A Nevada man overcame a weighty problem to become the first member of his family to enlist in the U.S. Army.
Seven months ago, Luis Enrique Pinto Jr., of Las Vegas, weighed 317, which meant he could not pass the Army's weight requirements, Army Times reported. The 18-year-old embarked on a program of exercise and diet and shed 113 pounds, allowing him to report to basic training, KNTV reported. Pinto now stands 6 feet, 1 inch and weighs 204 pounds, the television station reported.
Pinto had been an offensive lineman in high school and had a steady diet of carbohydrates, but he changed his diet and dropped the pounds.
"I had struggled with weight my whole life. I’ve always been a big kid," Pinto told KNTV.
The biggest hurdle to losing weight was cardio training, Army officials said in a news release.
Pinto began to combine jogging and sprinting to improve his times.
"Running wasn't my strong suit," Pinto said in the news release. "Carrying all that extra weight and trying to run definitely increased my time."
"When no one was looking, I was doing push-ups in my room, eating right, knowing what to eat," Pinto told KTNV. "I feel like everyone has the power to know what they take into their body, so I just took that into consideration. I just did the right thing at the end of the day,"
Pinto's work ethic impressed his friends, family and his Army recruiter, Staff Sgt. Philip Long.
"There were a couple times where he hit a plateau. He would lose a pound or two, maybe," Long told KTNV. "But to continue to push forward and put the effort and dedication in, it inspires me and it should inspire you."
Pinto will report to basic training in September, Army Times reported.