Monday, December 20, 2010

My Life's Biggest Project: Servicemembers go to Unhealthy Extremes to "Make W...

My Life's Biggest Project: Servicemembers go to Unhealthy Extremes to "Make W...: "Those who serve our country are known for being the best of the best. They are our protectors and the military (all branches) makes them pas..."

Servicemembers go to Unhealthy Extremes to "Make Weight"

Those who serve our country are known for being the best of the best. They are our protectors and the military (all branches) makes them pass physical training tests, but sometimes even the most fit individuals do not pass because as we all know muscle weighs more than fat. This is when they bust out the tape measurer. This is what is known as making "making tape". This is where the circumference of the individuals neck and midsection is tape measured for body fat percentage.

Most of the time it is just a few pounds that the soldier is needing to drop in order to make weight, but as most of us know those last few pounds can be the hardest, so many resort to very unhealthy means to pass because for the American soldier it is not about vanity or aesthetics, it may be the make or break for their career. Starvation, laxitives and now even liposuction and other cosmetic surgeries are becoming a fad for the individual having problems dropping a couple of pounds.

The reason methods like laxitives and starvation are unhealthy is because the wreck havoc on the body. This being said, obviously there is a need for change if our servicepeople (men or women) are having to resort to becoming unhealthy to keep there jobs. I don't know about you, but I want those protecting me and my country to be in tip top condition, not run down because there body is in shock due to dehydration or starvation. Every time a soldier is deployed there body and mind is put to the test. This being the case why would be want to put any more pressure on them?

I remember when I was in third grade my family and I were about to move from Virginia where my father was stationed at Ft. Eustis to Wiesbaden Germany. PT tests (physical training tests) were always an issue for my father because he went from being extremely overweight to extrememly thin very quickly. He had excess body fat that he was told by physicians he would never get rid of without having a cosmetic procedure done. Right before the move I remember overhearing my parents talking about his PT test. He said he took a water pill to help him make weight. Obviously it worked because he left for Germany and we followed behind a few weeks later.

Being an Army brat for a big chunk of my life I have heard all kinds of stories about soldiers doing quick tricks to make weight and I have seen people drop massive ammounts of weight in short periods of time. While I was looking through the news today I came across a story on ABC news that talked about this very same thing. If you'd like to read it I have linked the story here on this post. It is entitled Liposuction, Laxatives: Military Struggles to Make Weight .

The story is essentially focused in the beginning on a Marine who has struggled to make weight because of his muscle mass. The reporter and writer Lara Salahi interviews U.S. Marine Corps, Gunnery Sgt. Torres, 34. Who says that it is great pressure because one's job depends on it.

"I'm not trying to sound arrogant, but I've been the best at almost anything I've done. Your career could be on the line if you don't make weight," said Torres, adding that he's always struggled to stay within the limits. "So you'll go through extremes if you don't make weight."

According to Salahi's story, a 2009 study by officers at the Naval Post Graduate School found that "nearly one in three Marines turned to excessive and at times unhealthy methods to meet the weight standards.
In fact, Torres is now considering liposuction, a procedure which is becoming an increasing trend in the military."

Salahi also interviewed a plastic surgeon in Hawaii named Dr. Robert Peterson. He estimated that approximently three-fourths of about 50 of the servicemembers he consults for liposuction say they want it specifically to make tape.

There's a lot more to the story so I strongly suggest reading it. It is interesting and arrises good points. Please feel free to read my post and the story linked and give me your feedback. There is an obvious need to change I am just curious when it will happen.