Have you ever felt so fat and out of shape that you wondered if things would never change?
Have you ever felt like your body was a lost cause?
Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and believed you’d never be anything but the sad sack in front of you?
If so, David Goggins’ incredible story of all-natural weight loss might just inspire you to change your life. Keep reading to learn exactly how he accomplished what most people believe is physically impossible.
One Bad Ass Mofo
Many people call David Goggins “the toughest man alive.” They have good reason for the title. Goggins, now 43, has already accomplished more than most men could in several lifetimes. Here are some of his incredible feats:
- Member of US Navy SEAL Team 5
- Graduated Army Ranger School as a “Top Honor Man”
- Is the only man in history to complete Navy SEAL training, Army Ranger School and USAF Tactical Air Control School
- Competitive ultra-distance athlete, with 10 first place trophies and 21 podium finishes. Famous races include the Kona Ironman Championship, the Death Valley Badwater 135-mile run, the 48-hour UltraCentric run and the Furnace Creek 508-mile ride.
- In 2013 beat the World Pull-Up Record with a total of 4,030 pull-ups in 17 hours
But he didn’t start out as one of the most incredible athletes in existence. Before the toughest man alive became a certified badass he was a bona fide fatass.
Starting at the Bottom
Several years earlier Goggins had quit USAF Pararescue (PJ) school in the middle of training. Air Force doctors had diagnosed him with the genetic potential for Sickle Cell Anemia and explained there was a small chance the training could seriously injure him. At the time Goggins had secretly been terrified of drowning in the Pararescue water segment and was praying for any excuse to get out without losing face. The doctor’s diagnosis seemed to be a blessing. Instead of admitting his fears, he told his commanding officers about the Sickle Cell danger. As expected, he was released from school without any negative marks on his record.
But Goggins knew what he had done.
He had quit. He had chickened out. When he’d been faced with a serious obstacle that was outside his comfort zone he had turned tail and run.
The defeat followed him for the next four years, eating at his soul. Instead of jumping out of planes and rescuing soldiers, he accepted a low paying position behind a desk. His work suffered. When his military contract was over he took the only job he could get, a night gig spraying toxic chemicals as an exterminator.
When he first joined the Air Force, the 6’1 Goggins was 200lbs of lean muscle. A few short years later his junk-food habit and lack of exercise had caused him to balloon to 297lbs.
Now he was fat and depressed. He was disgusted with his body. He hated his job. Worst of all he had completely lost respect for himself.
At the lowest point in his life, Goggins was sitting on the couch watching television when he suddenly saw something that changed his life forever.
“I saw this show on the Discovery Channel,” Goggins explains, “and it was just guys going through [Navy SEAL] Hell Week. They were freezing, there was a lot of water, and it brought back memories of me going through Pararescue training. So at 297 pounds I decided to try to be a Navy SEAL.”
He started asking around but none of the local Navy recruiters in Indiana gave him the time of day. He began expanding his search until he was calling every Navy recruiting office across the country. Finally he found a San Diego recruiter who gave him a tiny sliver of hope. The officer explained that Goggins could join the Navy Reserve in California and then transfer to SEAL BUD/S training.
However, he would first have to overcome three serious problems.
The first major obstacle was his weight. BUD/S training required every applicant to weigh less than 191 pounds. Goggins weighed 297. The second was his age. He was older than 28, the ceiling for SEAL recruits. There was a program for enlisted men with prior military experience to enter BUD/S after the age cutoff but that lead to the third obstacle and it was a bitch: The program was ending in less than three months.
David Goggins had to lose 106 pounds in under three months or he would never get the chance to be a Navy SEAL.
Everyone said it was impossible. Doctors told him there was no way he could lose that much weight in that amount of time. His friends and family told him he was being insane. They told him he needed to give up on his dream and start accepting reality.
He decided he was going to do it anyway.
The Workout of a Lifetime
Goggins pushed the enormity of his task out of his mind. If he thought about what he would have to do he knew it would be too much. Instead he channeled his energy into creating the most insane workout schedule you can imagine. Then he went to work like a madman.
His average day looked something like this:
- 4:30am: Wake up / Breakfast: One banana
- 5-7am: Ride on the exercise bike
- 8-10am: Swim at the local high-school (about 2 miles)
- 11am-2pm: Circuit workout / Full Body – 5-6 sets of 100-200 reps each
- 3-5pm: Exercise bike
- 5:30pm: Run 2-6 miles
- 7:30pm: Dinner (no lunch): Chicken breast, sauteed veggies, small amount of rice
- 8-10pm: Exercise bike
- 10:30pm: Sleep
- 4:30am: Wake up / Repeat
His average daily totals:
- 6 hours on the bike
- 2 miles swimming
- 2-6 miles running
- 3 hour circuit workout, over 1000 total combined reps
- Calorie Intake: <800/day
He pushed himself so far past the limit every day that he hurt all the time. His mind played tricks on him. The lack of calories made him hallucinate. Every night he crawled into bed aching, burning and suffering.
Then he woke up the next morning and he did his program again.
David Goggins repeated this absolute mind and body destroying schedule for the next 85 days, losing an average of 1.1 pounds/day. In less than three months he had figured out how to lose 106 pounds and was eligible to join the Navy SEAL training.
He had accomplished the impossible.
Destroy the Limits You’ve Accepted For Yourself
Limits are made to be broken.
Take heart from David Goggins’ story. Don’t believe it when people say you’ll always be fat. Don’t believe it when YOU say you’ll always be fat. If a depressed, half-crazy 30-year-old can get off the couch and lose 106 pounds in three months, you can lose your weight too.
It may take 6 months. It may take 18 months. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, YOU CAN DO IT!
Here are several articles to help you with Making a Goal, Committing and Embracing the Suck. If you’re already on your path, here’s some great information on Changing Your Diet, some Weight Loss Tools and Matt’s solid Diet & Workout Plan.
And if you’re ready for the most motivational story I’ve ever read, make sure you pick up Goggins’ absolutely incredible life story, “Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds.” I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Remember, if you can CONCEIVE it and BELIEVE it you can ACHIEVE it!
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