If you have a “why” you can accomplish anything. I personally believe if a person has a reason, then the discipline and work will follow. I went from 224 pounds to 135 in a year. If I can do it, so can you!
Here is my “why.” What’s yours?
The year was 1999 and I was 17 years old approaching high school graduation in June. I had known from the beginning of high school my plans after graduation: I was going to serve in the military. I had always been a relatively slim guy and I wasn’t too concerned about passing the physical requirements for entry. What I didn’t anticipate was that I was also expected to maintain this standard of fitness. A Body Mass Index calculator was used to determine your general weight based off height.
I distinctly remember a New Year’s Eve party at a friend’s home January of 2000. While everyone was making jokes about the Y2K scare, I was eating plate after plate of food at the party. People were amazed saying, “how do you eat so much and stay so small?” I laughed and shrugged it off.
The old adage “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” would come to play in my life based on my bad eating habits and workout routine. Or lack thereof!
Thirty-one days later I was told we were having a squadron fitness assessment. I was expected to complete 30 push-ups, 40 sit-ups, and 10 pull-ups with a one-minute limit to complete each exercise. I was also expected to run 2 miles in less than 18 minutes. Even though I hadn’t stepped inside a gym for almost a year, I assumed that I could somehow will my way through the test. Fast food and sugary drinks had become a lifestyle for me. I went to the assessment uninformed and unprepared.
As expected: I failed. I had 30 days to retest.
What happened next would change my life forever. About a week later, the United States announced Operation Enduring Freedom. This was very critical for my squadron as I worked at Offutt AFB with pilots who flew planes that gathered sensitive information. We were instantly deployed to Prince Sultan Air Base (PSAB), Saudi Arabia.
I couldn’t believe I would be spending the next three months in the Middle East. My job was intense. It kept me busy during duty hours. But, once you were off duty there was nothing to do. On base, there was a new fitness center. I went every day after work. For the next three months, I spent an hour at the gym, faithfully working out. I even decided to become a vegetarian. I gorged on salads and fresh fruits. I couldn’t get enough. After my three months were over, I returned to the states and re-took the fitness assessment. My scores were so high, I became the squadron fitness leader.
I became emotionally involved with my goal. I was tired of saying I would lose weight with no action. I began thinking of reasons I could accomplish it instead of the reasons I couldn’t. Desire built inside of me so much that failure wasn’t an option. Just start! This comes into play on the days when I “really didn’t feel like it.”
It was my “why” that propelled me to dig deep and get it done.