Weight Loss Support - How do you react when someone comments on your weight loss?

03-17-2008, 10:55 AM
It's a bit silly really: I'm still stumped on how to react when people comment on my weight loss. Now I've been down that road more than once - losing a noticeable amount and then falling off track and gaining all or most of it back before coming even close to goal.

Well, it's that time again - 15lbs down and people start noticing. It feels great, but also kind of awkward - I usually say "Thanks for noticing," but how dorky does that sound? Two days ago, when the topic came up, I also blushed, which was promptly commented on too - argh. :o :^:. So, on the one hand I like the validation, and on the other hand I don't like it to be an issue. It's not a huge problem or anything, just had me wondering about this ambiguity.

Another problem I've had in the past is that once the compliments start to roll in I tend to get complacent, which of course is a dangerous place to be if you want to stay on plan... :dizzy:

I'm really interested to find out your feelings and responses to weight loss comments! :)

03-17-2008, 11:16 AM
I say "Yes , thanks for noticing." Sometimes I say "Yes, and I did it on purpose". It is nice if people notice and complement me, but it is totally unimportant whether they comment or not.

03-17-2008, 11:19 AM
yes it is a little akward at times; i had one friend even ask another friend "what happened to Tiff?" lol, like i have a disease or something. but mostly i just say "thank you, i'm really trying".

good point about getting complecent, i really need to watch out for that one. i have come so far, but have such a LONG way to go. at first the weight was melting off, and now it has slowed condsiderably. the compliments can be a double edged sword i guess, on one side it can be a great ,motivater, on the other it can make you feel like you deserve a break. must be leary of the latter.

congrats on your weight loss!

03-17-2008, 11:41 AM
"Yes, thank you, I'm trying to be healthier."

It gives them the "Thanks" and gives me the "Don't get cocky and go back to where you were".

03-17-2008, 12:08 PM
Someone who hadn't seen me in awhile recently said, "Oh my gosh, you've lost a huge amount of weight!!" I said, "Yes, I did." End of comment.

They then asked, "How much have you lost?" I said, "I'm not sure--something like 40 pounds." End of comment.

They then asked, "How did you do it?" I said, "I reduced my food intake and increased my exercise to 5 or 6 times a week." That ended their interest. ;)


03-17-2008, 12:23 PM
I usually just smile kind of sheepishly and say thanks. I often try to downplay it. Not always, though. Depends on the person and how they say it.

It's a strange thing because for the most part it's motivating and very nice that people notice, but on the other hand....sometimes they make a REALLY big deal out of it and it makes me a little sad. In these instances they're not like, "this is so great -- you look so healthy!" it's more like, 'Oh my gosh, honey, you're so skinny and beautiful!"

I know they mean well, but I really wish physical appearance wasn't so unbelievably important in our world.

However, losing weight/keeping it off is HARD work and most people realize that.

I guess at the end of the day, there are far wore things than a compliment, so I try to be gracious, say thanks, and take the best out of it.

Nancy CA
03-17-2008, 12:39 PM
I just say "thanks for noticing" as well. What I don't like are people who wouldn't give me the time of day before that are all on me now about my weight loss. Why wasn't I worthy before?

03-17-2008, 12:48 PM
I just say thank you and leave it at that. I still feel embarrassed, not sure why. Even when my mother compliments me!!
If they ask how I do it, I say 'diet and exercise', and most people don't want to hear more. I think they expect me to say surgery, since I have lost a lot. It seems a popular assumption to make.

03-17-2008, 12:50 PM
Nancy~ I know the feeling. =/

03-17-2008, 01:41 PM
My reaction really depends on the person making the comment. I know a lot more men than women. Men will just come out and say "you look great, nice job". They get a smile and a "Thanks, I'm working on it." From women I get "Have you been sick?", or "Did you have surgery?" or some other back-handed comment. They tend to get a much more cautious response that tries to avoid the subject altogether.

I'd really prefer nobody said anything and we all just moved on.

Hat Trick
03-17-2008, 02:40 PM
I smile very broadly and say 'ty, ty, ty'. If they ask what did I do to lose the wt, I get all serious (which I'm not), bring my voice down to a very low, deep, and knowledgeable tone, look them straight in the eye and say 'I followed this very new, quasi-retro diet'. After I see they are enraptured and waiting to hear what the 'magic pill' diet is, I say 'I've learned to eat less and move more'. :D :lol:

03-17-2008, 02:49 PM
lol at your comment JayEll...
people do get less excited when they realize you did it the old-fashioned way.

i usually just smile and say that, yeah, i've been working hard, or something along those lines. it does make me uncomfortable sometimes though.

