Daily Archives: December 11, 2009

FEP and Shipshape…the Kinder and Gentler Fat Boy Program

Well friends according to the Navy I am officially fat.  I think I mentioned this fact a couple of weeks ago.  So being criminally short and stocky and a bit heavier than I normally am I have been enrolled in the Fitness Enhancement Program or FEP which includes both physical fitness and diet and nutritional awareness.  Until I can get below my weight limit or body fat percentage I am sentenced to have my physical fitness monitored and signed off on by others, have weekly weigh-ins and go to a mandatory fitness and nutritional education program called ship shape.

Now, before anyone thinks that I am whining it is my fault that I am in this situation.  When anyone gains 25 pounds in under six months, mainly due to stopping at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and getting a dozen hot and fresh glazed on the way home from a ball game three or four times a week and devouring 3-6 of them washing them down with a beer.  You combine 1000 to 1500 calories at bedtime while working 60-75 hours a week and not doing any PT with PTSD and chronic insomnia and you, like me will get fat.  Such is not a recipe for success.  As a result I gained weight and could not take it off before the semi-annual weigh in.  The deceptive thing for me is that I have a barrel chest so the waist does not look as wide as someone my height with a wimpy little sunken chest.  I am kind of build like a pre-World War Two American Battleship.

This was the first time in 28 years in the military that I was officially on what back in the day was known as the “Fat Boy” program. I have always made weight and my scores on the Navy and the Marine Corps Physical Fitness tests have been very good, in fact damn good.  Until this fall I have consistently scored at the  Outstanding level for the Navy and Class One Marine PT.  After the debacle of the summer I was overweight and only scored an “Excellent Low” on my Navy PT test, which really wasn’t bad because I only did three workouts between April and November.  My “out of shape” is better than a lot of people who work their ass off to pass the PT test.  Just a couple of years ago I was running half-marathons. The fact that I blew it this time actually pisses me off and I don’t blame the Navy for it but myself.  I hate to lose and hate to fail anything.  It sucks like a Hoover.

Now I got myself into this mess and will get myself out of it before the next PT cycle.  However I have found that being on the program is somewhat like being a criminal.  Even though I did well on the PT test I have to make sure that my PT sessions are signed off on by certain people, like on a piece of paper that is turned in at the end of the week. In addition there is a weekly weigh-in and body fat measurement.  This week I both lost weight and body fat.  Good for me.  Not enough yet but by the time I am done with this Mickey Mouse program I am going to look like fricking Arnold.  My PT and diet and nutrition are back to what they were before Iraq.

Those on the program get to participate in other fun reindeer games.  First every month we get to do a mock PT test, complete with weigh-in and body fat measurement.  I did better than my last PT test and it was ironic that I did better than almost everyone and even finished second on the run portion of the test did 90 sit ups and was a bit low, only 42 push-ups when I normally do 70-80 of them.  Since I am a good 10-25 years older than most of the people on the program with me I think that is impressive.  However as a 49 and nearly 50 year old man I am treated like a child by the system.  I understand why this is the case because there are a good number of people who will try to skate by, but it isn’t any fun.  In  fact the fitness standards that I am held to now are actually higher than when I first entered the military as a 21 year old back in 1981.  This isn’t a game for old men but I am still in the game.

My diet is back on track, I am getting some really good and diverse PT including classes on bicycle spinning and body shaping led by a young woman who kicks ass, she drives hard and very demanding sessions and I like it.  I also am running again and feeling good with it.  My times and distance are not yet where I want them but they will get better, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.

As if all of this is not bad enough if you are over the body fat you go into a mandatory 8 week, tow hour a week program called “shipshape.”  Now when one looks at ships and me one knows that I will never be a destroyer.  I am shipshape, but more like the USS West Virginia following her post-Pearl Harbor rebuild.  I am short, squat, a bit heavy, not as fast as I used to be, but still powerful and able to kick the ass of anyone that I would have to.

The USS West Virginia BB-48…Like Me was “Shipshape”

So, that is my rant.  I will kick this in the ass, lose the weight, lose the body fat and have myself up to the Outstanding level again in the next few months and hopefully well before the next PT/Weigh-in cycle.  I am back in the groove on this and hopefully will be able to help encourage and inspire my fellow sailors who are on the program either due to weight, body fat, or physical fitness test failure.

Anyway….I need to crash for the night so I can try to catch the early spinning class.


Padre Steve+


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