Does anyone have any advice/thoughts on how to respond when someone talks about losing weight and is seeking validation for it, or is discouraged when you haven’t noticed?
Previously I would have felt like “You look great!” is an appropriate response and validation for their hard work. But now I feel like that is saying that something was wrong with how they previously looked and shaming fat/bigger bodies, or pre-shaming in the future if they gain the weight back. (Coming from my own experience and other people losing and then regaining weight over and over again.)
I did try to focus with one family member on how she seems to be feeling better physically and that reflects in her face (because she has been cutting out food that has been causing her physical problems separate from weight), but after she expressed disappointment specifically that I hadn’t noticed that she lost so many pounds, I was wondering if I could have handled it better. -Raven
We put this question out to our Homies, and here were some of their responses for how to respond positively to weight loss, without shaming any other body types…
You say something like “it sounds like you are really proud of how hard you have been working on this,” or some other “reflect the emotion” rather than validate the skinny = good sentiment behind it. -reebs
I’ve said things like, “Hey, you look different!” Or, “have you changed shape recently?” It’s a way of acknowledging that something has changed and that effort might have gone into it, without putting any good/bad value onto it or even talking about bigger/smaller. -Ariel
What about “I’m so proud of your for working to be healthy, but I think you’re perfect at any size!” -Laura
I try to be super attentive to changes like better mood, increased strength, increased mobility, better health, and remark upon THOSE changes (and of course weight loss doesn’t mean better health for everybody. Sometimes it’s quite the opposite). If somebody actually called me out on not noticing weight loss, I would probably be quite explicit: “I’m not going to define how beautiful you are by how much you weigh. But if this is related to changes that support your health, I’m very proud of you.” -Sunny
I like to compliment the hard work and self control that lead to the weight loss. “It looks like you’ve been working hard!” It acknowledges the change in body, without assigning emotions to the body before or after the change. And honestly, the hard work is more important and something to be proud of than just being skinnier. The weight loss is a result of hard work, and that’s what people want you to notice; the effort! -Evee
“I’m glad to hear [life changes] are making you so happy.”
“You’re glowing! You look [happy/healthy/radiant]. Keep up the good work!”
“I’m proud of you for [act of self-care]” or “I admire your dedication to [healthy habit].” -Bunny
What are the ways that you would or do respond to someone seeking praise for weight loss?