03-17-2008, 02:51 PM
See, I definitely LIKE when people notice. Obviously, I did this on PURPOSE and I worked HARD at it... I want people to notice and appreciate what I've done.

So... when they notice.. I just say, "Thanks! You can tell? Sometimes it's hard for me to notice myself!" (usually when I'm in the process of losing)

03-17-2008, 03:22 PM
I say thanks. And I use it for motivation when I'm tempted to slack off.

03-17-2008, 03:28 PM
I usually try to downplay it and just say, "thanks. I'm trying." Most of my coworkers know, just because I change clothes at work to go the gym, but I haven't made a big deal out of it.

I saw one of my best friends this weekend & hadn't seen her for about 3 weeks. I got to the restaurant first & when she walked in she just had this stunned look on her face. I thought something was wrong. She walked up and hugged me & said, "Oh my gosh. You lost so much weight! You look great! Not that you didn't look great before, but WOW!" I knew what she meant and wasn't upset because she's always been so supportive.

I don't notice any real change when I look in the mirror---I do with how clothes fit. So, it's nice that someone else can tell.

Apple Cheeks
03-20-2008, 08:37 AM
I get excited if someone notices. :carrot:

Like the others, I will usually say something like "Thank you for noticing!" with a big smile.

If people ask me how I'm doing it, I will say, "Hard work." It's sometimes funny to see their look of disappointment. :p As JayEll mentioned: once someone finds out I don't have a magic pill or an "easy" solution to dropping weight then their interest wanes.

03-20-2008, 11:24 AM
See, I definitely LIKE when people notice. Obviously, I did this on PURPOSE and I worked HARD at it... I want people to notice and appreciate what I've done.
Yup. It's funny to see how we all react differently to this. I think there's another recent thread here where someone was talking about how disappointed they were that no one had said anything to them! :)

I'm with Jen - I've busted my butt and I want people to notice. When someone does say something, I just smile and respond "Thanks! I've worked hard to do it!"

I do agree that there is an element of disappointment from everyone who learns that I haven't done it magically - I've just eaten less and exercised more. :)


03-20-2008, 11:51 AM
No one's noticed yet :( But I bet I'll be thrilled when someone does.

03-20-2008, 08:15 PM
I have a mixed reaction when someone notices. Recently, I've kicked it up a notch and lost about 3 lbs since January, and many people have commented. Over 3 measly little pounds (and these are not people who would have had ANY idea that I was eating less, etc).

I say thank you, and I try to enjoy the compliment--but at the same time it's like, was I that heavy 3 pounds ago???

I dunno, it's stupid, but I kind of wish people wouldn't say anything.

03-20-2008, 08:30 PM
Jelly - You may have "only" lost 3 pounds, but maybe you've changed your whole body around because of it. Perhaps you've lost a few inches here & there. :)

03-20-2008, 11:17 PM
I'm still waiting for the compliments..haven't lost enough yet (although previously I was 220 so I lost a good five pounds before I found this wonderful place :) )

I'll just be thrilled if my boyfriend can take his eyes away from his gaming obsession long enough to notice. I can't wait for the compliments to come in! Just keeps me motivated thinking about how people will react (especially my grandfather, who tends to be my biggest critic in regard to my weight)

03-21-2008, 03:31 AM
For the most part, I'm pleased. My crew at my cafe & those close to me, have seen the weight gain over the years & know that my dr told me to lose 10lbs by May (my goal is 15). So when someone said recently that they can already see a change in my face, I looked incredulous & thanked them.

Unfortunately for me, someone I'm with everyday at work, has been making sly snide comments, so it makes it a little harder for me to enjoy the complements.

03-21-2008, 03:36 AM
For me a lot of it depends on who is commenting. When it is people I don't know well (i.e. through work) that is when I feel awkward. I just give this sort of smile and say yeh I've lost a bit thanks. When it is someone I know well then I feel great, I smile and feel... bouncy!

