Tag Archives: healthy

Mrs. Welsh and Mrs. Cody Jan 21 tweetchat

By Air Force Public Affairs Agency
Social Media Division

In case you missed out on our Jan. 21 tweetchat with Mrs. Betty Welsh, Chief of Staff of the Air Force spouse and Mrs. Athena Cody, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force spouse, you can catch up on the questions and answers below!

Q1: Why does it seem so difficult to get into a routine and break old habits?
A1: A1: It takes time & perseverance to change behaviors and establish new habits. On average–66 days! (cont) #BettyWelsh
A1 (cont): Start out with a reasonable goal– know that with time & patience you will create long-lasting change. #BettyWelsh

Q2: How do I get started on my 2014 Healthy Living goals?
A2: First, list your goals & then break them down into achievable steps. Engage your family & friends for support.

Q3: What resources have you found or tools to help you stay on track that you would like to share with us?
A3: We have great resources to support you as well—check http://www.usaffitfamily.com/home

Q4: @AFWSOWIFE asks what would be the No. 1 best new habit to get started on the most healthy lifestyle? #BettyWelsh
A4: .@AFWSOWIFE Healthy eating helps you feel better, have more energy, prevents major illnesses to include heart disease, high blood pressure.

Q5: @usairforce is there a program for civilians to get fit and enlist? #dreamjob #BettyWelsh
A5: @SafariBear1107 Ask local recruiting office for advice to meet your goals! Airforce.com has a list of recruiters. #BettyWelsh


Q6: For the tweetchat followers to answer! How many of you have set goals for this year, and what are they? #BettyWelsh

Q7: Can you live at home and still work in the Air Force day to day if you live in the region of the base? #BettyWelsh
A7: @FastTrack_Shaq: Contact your ANG or AFR office for opportunities to serve! See GoANG.com. #BettyWelsh

Q8: Do you have some stress reducing activities that you would like to share?
#BettyWelshA8: Stress by itself wears down our health and well-being. As military spouses we forget that saying NO is OK! (cont) #BettyWelsh
A8 (cont): We must take time for ourselves in order to take care of others. #BettyWelsh

Q9: @Kaboom_Krusader: What can the Air Force offer towards a culinary arts career? Is it a competitive field? #BettyWelsh
A9: The Air Force sends services personnel and enlisted aides to culinary training. #BettyWelsh

Q10: What is a good workout to help train for pararescue? #BettyWelsh
A10: Military.com outlines the requirements for passing the PJ fitness test & advice for prep for it. @Militarydotcom #BettyWelsh

Q11: @AFWSOWIFE: @AFYouthPrograms Any network for work out buddies to connect with in the DC area? #BettyWelsh
A11: Sorry we can’t endorse any networks. Please do a search for workout groups. #BettyWelsh

Q12: Who do I contact to run track while in the Air Force? #BettyWelsh
A12: Talk with a recuiter. For more information check out academyadmissions.com/admissions/. #BettyWelsh

Q13: If I transfer from another service, will my rank be reset? #BettyWelsh
A13: Check with an Air Force recruiter, and you can chat with one on airforce.com. #BettyWelsh

Q14: If doing ROTC, can someone be an astronaut? #BettyWelsh
A14: Yes, it’s a possibility if you’re on the right career path and meet the requirements. #BettyWelsh

Q15: #BettyWelsh Has being a military spouse helped your own ability to stay committed to health & fitness in any way?
A15: I think a few of the lessons I’ve learned about flexibility, resilience and knowing that taking care of others starts with taking care of myself has helped me stay connected tothe importance of healthy living.

Q16: How do you find time during your busy lives to exercise/eat healthy? Some days it’s so hard!

A16: You have to schedule it into your day, and stick to it – don’t change
that part of your schedule. The first month is always the toughest!
A16 contd: The Air Force is moving to 24-hour gyms to help us fit the gym into
our busy schedules. Now there’s no excuse! (followed by A1 tweets about 24
hour gyms).

