Airmen credits lunch and learn event to saving his military career

Tech. Sgt. Robert "Jim" Scofield, a budget analyst for the 167th Comptroller Flight, made significant changes to his diet after attending a lunch and learn event hosted by the 167th Medical Group which he credits to improving his overall health and saving his military career.

Tech. Sgt. Robert "Jim" Scofield, a budget analyst for the 167th Comptroller Flight, made significant changes to his diet after attending a lunch and learn event hosted by the 167th Medical Group which he credits to improving his overall health and saving his military career. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --

Lunch and learn events have become rather popular here at the 167th Airlift Wing.

Scheduled during the lunch hour, these events invite Airmen to eat their packed lunch while listening to informational discussions on topics such retirement, finances, legal issues and health.

 For one Airman, attending a lunch and learn in November significantly impacted his life.

 “The briefing provided in November saved my career,” said Tech. Sgt. Robert Scofield, a budget analyst for the 167th Comptroller flight.

 Capt. Jacqueline Shoemaker, an Aerospace Nurse Practitioner for the 167th Medical Group, discussed the history of the food pyramid in the United States and why 70% of Americans struggle with weight. She offered an alternate food plan that optimizes performance, energy and stamina at the lunch and learn event, the first offered by the 167th MDG.

 “Our goal in the Medical Group is to improve the overall health and fitness readiness of the Airmen,” Shoemaker said. “The MDG has developed educational programs [to do this].”

 The food plan limits sugars and starches and can facilitate healing and the reversal of disease.

 “Leading up to November drill I had been working out and eating better based off what I thought was best, smaller portions, limit calories, etc.  The problem was that I wasn't losing any weight,” Scofield said. “I was coming to the realization that I wasn't going to pass my [fitness] test and my military career was coming to an end.”

 Shoemaker introduced Scofield to a completely different way of thinking about food and nutrition.

 Scofield went home that evening, did some more research on the nutritional plan and began implementing the methodology the next day.

 “I was desperate and unlike other diets this seemed like something that I could really get behind,” Scofield said.

 He lost 10 pounds the first week.

 “A lot of that was water weight due to the lack of carb intake.  More importantly I started feeling much better within the first couple of weeks.  I had more energy and focus from the change,” he said.

 Scofield has lost 40 pounds and five inches from his waist. He passed his fitness assessment in January and is living a healthier lifestyle, all because he chose to take advantage of an opportunity called a “lunch and learn.”

 “The tools are available, and if used properly one can have amazing success. I am so proud of Jim Scofield. This is what healthcare, healing and serving my country is all about,” Shoemaker said.