Man loses nearly 200 pounds to join Army

For as long as Kissimmee resident Christopher Montijo could remember, he had a dream of joining the U.S. Army. There was just one thing standing in his way: his weight.

"Physically, it was just draining to walk, to sleep, to do anything. I would sit down with my friends and they would ask me if I was alright, and I said 'yeah, why?' and they said they could hear me breathing really loud."

Montijo weighed 350 pounds. The Army required for his age and height that he weigh no more than 201. In twelve months, Montijo lost 160 pounds, almost half his body weight. The married 28-year-old man has two young children and said he knew he needed to make a change if he wanted to see them grow up.

"If I keep going [like he had been], little by little I’m gonna die."

Now weighing 165 pounds, he has passed his Army physical test and will be heading to Fort Jackson in South Carolina at the beginning of 2020.

"When I started, it wasn’t like a diet, it was like a life change."

Montijo credits walking and not eating out to his weight loss. He also said switching to water for soda made a huge difference. He said it was a challenge losing the weight since he is in his late twenties, but thinks that if he can do it, anyone can.