You’ve Lost Weight! You Look Great!


A couple of weeks ago, I was on the receiving end of this formulaic and extremely common compliment:

“You’ve lost weight! You look great!”

The giver was a friend I’ve had since age five and one of the most cerebral men I’ve ever known, so I felt perfectly comfortable pushing back. I pointed out that equating lost weight with improved looks is both insulting and assumptive. What if I’d been ill and lost weight because I was too sick to eat? Was he implying that I looked like a horse’s ass when I was heavier? Did he realize that following “you’ve lost weight” with “you look great” is a fantastic way to reinforce the idea that only thin women look good to the observing world?

There ensued a long and vigorous debate that I will not share with you here, but suffice to say that he stands by his compliment as an evolutionarily valid one that has never insulted anyone but me, and I stand by my rebuttal that telling women they’re beautiful only after weight loss is damaging. But we had a good time hashing out our opinions picking each others’ brains.

This debate was over e-mail. It was also with a very old and very dear friend. But it got me thinking about how I would’ve reacted had the compliment come in person and/or from a casual acquaintance. Because I’m perfectly comfortable with a certain level of hypocrisy in my own behavior, but swallowing a weight-loss-contingent compliment is too much. Yet I also believe that being courteous and respectful is EXTREMELY important, and throwing a compliment back at someone is neither courteous nor respectful. Especially when most folks view this particular compliment as utterly innocuous.

So here are some responses I concocted that I think might work:

  • Ahhh, but I looked amazing before, too!” It’ll sound tongue-in-cheek, but it’ll also push the complimenter off balance a bit without being confrontational. This response is all about YOU, not about any assumptions the other person might have made.

  • “Thanks! I feel great about my body … but then, I always have.” Again, keeps the focus on you and your feelings about yourself. Hopefully, this response will leave the complimenter thinking about body image in a more general sense.
  • “I’m a big proponent of the ‘size doesn’t matter’ philosophy!” Say it with a grin and a laugh, maybe even a wink. Humor is a fantastic way to defuse socially difficult situations, and throwing a little double entendre in the mix can help a ton.

Remember, these replies are meant to make the complimenter feel pensive, not affronted. They’re designed to be playful and subtle, offering some friendly resistance without being overtly negative.

Now, if you’ve purposely lost weight through lifestyle changes, feel better with it off, and want to revel in any associated compliments, by all means DO IT! Weight loss can be positive and important, and I have no intention of implying that you should shun praise under all circumstances. But if you feel uncomfortable with formulaic compliments that link beauty and thinness – as I do – don’t be afraid to push back. Gently.

Think any of these responses might work for you? Any others to add?

Image courtesy the incredibly talented Christi Nielsen.

  • eek

    Great food for thought Sal. If I see a friend whom I think has lost weight and is looking healthier, I always try to say "You look great" first, followed by a "Have you been working out?"

    I definitely never want to imply that whomever I am bestowing the compliment to did not look great because of X which is why I think saying the "you look great" first is key :) just my humble opinion.

  • Cynthia

    I don't know, lately my philosophy towards compliments has been to just say "thanks", not offer up any qualifiers or words of explanation, and move on. And I really don't feel comfortable giving people any pushback for something that I, myself, feel is true. I do look better to myself having lost weight and being involved in a consistent exercise program. (That doesn't mean I think I'd look *more* better if I lost *more* weight in a linear relationship ending with me looking my best weighing 85 lbs, of course.)

    The only time I'll push back on weight statements is, if someone (like my friend J who is paranoid about anorexia because involuntary — non body image driven — anorexia runs in her family) says "you've lost weight" and it's not true. I'll offer up the truth in that case. And last year I hit that weird point where my mom, who has always picked about my weight, started fretting that I was "losing too much weight". I am 5'7" and weighed about 158 at the time of this fretting. If anyone that I'm close to frets in a weird and counterfactual way about my weight, either gain or loss, I do challenge that.

  • Thirty-Six Ten

    This is so true, but, aside from the social issues we women face about weight I find there are many of these compliments that give me pause. "You got a haircut! You look really good"… "You look nice today…what did you do?" "You look younger"….etc.

    Most people are well meaning so I just laugh internally and don't get too much of a complex. And, yes, I am a little insecure for those of you who don't read between the lines like I do! :-)

  • Rachel W.

    AMEN SISTER!!!! You took the words right out of my mouth.

    Many years ago I was told "You lost weight, you look great" and guess what? It spiraled into a nearly deadly eating disorder.

    Now I am not saying that sole comment is what caused my ED. But it uncountable contributed.
    THANK YOU for standing up for women everywhere.

  • Monica

    I hear where you're coming from and I appreciate the positive self-image message, but these responses wouldn't work for me personally. If I receive a compliment, I always respond with a simple "thank you" . My feeling is that when someone gives you a compliment, it's like they are giving you a gift. I try to always be as gracious as possible in receiving, whether I believe it or question the intention.

  • Erin

    "I haven't lost any weight, but thank you for noticing how cute/good I look!"
    Depending on the way I dress, how much I APPEAR to weigh can vary, so I always just find it easier to accept the compliment, while denying the weight loss.

  • Anne

    Interesting topic. I definitely see your point, and I love your comebacks being intended to also help people rethink their ideas about what looks "good." But as you noted, it kind of depends on the situation.

    On the one hand, my boyfriend lost about 40 pounds earlier this year because he was ill (I'm happy to say lots of butter-filled cooking helped him pack the pounds back on!), but no one told him he looked good because of it because, frankly, he didn't. Anyone who saw him expressed concern over his increasingly gaunt figure.

    On the other hand, my dear aunt just lost about 90 pounds following her gastric bypass. We all knew that she has been working really hard and has undergone a LOT to get to that point, and the first thing anyone who hasn't seen her in a while says to her now is how great she looks. I should ask her, but I don't think she's offended because that – and getting much healthier, of course – was the desired result of all of her efforts.