But what I find hard is other friends who are over-weight, I don't want to talk about my weight loss around them because I know how I felt when people talked about it round me. Yet I am just about to hit my half way point (about 66 pounds, 30kg) and I feel like telling everyone!! But I don't want to make them feel bad/awkward.

03-21-2008, 03:41 AM
I have to admit I do enjoy when someone notices my weight loss. I usually just say thank you, I've been working on it or something like that. Its always really motivating to get a compliment like that especially when I cant seem to notice a difference myself.

03-21-2008, 04:08 AM
Gosh, I'm pleased. I'm just starting to get a few comments. I just say thank you with a big smile on my face. Then if they ask more, I tell them.

Over the past few years, several people at work have lost large quantities of weight - mostly through exercise and eating less and a couple via surgery. So maybe the novelty has worn off in general. I do know, though, that at least one good friend will be concerned that I'm losing too much and she'll probably express that before I even reach the top of the normal range. She does that for everyone. Since I'm working with my doctor, that will just be my answer to that.

I think that when folks have only seen you overweight, when your bones start showing up they're afraid you're going to become a skeleton.

03-21-2008, 05:11 AM
I'm thrilled when people comment on my weight loss. I usually just say thank you. If it is someone close to me, I might add something like "I hope so, I work hard enough at it." If they ask, I'm happy to tell them how I've done it, but they do lose interest pretty quick when the find out. :lol:

It's also made me realize how motivating these comments are. When I see someone else that has lost weight, I always try to tell them how great they look because I know what these comments have meant to me. I have some very supportive friends who knew I was trying to lose weight before the loss really showed and, bless their hearts, they would comment about how great I looked every time they saw me (even though I'm sure I looked exactly the same). Even though I knew they were just being nice, it was still encouraging.

03-21-2008, 08:03 AM
Jelly - You may have "only" lost 3 pounds, but maybe you've changed your whole body around because of it. Perhaps you've lost a few inches here & there. :)

Thanks Faerie, that does help put it in perspective. As we all know, pounds don't necessarily translate in inches. :)

03-21-2008, 08:45 PM
It really depends on who comments on my weight.

When it's my family and I know they're being sincere, I say thanks and leave it because they know that I'm trying to be healthier.

If a friend or acquaintance says "have you lost weight? You're looking really healthy" I'm really pleased and I love it. I've gotten that a few times. However, if they ask if I've lost weight and say stuff like "you've lost SO MUCH weight" and then ask what size I am now or say that I look "hotter" I get quite annoyed. To me, that implies that they thought I was a blob or something before because I still feel and look fat at my weight now. I never know what to say to them.

As long as they don't really comment on my appearance other than mentioning that I look healthier then I quite like the compliments and I am getting more comfortable with comments.

03-23-2008, 12:48 AM
I say "thank you". I live in a small community and I hear compliments every day, especially from people who haven't seen me in a while. The only time I feel uncomfortable is when someone is "raving" about my weight loss to a coworker who is trying to lose weight as well, but having a lot of trouble doing it.

03-23-2008, 08:47 AM
Gosh, I'm surprised! I've never been uncomfortable with the compliments, I love it! I actually get most annoyed when I see someone who I haven't met in a very long time and they don't say anything. Obviously it's silly to be annoyed about such things, after all it is a difficult and touchy subject to bring up, particularly with people who have never commented on my looks in any other fashion. But yea, I really really love it. I have also changed my hair and how I dress, which is helpful to people I think because they sometimes just tell me I look fabulous/really really good, without having to comment specifically on 'gee, you used to be quite a blob'. Also though, I do feel that I was unattractive before, and I don't feel any kind of empathy with my former self, ie I don't want them to be like 'oh, of course you were always beautiful', because I don't agree and it seems fake to me.
Probably the weirdest or most uncomfortable is the following:
* people who I don't know that well, who have already commented on it extensively. It is really weird to run into them a few weeks later and...you still look the same. You are now a normal weight and not expected to lose more (though I still plan to), but it is still impressive. It's funny and uncomfortable, they can't really say it again, they already commented on it and yet, they are still totally thinking about it.
* people who get really obsessive about it. One lady repeatedly refers to me now as 'skinny girl' which does actually annoy me because it reminds me that I am not yet skinny in my own eyes. It is quite strange though, people to whom all you have become in their eyes is 'that girl who lost all that weight'. That is frustrating, because much as I wouldn't want to be thought of as 'that fat girl', well, really, could we not think about my stomach at all thanks?!
* Boys who never fancied you before who suddenly do. haha this one is a real kicker, and very strange. It's a bit weird because I can kind of see it from both perspectives, I can see that to me aesthetics and taking care of yourself is important and I can see why they were attracted to me before (in my opinion, being thinner is not merely about health or looks, it speaks to a deeper motivation, ambition and upward mobility - in other words, it says, I have my life together and am in control). But on the other hand, I cannot help but feel that they are a shallow ***. It must be a very strange situation for them actually!
* People who have noticed your weight loss, but remained fat themselves throughout your transformation. This is quite an interesting one, I have noted some larger women I knew around town who were very involved and interested in my weight loss. Very friendly with me, and yet I notice the more I lose the more they pull away as the clearer it becomes they have not made an effort themselves. Basically, I have become a living, breathing reminder to them of the fact that they have been lazy and not done what quite clearly is not impossible.

