Weight Loss Support - Responding to "Wow you lost a lot of weight!"

02-16-2011, 04:11 AM
I am about to see my parents again after probably the longest period we've been apart. I was 197 last time they saw me, and there's no way that my mum is not going to notice - and comment on - a near 40lb weight loss. (My dad will not notice, he's blind!)

She's a lifelong yo-yo dieter and weight is a big, big thing to her. I am afraid I don't particularly want to hear it. Congratulations and approval seem like a good thing, but since I was always approved of or disapproved of my whole childhood according to weight I feel very uneasy about hearing it, I'd so much rather they said I look good, well, fit, pretty, anything other than slim, but you can't control what people say, only how you respond. I want to feel ready to hear it.

Oh, and I also have probably Aspergers (never was worth the money to go and get assessed cos I don't need the papers for anything) and I just find it near impossible to utter out the social white lies, if somoene has cooked a nasty meal, is wearing a hat that looks like nesting birds, etc. I have to go and hide because I just can't say "What an interesting hat". I have a feeling that "Thanks" and a change of subject would make her more persistent - "no really, lots and lots of weight, you look really good, how did you do it?" I just want to play it down. Am tempted to wear the biggest clothes I have and hope nothing is said, but I can't do that forever.

Worse, my sister is big at the moment (also part of the yo-yo dieting family) so I'll get to hear all about how fat she is. :mad:

02-16-2011, 08:19 AM
If she says "wow, you lost a lot of weight" you could reply with "yes, I have!" which is the truth.

Then maybe just figure that your parents aren't perfect, will say things that seem socially inappropriate and make you uncomfortable but they love you anyway. Kind of like you might say things that seem socially inappropriate or make others uncomfortable but you love them anyway and mean no harm.

jessy 49
02-16-2011, 08:54 AM
I have a friend whose motto for difficult situations is "say less"!

So, in response to the inevitable comment on your weight loss, you might say "yes -- I've been working on it". In response to "how'd you do it?" you might reply "just trying to eat healthy".

In both situations, you'd be saying enough to be politely conversational but not dwelling on the topic. Hopefully you will be able to change the subject quickly to something less emotionally charged for you -- such as "do you have a cold?" or "what colour are you painting the bathroom"

Good luck!

02-16-2011, 09:01 AM
This is a tough one for me too, because weight is a really loaded topic in my family. Body image and self esteem always overlap, and emotions about weight gain/loss are complicated for the women in my family. So, I have just been saying "Oh thanks, I've been trying to be healthier" and then I let it go. I also sometimes say directly "Thanks for the compliment", but I try to follow it up with something like "I've been feeling really good lately". Good luck!

02-16-2011, 09:12 AM
Definitely can't go there with "healthy" I'll get approximately 6 days of research studies about what is and is not healthy!! I don't actually buy "healthy eating" and weight as packaged by international government anyway, I just decided that if doctors are going to buy it and thus constantly blame everything I ever have on my weight (I became sick when I was actually too THIN) then it was easier for me to be thin so they can stop playing that game with me. I was healthier when I was 190lbs but attending 3 gymnastics classes a week, walking miles every day and all that but just eating too many calories when I got back. I was very, very unhealthy at 120lbs cos I was eating 600 calories but I was not under the BMI requirement for being "officially" anorexic yet so was not eligible for help until I got skinny enough (irony much?) and now I am in terrible general health, but thinner.

It's generally a co-morbid population that people who eat badly are also less active, but there are many very active people who are overweight and their health indicators (though not necessarily their health) are better than slim people with poor activity habits. And of course the debate on whether Type 2 diabetes is the bogeyman caused by being overweight or whether Type 2 diabetes is an endocrine condition that drives you from an early age to eat too much due to a hormonal imbalance making inappropriate hunger signals, where symptoms of the disease do not appear until later life.

I can do a half hour on it myself, but can't stand the full treatise so we know better than to say the word "healthy" in relation to food or weight.

02-16-2011, 10:02 AM
Well here is an idea - why not send your mother an e-mail or call her and tell her now? Say I have lost almost 40 lbs and I am trying very hard but I find that I seemed to get derailed if people talk about it (or you could be even more honest about it and talk about how you have always felt the pressure) and if she wouldn't mind, could she not mention it? Take the bull by the horns - you know? Especially if you do have Asperger's - then they should understand that there may be things you cannot or do not want to handle.

02-16-2011, 10:16 AM
I'm with take the bull by the horns.