    Even personally, I'm working really hard to eat better and exercise more, and if someone tells me that I look good as a result, I'll definitely welcome the compliment because I wasn't happy with how I looked at a heavier weight.

  • Stephanie

    Here's the thing. This time last June i was more the 50lbs over the top of a healthy weight for my height. When I started loosing it took more then 20lbs before anyone even noticed. Yeah that felt super great to work hard for several months, mind you healthy loss is about 2lbs a week, and have no one say a word. Even now 60lbs later lots of people ask if its ok to say I look great and they can tell I worked hard. So while yes I get that you don't have to be thin to be beautiful. I also think it should be ok to tell people they look great. Loosing a good deal of weight is hard work and being obease for most of us is not healthy so I think that is worthy of a compliment.

    Oh and for those who wounder yes I so have a much more positive body image now. Though it has less to do with how it looks and much more to do with the fact that I can do so much more.

    If I were you though I'd probably say, "No, its just that a great outfit works wonders."

  • Courtney

    Funny thing is, I most often get that compliment when I haven't lost weight. When I say "Thanks, but I havent, it must be the outfit" it's amazing the lengths people will go to to try to convince me that I have lost weight or toned up or am eating healthier! Like I wouldn't know? But at this point I think we're conditioned to associate thinness with health and beauty so much that we can't imagine someone looking healthier/prettier without thinking they've lost weight!

  • Rguillory

    Those are wonderful comebacks! I'm on the receiving end of that a lot lately and have usually gravitated to the direct (i.e., more cutting) comeback, rather than the humorous one. And since I'd *rather* be both kind AND express my true feelings, you've rescued me!! Thanks, as always, for a great post.

  • Linda

    Around 6 years ago I lost 50 pounds and I did it on my own and worked hard because I wanted to feel good. There was nothing more embarassing to me than the people who would say "oh my god you've lost weight you look amazing!". I would go all red in the face and didn't feel good. Got to the point where I would want to avoid people.
    I think if you notice that someone has lost weight and want to tell them they look good all you need to say it "wow, you are looking great". Weight is a touchy subject lets just leave it out..no?

  • La Historiadora de Moda

    I think this is a very contextual issue. On the one hand, I watched a colleague a few years ago lose a bit of weight, get a lot of compliments about it, and then spiral into an eating disorder. On the other hand, many women (and men) struggle with their weight, and shouldn't their successes be noticed and recognized? Maybe, maybe not.

    Remember the controversy over on Swistle a few months back? People think that other's people's weight and size are their business and that they are free to offer compliments and critiques to their heart's content.

  • Laura

    I was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, and one of the symptoms of the disease is weight loss. I've tried to counteract this by eating more (I'm already slim and quite like my size), but many people remark on the weight loss when they see me. It's usually: "You've lost weight!" which I answer with, "Unintentionally. Don't worry, I'll get it back!" As I said, I love my body, and the comments on my weight loss are a scary reminder of the trials my body is currently going through. On that same note, I don't usually comment on another person's weight unless I know they've been working to lose weight in a healthy way.

    I appreciate the comebacks and I can't weight (ha ha!) to use them! :)

  • Linda

    I agree with you, Sal, and for that reason I would never comment on someone's weight loss, though I might say "You look great" and leave it at that. Also, I personally think that a lot of people don't really look either better or worse when they lose weight, just smaller. But I was just thinking. If someone says, "Hey, new haircut/dress/tattoo! You look great!" we don't usually take that to mean the person thinks we looked like crap before, just that the new embellishment is a success. I suppose we can choose to accept the "You've lost weight" remark as a comment on one of many possible good looks for us.

  • Faith J.

    A great topic, and one that perhaps does not have a "right" answer. It will vary for everyone. Personally, I want people to be honest with me. Tell me what you're thinking! Whether that's a "you look great, have you lost weight?" or "have you gained a few pounds?" I welcome all comments and hope my friends don't have to tiptoe around me.

  • Melissa

    FANTASTIC post. I have recently lost weight (well, several months ago) through lots of diet and exercise and I find myself getting nervous (especially today) when I feel like my clothes are getting too tight. I wish it didn't make me nervous. I wish I didn't care how much I weigh.

    Assuming that someone only looks great when they're at a lighter weight IS insulting. I can think of quite a few women who are MUCH more attractive than I am and also weigh more than I do.

    Thank you for the examples of responses. They're perfect.

  • Madeleine

    Sal, I admire your determination to fight body facism wherever you encounter it. But. I feel that your response was a tad ungracious. Yes, I can see the point of challenging the link between weight loss and looking good, but sometimes a compliment is just a compliment attached to an observation.

  • Casey

    I can see both sides of the issue here. Having lost quite a bit of weight to be healthier, it's nice that people noticed that I was making healthy choices and trying to work at things a bit more. That being said, it got to a point where I did start obsessing about "looking great" by being thin, and became anorexic. The whole "you look great because you've lost weight" comment does still get to me–I have to try to just push it out of my mind. Mostly realizing that 1.) most people don't think that deeply about the implications of their comments and 2.) and that if my "thinness" is all people focus on to equate that I look good, are their comments really worth taking personally?

    I admit, there are people that I try to not let get a word in when we meet because they do launch immediately into the "you look like you lost weight and look fantastic!" spiel (which, ironically, is usually right around a time I've slacked off with exercise… ;) haha.), because if I'm feeling a bit unsteady about my weight/eating, it still can trigger restrictive eating.

    I love your comebacks–I just wish I was sassy enough in person to say them! haha.

