Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

190.2 lbs

So last week I bottomed out at 187.8 lbs. I was at 21% BF overall. That's pretty good. I am hoping to end this week below 186. If I hit 185, I will be ecstatic. The days of huge drops do seem to be gone, however. Losing weight sometimes requires a degree of mental concentration that I needed to use elsewhere the past week or two. It's not to say that I do not keep goals. I am still looking forward to certain experiments I have put off. They cross my mind at least once a day. Heck, new experiments cross my mind once a day. This crap had me even contemplating the contents of my dog's food! "Eat Like a Dog", that's the kind of stuff that enters my brain. Actually looking at the contents, I think the dogs eat better than I do most days. And so it goes.

One thing that entered my brain this week was something I have been following for some time, the change in our military's diet and exercise regimen. It seems for most military members the days of marching around with a 50lb rucksack are gone. The reasons for this are multi fold. First, new recruits have the physical stamina of a flu infected sloth from sitting on their sofas playing video games all day. Sedentary is the new fashion. Who wants to actually get in shape a little before you go into the service? Secondly, all that cardio was causing a huge amount of injuries for no good reason. Excess cardio was stripping recruits of muscle which, uh ya know, you might need to actually carry a weapon or something. Third, humping a rucksack while marching in a straight line for 20 miles prepares you for nothing more, strategically, than the occasional camp out at "Fort Whatthehellwasithinking". Let's just hope that Private Joker brought the s'mores.

The military has been making this transition away from mindlessness for quite some time. The newer military physicians and dietitians were appalled at what the establishment saw as good old diet and physical fitness. Besides, if you are getting shot at, walking tediously in a straight line is probably not going to be part of your agenda as a soldier. At the very least, I hope not. The food was also an issue. Having been the recipient of numerous meals with names like "Shit on a Shingle", I can tell you that very few things I ate in the military were what I would call overwhelmingly nutritious. On some bases, it was like a smorgasbord of everything a teenage boy would want. Now that can be a problem. To misquote Kipling, "A fat mongoose is a slow mongoose and a slow mongoose is a dead mongoose."

Well the military has figured this out and here is an article about where they are now in the process of revising the overall diet and exercise regimens of our brave men and women in the Armed Forces. They deserve to eat healthy and live long and full lives. That is my real hope for them, longevity.

Let's be frank, the pay is not good in the military though the personal sense of security through benefits can be a bonus. Hearing about how one of our elite teams took down Bin Laden this week just reminded me that they do this type of stuff everyday. We just never hear about it, I can assure you. And on top of it all, being a soldier or airman or sailor is one of the lowest paid professions in this country and they are one of the few citizens not afforded the same freedoms you and I take for granted while fighting for those said rights.

The guys who took down the most evil terror mastermind ever probably make less pay than the assistant manager of your local gas station unless they are an officer. Most of the guys, the hired help that do the dirty work, aren't officers. The old saying goes that an army marches on its belly. It might seem silly for us to spend time and money to adjust a soldier's diet or make them do Pilates but if it helps them come home safe and sound, I see no reason not to do it. Some things we do in this country aren't worth the time and cost but seeing a combat soldier come home to the loving arms of his family is simply priceless.

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