Hey, we’re all for weight loss—healthy weight loss, that is. If you come to our office, it’s likely that we will talk about your weight and how it affects your overall health. But when it comes to casual conversations, most of us could improve the way we talk about weight.
Here’s the thing… not every person we would consider “healthy” has a needle-thin physique, and that’s okay! There are many people who exercise, eat well, and are somewhat thin, but still get comments about their weight because they are not as thin as the people we see in movies.
The truth is, being needle-thin does not always mean a person is healthy. And regardless of weight or thinness, we want to see people valued and complimented more for who they are inside than what they look like outside.
It’s time to stop putting so much value in how thin people are.
If you were to tell someone, “You look great! Looks like you’ve lost weight,” you may not know if she was trying to lose weight in the first place. If you know she was, great—compliment away! It’s when you don’t know that you should perhaps consider a different wording.
It could be that she was happy with how she looked and felt before, but is now confused and maybe hurt by what your well-meaning compliment fully suggests. She could be thinking, “Okay… did I look like I had weight to be lost before? Because I don’t think I did.”
On the other hand, there are people with medical conditions that have made them underweight. These people are often complimented on their thinness, but it’s a compliment that drudges up a lot of sadness, and perhaps an awkward conversation about why they are so thin.
The biggest worry here is that someone who has had major body image struggles in the past could easily take these compliments too far and overcompensate with unhealthy weight watching practices.
Our suggestion is to omit anything about weight and simply say, “You look great!” Or better yet, find more opportunities to compliment personality and character rather than appearance.
Let’s stop putting so much value on outward appearance and focus on what’s inside. The best compliments will always be the ones that focus on character and personality.
If you need help cultivating a healthy relationship with weight, food, and exercise, contact our office today. We are passionate about fostering healthy lifestyles that avoid guilt trips, unrealistic expectations, and physical/mental stress.