    ♥ Casey
    blog | elegantmusings.com

  • ZuZu Pebbles

    Wonderful post. I'm glad to know that I am not the only one uncomfortable receiving these "compliments."
    I've lost weight over the last year due to changes in my eating habits. My goal was never to lose weight, I never felt that I was overweight. I just wanted to ensure I was giving my body the proper fuel. Now that everyone is telling me how good I look, asking me for my diet secrets, or calling me the incredible shrinking woman, I feel pressured to stay "small." I am terrified to put the weight back on, as now I am aware it is something the outside world is monitoring. Having cookies, cake, chips, pizza or anything else "bad" is a big ordeal for me. I could easily see myself developing an eating disorder because of this awareness, I can already see myself developing an obsession with food and possbily body dismorphia disorder. I am lucky enough to have a wonderful fiance who counteracts all of this, as he has always thought I am beautiful and sexy no matter my dress size. And is prepared to give constant reassurance.

    My retort to people who awe at my weight-loss; "Thanks! I have been eating better, but I might also be dying!" It causes people to step back and realize what they are saying.

  • Anonymous

    Hmm. I happen to disagree. I think this is one of those cases where people are looking for an insult or a hidden meaning where there is none. It certainly doesn't sound like a very happy way to live.

    Also, losing weight IS something to be happy about, provided the person was overweight to start.
    While I appreciate and support "fat acceptance" I do not feel the same way about "fat encouragement". People should not be treated poorly for being morbidly overweight, but neither should it be celebrated. Some people's bodies are naturally thicker than others, but I believe that every rational adult understands the difference between a "thicker frame" and obesity. The latter is a serious health problem.

    Frankly, being overweight does not look very good BECAUSE it is not healthy. I realize mine is an unpopular opinion, and perhaps tangential, but I feel we've become a society that is so afraid to hurt someone's feelings or be politically incorrect that we risk our health and safety in MANY ways, not just weight.

    I would take the "you look great" statement to mean just that, and not assume that the speaker has an ulterior motive or a hidden bias.

  • Anonymous

    Gosh this really hits close to home with me… I suffer from panic disoder and about once per year it gets really bad for about 3months. Bad to the point where I cannot eat anything but a few forced bites of apple and bread. When I am healthy I weigh 120, when I am sick I weigh 105. I am 5'3'' so it's obvious when I lose even 10 lbs. When I am "sick" I get a lot of compliments about how thin and great I look! WHAT?! I want to scream, "IAM SICK YOU IDIOT! I CANNOT EAT!"…but I don't. It's weird too, b/c the people who pay me the compliments are usually my family. ouch.

  • Sal

    Madeleine: I think many people link weight loss and increased attractiveness without even thinking, and that gently pushing back can prompt them to examine their motives. I'm perfectly prepared to be "ungracious" if it creates a ripple effect … although I have pointed out specifically that insulting someone who offers you praise is bad form, and crafted responses designed to be humorous, soft, and thought-provoking. So I'm not sure what you found so ungracious.

    Telling a woman she looks fantastic is a marvelous, positive, mutually beneficial thing to do. Telling a woman that she looks fantastic because she is thinner is a far more complex act.

  • Sheila

    As you know, I lost 50 pounds 3 years ago – it took me 6 months, so during that time, a lot of people who didn't see me very often did a lot of double-takes. I got many versions of "You look so much better" which really hurt (because I've always been fashionable, but haven't always been on the thinner side). I always gently reminded people of this (if I knew them well enough), and most of them had the good grace to realize how insulting their words could be taken.

  • Kat

    Count me in as not feeling complimented! I fluctuate depending on stress/activity/eating/the phase of the moon, but not by that much, so it creeps me out when anyone says anything: just how much attention are you paying to the shape of my body that you notice? It makes me feel very self-conscious.

  • Charlotte

    Few people ever comment that I've lost weight (because my weight is pretty constant), so I rarely find myself in such a situation. But your post did get me to thinking about the compliments/thin=attractive message as a whole.

    I don't have anything in particular to add, just wanted to say thank you for another thought-provoking post!

    xx Charlotte
    Tuppence Ha'penny Vintage

  • Katja

    I'm currently working hard to lose weight, and like Stephanie, find it disconcerting to lose 25 pounds and 2 dress sizes and not at least hear a little "attagirl" from someone.

    On the other hand, I realise that the reason I probably haven't gotten any comments is because (surprise!) most people are pretty darn polite and know that there's no good way to comment on a colleague or acquaintance's body size.

    But what I find sort of interesting is that probably many of the people who regularly read style and fashion sites like this one do so because they want to get some validation that how they are choosing to present themselves to the world is in fact attractive. Where does that validation come from if not from others?

    For me, moving from dressing in anything that will button to actually having and using a full length mirror, or taking photos of myself in outfits hasn't been enough to give me an objective view of how I look to others – too many years of mind games. I want other people's feedback.

    How many times have you seen a woman on the street dressed in something extremely unflattering – there's no (polite) way to let her know, is there? But if I see a woman who looks really well put together these days, I try to say something – "You look great!" or "Wow, great scarf (hat, whatever)" – mostly because I like it if someone says something like that to me.

  • Elissa

    Slippery, slippery…

    I usually just say, "You are looking great! Have you changed anything?" Leaving it open to the other person to share whether they are having a weight loss journey they are enjoying or just found a way to get more sleep.

    But as far as "have you lost weight, you look great", you are certainly right to criticize this comment, but I know personally, and non-subjectively, I look better at a certain weight. I've been way below it, and way above it, and either way I look worse than at my "ideal". When I am above it, and losing, I do tend to look better, so if someone said, "you lost weight, you look great" I'd be like, yes and yes. Thank you.

    I guess I have enough confidence to understand that I don't look "awful" above and below that weight, as the compliment might imply (that you looked worse before the weight was lost). It's just that I know ideal health is achieved at that "goal weight" and the "looking great" that both I and others perceive is a reflection of health. Everyone looks improved when they're healthy, no matter the size.

  • Girl on the Floor

    I've had to deal with the opposite (but similar). I am in recovery from anorexia, so people are frequently saying "You've gained weight, you look great." Of course, this was always prefaced with something like "Don't take this the wrong way," or something similar.

