That is a tough question!
whined opened up to Twitter about getting my first real compliment on my weight loss from a friend I hadn’t seen in a couple of months. I had been bummed when I saw her (and other friends I see even more infrequently) at Christmas/New Year’s and nobody commented on the weight I had already lost at that point. I assumed since I had already lost ~30lbs when I saw everyone at the holidays, I’d get compliments left and right.
So, I thought, maybe those 30lbs were just a drop in the bucket? Maybe it’s not as huge a difference to others as it is to myself? I got over it and went about my business.
Nearly two months and 20 more pounds went by, and I finally got my first compliment on Sunday night (aside from my parents). Now here’s where Kelsey’s Society Series post - “When they STOP mentioning it” – comes into play. Why was I so bothered that nobody had said anything? Some people on Twitter said “maybe people see you so often that they can’t tell small differences every time they see you” – but I’m talking about people I hadn’t seen in months. I’m losing this weight for myself and my own health, but there’s some vanity there, too; I can’t escape it. I want some validation that I’m making myself look better on the outside while improving my longevity. However, I’m realizing that weight is SUCH a taboo topic that even those who you feel close to are hesitant to mention it. It’s been THE foremost topic in my brain for 20 years, so I kinda want everyone to pat me on the back when I lose it, and shut the hell up when I gain it.
Compliments can totally backfire, though, and make even the best intentions look horrible. Saying “wow, you look so amazing now!” could imply you looked like crap before. “What are you doing? You look great!” might give way to a less-than-savory answer (“it’s a tapeworm, man…thanks for mentioning it”). Unless they’re your best friend or parent, some people are just too afraid of somehow hurting your feelings in a backhanded way, and I need to accept that. Just because they don’t compliment you doesn’t mean they don’t notice. As someone who has wrestled with weight her whole life, I know how much I appreciate compliments, and I like to address others’ hard work when I notice their weight loss. However, someone who hasn’t seen the world through fat-colored glasses might not know how to approach it. [And maybe others who are losing weight are embarrassed and don’t want comments – are you that way?]
The funny thing is, the day after Kaycee complimented me, our neighbor gave me a compliment by way of my mom (while I was out at a new Zumba class – go me!). She admitted she didn’t feel comfortable saying something to me, and I (am beginning to) understand that.
Again, I refer to Kelsey’s post: since I’ve gotten both of those compliments, I’ve been dressing a little snazzier.
I’ve been checking myself out a little bit more.
I’ve been carrying myself differently.
I don’t want to be THAT GIRL who thrives on compliments and validation, because then the motivation becomes external and the reasons for losing weight are wrong. However, like sprinkles on a cupcake (mmm….cuuuupcaaaaake), compliments add a little something extra to an already sweet victory.
Do you have a policy on complimenting others’ weight loss? How do you feel when people say (hopefully positive) things about your weight loss? Do you agree with me that weight is too taboo to comment on unless you’re really close to the person?