Fat Girl Chooses USMC Boot Camp

There’s something about a Marine Corps uniform – whether it’s dress blues or cammies – that’s incredible. It’s not what they are, but what they represent. They signify brotherhood, organization, efficiency, danger, and a certain vicious grace that I can never quite put my finger on.

I didn’t understand why the uniform was so powerful for me until I started working at the Marine Corps Association.  From the moment I laid eyes on that first completed female mess dress ensemble 9 months ago, I realized that I didn’t want to sell uniforms; I wanted to wear them. I want to be a United States Marine Corps officer.

When I first had the epiphany, I was 5’6” at 220 pounds, which is considered obese by medical standards. I had to fight to meet with a recruiter because I was so overweight I was considered a waste of time. It took a full month to meet with one. The only information I needed was when, where, and how the ball needed to be pushed down the mountain. Here’s what he told me:

  1. Pass a Physical Fitness Test (PFT), which would consist of 100 crunches in 2 minutes or less; a 26-minute, 3-mile run; and a 34 second arm hang.
  2. Drop 60 or more pounds.
  3. Sign the paperwork by March or September

Armed with this wealth of information, I began my journey to becoming an officer.

I began with nutrition. No more McDonald’s! I limited my calories to 1,000 per day. I meticulously counted, too. I logged every single bite I took and NEVER went over 1,000 calories. If I did go over, my punishment was extra gym time. People often tell me consuming so few calories is dangerous, but sometimes you have to do what’s necessary to get things done.

I exercised feverishly. I’m not a runner. I always say my run is like a fast walk. When I started this endeavor, I couldn’t even run for more than 30 seconds. I concentrated on my arms and abs, too, for the PFT. Every. Single. Day. After a full day of work you can find me slaving away at the gym wiping the sweat from my eyes.  To call it grueling would be an understatement.

After 9 consecutive months of training, of dieting, of exercising, of depriving myself of every frivolity known, I am so close to my goal I can taste it. I have lost 60 pounds, but I gained 12 back. So now I just have to lose these last 12 pounds, figure out a strategy to my arm hang, and complete a 5-mile run so 3 miles isn’t so harrowing.

I can’t wait for what’s next.

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