    Now, I understand that I did look ill and unhealthy before, and that people are trying to say that I look happy and healthy and that's a good thing. I just don't really like weight-focused compliments. I'd rather someone say they like a new haircut or a cute outfit. I usually just shrug and laugh it off. These people mean well, and I usually don't know them well enough to care about making a point.

  • nommh

    Great post.
    I'm with those who say it is about context. That goes for the "compliment" as well as its rebuttal.
    I remember asking someone who had slimmed down from very obese to a little obese, if he had lost weight. And he was so glad that someone had noticed.
    It is also about phrasing the compliment. If you start out with the looking good bit as a statement and put the losing weight bit in question form it might still be bad, but perhaps not as bad.
    If one knows the complimenter well it is completely ok, I think, to ask them what they mean.
    Incidentally, what did your opponent mean, when he said the compliment was evolutionary valid? Was he talking evolutionary biology, that load of fetid dingos kidneys, that pseudo-scientific attempt to root present prejudice in pre-history?

  • Anonymous

    I would just say "I don't know. I don't own a scale." (Which is true for me and I believe for Sal too.) I think that gets the point across without seeming ungrateful or worse.

  • Jingle Bella

    I think the thing to do is to stay away from weight-based compliments unless you know the person. Know they've been trying to lose (or gain!) weight by eating healthily and working out? Go for it.

    Otherwise … staying away from the issue of weight is a good idea. Sure, it's just one little comment from your point of view, but from their point of view it might be 50 comments, all of which are reminders that they're starting to slip back into disordered eating. And there's no way from the outside, to be able to tell.

    Plus, you can always compliment them in some way – as several people have given examples of – which lets them say "Thanks! I've been making a real effort to eat more balanced meals and it's finally paying off" and then you can be complimenting them on their hard work etc.

    I once saw a greetings card that went something like this:
    (Front, picture of two cartoon women chatting sitting at a table) "I think my husband's having an affair …"
    "Oh no! Are you going to confront him?"

    (Inside) "Not for another 3 weeks … the way things are going, if this keeps up I'll lose another 20 pounds!"

    … which is a little disturbing, if you think about it.

  • Apple

    I hate this 'compliment.' It's completely a backhanded remark – the implication is that you didn't look good before. Ugh! My response, even if I have actually lost weight, is usually 'no, I haven't, but glad to hear I look good anyway.' A little bitchy, yeah, but then again so was the so-called compliment.

    Women's body size should not be up for public discussion – if you want to compliment someone, stop after 'you look great!' There's no need to qualify it with a comment on size. If the person responds by volunteering that she lost weight, fine. The only exception is if you know the person has been dieting – in which case there's no reason to qualify the comment on body size with a 'you look great' because, again, the implication is that she didn't look great before (and won't look great anymore if she gains back the weight). Instead, 'you look thin!' or 'you look so toned!' are better compliments for a dieter.

  • Katrin

    My peeve is when someone asks "Have you lost weight?" and I answer truthfully that I haven't, and they insist that I must have – as if weight loss is the only thing that could possibly make a person look good. Maybe I'm wearing more flattering clothes than the last time you saw me. Maybe I'm just feeling happier and it shows.

    The one time I lost a significant amount of weight was mostly unintentional; I was going through some very rough times. Lots of people congratulated me on the weight loss and encouraged me to keep up with the "accomplishment". Number of people who noticed I was hurting and asked if everything was okay: One (and it was someone not very close to me who couldn't do much about the situation).

    I also remember my sister talking about a former "fat weird boy" she'd made fun of in school; she'd seen him recently and was glad to report he'd lost lots of weight and shaped up, so he must be doing well now. Then my other sister informed her, "He has AIDS."

    I'll tell people "You look great!" if I think they do – but I never comment on a person's weight. They already know if it's changed or not; they don't need to be told, and it's no one else's business. The compliment can stand on its own.

  • anya

    Well, i usually take it as a compliment when somebody tells me i'm thinner, or lost weight. But i got an interesting compliment recently: "You were beautiful before, but now you're twice as beautiful (now that i lost weight)". Actually i was too embarassed and just said thanks.

  • Rebecca

    I once told a person that compliment. A friend later pulled me aside and told me that this person's father had killed himself and that the woman hadn't eaten for 2 months. I felt like crap.

    However, I will say that a compliment should always be taken with, "Thanks."

  • Zeynep

    I personally find nothing wrong with that compliment, honestly. Unless the person is truly saying it maliciously, it is most likely innocent, and the person saying it probably genuinely thinks that you look great. Especially if someone is working to lose weight or tone their body, that could be a great self-confidence boost. That doesn't necessarily mean they looked bad before. If someone complimented your look in a specific dress, that doesn't mean you don't look good in your other outfits! Am I even making sense?

    You might find this amusing. I've lost about 10 pounds recently, not intentionally either, and I'm now actually on the border of underweight and normal BMI. Basically, I definitely did not need to lose weight. I've been a lot more active recently both with kickboxing and with our puppy, so I think that has something to do with it. Well, every single time she has seen me recently, the dry cleaning lady in our neighborhood has exclaimed, "You've lost so much weight! Are you sick? Are you okay??" And actually once when my fiance came in with me, she said, "She's lost so much weight! Are you not treating her well??" Um, can we say… awkward? I always brush it off because she is from another culture and maybe it's perfectly acceptable to make those types of comments where she comes from. What I think is most funny is… she would never say that to an overweight person. "You gained so much weight! Are you sick?? What is wrong with you?" Yeah… that would not go over well. I think it's interesting the double standard between gaining and losing weight. It's not okay to comment on gaining weight, but it's okay to make whatever comment about losing weight, even if it's really offensive.