Naturally, I echo everyone else about the 'magic pill' thing, it is absolutely hilarious. Not once have I seen someone last more than 2 sentences into my description of the process before their eyes glaze over. hehe

03-23-2008, 10:13 AM
Another problem I've had in the past is that once the compliments start to roll in I tend to get complacent, which of course is a dangerous place to be if you want to stay on plan...

i've had this problem recently. a woman at work noticed my weight loss (she knew i was dieting on and off) and i kinda of played it off like, "oh you think so? i haven't been losing much lately. i want to lose more but it's no big deal i guess." then she says, "even if you don't, you look great - very well proportioned." (lol - kind of a bizarre compliment, but good intentions) so instead of getting motivated, i start telling myself that maybe i look good enough and this is the weight i'm meant to be. and while it may be true that i look ok like this, it doesn't change the fact that if i want to be a healthy BMI, i need to lose 20 more. it's great to get compliments (and stinks NOT to get compliments) but i have to stay focused despite other people's reactions.

What I don't like are people who wouldn't give me the time of day before that are all on me now about my weight loss. Why wasn't I worthy before?

totally agree! guess that's just the culture we live in. :rolleyes:

But what I find hard is other friends who are over-weight, I don't want to talk about my weight loss around them ... I don't want to make them feel bad/awkward.
i have that problem at work as most of the women are also overweight or obese. it's hard to know how to answer when the comment (good or bad) is coming from someone bigger than i am now. i guess i downplay it so that i don't offend them. i also hope in some way my journey could motivate them, but i'm not close enough with any of them to actually suggest that they join me.

03-23-2008, 04:33 PM
There were several women who started and succeeded in losing weight before I got serious about losing. I was sincere in my congratulatory comments and interested in how they had done it. One woman lost over 100 pounds and the other losses were less, but still dramatic. Seeing someone be successful at losing it and successful at maintaining the loss was motivating to me. I didn't say anything to indicate intentions to lose weight myself, probably because I wasn't ready yet. I don't think I could have been offended unless someone had commented that I needed to do it too, or follow their plan. Just comments about what you've done that worked when that's what you've been asked shouldn't offend anyone. So even though you don't directly see that you're motivating people, you probably are.

03-23-2008, 05:36 PM
I just say thank. If they ask how I tell them I eat less and better and exercise. You'd be surprised how many people say, "I was scared you'd say that." Like I have the magic solution or something.

I had a guy tell me that I have always been pretty but he couldn't believe how gorgeous I am now that I've lost like 100 pounds! I was floored. I said, "Thanks, I think, but it was just 30." I couldn't believe it.

03-23-2008, 06:06 PM
My favorite response was, "Yes, I've joined a gym." It was true, validated their observation, covered the unasked question that it wasn't a dire illness, and saved them from having to hear the threatening part that I ate less. Few people asked further.

Completed Beck Program-day 42. You’ve met your goal. Congratulations!

03-24-2008, 08:04 PM
I usually just say "whole foods". Most people think that equates to brown rice and chicken breasts every night, so it kills their curiosity. ;)

Apple Cheeks
03-24-2008, 09:33 PM
Cheetara, welcome to 3FC! :welcome3:

(And as a fan of the Thundercats, I salute you!:D)

cephalopod gal
03-24-2008, 09:54 PM
(And as a fan of the Thundercats, I salute you!:D)

I second!! :)