As a kid, I wanted to serve in the Army.
A few of my family members were already serving in the Army, and the older I got, the more I wanted to serve.
But that seemed unlikely back in 1991, when I was 16. I weighed 265 pounds. I told my gym teacher I had asthma so I could get out of high school phys ed. The Army, I was convinced, wouldn’t want me as I was.
So I started running, sought relief for my asthma, and lost 45 pounds by October 1992. Six months later I graduated high school and enlisted in the Army.
As you can imagine, I was in pretty good shape after basic training and could run two miles with ease. I went on to serve four years in field artillery cannon operations, from 1992 to 1996. When I left the Army, I weighed 185 pounds and had a 32-inch waist.
Once I left the military, and without the Army to keep me in line, I put on 100 pounds over 11 years. And then I put on another 44 pounds. In 2019, I weighed 329 pounds.
I felt like there wasn’t really a reason to maintain myself because no one was holding me accountable. Throughout this time, I ate more and more fast food and sweets. Exercise, which had been a constant, slowly faded to the background.
Becoming a chef in 2007 didn’t help and even kept me in denial. As a chef, I wasn’t really a big deal to my customers. But it was just an excuse to be overweight.
During my annual doctor’s office visit, my physician told me my triglycerides level were elevated. It sunk in that I needed to get my health under control.
Deep down, even if I wasn’t making changes, I knew I had it in me to return to where I once had been. I knew there was a better version of me inside of me, because I’d been him before. I’d seen him. I’d lived as him.
The Catalyst for Change
In 2019, I was returning home from a cruise, on a plane, and I was struggling to put my seatbelt on. I couldn’t. So instead I held it in place. Then a flight attendant called him out.
Once she passed me, I took a deep breath, held in my stomach, and fastened my belt. It barely fit. I knew right then I needed make a change. I had to hold myself accountable.
The first thing I did was buy a scale. I’d never had one in my home. I gave up all my late-night eating and fast food. And I made sure to make meals with lean proteins and vegetables.
Exercise-wise, I went back to the cardio I’d known so well from my youth. I walked, then run, and mixed in cycling and jump rope too.
In just three months, I started seeing results: I had lost 30 pounds and a few inches off my waist.
In the summer of 2019, I really cracked down and starting pushing myself. It took about a year, but now I feel absolutely amazing.
During all this my son has been a motivator for me and continues to be. Whether I’m on a treadmill or running in my neighborhood, I’m constantly thinking of him, and living for him. He’s now nine years old and two belts away from becoming a black belt. (He said he’ll teach me some moves.)
Next on my goal sheet is to drop about 30 more pounds this year. This will put me close to my military weight. But with a 109-pound weight loss already—going from a 48-inch waistline to 36 inches—I’ve already made incredible leaps with my health.
Cleaning out my closet multiple times has been very liberating for me. Literally out with the old and in with the new.
Source: Thanks https://www.menshealth.com/health/a32191949/chef-army-veteran-100-pound-weight-loss-transformation/