Why We Should Stop Complimenting Weight Loss

weight loss diet exercise health

Can we please stop praising and complimenting weight loss for a second? Telling someone how “great” they look since they lost weight. You don’t always know what’s actually going on and given the fact that weight loss is a very real symptom for most serious diseases, you may very well be complimenting them for being sick. Another side to this is the fact that serious eating disorders are on a constant rise (due to all the pressures to be tiny no doubt) so you could be complimenting someone for having an eating disorder.

But what if you know they have been trying really hard to lose weight and they seem to be really happy with their weight loss and proud, should you compliment them then?  Some people may not agree with me here, but I’m going to say a great big NO on that one… Before you get mad at me, hear me out here cuz I’m going to share my very real and personal story as to why I say that.

When I lost 85 lbs I had the compliments coming from all over the place. People telling me how amazing I looked, and how inspiring I was. I asked for it, I posted before and after pictures all over social media, shared my workouts, and what I was eating with everyone for accountability and then I went on to help many others lose weight too (most of whom did gain their weight back as well). I did feel proud of myself and I loved the compliments, but then I hit that point that most dieters do… That point where my body started fighting back because it wanted to put the weight back on (let’s just remember that this is an amazing capability that the body has and how it keeps us alive and thriving, not a bad thing). I then spiraled into a terrible binge eating disorder (at the peak I was binging daily), while still sharing my before and after pictures, encouraging other women to embark on the same path I had gone, and talking about how amazing I was feeling, but you never really know what’s going on behind the scenes you guys!

Now, as I’ve gained all my weight back, I was left feeling not good enough anymore. No one compliments how “healthy” I look now. And since my body size had become such a large topic of discussion (once again a lot of this was fully brought on by myself) I can’t help but sit here on the other side thinking how all these people who were once complimenting me profusely, must now think I look terrible. Or maybe, probably feel sorry for me for failing.

The thing is, even if you know someone who has been really trying to lose weight and they are now seeing those results, try and avoid the compliments on their size. Because chances are they are going to eventually start gaining some or even all or more than the weight back that they had lost in the first place. Giving out compliments as someone is losing weight can make it that much more difficult for the person to deal with the weight gain that may come later and/or embrace the idea of not dieting any longer.

Why don’t we find other ways to compliment people that doesn’t involve they’re body size?  Because weight will come and it will go, (and a lot of time when it goes it’s not necessarily a sign of health). It’s truly the inner work we do that really matters… You can be your happiest no matter what your body looks like!

Ideas of compliments that don’t include a person size (I got these from an amazing list of 100 compliment ideas you can go check out HERE):

  1. You’re an awesome friend.
  2. You’re super smart.
  3. You are awesome!
  4. I really admire your great manners.
  5. I like your style.
  6. You have the best laugh.
  7. I appreciate you.
  8. You are enough.
  9. You’re strong.
  10. Your perspective is refreshing.
  11. I’m grateful to know you.
  12. You light up the room.
  13. You’re more helpful than you realize.
  14. You have a great sense of humor.
  15. Thank you for being there for me.
  16. You bring out the best in other people.

So next time you see that friend of yours who’s raving about their new way of eating and has noticeably lost some weight… Instead of going for the expected and usual compliment on how great they look now (which has a hidden “you didn’t look that great before” message in it), grab one of the other compliment ideas from above!

Why We Should Stop Complimenting Weight Loss

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