Here in the relative safety and comfort of our American way of life, we’ve come to a crossroads: thanks to a strong economy and the variety of food sources afforded to us by way of capitalism, we’ve all taken to eating as a hobby, rather than a utility. Our monkey brains are hard-wired to appreciate calorie dense foods, because in the savanna our ancestors called home, a calorie dense meal was a jackpot scenario, rather than one of a dozen fast food options you drove by during your lunch break. So each time we treat ourselves to a hearty pile of fat pills, our brain rewards us with endorphins, while the rest of our body punishes us by feeling sluggish, bloated, and, of course, getting fatter.
I’m no exception. I started my Marine Corps career as a scrawny 155-pound Private First Class, and finished it as a 230 pound sergeant with a body fat percentage that just screamed “this guy only drinks clear alcohol.” I took fitness very seriously as a Marine, because, as far as I was concerned, being able to win a fight is the first prerequisite to serving in Uncle Sam’s favorite gun club.