Sunday, May 27, 2012

Finding Good News in Bad Manners

 "Opinions are like assholes.  Everybody has one."  However, most polite people will keep their unsolicited opinions to themselves.  So, I thought maybe the stranger was kidding when he posted under a recent photograph of me on my Facebook page:  "Boy, have you let yourself go since the show"  (The show being "The 20-Minute WorkOut," a t.v. exercise show which I starred in back in 1983, when I was in my 20's).  
I was taken aback by the comment.  I examined my photo carefully, and saw what the stranger must've been seeing--I had wrinkles, my teeth didn't look perfect, and considering it was a head shot, and my face must've looked fat to him, he was obviously able to tell that I'd put on weight in all of the other parts of my body.  (When I posted the photo back in November of 2010, I thought I looked pretty good--otherwise, I wouldn't have posted it!)

Since I couldn't be sure of the stranger's motives with his comment, (and I was dying to know) instead of merely deleting the guy's message, I responded with a sarcastic "Thanks!"  (I figured if the guy was kidding, he'd reply back with something like, "ha, ha, gotcha!)"  But instead, this was the reply I got:  "surprised you took that as a compliment, it wasn't meant to be, you looked better on the show then you do now" 

 I was aghast.  So many thoughts started whirling through my head:  I should just delete his damn comments, and delete my horrid photo.  Obviously I've been in denial about how I look to the outside world.  Obviously, I'm old, ugly, and fat.  Who the hell do I think I am posting a photo of myself on Facebook for all of the Assholes with Opinions in this world to view and judge?  Who in the hell does this asshole think he is??  How dare he find my facebook page just to insult me!  My adrenalin was pumping, my solar plexus was on fire--I was raging mad.  Against my better judgement, I found myself going back and forth with comments to this person, with the insults from him just getting worse.  There is no reasoning with a person who is self-righteous in their opinions.  Finally, enough of my real Facebook friends jumped in and responded, and ridiculed the stranger into a public apology. 

Though this person had no evidence (other than a single photograph) for making his generalized statement, since he has no idea about the personal struggles or triumphs or roads traveled by Holly Butler over the past 30 years, the good news is that there was a glimmer of truth in his blatant, big-mouthed proclamation:  In the domain of my weight, I had let myself go!   In 29 years, since the 20-Minute Workout aired, (and I was at my tiniest) I have put on up to 50 pounds--1.72 pounds per year.  What this jack-ass surely doesn't know though, is that I've already lost 20 of those pounds in the past three months, and he has fueled my fire in a big way, helping me to stay on course! 

So, thank you, Mr. Who-Ever-You-Are for your profound wisdom and astute observation.  Although I have no intention of getting back down to my baby-weight of the 80's (sorry, I guess you'll just have to watch re-runs),  I am on my way down--20 pounds and counting!
The now infamous photo--Yep, I have really let myself go!


  1. I'm looking at the photo (and I've seen you in person) and the response by the guy that started this conversation still makes no sense to me. Geena Davis and Ashley Judd have spoken eloquently to the hateful attentions and pressure on women to live up to an ideal that's unrealistic. Right now I am probably about 60 pounds overweight. For ten years I've been trying to fix it. There's so much conflicting information out there so I'm glad you are willing to step up and share your struggle so openly. I want to be healthy and feel beautiful. I also want to get there smiling all the way without shame. And that's the tough part. Thanks for the inspiration through your personal story.

  2. Aloha LUVED the show : ) killer w/o's 2 hb


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