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Home : News : News
NEWS | June 23, 2014

Air Force Reservist looks to Total Body Toning for weight loss

By Jose T. Garza III JBSA-Lackland Public Affairs

Remembering growing up in Washington D.C., a 35th Intelligence Squadron master sergeant described herself as a "chubby chicken" who didn't make wise eating choices.

As part of her Hispanic heritage, Master Sgt. Nina Cottrell, 35th IS individual mobilization augmentee to the NCO in charge of mission support, recalls eating beans and rice regularly and only exercising when she was a part of the dance program in high school.

Even after joining the Air Force as an active duty Airman 18 years ago and later transitioning to the reserves and having three children, the brunette had always struggled to lose weight by performing cardio and reach her goal weight of 138 pounds. Cottrell was perplexed about why she wasn't seeing progress.

After overhearing a conversation from co-workers at the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Agency, her civilian job, about the Total Body Toning class at the Gillum Fitness Center, Cottrell decided to give the class a shot to see if the results would be different.

Since taking her first TBT more than a year ago, the class has paid off for the master sergeant. She has lost 20 pounds and her pants size has gone down from a size 10 to a size 4.

"This is the best shape I have ever been in my life," said Cottrell, the AFISR Agency chief of reserve affairs, about the class that incorporates various weight-training exercises to workout the core body, arms, and legs.

Her improved fitness has rubbed off her family.

"My kids see me happy and in shape," Cottrell said. "I have them working out with me."

After shedding weight and inches, her new goal is to build muscle throughout her body.

The TBT class has helped her relieve stress and build confidence, in addition to staying fit, she said.

"My husband (Tech Sgt. Jamaal Cottrell, AF ISR Agency NCOIC of protocol) has been on deployment for seven months, and with three kids at home, the class is a getaway for me," the master sergeant explained. "Exercising helps release endorphins, and I can put my energy into lifting weights, pounding the sand bag and doing sprints.
"I am trying to stay young and not look older. I plan on staying in the Air Force Reserve for the next 20 years."

Cottrell believes Airmen should give TBT a try because performing high interval training in the class would help with their pushups and sit ups for the physical training test and build muscle.

"It builds your core, and you will see results in this class. Give it a try," she continued. "Once you see the results, you will love it."

Nancy Talbot, TBT trainer, is appreciative of Cottrell's love for the class.

"It is people like her that push me," she said. "Students like her think I am helping them when in fact they are actually helping me. When I hear stories like hers, it motivates me to keep going and push harder.

"I know that I am helping people's lives, and that the Air Force is their career so they depend on fitness to pass their PT test," Talbot said.

The Total Body Toning class is offered at 11:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. For more information, call the Gillum Fitness Center at 977-2353/2354.