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nobe 03-12-2012 12:06 AM

Something my mom said
 
We were out for dinner with family last night, and one of the people there was my cousin's wife, who has always been fairly big. We hadn't seen her in about 6 months, and she's lost a ton of weight. My mom's reaction was to say "I didn't even recognize you! You look so good now!" She kind of looked at my mom like "yeah, I guess I was a hideous monster before," but my mom was so oblivious that she said "seriously! You look so great that I wouldn't have even known it was you!"

Would you have been offended by that? I would be, and my cousin's wife was, but my mom clearly thought she was complimenting her. Of course if I lose a bunch of weight I'll be happy if people notice and say something, but the way she said it was so backwards, like rather than saying she's thin now, she was pointing out that she was fat before.

What have people said about your weight loss that feels good, and what would you/do you hate to hear?

cjohnson728 03-12-2012 12:24 AM

First off, I am totally in favor of a thread, this or another, entitled "Stuff My Mom Said." Good grief, could we fill that one!

What I hate, that I used to get from my mom, is the "you're too thin" comment...once I got close to and reached my goal weight, that's what it was. I come from a family of women on the heavy side and even though I was a healthy weight, I guess by comparison I seemed quite thin. So that was a battle for a while.

However, last Thanksgiving when I visited, a cousin I hadn't seen for a couple years said the same thing. And my mom, bless her heart, jumped right in to the conversation and said, "She's all muscle, just look at it!" It felt good to have her defend me and to finally recognize what healthy looks like :). That was the best comment I've had, and from a very unexpected source.

Stuff My Mom Says. Oh my, that can be a book. Or several.

Kumochi 03-12-2012 12:27 AM

I think it's something we have to learn to accept as a compliment. When people tell me I look great or that they like a new hair style occasionally I wonder if I looked that bad before. If we want people to notice the improvement we have to accept that they noticed how we looked before. Last week a co-worker told me I was looking great. She went on to say I must be taking good care of myself. I found that a nice way for her to compliment me. Mary

ToriD1012 03-12-2012 02:32 AM

I get the "omg, you look SO different!!" And yeah, I know I do, but at the same time....it's still me. Other than my mom's comment last weekend (?) of "you're arms and face are looking real thin, but you've got a long way to go on that belly", all of the reactions and comments have been super positive. Yay!!

People mean well, they just don't know how some things sound.

crazigerl 03-12-2012 02:35 AM

My MIL said after I lost 30 pounds "you actually have a cute face" Thanks.

My husband noticed I had smaller wrists????

My sister says I have more wrinkles.

My family is so "special"

nobe 03-12-2012 03:10 AM

My hubby said my shoulders have gotten smaller. Just what I was hoping for, haha.

My mom says "you could be so pretty if you weren't so big." But she said the same thing 60 pounds ago, so I take what she says with a grain of salt. I think I'm more offended by what she says to other people than to me because I've learned to shrug it off.

fit4luv 03-12-2012 04:32 AM

hmmmm . . .
 
Backward compliments. It's something that I have to work at in taking graciously. I try to take it as a compliment & leave at that.

I also try to learn from what people say to me so that I learn what is a nice, gracious compliment.

Thinking about what bugs me about compliments like your mother's & others listed here ->
COMPARISON (Before & Now): Wouldn't it sound better to say, "you look so good" and leave out the comparitive word "now"?

RELATIONSHIP: Another factor for me is what kind of relationship I have with someone. How close am I with them? Do they have the "right" to comment on something personal?

TONE/EXPRESSION: Has a lot to do with how I perceive the compliment.

INTENT: I believe most people intend to be encouraging. That helps me to let the not-so-nice part of the compliment slide on by.

--------------------------

I had someone tell me once, "Weight loss is easy. You just eat less and exercise more." This coming from a person who to my knowledge has not dealt with weight loss like I have. Also, I did not ask for advice. She's trigger happy at giving advice. I think she does it because she cares & wants problems solved, but it comes across as know-it-all. I don't trust her to know my mental/emotional needs.

My mother tells me, "I can see you're losing weight. Your face is looking thinner." This is in context of she being supportive with my weight-loss.

I have an older sister who will say things like, "I like your skirt" or "I really like your hair cut." That was said today. She does not imply anything about the past, but encourages what is in the present. When I told her I lost 10 lbs, she said, "That's wonderful. I know you worked hard."

I'll wait and see what happens further down the road when general acquaintences see my weight loss like at 20-30 lbs. That will feel a lot more touchy with me because I need to work on being more secure in who I am.

nobe 03-12-2012 04:57 AM

I think most backwards compliments are caused by the person's low self-esteem, and I try to be understanding of that, but I got so mad last night when she directed it at someone else. My mom's never had much going for her besides her looks, and now her looks are gone but she's still thin, so she has to make other people feel bad about their weight. It's this weird kind of body dysmorphia directed at other people. It's all she ever sees. She'll watch a tv show and every single person that comes on, she'll say "she's gotten big!" or "she was so pretty when she was thinner," and so on. I know she only brought up my cousin's wife's weight to make herself feel better by making her feel bad.

I had a roommate once who would always give me clothes but she'd make sure to say "do you want this? It's waaaaaaay too big for me, so it should fit you." I tried to just think, "woo hoo! Free clothes!" but really she was just giving them to me so she could point out that she was thinner than me. But she was miserable and lived on one pepperoni stick a day.


My mom gives me unsolicited advice about my weight too, but most of it is just telling me I'm fat. I say "don't you think I know I'm fat?" and she says "well obviously not; if you knew you were fat you would stop being fat." She thinks she's helping me by pointing out that I'm fat. Like, oh my goodness! I didn't realize! Sorry, I'll get thin tomorrow.

She visited me in the hospital when I had my baby and asked me what my game plan was for taking off the baby weight and offered to sign me up for a weight loss program. Yup, I haven't slept in 5 days and I have a screaming pooping maniac to tend to, but my priority is losing weight. Uh huh.

But she hates herself and needs me to be fat so she can feel good and I try to keep that in mind.

cjohnson728 03-12-2012 05:11 AM


Originally Posted by nobe (Post 75751)
But she hates herself and needs me to be fat so she can feel good and I try to keep that in mind.

You bring up a good, good point. Usually, what people say and how people act isn't because of you, it's because of the baggage they bring to the situation. Many people, especially family members, feel (consciously or unconsciously) that if a previously-overweight person gets thin, things will change, and some folks are just really, really threatened by that.

Absentha 03-12-2012 09:20 AM


Originally Posted by nobe (Post 75744)
My hubby said my shoulders have gotten smaller. Just what I was hoping for, haha.

My mom says "you could be so pretty if you weren't so big." But she said the same thing 60 pounds ago, so I take what she says with a grain of salt. I think I'm more offended by what she says to other people than to me because I've learned to shrug it off.

Omg, I hate when people say that. As if being thinner makes your facial features any better. If you're pretty, you're pretty, regardless of your weight.

Then again, I would probably have been offended by a comment like that, but I get offended about almost anything having to do with weight, lol. I just try to understand what people are thinking when they say those kinds of things and realise they're not saying it to be hurtful.


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