(Editor’s Note: Woo hoo! This is my 100th post!)While you’re losing weight and being successful, compliments are seemingly around every corner. “You’re doing great!” “What’s your secret?” “I bet you feel great!” At first, these sorts of compliments can be uncomfortable. They put the focus on our bodies, which we’re obviously not happy with. So, when people are nice about our successes, instead of deferring with “well I have a lot more to lose”, or making some other negative comment about ourselves, we should reply with a simple smile and a “thank you”. When you respond to a compliment with a denial or a negative comment about yourself, this is actually an insult to the person complimenting you. You’re basically telling them that their opinion is wrong. This may eventually lead to them no longer complimenting you!
So what do you do when you’re close to goal and you start getting the backhanded compliments? You know the ones I mean. “Don’t lose too much!” “You skinny bitch!” “Are you ill?” “You’re not going to lose anymore are you? You look great!” “You look so much better than you used to!” Yes, people will say these things to you. And yes, they will think they’re complimenting you. Here’s what I’ve found is a great response (and for me it was true): “thank you, I’m working closely with my doctor to get to a healthy weight for me”.
If you know someone who is working on losing weight and you want to compliment them without risking negativity, try the following statements:
“You’re looking so healthy!”
“You’re so fit these days!”
or how about a simple
“I’m so proud of you.”
But once you get to goal, the compliments slow down or stop altogether. It’s not because people don’t care anymore, but the results of your hard work are far less obvious. The visual changes of strength training are much slower to emerge than fat loss, and if they don’t know about your other goals (running a 5k, deadlifting your body weight, etc.) The compliments change to be less about your looks, and more about your accomplishment, or your character, which are even BETTER!
I’ve received some pretty awesome compliments in the last year, and these are my favorites:
- You are one of the most mentally healthy people I know
- You are athletic
- You’re constantly improving yourself
- You’re always positive
- When you set your mind to something, you do it
Notice hot now one of them is about what I look like? You could make an argument that “athletic” is a physical descriptor, and you wouldn’t be wrong, but it’s also more than that. It’s about mindset, too. It’s about outlook. The most interesting compliment I have ever received about my looks, though, was “Your eyebrows are fabulous, I can’t stop staring at them!” (I don’t think I’d ever heard that one before!)
Cute side story: my bestie’s dad has known me since I was about ten years old. He’s seen me pudgy, he’s seen me plump, he’s seen me fat and he’s seen me OBESE. Several years ago he moved to New Hamsphire, so I don’t see him but maybe once a year or every two years. Two years ago I was down 100 lbs from my highest, about 15 lbs from goal. He hadn’t seen me in more than a year. When I walked into the room he blurted out “WOW there’s a whole lot less of you than there used to be!” If that sentence had come from someone I’d not known nearly as well, I would have been upset, but coming from Mr. D it was just super cute. He was very proud of me!
So go out there and compliment someone today, just make sure you don’t inadvertently insult them. One of my favorite phrases is “It’s not WHAT you say, it’s HOW you say it”.
Will you compliment someone today?