There was a grossly obese Marine that our entire regiment had nicknamed “Delicious” because of his similar-sounding last name. He couldn’t walk through the barracks area without some unknown voice yelling out his nickname, to which he would reply without fail, “Shut up; it’s my thyroid!”
I don’t know if he truly believed his story, but I am certain no one else bought it. Few things irked me more than someone taking a look at an overweight Marine and then glancing at me like I condoned it. I knew what they were thinking and I hated it. In Iraq, a Middle Eastern vendor at a Subway trailer took one look at another overweight Marine, and without hesitation asked, “Double meat, sir?” It was more of a statement than a question. The man didn’t even have to ask because he knew just by looking at that Marine he was likely to want some extra chow on that sub.
NFL player Eddie Lacy is catching some heat from his own coach for poor eating habits that have led to him experiencing career-low stats this season. The coach pointed out, “Eddie’s got a lot of work to do. I’m stating the obvious.” The key part being that Eddie has got a lot of work to do on his own. That athlete has no one to blame but himself. If a highly paid professional athlete can fall into that trap, how much more likely is it that some junior enlisted kid could do the same?
Here is the deal: We all enjoy the memes of overweight service members testing the limits of their cammies, but when you think about how poorly it reflects on the rest of us, it becomes less funny.
If it is someone in your platoon, then shame on you for not taking the initiative to reign them in before it got out of control. Be like Eddie Lacy’s coach, Mike McCarthy, and call a spade a spade when you see it. It’s not their thyroid (if you are one of the three actual cases of this in the military, then I apologize). There may be some cases where an injured Marine can’t PT and gains some weight as a result, but guess what? Eat clean and you won’t have a problem.
If all else fails, make a Discovery Channel-style documentary about his eating habits. Police your own, ladies and gentlemen.