When someone begins to lose weight and you notice a difference, what is the first thing you say? Wow, you look great. You’ve lost a lot of weight. I’m so proud of how much weight you have lost! Ect, ect. Now, I know you are trying to be nice and supportive and that is wonderful of you, but what are you instilling into that person’s mind? When someone decides to go on a “diet”, typically it is because they want to lose weight, become smaller, feel better about how they look on the outside. When we reinforce their mindset of “people will like me more if I lose weight” “I will be happier if I lose weight” “I can finally do (fill in the blank here) if I lose weight” we are reinforcing the idea that the only way they can be successful with their wants and dreams is if they are smaller, take up less room, look different on the outside. By making comments of Wow, you look great. You’ve lost a lot of weight. I’m so proud of how much weight you have lost! You are reinforcing that idea. Oh, they like me more because I’ve lost weight. How much will they like me if I lost a little more. Wow, people are noticing me more because I’ve lost weight. I obviously look better since I’ve lost weight...
Here is the thing: You were loved before you lost weight. You were a pretty cool dude and/or dudette before you lost weight. You were respected before you lost weight. Your loved ones wanted the world for you before you lost weight. You can do anything you are passionate about before you lost weight. You are loved at any weight. You are a pretty cool dude and/or dudette at any weight. You are respected at any weight. Your loved ones want the world for you at any weight. You can do anything you are passionate about AT ANY WEIGHT! Nothing changes. You are you, no matter the pant size. If you decide that losing weight is what you want. Please do it for the right reasons. Do it to feel better, do it to for the respect of you body. Do it because you want to build a good relationship with food. Do it because you love yourself. And don’t do it for the weight. If you do not love who you are now, at any weight you are now, you will not love yourself more at a different weight. It just doesn’t work that way.
Weight does not define anyone. Weight is weight, a number created by a system that doesn't understand the complexity of each individual.
So instead of commenting about someone’s weight here are some other things to say that would be more supportive. Let’s begin to change this weight obsessed culture we live in!
1. You’re pretty cool.
2. You’re a bad ass.
3. Those shoes are pretty cool.
4. I love the energy you have!
5. You have an air of vibrancy to you!
6. Look at you, chasing your dreams (and by dreams, I mean anything other then weight and diet dreams), that’s so inspiring!
7. You are neat.
8. I love the way you dance.
9. Can you teach me to crochet? You are just so good at it!
10. I love you as a person, you bring me lots of joy!
What other fun and encouraging things could you say to your loved one that has nothing to do with weight?