T Nation

Sacrificial Physique: Why Being Out of Shape and Pathetic Hurts My Feelings

I’ve been reading posts on T-Nation since about 2007. I’m honestly not sure if I’ve ever posted anything on the site (I had to jump through hoops just to reactivate my account and track down my password, etc). I’m feeling compelled to post something, though, because I need SOMETHING. Here’s the story:

I used to be cool. I’ve been back “home” from Afghanistan for a little over a year now. It was my first deployment and the bottom line of that deployment is this; I used to be cool. I’d blow off steam every day by lifting for a minimum of one hour. I was deadlifting over 500, squatting a solid 405 for reps and my 1RM was 365 for bench. All the while, I was doing dismounted patrols for 1 to 10 hours a day, wearing full kit (about 45 lbs). Hell, I listened to “Dig Up Her Bones” by the Misfits every morning that I tossed on my plate carrier, donned my helmet, and grabbed my M4, all the while praying that today was the day that a battalion of Taliban would descend upon my platoon and be torn to pieces in the process. However, that never happened. Nope, I left Trashganistan a year ago and have since left my post as Platoon Leader.

I’m now a Company Executive Officer, meaning I’m chained to a desk. A typical day of wake up every morning at around 0400. I’m in to work by about 0445. If I’m lucky, I do PT for an hour (with the Army’s stretching/warm up procedures, it’s actually about 30 minutes of “real work”). Then I do paperwork and BS on my computer or in meetings until, if I’m lucky, about 1900. I go home and pray to God I have a beer in the house to maintain my sanity. I usually do, so I drink that plus about six more, then I pass out and wake up tired with cotton mouth for another bullshit day.

The bottom line is this: I used to be cool. When I got back from Afghanistan, I was 10 pounds lighter and a million times stronger (I was also better at math, so bear with me). I miss being deployed. I had purpose, I had motivation, and I wasn’t exposed to the crappy food/drink that I now consume regularly. Now, I just sit around and read this website, wondering how great it would be if I could actually WORK OUT! I’m going to Special Forces Assessment and Selection in about 6 months and honestly, I just want to be not-embarrassed. I don’t know how this happened. I have tits now, for Christ’s sake. (note: I’d love to do a demotivational B/A photo session, but let’s be honest, I’m so close to eliminating my own map that the embarrassment that would ensue would surely push me over the limit and my wife would find me dead in a freak auto-erotic-asphyxiation situation, which is the last thing either of us need)

Aaaaaand that’s my piece.

Ummm…Welcome back??

Stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop drinking every night, get your act together and start lifting and eating right. Do this for a long time and you will be “cool” again

[quote]ZSchaeff205 wrote:

I’m going to Special Forces Assessment and Selection in about 6 months and honestly, I just want to be not-embarrassed.


Go here: www.professionalsoliders.com. Set up an account, read and absorb all the info you can. DO NOT post other than your intro as every question you could possibly have has been answered on that site already. Also, the mods there are quick to ban people and some are the very people that will be evaluating you at SFAS so don’t make an ass of yourself. Buy the book, “Get Selected,” if you haven’t already.

If you are making the army a career I’m sure you know by now that staff positions are a less execiting but frequent part of an officer’s life. You should know by now you will have to find the motivation within yourself. Good luck, LT.

This is mostly rhetorical: What do you need to do to prepare for SFAS?.. and why aren’t you doing it?

I know the “I’m too fucking exhausted to do anything; FML” feeling. For me it was more like 0900 to 0100 on a good day, 0900 to 0500 on a bad day. During that time, I also crashed and self medicated on booze to keep sane.

Are you working 7 days a week? Do you have any days off at all? Do you have access to a gym on base?

You might want to check into the Convict Conditioning program by Paul Wade. Forget the premise of the book; the core program itself is good if you really don’t have access to a gym. At least it should give you some ideas for a do-anywhere progressive-overload routine.

Ryno76 gave you good advice where as mine mirrors Lonnie’s.
1)Get up off the ground
2)Wipe the tears from your eyes
3)Set goals using S.M.A.R.T
4)Work towards those goals with consistency and intensity until you reach them.

Of course you may have PTSD or depression in which case you should seek professional help

[quote]JLone wrote:
Of course you may have PTSD or depression in which case you should seek professional help[/quote]

I should have mentioned this as well, and would be remiss if I didnt at this time.

If you are genuinely in a clinical, medical depression you should seek help professionally. If you are simply feeling sorry for yourself because you have let yourself slip in your discipline, snap out of that shit pronto.

Hey guys,

Thanks for all the reads and responses. Not sure if you could tell, but I was pretty much blasted out of my mind last night while writing that one. As far as clinical depression or PTSD, I’m 100% sure that’s not me… although I do have a Batman costume and sometimes choke myself while pounding off (see South Park for reference).

I just needed a wake up call and some good thoughts about where to start. I’ll check out that Convict Conditioning and check out the professionalsoldiers.com site. With regards to SFAS, I’ve been doing a good amount of quick rucks and long runs. I think I need to focus more on endurance. At the same time, I pulled the “Reg Park 5x5” program yesterday. I’ll be working with that for a while because with my schedule, I either have 7 days a week to lift or 0 (due to schedules and field time). Reg Park’s program makes it easy by having a one day split and I think I can stick to that.

As far as gym access; yes, my post has a gym. In true Army fashion though, it’s GARBAGE! We have an enormous Zumba arena, a racquetball court for the fatties, seven thousand machines (“Oh goodie! I can really isolate my flexor digitorum sublimis! Chicks love a guy with jacked flexor digitorum sublimi!”) We’ve got one squat rack. One squat rack for a 3000 Soldier post. My platoon built a squat rack out of 4x4s and PVC pipe at our COP. For an organization that is huge on fitness, the Army has no idea how to make people in shape.

Again, thanks for all the help and thanks for reading my PMS-esque rant about how I no longer fit in my jeans. I’ve got a week of leave and I’ll be formulating the big comeback during that week. Thanks for all the materials.