It Begins In March of 2002 I came out of basic training weighing a lean and mean 185. I hadn't weighed that much since the "Hungry days" when I lived in the East Village and had a hard time sctratching up with enough money to buy rice. Between basic training and my Activation for Iraq in 2004, I managed to pack on thirty five pounds. (That sounds deceptive, because at least fifteen of that was muscle mass.) 185 is too thin for me, even though the Army believes that is my ideal weight. 205 is the weight I feel is ideal for me.
In Iraq, my weight went up and down. I lost weight right away, mostly due to stress. I immediately put that weight back on when food became more available, and the shipments of brownies, cookies and candy kicked in at a steady flow. You would have thought that stress, carrying 30 pounds of gear everywhere I went, long days (or nights depending on the mission) and the heat would have helped me shed some weight - think again. It was a constant struggle over there to keep my weight in check. Call me lazy, but sometimes you just don't want to run when it's 150 degrees outside; and when you get shot at all day, often the gym loses it's appeal. Even with these obstacles, I managed to get myself down to 205 pounds. After my little vacation in Fallujah, I lost motivation, and my weight slipped back up.
I set foot back in the US weighing 222 pounds, which is basically what I weighed when I left. That would soon change. I picked up a nice back injury from sitting in the turret of the Humvee all day, and that knee I whacked diving into the truck one sunny day in April when the mortars came down too close started to give me trouble. Working out was impossible. I was officially "broken" as far at the Army was concerned, and given a medical waiver. Also, real food just tasted so good. Twenty eight pounds good, to be exact.
I've been home for two years. I now weigh 250 pounds. That's the heaviest I have ever been. The Army thinks that's too fat. I tend to agree.
In six months, I have to attend an Army school. By that time, I intend to weigh less than 200 pounds.