October 22, 2005

Orca - the flip side.

I can't say I've written anything that has received the kind of reaction that Hey Orca did. (Scroll down two posts if you haven't read it.)

I received an e-mail from a friend that read it and I wanted to post it here. I'm doing so without permission, but I hope she won't mind. Before you read her comments, I'd like to thank everyone who did comment on that post. It's apparent that this issue is a very sensitive topic. I'd like to offer you some insight into my past and why the perspective I offered may be valid (perhaps only for men though.) I have been big or heavy most of my adult life. I often think about the benefits of plastic surgery (or more accurately liposuction.) Once a new doctor I was visiting for the flu was doing a full workup on me. At the time I was probably about 60 pounds overweight. He asked, "what's the least you've ever weighed?"

"Eight pounds, six ounces!" was my immediate response. Oh, as an adult. 194 pounds. I looked sick at that weight. All my friends asked me to go out to eat with them because I looked unhealthy. I wasn't in the throes of an eating disorder, but I was working out twice a day. In my mind, I looked great. The tiny waist is something I'll only see again with the help of a lifetime workout partner. :-) Honestly, I don't ever want to be that thin again.

I also spent 6 years in the military where I was reminded often about my size. (Always too late to provide help before it was trouble though. Those who have served know what I'm talking about.) I suffered the humiliation all too many times of having to be taped to see if I met body fat standards. Even when I was obviously thin, I was still over the BMI (Body Mass Index) or whatever they called it. It sucked. I always wished someone would have come up to me when I was a little heavier and said, "Hey, it looks like you are starting to gain a little weight." Instead of being proactive, they come at you later, when it's too late to take corrective action and then you get a flag on your file (No favorable action.) This means no choice assignments, no awards (even if they are deserved) and no schools. I'm told I'm thinner now than I was in the picture I posted for HNT 3 below. I still think I'm overweight. I'm pretty happy about how I look, but I'm still working on losing some more. :-)

Anyway, I promised a letter from a friend, here it is.


Munkey, you know I love you like retirees love BINGO, but this post is so off mark I can't even figure out where to begin. You know I've never been aproponent of PC, but this has nothing to do with PC. It's just RUDE! And having seen my sister suffer with anorexia and bulemia because our "helpful" grandmother always had "truthful" things to say, like "Honey, you are just gaining weight so fast. What is wrong?" and shit like that, I cannot in any way, shape or form support someone's decision to "help" someone out by mentioning a weight gain. Should we also say, "Hey, that facial scar is really nasty. Let me get you in touch with my plastic surgeon friend." or "You've REALLY started to age. What can I do to help you take care of your skin?" or, "My goodness your teeth are so crooked. Why don't you get that fixed by an orthodontist?" so that we can help everyone with a less than desirable trait? You've been my friend for several years now, and you know I have the self confidence of a super model. I truly think I'm beautiful in every way, and I'm intelligent, with excellent shoe sense to boot! :) But with my struggle with my weight, if anyone ever mentioned I had gained weight, I'd be crushed. I have a mirror and a scale that will tell me that. I don't need a "friend" saying anything. And I'd rather cut off my arm than ever make anyone feel bad by drawing attention to any physical trait that's less than perfect. The impact the negative comment would make would FAR outweigh any good that one might think may come of it. JMO.


At 11:23 PM, Blogger Neonalune said...

I'm glad you posted that. Your friend said alot of things I'd like to...but I'm just too damn nice.

And as far as the military goes..that sucks. I'm a Navy Brat and I've seen how unfair their testings are for body fat. If you are muscular you are screwed usually.

I'm glad everyone's health is important to you and that you want to look out for family and friends. I am noticing this trait about you just from reading your posts. I can tell you care so much for your loved ones and that is awesome.

At 9:28 AM, Blogger 30Something said...

Well said. That is what I meant by "We are our hardest critics".
I struggle everyday with my weight, and that is something I hate. But, its the way it is.

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Chrissie said...

Your friend hit it on the head there...
Good post :)
You really wouldnt have been hurt at all?
194 isnt much... how tall are you?

At 10:55 PM, Blogger Audrey said...

Your friend's letter was right on. I'm still glad you brought this topic up on your blog though. Its a touchy subject, more so for women than men... but your friend is right - you'd never bring up a nasty scar, or comment on your friend's crooked teeth - why bring up their weight? I think the only time you really have a 'right' to comment on your friends weight is if it is affecting their health. A touchy subject for sure! :-)

At 11:18 PM, Blogger Mad Munkey said...


No, I'm not one to beat around a bush and prefer people not do so with me. I'm 6'2" tall. I looked up the medical index today. By 'standard', I should weigh 33-54 pounds less than I do. As a society, we are both obese and obsessed with weight, not size. I had a picture of me taken on Thursday. Another friend who saw it commented that I'm 'skinny minny'.
Everyone has to make their own decisions and face thier own demons with weight. The bottom line is that a change will not occur until a person is ready to face whatever it is that causes them to be overweight. (Exception made for those with biological issues such as thyroid).

I've enjoyed reading the comments posted and hope that everyone has had some kind of revelation as a result of the discussion. Thank you for your participation.

At 11:21 PM, Blogger kimmyk said...

6'2? I'd have to agree-194 would look real skinny on someone that tall. My "honey" is about 6'1 and he looks good about 215-220.

I'm glad you did a follow up on that post-it makes sense now that you put it in a personal experience sort of way.

Good luck with your weight loss....although, looking at HNT 3-I'm not thinkin' ya need to lose any.

At 9:01 PM, Blogger buddha_girl said...

BMI...blah blah blah...that stupid index makes me want to retch. I tossed my two cents into the mix in your original post. I knew I was a big girl before I lost my weight...period. I needed people to love and accept me for me. When I hit rock bottom on the chub scale, I did something about it.

The military can kiss my new ass in Macy's window. Criticism does nothing but cause problems. Labeling the "are you getting fat" question as constructive criticism is idiocy.

BTW...stick with your 194 and feel free to go up a few pounds. You and your body know what's healthy for you. If I weighed what the BMI Hell Scale said, I'd look like an anorexic chick who needs to be force-fed. And...Munkey? I need to put things into perspective here. I've lost more than you weigh. (See why your posts were both so high on my "things to read list?")


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