  • Hope

    Ah yes. I've lost 90 lbs. over the past three years and whenever I get that "you look so good" comment, I always wonder if they though I looked like crap before. Just my two cents. Great post!

  • K.Line

    This one is a toughie. I think "thank you" always works – but it doesn't make the statement you're going for, necessarily. I like the suggestions you've made.

    What I will suggest is, sometimes people lose weight (consciously, unconsciously, due to sickness etc.) and, to the "complimenter" in question, said peeps do look better on account of that weight loss.

    Is it wrong for someone to imply that, in his or her opinion, the "thinner you" is more attractive? (Maybe in his or her mind, the thin is emphasizing something specific in you that highlights your inner attractiveness. You know, attractiveness that's already there.)

    I don't know if it's flat out rude to comment on it (it's certainly politically charged). But you can't deny that someone may, in fact, think it.

    Thoughts?

  • Sal

    K.Line: I don't know about wrong. I suppose opinions can't, technically, BE wrong. But I think with this particular compliment formula, there is so much more than opinion, observation, and good intent at play. Whether the complimenter realizes it or not.

    When you tell someone that they kicked ass in a meeting, or that their souffle is top notch, or even that they have the world's most gorgeous hair, those compliments have little to no subtext. But equating weight loss to improved looks – as has been shown by this incredibly varied group of comments – can mean vastly different things to different people.

    I DON'T think it's rude, honestly. Rude, to me, implies active negative intent and that is very seldom the case with this situation. But, for me anyway, it's a situation that can be nudged beyond a simple "thank you" response.

  • Jingle Bella

    K.Line – I don't think it's wrong for someone to find the thinner you more attractive.

    What I think is that because it could (unintentionally) hurt the person being complimented – either now or in future if they gain weight from what where they are at the point they receive the compliment – it's not a good idea to express that belief. Unless you know the person well and are in a relationship where it's appropriate for you to comment.

    Basically, so far as I'm concerned other people can think I'm more attractive when I'm thinner, but I'd rather they kept it to themselves in 95% of cases.

  • Destrehan’s Daughter

    I think a lot of people give compliments when they notice something different about the other person so weight loss would be tied into that type of compliment. Just my opinion.

  • Angela

    I was sick with mononucleosis in college during a holiday break, and experienced a swelling of my throat so tight that I was prescribed steroids to re-open it. It was painful to try to eat and I was sapped of almost all energy to even sit up, let alone move to feed myself, so I wound up losing a noticeable amount of weight. I stopped keeping track of the number of people who told me how great I looked when I returned to school, particularly in my dance class. I kind of relished telling them that I had been too physically ill to eat after they inquired about what I had done to lose the weight.

    My sister recently voluntarily went on a diet with her husband to support him (it wasn't voluntary for him) and lost a lot of weight. She had to field a lot of questions in the aftermath from admiring, inquisitive people. She didn't diet to achieve a particular look, and it was a strain when people suddenly focused entirely on her body.

    I learned from my experience with mono weight loss that I didn't actually like the skinny version of me better, the way I had always (yep, always – since childhood) imagined I would. It was different, but I wasn't happy. And I learned from both my sickness and my sister's diet that you never know the reasons behind a change in someone's body and assuming they initiated the change out of a desire to be thin can be terribly misguided, to say the least.

    Still I have to admit, even after experiencing both of those situations, I still like when people think I've lost weight (usually inferred from the way my clothes drape, and usually incorrect) because I am, at the moment, overweight, and so I associate the compliment with my desire to be fit, although it's not what the person is actually saying at all. (It's better than when people ask if I'm pregnant. UM, NO?! Thanks for attributing my rotundness to another human developing inside me?!)

    I can understand some of what K-Line said. Americans are obsessed with weight equating to beauty and it is very, very difficult to dismantle that train of thought gently. I just – as of yesterday – started to understand, really understand, that my natural shape is different, not wrong.

  • Susie

    A little over a year ago, I had to completely change my diet because of a serious stomach condition. I lost a lot of weight (50 lbs in about 7 months). I had been heavier than I wanted to be, so I was happy about the weight loss, but I started to feel really tired of people complimenting me. It seemed like it's all anyone wanted to talk about for a while. There would be times when people would say something, and I just wanted to scream, "I would kill puppies for a f*ing cookie!!!"

    My stomach problem is mostly resolved, and I can once again eat almost anything. I gained a few pounds back, but I'm at a healthy weight, and I feel good. When people compliment me now, I'm much happier about it.

    I could still lose weight and be healthy, but I'm at the size that my body seems to be comfortable with. If I maintain a healthy lifestyle (healthy food, moderate exercise), I stay around a size 12. I know that if I want to lose more weight, it will require obsessive dieting and exercise, which isn't healthy. I also know that I'll get more compliments, but really, I'm extremely happy with my body now, and I hope that people can appreciate me as I am, rather than expecting that I become a size 6.

  • Rad_in_Broolyn

    Interesting topic. I don't think I would say anything back to anyone that wasn't a close friend (like your old friend), because so many people generally so well meaning. Then again, my weight fluctuations are not generally noticed, even if I am acutely aware of them.
    I remember the last scene of Annie Hall, in which Woody Allen's character tells Diane Keaton's character that she looks great, and she responds, "Oh, I've just lost a little weight," I wonder if these sorts of movie/TV interactions make people think this is an appropriate thing to say?
    Like LaHdM said, though, for myself giving compliments, I try to only give style compliments to my coworkers, casual friends. But what about encouraging a friend who you is actively trying to lose weight, has told you about their goals, and you know has a pretty decent relationship to food? My close male friend lost 40 lbs after graduate school, and he did look great, not just because he was smaller, but because he was healthy, happy, and eating/sleeping well. I complimented him, and he was quite pleased. But every situation is different.

  • Madeline

    What an interesting topic. I get the opposite reaction. If I lose weight (or look like I have) my mother tells me with a pained face how thin I look and my MIL loudly asks if I am still eating.

