From the archives. In 2013 the blog wasn’t even a year old and we were pretty focused at that time on getting our core themes out there. One of them that we have sustained throughout is the the theme of encouraging everyone not to preoccupy themselves with weight loss (their own or others).
This was not just for friviolous reasons. Fixating on weight loss as a thing that is assumed to be positive, policing others’ bodies in a way that makes it normal and natural to “compliment” someone when they’ve lost weight (even if you don’t know whether they wanted to–see our cautionary tale), and externalizing your fitness efforts so that your “success” is measured by the number on the scale, are just some of the ways we miss the mark when it comes to fitness.
Our aspirations for ourselves and hopes for others can come from a more loving place. One way to start on that new road is to refrain from offering “you look great, you’ve lost weight!” as a compliment.
7 thoughts on ““You’ve Lost Weight! You Look Great!” Isn’t a Compliment #tbt”
Love this post. Then and now.
I agree with Sam. For me it’s so great when I know I’m going to be in an environment where people aren’t going to dissect my appearance. I just want people to be happy to see me.
Yes! Could not agree more. How about–You look strong and healthy. You look happy and easeful. You look like you’re loving life. Real compliments that are not about “appearance” but about how we are manifesting.
Yeah, I wish I didn’t look any different when my weight varies, because I get so mad when people say I look “better.” Screw you, ya jerk.
See also my friend who lost a bunch of weight because she was dealing with cancer. She didn’t tell very many people so as you can imagine the “Wow you look great!” weight loss compliments were awkward to say the least.
Love this article!
One of the most awkward “you’ve lost weight” moments I’ve dealt with was when an acquaintance who literally hadn’t seen me for years paid me that compliment and I informed her that the opposite actually was the case, which it was. And the before-and-after weights actually were both healthy for me. That whole encounter was just … weird.
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