GRAND HIGH THANKS, Mister Steve Ilg,

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Sergeant Ben Swob and I am an Airborne Combat Medic stationed at Vilseck, Germany. In the near future, my unit will be deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. After getting around to becoming un-lazy, I have completed the three phases of your wholistic fitness program in your book, TOTAL BODY TRANSFORMATION, and am moving onto the Jeweled Lotus.

For a quick history, I grew up in a little town in Kansas, and had really bad decisions on health related matters. Sure, it was kind of my fault, since I was never taught “right” and didn’t go looking to find it out for myself. Big deal. Come 2004, I joined the Army, and was stationed in Germany. There in early 2005, I bought the First Edition of your book, Total Body Transformation, and finished the Green Tara. Stuff happened, and I had to put it down, and restart. The furthest I ever got was a week into the Cosmic Yang. Then as a renewal for 2010, I decided to take my health into my own hands with great ferocity. I began a running program with a 4 lb vest. I ran 2 miles on Monday, 3 on Wednesday, and 5 on Friday. Each week, I added 2 lbs until I hit 20. Then I remembered the jewel of a book I had gotten from you.

Before I started, I decided to weigh myself, and find my body fat percent. I don’t have fancy electronic equipment, so I used AR 600-9, the Army Regulation on weight control. I stand 73 inches, weighed then 216. My neck was 16.5 inches, and waist was 36.5. This put my body fat at around 19%. Lent was near that time, so I sacrificed beef and pork, which is something that I hold very strong today. FIVE YEARS after I started the first time, I finally went on to finishing the Green Tara, Cosmic Yang and Frugal Realm one after the other. I weighed in at 201, neck 17, waist 34.5, putting my body fat at 13%. So, with the contributions of a vegetarian diet, and using Xenadrine for 45 days (don’t yell at me for cheating!), I feel that I have done well. I have only eaten beef twice and not even a single product of pork since I started my diet. I don’t miss them, either.

With all this said, I want to thank you for your great contribution in giving me the direction and purpose to a healthier lifestyle, by using Wholistic Fitness. Thank you for helping me lose 15 lbs, lose 6% body fat, and gain multiple compliments from the fairer gender.

Now I have two things to leave for you.

My hatred for you is the size of a pebble.
Something that bounces around in the bottom of your shoe before the beginning of a road march (trek), and stabs the foot. I pulled off my boot, shook it out, and kept going. Can you blame me? Your advice kind of hurt my poor body. Of course, later I found out that a little pain was necessary on this journey.

My love for what you have done for me is the size of a mountain.
Like the pebble, it is a rock, but it isn’t something that you can just throw away. You led me on a journey to this mountain, with streams, trails, woodlands, and beautiful landscapes. I have only journeyed the base of this mountain, but I believe that it will lead me on to a higher path. Just as Dante left the Forest of the Lost, and journeyed through the valley and then up the mountain to see Heaven, I have left a world that would have put me in ruin, to climb a mountain, and attain spiritual renewal, peace, and satisfaction. I have been in the Iron Temple for some time, and have picked out some of the many trails that Germany has to offer. Right now, in this month of May, the different shades of green that the trees gift to me, combined with the rolling hills, and plants colored somewhere in between green and yellow leave me breathless.

I have come far, and have much further yet to go. What! Don’t look at me like that! When I grew up, I got the 8 color crayon box. And since then I’ve lost one, and another broke in half. You really expect me to know my colors?

Very respectfully with Grand High Thanks,
Sergeant Ben Swob,
Airborne Combat Medic, US Army.

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