Tag Archives: backhanded compliment

What’s The Skinny?

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What’s The Skinny?

Hi! Before we begin, I am going to put a trigger warning on this post for references to weight and eating disorders.

My weight and self image has always been something that I struggled with. I actually haven’t really thought about it in a while until one comment sent my mind back into a tailspin. With the holiday season in full swing now, I thought that it was high time to give everyone a friendly reminder so let’s get to it:

Due to COVID, it has probably been ages since people have seen their friends and family for a holiday gathering. In that time of everyone staying in and turning to video chat to connect, people’s bodies could change. Whether weight was gained or lost during that time it is NEVER your place to say anything. Why ruin someone’s day with a completely unwarranted comment?

Weight is a sensitive subject for many people and it is also something that can fluctuate for a multitude of reasons. Of course, it’s not anyone’s business but the person themselves and here are a few of many reasons for weight change: Medication, eating disorders, an illness, depression, PCOS, and so on and so forth.

I, myself, am well aware that I have lost weight thanks to everyone and their brother telling me. Just this past week, one of my old skating coaches who I haven’t seen since the start of the pandemic made it a point to tell me that I “trimmed down”. Little did he know, my weight gain came from a time of serious depression and a binge eating disorder. He also has no idea that I am a recovering bulimic.

What this person thought was a compliment hurt me deeply and it took me back mentally to when I could barely stand to look in the mirror. So, yeah, “you lost weight” is a statement that is filled with negative connotations when the person didn’t volunteer information like that they dieted or went to the gym.

Commenting on someone’s weight after you haven’t seen them in a while also can make it seem like the person’s self worth is directly correlated with how much they weigh. A true compliment if you feel the urge to say something would be that “you look happy”. And, if you’re unsure: Say nothing at all.

Words have power and as a writer, I know this firsthand. What my old coach deemed innocent enough has still been swirling around in my head days later. In fact, it originally made me not even want to go back to that rink at all. That’s pretty sad considering how much I look forward to my time on the ice.

This holiday season, I urge all of you to keep things merry and bright and leave comments about weight off the table. Chances are, your words are going to linger well beyond the holiday gathering.

Can anyone relate to the above sentiments? What is your favorite compliment to give? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Have You Lost Weight?

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Have You Lost Weight?

Trigger Warning – This post discusses eating disorders!

Hi everyone! Have you ever received a compliment that made you a little upset? As a recovering bulimic, I admit that I still worry about my weight a lot even though I haven’t purged in several years. So, when I was asked twice in one work day if I lost weight it definitely had me feeling some type of way – even though I don’t really do anything to work out except for a couple of short walks once or twice a week.

I genuinely hate being asked if I lost weight because the thoughts that instantly form in my mind go along the lines of “was I overweight before?” and “challenge accepted, I’ll lose more”. It is extremely triggering for me and, although I have much better coping skills now, I still have to deal with those thoughts and I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t still thinking about it.

A lot of people think that asking someone if they have lost weight could be a compliment but I know firsthand that it is anything but. I encourage all of you to really think before you ask someone that and would advise to only ask it if you know for a fact that the person is actively trying to lose weight for a healthier lifestyle. You have no idea if the person you’re asking has or had an eating disorder, an illness, or tons of stress that has attributed to their recent weight loss. What you think is a compliment could actually be harmful and has the power to hurt feelings and exasperate issues that people are currently struggling or used to struggle with.

If you genuinely want to compliment someone in regards to their weight, I would recommend just telling them that they look good. “Hey, you look nice today” has a lot less of a negative connotation than straight up asking if they lost weight. Some people might roll their eyes when they read this post as they are sick of having to “monitor” what they say. But, as writers, we all know that words have power and effect everyone differently.

I know all of the statements in this post to be true for me personally and I just wanted to open everyone’s eyes to a comment that they might not even think about before they make it. Choose your words carefully and don’t use them to cause anyone any additional stress – with the state of the world right now, I promise that we all have a lot more important things to deal with than racing thoughts about if you lost a couple of pounds. Just something to think about!

What is a “compliment” that you hate receiving? What is a compliment that you like to give to people? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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