FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. (Army News Service, Sept. 14, 2007) - How far would you go to get your dream job and serve your country' Would you change your lifestyle completely'
With the help of her father, a retired Army command sergeant major, Pfc. Lisa Trippany of the 305th Military Intelligence Battalion lost 160 pounds in 17 months and fulfilled her dream of following in her father's footsteps and enlisting in the military.
"I hated every minute of being on a diet. However, my dad is the moon, the stars and the sun to me, and anything that gets me closer to who he is, I'll do it," she said.
The youngest of four girls, all of whom have served at least four years in the military, Pfc. Trippany has military service in her blood and always dreamed of wearing the uniform just like her father.
A few years ago when Pfc. Trippany was finishing her third year at Clemson University in South Carolina, she topped the scales at 312 pounds.
"Being in college was the longest I had ever been in one place and I was overweight and miserable, so I called my dad and told him that I wanted to join the Army. While it had always been my dream to join, I really didn't think the military was a viable option for me because I had so much weight to lose," she said.
Pfc. Trippany's father, an infantryman with 24 years of active-duty service, had a solution. She moved back home, started a special diet and began her body transformation.
"I did Jenny Craig for the diet and then for exercise I would walk four miles per day. My dad wanted me to keep a 3.6 mile-per-hour pace in order to keep my cardio up, so every day, for 17 months, my dad drove behind me in his truck while I walked," said Pfc. Trippany.
"My dad even moved the family refrigerator out to the garage and bought another refrigerator for the food I was allowed to eat and put that one in the kitchen. There was no way for me to sneak food as the family fridge had a key lock on it and I didn't have the code. So, I was really on lockdown."
After 17 months, Pfc. Trippany dropped to 149 pounds and gained her father's approval for military enlistment.
Her weight has now been stable for over a year and while she does physical training twice a day, she is no longer on the Jenny Craig diet and is able to enjoy meals with her friends either off-post or at the dining facility.
"The food here at Fort Huachuca is pretty good," said Pfc. Trippany. "I struggled while I was in basic training because we only had six to seven minutes to eat and, because of my dieting, I was used to eating slowly. I just wasn't getting enough food or enough energy. I think I have everything balanced pretty well now."
According to Pfc. Trippany, the experience changed not just her career, but her lifestyle as well, and while it was difficult, it was absolutely worth it.
"I would do it again in a heartbeat," she said. "People who say they have ten or twenty pounds to lose just need to commit themselves to do it. They can do it. They should do it. They will feel and look better and possibly even change their lives as well."
(Chelsea Iliff writes for the Fort Huachuca "Scout.")