    Back to that none of their damn business topic.

  • Diana

    I've learned to just take that particular compliment with a "thanks" and move on. I would say that 99% (if not 100%) of the time that someone tells me that I look like I've lost weight, it's not true anyway. Seriously, I am one of those people whose weight does not fluctuate beyond a couple of pounds and it's definitely not noticeable, so I tend to take the compliment as more of a compliment to how I'm dressed that day.

    Also, I think I've totally gotten over the "You look like you've lost/gained weight" comments because my (slightly crazy) grandmother would always tell me one or the other (with no apparent logic to how she chose) every time she saw me, so that particular compliment/insult has no teeth for me anymore.

  • Jenni

    "Evolutionary valid"? I don't think I'd get along with your friend too well… >D I like the responses you came up with! Great way to diffuse the situation!

  • La Belette Rouge

    I love your comebacks. i think they are so important. Because whenever I get one of these kind of compliments I always feel a bit of a 'i must have looked terrible before' kind of feelings and thatdoesn't feel good.

  • tinyjunco

    i agree with the many who've said 'context is all'. and it's not just weight – 'great hair!' 'it's a wig, i've lost mine due to the chemo…' so you never know.

    re:evolution i can't believe i'm the first to bring this up, but your friend is out of line with most current thinking/research on the relationship of female fat to reproduction….in essence, the more the better! until you reach force-feeding type proportions, more female fat (all else being equal)means the woman in question is more likely to ovulate, more likely to carry a pregnancy to term, more likely to breast-feed successfully and longer, etc. the majority of women maintaining a body weight conforming to our current cultural and aesthetic ideals will cease to ovulate.

    that's why the Venus of Willendorf ain't exactly a stick figure. (and she has many many sisters!) looking at ancient human remains confirms that starvation was the ever-present spectre, rather than obesity-related illness as it is today.

    there's some studies on 'attractiveness' relating to waist-hip ratios that possibly could be what he's referring to, but those results are culturally tainted and not directly related to successful reproduction.

  • Elle

    This is one sensitive compliment for me. I recently had 2 acquaintances tell me that I was just wasting away, and looked great (huh?), but the reality of it was that I had recently GAINED 10 pounds and was having a bit of a body image crisis. (I love coming to your blog for a reality check, btw.) The result was that I actually felt even worse, and was really wondering what their agenda was.

    I do think I managed to mumble a "thank you" though.

    It's one compliment that is so loaded, that I would rather not hear it either way. A simple "you're looking nice today" goes so much farther with me… please leave the weight out of it.

  • lisa

    My response would be pretty similar to Erin's, something along the lines of "I'm pretty sure I still weigh the same, but thanks!" Or if the compliment comes from someone that I rarely see, I might turn it into a joke along the lines of "Bah, I'm still the same person I always was. This just proves we need to get together more often!"

  • Audi

    I have to agree with the anonymous commenter who noted the difference between "fat acceptance" and "fat encouragement." As a scientist and someone who works in a healthcare-related industry, I find it troubling that so many people are obese these days, which correlates with the statistics for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and all sorts of other health issues. So to me, giving someone encouragement when clearly they're working hard to improve their health is a good thing, and the fact is that "You look great" is a far more powerful motivator than "You seem healthier" (and what would that even mean, anyway?). We're a vain society, and if looking good provides the impetus for someone to get fit and eat better, so be it. I'm happy to throw in my encouragement and praise, especially if it's someone whose health and well-being I really care about.

    On the other hand, you're absolutely right that equating thinness with beauty is a dangerous connection, because the sad fact is that many people do not lose wieght in ways which result in better health. Just look at all the quack medicine out there promising an effort-free path to thinness, or the terrible fad diets that wreak havoc on a person's metabolism. And the casual observer has no way of knowing if the suddenly thinner person they're addressing has shed their pounds by healthy or unhealthy means. Not to mention the other things touched upon here, i.e., losing weight because of illness or emotional distress. So clearly it's important to know the facts before engaging someone in a weight-related dialogue.

    There's no one right answer, I feel. My personal policy is that if I happen to know that someone is working out, eating healthier, etc. and clearly has a weight loss goal in mind, then I'll tell them that their efforts are paying off; I feel it's important that they get credit for their hard work and that they know that people notice. If I don't know the back story, then I'll simply say that the person looks great and leave it at that.

  • budget chic

    I know everybody gonna come at me for saying this, but I always feel and genuinely look better at a lower weight because of my height. I don't need anybody to tell me that or give me a compliment after weight loss, it's just a fact. I don't feel good at certain weight and my clothes tend to struggle on me at a higher weight. I know what's a good weight for my height and body type.

    When I'm out of that range, I don't feel good about myself or the way I look. Some people can pack on 10 or 20 pounds and still look good, but because I'm so short and I have a crazy body type it does not work for me. If I'm 5 pounds overweight am in a different dress size. When you are short 5'4 or under, there is no room for "play". If I said I felt good about myself no matter what size I've be straight lying.

  • WendyB

    You know, it's one of those things that people say when they mean well. It might not always be a great thing — like you point out, someone could be sick and it could be taken as a backhanded remark about how one looked before — but I think it can be overanalyzed. You know snark when you hear it. If the intention is good and it's not someone you have a long-running weight argument with, then my sentiment is just take it for how it was meant.

    By the way, did I ever tell you the story about the blogger who said to me, "You're so beautiful in person! You need to take better photographs?" That one threw me. Still not sure of the sentiment behind that. Chalking it up to "brutally honest, gives opinions whether you want them or not."

  • Cat

    Oddly enough, someone at work today asked if I'd lost weight! I actually thought she handled it well. She started with a tentative 'Have you lost weight?', and only pulled out the congratulatory comments once I'd answered her and made it obvious that I both had and had been trying to do so, and once she'd established *how* I'd lost the weight (i.e. intentionally, through establishing healthier habits).

