Army Wife Loses 100 Pounds, Gains New Life
October 9, 2007
DALLAS (Army News Service, Oct. 12, 2007)_-- Julie Black, wife of Lewisville Station recruiter Sgt. 1st Class John Burton, has spent more than 18 years as a military spouse. She's been the recipient of numerous military Family support and volunteer awards, but she really wanted to experience the military from the other side of the coin.
"I'd planned to join back in 1989 with John, but decided not to because we were newleyweds at the time," said Mrs. Black. "Three weeks after we got married, he shipped off to basic, and three years after that our daughter was born. So at the time, it just made sense for me to not join and focus on being a spouse and raising our daughter instead."
Though the best interest of her Family took priority, she never lost her aspiration to serve in the Army. But as time went by, hope of a military career was dying because of two major constraints - her age and weight.
Topping out at nearly 300 pounds in her early 30s, Mrs. Black saw no hope of ever experiencing military life as a "green suiter," until the day she found out from her recruiter husband the Army had raised the enlistment age limit.
"It became a new door and gave me the incentive I needed to finally pursue my goals of loosing the weight and joining the Army," she said.
Mrs. Black immediately got to work. She committed to her goals and developed some healthy eating habits and an exercise routine. As a result, the pounds began melting away, an average of 3.3 pounds a week. Within 10 months she lost more than 100 pounds.
"When I first started I was doubtful because it was a lot of weight to loose," she said. "Taking it day-by-day, it made the long haul seem so much easier."
Her two major constraints had now become her stepping stones to a new life. After losing the weight, she enlisted into the Army.
"The timing was perfect and everything just fell into place," said Pvt. 1st Class Black. "I lost the weight, our daughter is older, and John is close to retiring. All these elements coming together let me know it's my time to focus on my goals."
She expects to lose even more weight during Initial Entry Training through the traditional military fitness program. She's especially looking forward to the physical challenge and conditioning she'll experience when she goes to Advanced Individual Training school to become a military police specialist. She ultimately plans to become a member of the Army K-9 Corp.
"I'll never be that heavy again," said Pvt. 1st Class Black. "I look forward to continuing to be physically fit and enjoying the challenges my new occupation brings to help me continue in my fight to stay healthy."
Besides meeting her weight and career goals, Pvt. 1st Class Black also got several other bonuses including the $20,000 Quick Ship Bonus and $14,000 in student loan repayment.
Dallas news affiliate WFAA Channel 8 was so impressed with her tremendous weight-loss success they did several news stories about her, including a live interview on "Good Morning Texas."
Pvt. 1st Class Black is currently attending IET at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and will immediately transition into Advanced Individual Training.
(LaShonda Walker writes for the Dallas Recruiting Battalion Advertising and Public Affairs office.)