, anyone can.”

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