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Steven Chaney of Barberton, Ohio, lost over 100 pounds in hopes of joining the United States Marine Corps. In just over a year, Chaney was able to achieve the feat with exercise, healthy eating and the mentorship of U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. David Belcher, a recruiter with Recruiting Sub-Station Akron. (U.S. Marine Corps hoto by Sgt. T.M. Stewman/Released)

Photo by Sgt. Timothy Stewman

Barberton native loses 100 pounds in hopes of becoming Marine

2 Jul 2014 | Sgt. T.M. Stewman 4th Marine Corps District

Last spring,  Steven Chaney walked into a Marine Corps recruiting office and said that he wanted to be a Marine. Standing 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighing 355 pounds, it would be easy to assume that the recruiters would not take him seriously. They did however, and helped him begin a journey that would change his life forever.

Chaney, a native of Barberton, Ohio, made a commitment to Recruiting Sub-Station Akron recruiter Sgt. David Belcher that he would put in the hard work that it would require to qualify for enlistment in the Marine Corps.

“We get kids that come in here from time to time who say that want to be a Marine,” said Belcher. “They know that they need to lose weight and that they will have to work hard to do it. Most times they never come back, but Steven did.”

Not only did Chaney come back, but he continued coming back, again and again. Initially, he could not run more than a few hundred feet, let alone the mile and a half for time required on the initial strength test. 

Crunches and sit-ups were out of the question early on as well. Now, he is running more than two miles and performing abdominal workouts with ease.

“When I first started, I could not do anything,” said the 20-year-old Chaney. “Little by little the workouts got easier and the pounds were dropping like crazy.”

Chaney’s dramatic weight loss did not come without hardships. Smart eating habits are just as important in ensuring that the weight comes off and stays off.

“Eating healthy is a lifestyle change for sure,” said Chaney. “It was hard because I basically had to make sure there was no junk food around. My biggest weakness was drinking pop, now I do not even have a taste for it.”

Chaney also had to deal with the stagnation that comes with doing the same type of workouts day after day. While at the gym, he decided to start mixed martial arts and boxing training to change things up a bit.

“I figured that I might as well be doing something fun while losing the weight,” said Chaney.

There has been more than a physical change over the last year for Chaney. The weight loss has had a great affect on his attitude and is the cause of his reduced stress. He believes that things are now starting to fall into place.

“I have always wanted to join the military to be part of that brotherhood, and being able to lose the weight is giving me that chance,” said Chaney.

Since walking in that recruiting office last year, Chaney has gone from 355 pounds to 252 pounds. While extremely proud of the progress he has made, he still believes he has work to do.

“I have still got a little more to go, but I am really happy I have made it this far,” said Chaney.
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4th Marine Corps District