What Marine Corps Bootcamp Was Like After Losing 175 Pounds
The greatest challenge with initial military training isn't the actual training
The hardest obstacle that you'll ever have to maneuver through is yourself. Your own insecurities, mental blocks, habits, that's where the true challenge is.
So when I managed to drop 175 pounds to join the Marine Corps I didn't see Bootcamp as a challenge. It more like a learning experience and an introduction to military life.
What Bootcamp didn't prepare me for was problems in diversity and inclusion, snide racial remarks, and corruption. For now, let's just keep it to weight loss and the realities of Bootcamp.
Realizing when you have a problem
This is the most important step when trying to overcome physical or most mental issues. You have to realize that a problem exists.
When my ankles and feet were swelling up I knew there was a problem. When I stopped breathing in my sleep I knew something had to change and fast. That's when I took my first steps to lose weight and stumbled upon the Marine Corps.
I looked up the requirements and knew that I wouldn't be able to sign up at 350 pounds. I was 67 inches in height so I needed to get down to about 175 pounds.
I didn't want to be under a mountain of debt but I still wanted to go to college
I started with some common sense. I stopped eating as much and started walking a lot. I walked and did short jogs for about an hour a day. Later I added some weight lifting and calisthenics. There are some common-sense reasons that I wanted to join the military.
What drove me to join the Marine Corps
A lot of things drove me to join the military. I wanted a future, wanted to make my own money, and didn't want to be in debt over college.
One of the reasons that I started looking at the military was the college money. I didn't want to be under a mountain of debt but I still wanted to go to college. I saw the Marine Corps as the only way out.
I eventually lost the weight with the help of a very good recruiter. I was slotted to ship out to Marine Corps Bootcamp in December of 2009. I would finish in March of 2010. So what was it like after losing so much weight in a short amount of time?
Bootcamp was challenging but not that bad
My body was pretty weak after I dropped the weight at the pace that I did. I didn't grow up doing a lot of athletics so I was doing a lot of things for the first time. Things like climbing a rope, pugil sticks, obstacle courses, they didn't come easy.
I didn't do well at most obstacle courses but that didn't seem to be an issue. What was more of an issue were little mind games that the DI's would play and getting IT'd.
With all of that in mind, Bootcamp was challenging but not impossible. It seemed like as soon as I started that everything was over. I saw Bootcamp as an introductory course to military life. After all was said and done I knew the basics of rank, how to address those ranks, how to conduct myself in general, etc.
Just a suggestion
A lot of people with weight issues who do want to join the military are so obsessed with the initial military stuff. It's best to focus on the internal thins, like yourself. Get your attitude figured out, fix your weight issues, and just go through the initial stuff.
This can apply for any military initial training, not just the Marine Corps. For me, that's what worked. I didn't focus on finding out every little detail, I just focused on the basic stuff like getting qualified and signing a contract.
Just remember that if you can overcome yourself then no challenge is too far off.