    We've an easy enough relationship that her questions were perfectly appropriate, and it was my achievement that she praised rather than my newly slimmer figure. Exactly how it should be, I think.

  • Linda

    I think some people seem to feel defensive about the fact that it makes THEM feel good to be told "You've lost weight!" No one is really saying you shouldn't want to be thin. The point is that "Thinner = Better Looking!" is not something that people should take it upon themselves to go around telling other people. Why can't we just say "You look great" and not "You-look-great-have-you-lost-weight," even if the complimenter personally attributes the attractive appearance to weight loss? If the person wants to answer "Thanks, I've lost 50 pounds!" or whatever, THEN you can discuss it. I really fail to see how this could "encourage" people to be fat.

  • Cat

    I lost a lot of weight in a very short period of time, and at a family party last month, it was pointed out to me constantly. Family members who never bothered to say two words to me for 29 years were coming up and telling em how beautiful I was and how great I looked. I hated it all. I lost the weight because I was recently diagnosed with a food intolerance and since cutting it out, the weight just fell off me. I don't know if it would have made a difference in how I felt if I had put a lot of effort into dropping the weight, but I don't believe it would have. I'm not more deserving of compliments or even conversation just because I lost weight.

    Also, it disturbs me how people feel they can discuss how I was overweight now that I've lost it, when before it never would have been mentioned.

    I always just end up saying thank you….though I don't say it with the pleasure a different compliment from a close friend would garner.

  • Cerebral Man

    This is why I like Sally so much. She always makes me think.

  • Louise
  • KrissyBell

    I was recently part of a backstage discussion on this subject. A heavy colleague said something to the effect of "I hate you, you're so skinny" to a thin colleague, and the thin girl asked why it was okay for hre to say that, but not okay to say a similar thing back. As we continued the conversation 'B' (thin girl) talked about her struggle to maintain a healthy weight, since she drops pounds naturally and can get scary thin, and I talked about the open hostility that I have dealt with as an over weight person. We came to the conclusion that we would endeavor to compliment each other for our work, good personality or cute outfits, but try to leave weight out of the convo from then on. It was a really cool and relaxed discussion and I think it did all of us a lot of good in the body image department.

  • Christina

    I went through this about a year and a half ago, when I lost about 20 pounds. If someone told me I looked great (with or without an adjacent comment about the weight loss) I just said thank you. It was fine. What made me really uncomfortable was when people would say "You've lost weight!" without other comment, as if that were a compliment in and of itself. My response usually ended up being something like, "um, yes. I've had to buy new clothes." Awkward for sure.

  • Stephanie vincent

    I say, thank you and then talk about how good feel, how I have lost weight only as a byproduct of loving myself and accepting that weight does not define me.

  • Alyce Ann

    I was thinking along these lines today, in a crowd of older women all talking about weight loss and equating thinner=better. I didn't speak up, as the thinnest and youngest in the crowd. I was wary of seeming like I just didn't know what their experiences were like. Tricky situation, always.

  • Sarah

    I'm not insulted at when someone asks me if I've lost weight and comments that I look good. I don't think my body looked good (and I definitely wasn't healthy) before I lost weight. So I think I look good now even though I've always tried to love my body. When someone compliments me, I just say thank you. That person truly believes that he or she is saying something positive about you. Whether you agree or not, I think it's best to say thank you and realize that different people have different opinions. I'm always grateful when people compliment me as opposed to insulting me especially if there is not evident manipulation or malice behind the compliment.

  • Valerie-MN

    I agree with Audi and the others who say that the context of the situation depends on how the "compliment" is interpreted. I have been on Weight Watchers and on an exercise program the past year and have lost 45 pounds. When I got the comment "You're losing weight", I would say that yes, I am on WW and on an exercise program. Then people would often say "you look good" and I always took it as a compliment since they knew I was working hard to lose weight. I have always had good self-esteem and have dressed well so I never interpreted this to mean that before I didn't "look good".

    Some have asked how much weight I have lost and I have shared the info (even though I personally wouldn't ask someone how much weight they have lost).

    One person does nickname me "skinny girl" which is drastically far from the truth. While I would never want to be "skinny" and would just want to be a healthier, lower weight than I am, I know this person doesn't mean anything negative by it. However, I probably will (one of these days) think of a counter comment to her "skinny girl" thing. I will probably say "Naw, just getting back down to my pre-MN weight."

    However, very interesting topic raised…

  • Len

    love love love this post.. and these awesome comebacks. i am so gonna start practicing them in the mirror today.

  • Miss T

    Because I never know why someone has lost weight, if I want to make a comment on it (which I only usually do if I have some prior knowledge indicating the person has been trying to do so) I usually say, "Hey, you look smaller than the last time I saw you." I don't state it in a positive or negative way, just as fact.

  • Nadia

    I agree with this completely. I've always been, and have always been told by many people, that I'm overweight. But one of the big reasons I have never wanted to lose a drastic amount of weight (not that it would magically happen if I decided to, anyway) is because I don't want all the comments that would imply I look horrible now.
    Like a lot of other people said, it's nice to hear "You look great" without the weight issue attached. And not nearly enough people say that to someone who isn't thin.

  • Fia

    I shared this post on my Google Reader. These are great responses! I'm also very proud of you for standing up to your friend. I'm confronted with many situations with sexist or racist remarks and sometimes I push back, but I'm afraid not as much as I would like or am happy with. For me, I think it is harder to push back with family. I don't know why.

