Our Own Band of Brothers (and Sisters)

Recently, I had an allergy attack. When my allergies hit me, they hit me hard, and there was nothing I could do to calm my sneezing and “ugh-ing.” I am usually helpless in the attack's grasp, so I just sat on the couch and discovered a phenomenal HBO show from a few years back that I had never seen called “Band of Brothers.” This incredible show is about the men who made up Easy Company and their stories during World War II.

Posted on | Bill Larson | Comments ()

Recently, I had an allergy attack. When my allergies hit me, they hit me hard, and there was nothing I could do to calm my sneezing and “ugh-ing.” I am usually helpless in the attack's grasp, so I just sat on the couch and discovered a phenomenal HBO show from a few years back that I had never seen called “Band of Brothers.” This incredible show is about the men who made up Easy Company and their stories during World War II.

Why am I sharing this with you guys today? Because of something that struck me as I watched the last few minutes of the last episode of this amazing show. It was named after a line from William Shakespeare’s “Henry V.”

“Henry V” describes Henry’s victory over the French at the Battle of Agincourt. Henry was dramatically outnumbered, yet because the English fought using archers and Welsh longbows, they defeated the French and won the day.

Just prior to the battle, Henry delivered a speech to help rally his men despite the overwhelming force of the French. That speech was called the “St. Crispin’s Day Speech” and it articulates something that is at the core of any battle, even in weight loss.

This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.

He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,

Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,

And rouse him at the name of Crispian.

He that shall live this day, and see old age,

Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,

And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian.’

Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,

And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispian’s day…”

… in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.

This story shall the good man teach his son;

…From this day to the ending of the world,

But we in it shall be remembered

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

For he to-day that sheds his blood with me

Shall be my brother; And gentlemen in England now-a-bed

Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,

That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Amazing words! This passage demonstrates that there is a brotherhood formed in battle, one not defined by a family’s bloodline or taken away with time. It endures because of the shared experiences of the people who go through those shared experiences and come out the other end of it. They have seen each other at their worst, and at their best.

Weight loss is that battle, however instead of shedding blood, we are shedding pounds and we stand together in this fight. Shakespeare’s words hold true not just for his play, but for real life. We are in a fight and while we may feel like few, we will win because we are in this together. Our weight loss battles make our bond, and we will remember how we shed those pounds to stand in victory – so that we can live out the rest of our days healthier and say “we did it.”

I know losing weight is by no means as important as any battle, small or large, experienced by any soldier during World War II, but I understand the bonds formed by the troops in all those companies. The scars we show may be more on the inside but we do have them. You might have fears and pain, but you are not alone. We stand together, our own band of brothers (and sisters.) And I am so proud to be with you on this weight loss journey.

Blog written by Bill Larson
Bill Ivory Larson has lost a total of 175 pounds, without surgery or a special diet. In 2005, when he moved from Chicago to...