The first time I tried to enlist in the Marine Corps, I got laughed out of the recruiter’s office. At a pudgy 300 pounds, I was hardly an ideal candidate. The recruiter was just playing the odds when he took one look at me, pointed to the door, and told me to stop wasting his time.

After months of diet and exercise, I did get a recruiter to take me seriously – and finally graduated from boot camp at 185 pounds, 18 months after that initial failed attempt. The tough feedback that I received in the Marines was exactly what I needed to get my life together.

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