Saturday, September 16, 2006

Iraq War Soldier Ready To Begin Low-Carb After Post-Deployment Weight Gain

It doesn't matter who you are or how healthy you think you may be living, there is a very fine line between being fit and in shape and becoming fat and headed towards obesity. When you think about the most active, healthy people in the United States today, you can't help but mention the men and women who are members of the armed forces. These brave Americans put themselves through the rigors of training and use that on the battlefield to protect our country worldwide.

Today I received an e-mail from one of these heroes who returned from the war in Iraq earlier this year and wanted to share a story about how he let his weight creep up on him unexpectedly after months of celebrating being at home again and returning to college.

Here's what he wrote:

Hi Jimmy,

I am really glad I found your site. I got off active duty guard deployment from Iraq in March 2006. Since then I have gone back to college and packed on the pounds.

When I was on active duty (As a USMC Infantryman, I joined the guard after I got out and got deployed) I weighed 186 pounds pretty much the whole time I was in. Unit PT forced me to work out and I was never fat.

When I got home from Iraq, I weighed 220 pounds because I guess since I got back I have lived it up. Happy to be home and alive, celebrating with a lot of beer, pizza, ice cream etc. I am now at 258 pounds at 5'11". My BDUs fit but they are tight.

Today was my first day of low-carb eating. Your site really gets me pumped up. So thank you! I have one more semester of college to go after this one for my AA and I want to become a police officer. I don't want to be a fat person anymore. I even went for a 45 minute walk this evening. Thanks for inspiring me toward sucess. I'll keep you posted. HOOAH!

WOW, what an awesome e-mail from someone who you would think wouldn't have to struggle with his weight. But he does and that should be a lesson for everyone who thinks they'll never, ever deal with a weight problem in their life. I certainly don't blame him for partying after coming back from Iraq, but I admire the discipline it took for him to see what was happening to his body as a result.

Here was my response to him:

THANKS so much for writing, my friend and CONGRATULATIONS on making the decision to start livin' la vida low-carb. I'm proud of you for recognizing this before it got out of control.

First let me say how incredibly thankful I am for your service in the United States National Guard. I believe the armed forces has been unduly demonized by those who disagree with the war we are fighting against terrorism and Iraq and people like you have been caught in the crosshairs of what is nothing more than political squabbling. On behalf of those of us in America who appreciate what you have done to help make our country safer from terrorists, THANK YOU!!! :)

Keep up the walking and more than anything, STICK WITH your low-carb plan NO MATTER WHAT! That's what helped me lose my weight two years ago and it's what will help you become a police officer in the best shape of your life. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

Please let me know how I can help you in ANY way during your weight loss. I'm always available via e-mail and at my web sites. God bless you, sir, and please keep me abreast of your progress.

When I received this e-mail from this Iraq war soldier who wants to become a police officer, it reminded me of this policeman who wrote to me last November and also wanted to get his health into shape so he could be a better cop and father. He supplemented his new low-carb lifestyle with walking both before and after work. I hope and pray he is still keeping at it in 2006.

Are you feeling like the time has come to do something serious about your weight problem? Take the lead from this brave soldier who wrote to me today expressing his concern about where his health was headed. Make the effort to DO SOMETHING regardless of what you think may or may not work. If livin' la vida low-carb is not for you, then don't do it. But refusing to do ANYTHING when you KNOW your weight is out of control is NOT an option. Got it?!

Here are my four steps to weight loss success:

Step one is deciding for yourself that you want to do this.
Step two is finding a plan that will work for you.
Step three is following through on that plan exactly.
Step four is continuing on with that plan for the rest of your life.

If you do these things, then you cannot help but reach your weight loss goals and be healthier than you have ever been in your entire life. NO EXCUSES are good enough for rationalizing your way out of losing weight if that is what you need to do. MAKE IT HAPPEN and stop bemoaning why you can't do this. YOU CAN! I'm always available to help in any way that I can. E-mail me at Start livin' la vida low-carb TODAY!

9-18-06 UPDATE: I received an update from this soldier about his first few days on low-carb today. Here's what he wrote:


Wow I feel honored by your post about me! You are right we are demonized by a media and public that has NO idea what it is like to be a soldier, much less in combat. I assure you 99% of us Joes are honest, good-hearted people who go out of our way to help the Iraqis.

My journey thus far has been nothing short of AMAZING! I weigh myself every morning on the same scale after I go to the bathroom when I wake up.

See for yourself:

9-15: 258 lbs
9-16: 253.2
9-17: 250.6
9-18: 247.8

I am following Atkins induction to the T. Though I did have about a cup of broccoli last night not knowing it is not allowed in induction. But its about 6 g. of carbs. I had a big sasuage omeltte this morning. I don't feel hungry and I am always thirsty and drinking plenty of water.

I admit I do have terrible cravings for pasteries and cakes but drinking water usually helps with that as well. I know I would not be able to do this without the help of online forums and blogs (like yours!).

My dad who is a retired navy doctor poo pooed Atkins as "effective but not a realistic way to eat for life". I beg to differ and will prove him wrong. I am one of those people then when told something can't be done I try harder to prove it CAN! I'll keep in touch with you. Thank for your support!

GREAT JOB!!! Keep up the fantastic work and you'll meet your weight loss goals in no time!

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