San Diego -- A little more than one year ago, Jonathan Gomez entered into his local Marine recruiting office 112 pounds over the maximum limit. While most individuals would walk away discouraged, Gomez chose to set out on a lifestyle change which resulted in his acceptance into Marine Corps recruit training.
Gomez, now a recruit with Platoon 3231, Company K, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, explained he wanted to be a Marine but couldn’t do any pull-ups, struggled with sit-ups and struggled overall with anything physical.
Gomez, standing 5 feet 8 inches tall, started his journey at 280 pounds. After losing 40 pounds, Gomez went back to his recruiter to discuss his progress.
Gomez learned he would have to lose more weight and was motivated to when his recruiter asked him, “How bad do you want it?”
He started working out five to six days a week for 45 minutes to an hour and half and cut out sweets and soda from his diet.
Gomez did this while working close to full-time and attending college full-time.
“It was tough on a day-to-day basis. Getting up at 5 a.m. to go for a run before work, watching everything I eat and trying to get things in routine with school,” said, Gomez, an Indio, Calif. native.
When Gomez entered recruit training at 180 pounds, the self-discipline didn’t end there. He lost another 12 pounds and his discipline was noticed by fellow recruits and drill instructors.
Recruit Luis A. Alvarez, Plt. 3231, Co. K, 3rd RTBn, said he remembered Gomez prior to recruit training and didn’t recognize him in the platoon.
“He was a beefy guy when I first met him,” said Alvarez. “I didn’t recognize him in recruit training because he had lost that much weight.”
Alvarez beamed when talking about Gomez’s work ethic and mentioned a time Gomez stayed up all night to make sure his fellow recruits’ gear was in order.
Staff Sgt. Keith Pryor Jr., senior drill instructor, Plt. 3231, Co. K, 3rd RTBn, said he never personally had any weight issues, but believes weight can be dropped with hard work and dedication.
“But—as far as 112 pounds in a year; that’s a special kind of dedication,” said Pryor. If someone is dedicated like that, you know you can depend on them to get any mission accomplished.”
Pryor said he would go as far to say Gomez is the most disciplined in the platoon.
"In the chow hall I had to send him back because he didn’t have enough food on his plate,” said Pryor.
Alvarez noticed Gomez’s discipline in the chow hall as well.
“When the other recruits were getting dessert Gomez was getting salad,” said Alvarez.
Currently, Gomez is near completion of recruit training and said he is looking forward to testing his newfound athleticism in physical events that raise money for cancer and disabilities.
For other individuals setting out to conquer the same mountains as Gomez, he says, “If you want it badly enough, you’ll be able to do it with power and faith.”