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Why Comments About Weight Loss Can Suck

Today we are talking about “Possible Negative Effects of Complimenting Someone on Their Weight Loss & Better Ways To Compliment Others”. This topic is such a tough one because I know when we compliment people on weight loss, we are trying to be supportive. I do want to point out some considerations and also offer alternatives to compliments about physical appearance because we are in a digital age where so many people compare themselves physically to perfectly photoshopped Insta models, which simply isn’t reality.

First, we have some considerations:

1.) The person may have used unhealthy methods to lose weight. Sometimes, we can unintentionally reinforce an eating disorder or body dysmorphia by pointing out their weight loss.

2.) Telling someone they’re handsome or beautiful after they’ve lost weight can send the message that they weren’t with the additional weight. If you never complimented their looks when they had more weight, what message does it send when you say nice things about them after the weight loss?

3.) If one person consistently received compliments on weight they’ve lost, their closest friends may feel they need to lose weight too to be accepted. This issue comes up frequently for teens. When teens see their friends getting attention for certain aspects, the teen craves that for themselves as well.

4.) Remember that people’s looks, and weight loss, can be completely unrelated to actual attempts at losing weight. They could be losing weight due to stress, depression, cancer, medications, or other difficult situations that come up.

Person 1: Wow, you’ve lost so much weight! What’s your secret?

Person 2: Divorce.

^Been there, lived that!^

5.) Only offering compliments based on looks reinforces outdated ideas that someone’s worth comes from their physical presentation. Yes, it’s good for us to maintain good hygiene & to take care of ourselves, but at what point do we become too involved? And are comments, or even compliments, about our looks helpful or hurtful in the long run?

Alternatives To Try…

This is a great time to make a graphic!

Whew y’all! That took a minute. Anyway, my challenge to you is to practice complimenting people, even yourself, on non-physical aspects. See how it goes!


Published by Anchoring Hope

We are a small collective of counselors dedicated to distributing helpful, relatable content directly to your device! We also provide counseling services to those in Virginia & an anxiety training that can be accessed around the globe!

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