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NEWS | April 18, 2023

Weight Loss to Enlistment

By Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Reno 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

As a young man, Aaron Schichtl had always dreamed of serving his country. He was passionate about joining the Army Reserves, but he knew that his weight could be a problem.

At 400 pounds, Aaron was severely obese, he knew that he needed to lose weight if he was going to be able to meet the Army's rigorous physical standards.

Fortunately for Schichtl, he learned about the Army's new Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) program, which was designed to help Soldiers like him improve their physical fitness and overall health.

The program focused on a variety of different factors, including nutrition, sleep, mental and spiritual readiness, all of which were critical to achieving optimal health and fitness.

At first, Schichtl was skeptical. He had tried to lose weight before, but he had always struggled to stick to a diet or exercise plan. However, he was determined to succeed, so he decided to give Mullins' and the H2F program a try.

“We strategized and planned a nutrition program that will work for him. Each person is unique with their needs and goals.” Mullins said. “We are able to gather data from recruits and current seasoned soldiers and then provide them a plan that we monitor and change as needed.”

The first step in the program was a comprehensive health assessment, which included measurements of Aaron’s body composition and a basic health assessment. Based on this assessment, Aaron was assigned to Mullins, who helped him develop a recommended personal nutrition and exercise plan.

Over the year and half, Schichtl worked hard to follow his plan. He started eating a healthy diet that was rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. He also began exercising regularly, incorporating both strength training and cardio workouts into his routine.

At first, the changes were difficult. Schichtl struggled to adjust to his new plan, and he often felt tired and sore after his workouts. However, Mullins was always there to support him and encourage him to keep going.

Slowly but surely, Schichtl began to see progress. He started to lose weight, and his body composition improved. He felt stronger, more energetic and more confident than ever before, and he even started to enjoy his workouts.

Finally, after more than a year of hard work, his efforts paid off. He has lost over 200 pounds and passed the Army’s height and weight standards. He was able to join the Army as he had always dreamed.

Looking back, Aaron was grateful for the support he had received from Kentucky’s H2F program and Mullins. Without it, he knew that he would never have been able to achieve his goals and fulfill his lifelong dream of serving his country.

According to Mullins, what the Kentucky H2F program does well to assist recruits and Soldiers is not only providing the education on the five domains of H2F but also have the capability to follow up with and provide real time support to soldiers.

Schichtl ships out to basic training in late April and once he finishes that, he will go to the Combat Engineer Advanced Individual Training (12B) at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo.

Aaron says that he wants to stay committed to his health and fitness. He knows that his transformation is just the beginning and is excited to see what else he can accomplish with his newfound discipline and determination.

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