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McChord Field’s newest dietician joins HAWC

Molly Maxfield brings balanced perspective on health and wellness

Molly Maxfield /Courtesy photo

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For as long as she can remember, sports and nutrition has always been a part of Molly Maxfield's life - from competitive softball in high-school to studying food science and nutrition at Central Washington University in Ellensburg to her internship at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, OR. Her passion is sports nutrition, wellness and fitness, and her dream job has always been as a sports dietician. Hence, when she became the McChord Field Health and Wellness Center's (HAWC) newest registered dietician, she was over the moon.

"I loved working with children and pregnant women," Maxfield says of her former job with Tacoma's Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, "but this time folks and athletics will be coming to me because they're motivated to be healthy."

Maxfield is co-partner in a business called Say I Do... Nutrition, LLC, which helps brides lose weight before their wedding - advice she's about to adhere to as she plans to marry her JBLM Army fiancé this fall. She is also a fitness instructor at a local gym. Originally from Hoquiam, Maxfield hails from a family of public school educators. And, she is an educator herself having dedicated her life to helping others achieve their fitness goals. However, hers is a different approach.

"I absolutely don't believe in diets," she said. "No Atkins, no HCG (human chorionic gonadotropia) but rather calories in and calories out. Losing weight and exercising for fitness shouldn't be rushed - it's a lifestyle change and not a chore. Consistency is better and more isn't always better, either. I don't believe in restricting foods because it can work against your weight loss goals."

Maxfield will be teaching nutrition classes, and working with Servicemembers to past physical training tests and others who want to lose weight or bulk up, those with allergies and food restrictions - "whatever it takes to get Servicemembers and their families healthy."

Appointments are free for Servicemembers and dependents and usually begin with an hour-long consultation. According to Maxfield, January is a dietician's favorite month, "because everyone wants to lose weight," she said. "However, by February the gym is empty because reality sets in and limited food intake and too many classes (or days working out) takes a toll and folks give up."

Among her biggest pet peeves so far on JBLM is the overuse of energy drinks.

"There's a huge amount of energy drinks consumed in the military," she said. "My goal is to decrease the overuse of supplements as well. Supplements are good but many overdo it, and my advice is everything in moderation. We need to get back to basics and eat whole foods, fruits and vegetables."

Another concern is the importance of eating slowly and when and where to eat.

"It's so important to sit down and eat with family away from the TV," said Maxfield. "Slow down. People eat way too fast and consume more calories that way. As for restaurants, they double portions and rush you out the door. That's not healthy either."

The HAWC is located at the McChord Field Fitness Center Annex, Bldg. 726 and also provides blood pressure screening, smoking cessation and lifestyle management classes.

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