In 2001, I failed my first official weigh-in for the Air Force. I was 215 pounds and my max weight was 189, however, it was the measurements that I couldn't make. The Air Force back then had adopted a waist and neck measurement to get a rough BMI number. For example. I had a 17 inch neck and a 38 inch waist that equated out to 19.5. 20 was the magic number that you had to stay under. There were some variances with height and age and some pretty strange math equations that would change it, but, generally that’s what it was. In allot of ways the measurement din’t make sense. You could have a guy with a huge double-chin and measure with a 20 inch neck (I’ve seen it happen) and have a 40 inch waist and still pass. So, in 2001 I was put on the Weight Management Program, known more commonly by its unofficial name “The Fatboy Program.”
For me, getting on the Fatboy Program hit pretty close to home. My dad was in the Air Force for 16 years, and he struggled with his weight tremendously. He was on a similar program for quite a few years. In fact, he was eventually discharged from the Air Force for being unable to control his weight. 16 year in the military, 4 years left before he could retire and his weight problem put him out of a job. So, here I was just 4 years into my career and I’m already starting down that path. At the time, my mom repeated to me what My Grandmother told my Dad.”Don’t eat yourself out a job.” Eventually, I was able to slim the waist, stave off any disciplinary action, and get off the program.
Eventually, the Air Force would drop the weight requirements and combine the measurement requirement with a new physical fitness test (running, push-ups, & sit-ups). The neck measurement was dropped completely, and they had a points based system for the waist. If you had a larger waist, you received less points and if you measured over 39 inches, the point drop-off was immense. That’s where I had frequently found trouble.
In recent years, I’ve focused more on running which is the bulk of the test scores. However, more recently, my joints are showing quite a bit of wear and tear from all of the running. At 220 pounds, I’m more then positive that has allot to do with it. So, to answer the question on what motivates me, it’s the Fatboy Program. I never want to go back there, and I want to be a healthy individual.The heavier I am, the more risk i have for further injury when running or any other high-stress activity I do. I can't afford to take it easy when running, I have to give it 100%. If I don't I'm going to fall behind and eventually fail the PT test again. With 14 years in the military, I WILL make it to the end. It doesn't matter if I'm a perfect genetic specimen or not, I firmly believe God has given me the ability to push myself further and faster on every single run I go on. I'm not training to be faster then anyone else, I'm training for me, for the welfare of my family, and because this body is a temple of God and I'm going maximize it's potential. I've ran in three half-marathons, and trust me when I tell you, that if your body is as worn as mine is from 14 years in the military, there is no way you can get through 13+ miles non-stop without the grace of God.Keeping my weight low not only affects my health, it affect the welfare of my family. As my mom said, “don’t eat yourself out of a job.