Q17: How do you encourage your family/children to be active & fit?
A17: Lead by example! And set goals as a family…working together to
accomplish fitness goals can strengthen your family beyond the gym.

Stay tuned for our next chat!

Never saw this coming: Lessons learned in trying times

Maj. Gen. A. J. StewartBy Maj. Gen. A. J. Stewart
Air Force Personnel Center Commander

I had the world by the tail: U.S. Air Force Academy graduate, Air Force pilot, six-time commander, 30-year Air Force career, and two stars; fit, healthy and strong. But subtle problems appeared out of nowhere: occasional vertigo, mild persistent headaches, cognitive challenges, having to stop during a hard run.

I went to see the flight surgeon and was immediately referred to a Neurologist. An MRI revealed a golf-ball sized tumor on the left temporal lobe of my brain and the doctor bluntly told me, “Your life will never be the same.” I was literally stunned.

Swelling was critical and I was admitted for surgery five days later. The surgeon briefed me on all that could go wrong, but the young Air Force captain performed expertly. He gets my vote if I ever need another surgery.

The tumor was successfully removed down to the microscopic level. The question remained “why did I have a tumor?” The news from the lab was not good: malignant growth from stage IV of the worst form of brain cancer.

It was time to fight.

After a few weeks of recovery from surgery, I felt like a million bucks. My fitness and strength were returning and I was back to full duty and physical activity. I, also, simultaneously started a six-week, aggressive anti-cancer radiation and chemotherapy treatment plan.

The doctors told me I would be fatigued, suffer nausea and lack energy from the treatment. To counter those potential symptoms, I got back in the weight room, back on my bike, back on the running trail, back on the golf course and back to full time duty as commander of the best organization in the Air Force – Air Force Personnel Center!

The negative side effects never showed up. My fitness, strength and health remained good but it was also the hundreds of e-mails, cards, letters and prayers from my family, friends, coworkers and even strangers that helped me keep my spirit up.

Last week, I completed my last of 30 radiation and 42 chemotherapy treatments and I still feel great! The next critical step is another MRI in a few weeks to see if the cancer has returned. I pray for good results.

I never saw any of this coming.

I have learned a few lessons along the way that may help others who find they are facing tremendous challenges.

Be fit, be strong, and be healthy every day. Fitness is not about just passing the Air Force Fitness Test or deploying, it is about saving your life. A well rested, strong body and a healthy diet can help you fight off tough challenges when they come.

Life is short and precious. If there are things you want to accomplish in life, get busy now. “One day” and “someday” may never come. Push yourself to do more, now. Tomorrow is not promised, so do not waste a day.

Be positive. Brain tumors can be fatal so there’s no room for defeatism; you have to fight a challenge like you intend to win. Leave negative thoughts behind and be ready to endure. Run your race like a winner. Attitude may be the number one component of success.

Be open and honest, up and down the chain. Our Air Force is a family. I have received the support of literally hundreds of kindred Airmen, with a big “A.” The Air Force has proven itself a family from our senior leadership to our youngest Airmen, including civilians and supporters. If folks know your challenges, they can help. My AFPC and A1 family have been magnificent. They have opened their arms and hearts, and carried me through the tough times.

Be a bouncer. Bad things sometimes happen. It is not a question of whether you will take a fall so, get over it. The question is will you bounce back. It is really up to you. Be tough minded – you are a warrior! Think like a winner and bounce.

Love your family. My wife, Areetha, has been the “wind beneath my wings” and my rock. She has been beside me every step of this journey and she insists I keep a positive attitude. She ran the Marine Corps Marathon last fall at age 50! She is 100% positive and endures. I thank God for having her as my wingman. My Mom, sisters and extended family have also been my cheering section. They are irreplaceable and I love them dearly.

This is a tough, unexpected fight and it is not over. Our most humble “THANK YOU!” from Areetha and me. We are overwhelmed with your support, words of encouragement and prayers.

I’ve cleared a few hurdles but the fight is still on. I intend to win.