Resolved to get thinner and fitter so as to join the Army, a young man in Las Vegas lost the “equivalent of a human” over a seven-month period.
Born in Oakland, Calif, growing up in Peru, and now living in Las Vegas, Luis Enrique Pinto Jr., 18, realized he didn’t want a routine, repetitive job after high school.
“I don’t want to wake up and do the same thing every single day. There’s a whole world out there,” Pinto, who currently works as an electrician at construction sites, told Army News Service.
Wanting to be part of something larger than himself, Pinto, a former high school football offensive lineman, decided to join the Army.
GOALS! A teenager with dreams of serving in the military has lost over 100 pounds in order to make it happen. Less than…
Pinto was intent to become the first member of his family to serve in the military. Unfortunately, he’s a big guy who has struggled with weight his entire life. Weighing a whopping 317 pounds (approx. 144 kg), the 6-foot-1-inch teen was not able to pass the Army’s weight requirement.
“You have to meet height and weight standards. So, depending on the individual’s height and age, they have to either meet a maximum weight or we can do what’s called a tape test, where we measure, for males, their neck and their abdomen. We use their height and also their weight to come up with a body fat percentage,” recruiter Staff Sgt. Philip Long told KTNV.
However, Pinto didn’t give up. He promised Staff Sgt. Long he would slim down so as to qualify.
Having met potential recruits who struggled to lose even a few pounds in the past four years, Staff Sgt. Long was doubtful whether Pinto could achieve his goal. “They never put the effort into it,” he said. “They never actually care enough and they don’t go anywhere.”
But unlike other overweight recruits, Pinto was different. Determined to gain entry into the Army, he began a strict workout and diet plan to lose weight at the beginning of 2019.
To achieve his goal, he ditched his high-carb diet and increased his fitness level with cardio exercise and high-intensity interval training alternating between jogs and sprints. “When no one was looking, I was doing push-ups in my room, eating right, knowing what to eat,” he said.
Whenever Pinto got lazy and felt like taking a break from the strenuous workouts, his mother told him to “just show up” at the gym and get it over and done with.
“One thing she told me is to just show up,” he said. “Just show up and don’t worry about the workout that’s to come. You show up at the gym and once you’re there, you’re already there so might as well just get it over with.”
Pinto augmented his high-intensity interval training as the months went by.
He used to take about 13 minutes to run 1 mile. But now he is able to run 1 mile (approx. 1.6 km) in just 6 minutes and 30 seconds.
With determination and hard work, Pinto got through the hardest weight-loss journey.
“Just that feeling that you have wearing that uniform. Just how proud you are and what you work towards for it, I think that played a big part,” he said.
— KTNV Action News (@KTNV) August 9, 2019
The weight-loss journey may be tough; however, the end result is well worth it.
After seven months, his weight dropped from 317 pounds (approx. 144 kg) to 204 pounds (approx. 93 kg), shedding a total of 113 pounds ( approx. 51 kg). “I pretty much use my old shirts for blankets at this point,” he said.
Losing weight also helped Pinto regain his confidence. “When I was big, I was really insecure,” he said. “Now I’m walking with my head up high.”
And most importantly, his new weight meets the Army’s requirement! He passed the Occupational Physical Assessment Test and was eventually enlisted as a 14E, a position responsible for operating and maintaining Patriot weapon systems.
How this teenager with a goal is making it happen.
Seeing Pinto’s successful weight loss, Staff Sgt. Long was impressed.
“That’s a human—he lost the equivalent of a human in seven months,” Staff Sgt. Long said. “To have that heart and that drive to keep pushing forward, it’s impressive. It got him to where he can enlist in the Army. That mentality is going to carry him through his career and through life and he’ll be extremely successful.”
Pinto is set to begin basic training in early September. Anticipating more physical training in the future, he aims to lose more weight. “There’s still way more to come. I still want to get better,” he said.
Where there is a will, there is a way. Pinto persevered through with his struggles so as to achieve his dream, and his persistence paid off.
Watch the video:
One year ago, this Las Vegas man wouldn’t have been eligible for the Army. Today, he is, due to a dramatic weight loss. Chris Red Reports shares the story. More: https://bit.ly/301oddd
Posted by FOX5 Las Vegas on Tuesday, August 13, 2019