It takes discipline and effort to lose weight, so in the past when I noticed that a friend, colleague, acquaintance or family member had lost weight, I would make a point of commenting on it and telling them how great they looked.
I later realized that my comments on their weight loss could be perceived as an implication that they hadn’t looked good before shedding the pounds, and therefore might be a little insulting. My comments also implied that losing weight is always a good thing. And after seeing close family members unintentionally lose weight due to extreme illness, I know that this definitely isn’t the case.
After thinking about it I decided to stop commenting on weight loss. If I had something to say about someone’s appearance, it was focused on their style. Well, this also ended up biting me in the bottom because some people actually wanted me to comment positively on their weight loss and acknowledge their efforts. They were disappointed when I “didn’t notice”.
I want to praise those who want to be praised for their weight loss efforts. But I don’t want to offend them or hurt their feelings. I still don’t have a universal, flop proof commenting strategy. I just approach each situation differently. If I think that the person would appreciate a compliment on their weight loss efforts, I make one. If I don’t know the person well, or I’m unsure of the situation, then I don’t remark on their weight loss at all.
I’d love your input here so that I can improve my own handling of this situation. Do you comment positively when someone has lost weight? If so, what do you say? Or do you think it’s best to leave weight loss out of the conversation completely. How do you feel when someone comments positively about your weight loss?