Albany Firefighters are "Fired up" for fitness - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany Firefighters are "Fired up" for fitness

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Making the right decisions about what to eat isn't always easy, especially this time of year. But making the wrong choices, could led to health problems down the road.

Phoebe Putney has teamed up with the Albany fire department to help those lifesavers save their own. It's Thanksgiving week and for many of us, that means feasts of food, turkey, stuffing, lots of gravy.

But food that tastes good, doesn't have to be bad for you. Just ask Albany firefighters. It's the type of food you would expect a group of firefighters to eat.

Cheese and pasta and peppers... Delicious.

Assistant Chief Ron Rowe asked, "Is this healthy?"

The response, "Yes. That's very healthy actually."

Wait. A healthy lasagna? And these guys are eating it? "It's great. Tastes good," said Captain Tony Denby.

A good tasting, heart healthy lasagna, and it doesn't even have meat!  Denby said, "If it has eyes and feet, it has cholesterol."

They're learning all about being fired up for fitness, through a partnership with Phoebe.   It's all about exercising, learning to cook healthy and changing their mindset.

"More conscious of what I'm taking in." But no one is more aware of his diet, than the poster child for the program, EMA Deputy Director Jim Vaught.

"I'm on my 3rd pair of trousers," he said, "I had to put a hole in my belt, 'cause I've run out of notches on it."

With the help of lapband surgery, Vaught has dropped more than 50 pounds in the past two months. "I started at 457 and on that particular day I was down to 395."

Under 400 pounds for the first time in years. And even though those holiday feasts are approaching rapidly, Vaught has learned how to not eat everything on in, in hopes of taking off even more weight.

Eating healthy though doesn't mean you absolutely can't have turkey with the fixins', just remember, this is the time of year when people often pack on extra pounds, so keep your portions small and don't over do it.

The course for Firefighters is a year long program. The next topics they'll discuss are stress management and prescription drugs.

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