I assume that most people who notice my weight loss mean it as a compliment to my hard work. I know I was (still am) fat and of course they noticed that I was. I am happy that they can see the results of my hard work.
I'm kind of the opposite with how I feel about this because after I reached the 20-25 pounds lost mark I was secretly hoping that someone would notice. I didn't want to have been so big that 20 pounds lost looked like nothing and I was afraid if no one noticed that it meant I had looked even worse to begin with than I thought I did. I was so pleased when the first acquaintance of mine who didn't know that I was trying to lose weight noticed it and complemented me. She was genuinely happy for me, as she had recently been working on her weight as well and understood the effort it took.
There are definitely people out there who give backhanded compliments and others are just unaware of how their compliments really come across. I think it depends on how well we know the person to know how they actually meant the comment. But like mentioned above, in most cases I believe people mean to be supportive.
5'3" age 38
Starting weight (12/25/11)- 217.4
Current weight (4/16/12)-176
Total lost- 41.4 lbs Halfway there!
Goal weight- 135
"You can't fail unless you quit."