What a good idea!


02-16-2011, 11:23 AM
Lol roserodent, your first post up there about the white lies sounds just like me. I can say the words, "wow that's an interesting hat" but it's totally obvious I think it looks like nesting birds. I must have a flashing neon sign on my forehead that turns on when I'm trying to just be polite!

As for the "you've lost a lot of weight" comment, I don't much care for that either. I lost about 20 pounds once before, and it irritated me to no end when people said that. I'm not sure why.... I just kept reminding myself that they were being nice and that their heart was in the right place. That helped me smile and fake it. :)

02-16-2011, 11:36 AM
One thing I've tried to do lately is to try and not take that comment the wrong way. If someone noticed I got my hair cut and asked me who cut it, what color they put in it etc. I would not be offended. That is how I look at weight loss questions. I answer openly and honestly about it.

I was fat, I lost weight, I did it by WW, calorie counting and some working out. I'll share details, my exact numbers, my plan for maintenance if they ask about that.

People have told me, "you look SO much better" and I say, "Thanks! I think so too! And I feel better also!" If people say, "Oh my God, you had THAT much to lose, and you still have more?!" I say, "I know! I can't believe it either, I'm just glad I've got a plan in place to never go back there again."

Why feel ashamed about losing weight?

02-16-2011, 11:56 AM
I like the idea of the email ahead of time.

02-16-2011, 02:48 PM
you could say " really , i didnt notice" when she says you lost a lot of weight..

02-18-2011, 05:22 AM
One thing I've tried to do lately is to try and not take that comment the wrong way. If someone noticed I got my hair cut and asked me who cut it, what color they put in it etc. I would not be offended.

See, I totally would! I don't like for people to comment on my appearance in any way. I don't mind about new clothing too much "Hey, I like your skirt" but anything that is a part of my actual body I can't bear. Odd. :?:

02-18-2011, 05:32 AM
I must be weird. After years of being self conscious about my weight, I actually enjoy the compliments and attention.

02-18-2011, 07:17 AM
My weight loss is not noticeable yet, but when someone does comment I am just going to say:
"Thank you. When do you plan on starting your diet?"


02-18-2011, 08:32 AM
I must be weird. After years of being self conscious about my weight, I actually enjoy the compliments and attention.

I don't think you are weird - at least not in this respect. ;) I think if you went through 3FC and totaled up how many posts say "OMG, someone commented on my weight, I can't stand it!" and how many posts say "OMG, no one ever comments on my weight, I can't stand it!" I think you will find they are about equal. Everyone is different!

I guess in Rose's case she has reason to anticipate that in this case the comments won't be pleasant or well-intentioned, or that it won't be easy to just accept them and move on from the topic (which is what I do on the exceedingly rare occasions I get comments, and I appreciate them! I just don't want my weight loss to become an open topic of conversation).

I can understand why how welcome a comment would be can depend entirely upon one's history with the commenter, and the spirit in which it is delivered. Put another way, while you might enjoy "wow, you look great!" from a co-worker, you might not take so kindly to "wow, finally got your act together, huh? good thing, you had really let yourself go" from, say, your brother-in-law.

02-18-2011, 08:43 AM
This past Christmas my brother screamed "Wow, you lost a lot of weight!!!" as soon as i walked in the door. Then i was peppered with questions from everyone. It was uncomfortable. Also comments like "you are so pretty now". I know they were trying to be nice but the "Now" part is what hurts. I thought i was pretty 30 pounds ago. Anyway, i know what you mean. I just finally said "yes i lost weight...i don't want to talk about it anymore"

02-18-2011, 01:56 PM
I get no feedback at all, not from my husband or my family. The closest to a comment was from my mother, she asked if I had been sick! I don't like comments about my body and dread it too. I am really not sure about how to handle what you know will be said, other than be honest if they go on too long about and say you'd rather not talk about it. Divert it with a question about them and what they are doing.

Arctic Mama
02-18-2011, 02:31 PM
I don't mind at all when someone says I look so much better, lost a lot of weight, look so pretty, etc etc. Unless I know beyond a doubt they are trying to hurt me, I take every comment in the very best spirit it could be given. I have no shame in admitting I DO look better, I WAS very heavy before, its the plain truth. It doesn't mean they didn't love me then or think I looked awful all the time, but the fact is I look better now and it makes me a whole lot happier to dwell on that than how awful I may have looked before :)

We can choose whether or not to take offense to anything, I choose not to!