In the photo above on the left, I was a Marine Staff Sergeant in March, 1997. I was pretty heavy, at my max weight of 175 lbs. I worked hard to maintain even that weight as I had no idea that my diet was so horrible, and that I was fighting a losing battle. I ended up leaving the Marines six months later to pursue civilian job prospects and to move my kids closer to their extended family.
On the right, that is the photo taken for my Army National Guard ID card this past Friday. I weigh 173 lbs in the photo on the right, but I’m in much better shape. I’m far more fit today than I was when I was a SSgt in the Marines. I run more often and exercise regularly without being told to do so. The difference is amazing. Considering both pictures are within 2 lbs of each other, the appearance of my face is very different. I used Photoshop to create the image above, and I matched my eyes and mouth perfectly; those two photos are exactly the same size. Yes, I’m 20 years older (of course), but I am visibly thinner today than I was 20 years ago.
If weight were the only measure I cared about, I’d probably look more like I did on the left than I do on the right. Although I weigh nearly the same, I wear pants 4″ smaller than I did on the left, and I wear smaller shirts as well (M instead of L). My legs are very muscular as are my arms. My abs are trying to pop out from the excess skin I still carry from when I weighed over 300 lbs.
The point I’m trying to make is that there are two Staff Sergeants above. They weigh about the same. Only one of them is really fit, though. Don’t put all your eggs in the scale basket. There’s far more to your health and fitness than what the number on the scale is.