The Body of A Warrior Part Two
My Body Weight Journey
I think that most people think of action movies or the CrossFit Games when they think about the body of a warrior. The standard for fitness and for my physical appearance in the Marine Corps is high. I always looked down on Marines or even other service members that I considered “fat” or overweight. Since I am 69 inches tall (5’9”) my weight limit is 186 pounds. Pretty much since I checked in to my first unit I struggled to stay under that weight limit.
I would have to cut weight by spending dangerous amounts of time in the sauna, eating very little for days, and taking pills to lower my water weight. However, I never thought of myself as “fat” because I could “make weight”. The truth is that I walked around at 190 to 200 pounds on any given day. I was overweight by the Marine Corps standards and frankly, I was fat.
This past summer I had a particularly tough time cutting from 200 pounds down to under 186 so I could make weight. I had to cut weight for about a week which entailed taking water pills, eating ground turkey and asparagus, and hours of cardio and sauna. Finally, I realized that I had to change something, because I couldn’t continue to cut weight just to create an illusion of not being overweight. I went to Team Working Against Gravity for help. Erin (my wife) and I knew a friend of ours that we met on Camp Lejeune that had received nutrition coaching from them and then transitioned to working for Team WAG. So, I went on the website and got on their waiting list.
I started working with Team WAG this past June. In fact, my first week with my Coach, Josh Holton, was the week that I made weight after my dramatic weight cut for my semi-annual weigh in. It took me a few months to get down below 186 pounds, but I did it. Currently, I have been fluctuating between 169-172 pounds. I am more than happy with where I am and wouldn’t mind losing maybe a couple more pounds, but generally I feel good about where I am at physically.
Team WAG is a macro nutrient-based diet, so I am required to take in a set number of carbohydrates, fats, protein, and fiber each day. In addition, I am required to weigh and measure all my food and track my food intake with an application on my phone. The structure that this system provided me is exactly what I needed to get the consistent and healthy weight loss that I was looking for. Most importantly, having to check in each week with my coach kept me accountable.
My Weight Loss History
Age Four to 18
When I was younger I was a skinny little kid. My weight gain started after I moved to Delaware from the West Coast. At the time, I think that the stress of the move combined with being in a new place with very few friends caused me to turn to eating and video games to cope. I loved ice cream and video games particularly. Of course I still love ice cream, but I’ve grown out of playing video games.
In middle school I was a chubby kid without much confidence. I constantly walked around looking at my feet and I had no self-confidence. That all changed during my freshmen year of high school. I played less video games and started playing sports. Specifically, I played soccer in the fall and then in the spring I started playing lacrosse for the first time. By the end of the school year I had lost 20 pounds. My confidence went up and I started to make more friends.
College to the Marine Corps
Fast forward to the end of college. I was still in pretty good shape because of lacrosse and CrossFit. However, I started to get out of shape once I joined the Marine Corps and began my active duty career. I think the combination of a slowing metabolism and business of working full time were the two main factors. In college I could work out all the time, sleep whenever I wanted, and eat healthy. Working full time requires much more focus and attention to your workout schedule, diet, and sleep. As a result, I started to put on weight and get out of shape. I did not get fat overnight and I did not lose the weight overnight either.
The Past Year
I have put in about seven months of discipline and work to lose the weight and get to the point I’m at now. For me, I understand that a macro-based diet has been effective in helping me reach my weight loss goals. This doesn’t mean I’m now off the hook. Counting macros is a part of my life now. I do not think that I can go back to eating like I did. Mostly because I want to avoid putting the weight back on. Also, I like the limits that the diet places on my eating habits. There is enough flexibility in my diet so that I can have tacos, donuts, and pizza if I want. However, there is also enough structure that I can maintain my diet and still look good.
The End Result
I look better than I have ever looked. I am also within the Marine Corps’ standards. Additionally, I feel like I am a faster runner. Right now, I am just looking forward to beach season and being able to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. My weight is under control and now I have a real reason to be confident and feel good about myself rather than being in denial. I am ever grateful to Team WAG and I wish I had started working with them sooner.
If you liked the body of the warrior part two then please check out the body of the warrior part one. Share this article with your friends! Your support only helps me reach my goal of raising money for the Semper Fi Fund. Every little bit of support (financial or otherwise) helps tremendously!