PORTLAND -- A North Portland woman recently decided she wanted to join the Army, but she had a problem. She weighed 300 pounds.
But two years later, 23-year-old Karyna Douglass lost 110 pounds. They were erased by a military workout and a change of diet.
None of it easy.
She remembers her first workout with the Future Soldiers program that gets potential recruits in shape for basic training.
“It was huge because I remember my first Future Soldier’s thing. I came to the work out and I quit--like right after the warm up. I literally left puking, and I went and got a milkshake,” she said.
Two weeks later, she returned. She knew military weight restrictions meant she could not join. Her desire to drop the weight proved bigger than her fear of the workouts.
Along the way, she learned a lot about herself.
“Realizing when and why I eat, I realize now I eat when I’m bored and eat when I’m nervous. Like, if I’m anxious for something, I eat all the time. So realizing what I eat, why I eat, it’s very eye opening,” she said.
Still, she had to fight the weight.
“I went a good 2 months where I didn’t lose a pound. I just stayed. And I remember that month, coming in here and it’s just not gonna happen. Like I’m clearly not meant to be that small. Not gonna happen. Why am I even doing this?” Karyna said.
But the sergeants running the recruiting work outs refused to let her quit on herself. Thursday night at a quiet park in Beaverton, she passed her latest army physical fitness test.
It's an amazing journey. A reshaping not just of Karyna’s body but also her heart and her future. She worked hard to create a new life for herself in the army.
She’ll sign up officially Dec. 27, 2013. She plans to make it her career.
“Definitely. Rest of my life. This is it! This is what I want!” she said.