  • poet

    Thanks for this post! I'm always having a hard time dealing with utterances or happenings that I personally perceive as (body-)negative but that came about without any bad intentions… Neither opening a can of worms and starting a huge discussion nor just sitting back quietly has the effect I wish for – but your playful approach that doesn't attack, just gives food for thought if they want it, seems the way to go! I'll try that next time :)

  • Kaija

    Great topic, and good for you, Sal, for being willing to engage in the pushback with your friend…I agree that much of the time the idea that thinner=prettier is ingrained that people don't even stop to think about why that is or whether it is valid. I also loved your #3 response, which is the kind of thing I tend to use. The humor helps to lighten the mood, and if used with guys, it also throws the "being judged on your body" thing back at a group that might not be used to that…and might just suggest that it's not comfortable.

    My friends and I do not compliment each other on weight or looks and do not do "fat talk." We WILL say things like "wow, you are glowing today. What's going on?" or "that is a gorgeous dress!" but no dissection or judgement of shapes and features. It really does help to think of ourselves as whole people and not a jumble of "good" and "bad" parts.

    I also witnessed a serious faux pax with the weight compliment when someone gushed at a colleague about how much weight she had lost and how great she looked and asked for her secret. When she replied "I have cancer and have started chemotherapy…it's awful, I'm sick all the time", everyone in the room wanted to crawl into the ground. Ouch.

  • Charlotte

    On "evolutionary compliment", I'll quote yesterday's xkcd (http://xkcd.com/775): "that's just the kind of bullshit sexism that discredits evo-psych. Your "evolutionary histories" always seem tuned to produce 1950's gender roles"
    (remplace "1950's gender role" by "fashion diktat of the hour"; I pretty much doubt anyone will prove that the lapse of time between Rubbens and us is evolutionary significant, not to mention the obvious fact than current non-North American societies have different body image ideals, which may I suggest might point towards an issue of culture over genes?).
    Sorry, the egregious misuse of evolutionary theories to justify backwards attitudes and not challenging social constructs is one of my fave soapboxes…

  • Kate

    One of the implications of this type of compliment which drives me particularly bonkers is that losing weight = look at me! I don't necessarily WANT people to comment on my weight whether it's up or down. I am easily embarrassed by this type of thing and I cringe when people bring it up. I've recently lost a few dress sizes (no idea how many pounds) and when people comment on it (even though they are saying and meaning nice things) I cringe because it's so personal and no one's business but my own.

  • leah

    I came in to post what Charlotte said almost verbatim. Evolutionary psychology is always trotted out by people because it matches their ways of thinking, not because it's a valid scientific argument. The reason why it sounds right is cause it reinforces what people already think. It's not a valid excuse for any dreadful human behaviour or outdated ways of thinking.

    Also, I prefer to compliment people by saying "you're looking really well", rather than referencing thinness or weight.

  • Meg!

    Having lost 30 pounds over the past several months, I can say that I have definitely thought about this topic a lot. I even asked my boyfriend specifically not to give me any weight-related compliments, because it always makes me want to ask, "What, I wasn't hot before?" Which, obviously, wouldn't be his intention in such a compliment, but sometimes comments like that really do need to be pulled apart and analyzed.

    Long story short, I completely love and agree with this post! Also, thank you for the friendly ways to reply to compliments like this; I've been searching for a way to reply politely while still letting people know that they may not have worded their compliment very well.

  • Iris

    Great post. You can tell your friend that at least one other person doesn't like that compliment either. I always try really hard not to tell women that they look great right after saying they lost weight. I'll tell them that they look great, because women should always hear that, but like you, I don't like to equate weight loss with beauty. And this is coming from a former Jenny Craig consultant! ;)

  • Lisa

    I totally agree with your response to your friend's compliment. I have given the same compliment to people and my intent was to encourage them to keep up the good work. A friend at work has been trying to lose weight and we talk about it now and then. When the weight loss showed I wanted her to know it and feel good about it so that she'd keep up the effort.

    I'm stuck. I want to encourage healthy behavior and I want people to encourage mine but I also don't want to make people feel they have to be thin to look good.

    I sometimes wish people would be a bit more honest and tell me if I've gained weight. I can often fool myself into believing that it's just PMS (that's lasting months!) and a nudge from a friend would be great. Am I ready to hear that tho? I'd rather hear "you look great…did you lose weight?"

  • Kate K

    Sal, thank you for writing this. I loved your post and I can't wait to read the comments next. This hits very very close to home. In the past year and a half, I've lost about 50 lbs and thus, I have received lots and lots of "You've lost weight!" comments from friends, family, and from coworkers and library patrons (it's strange when library patrons think you're pals…) And yeah, it's weird because partially I do like hearing it. I've worked hard and I lost the weight in a healthy way and I do feel as though I look like and feel like myself now. And yet, hearing over and over how great I look *now* makes me think "Okay, well, clearly you're saying I looked awful before." And what happens if I gain all that weight right back? What are those people going to say next? And what if I lose those last 15 lbs that my body is hanging onto? Then, is this weight no longer "great"? Honestly, the best thing someone told me was "You seem really happy." And it was true and is true. I was treating myself well and finally loving myself and losing weight was a (very nice) bi-product.

    And beyond that, you never know the situation that is causing this "great" weight loss. Yes, I lost 50 lbs because I was eating better and moving more and no longer punishing myself with food. But a lot of people are losing weight because they are unhappy or bad things are happening to them–from the death of a parent or a loss of a significant relationship to a very scary disease.

    Sorry, this is a bit of a rambly freeform rant. But I really appreciate your thoughts Sal (as always!)

  • gina

    Just say "thanks." People often note something new, and then follow it up with a compliment.

    "Did you cut your hair? Looks great!"

    "Is that a new dress? Looks great!"

    "You pierced your nose! Looks great!"

    "Have you lost some weight? Looks great!"

    These compliments in no way imply that the recipient looked bad with longer hair, an older dress, and unpierced nose or at a higher weight. They simply acknowledge a change that someone has (probably) deliberately made to his or her appearance, and then adds a compliment on the change.

    I have also heard people complimented when they've put on a bit of weight.

  • Emily Kennedy

    The three that you offered are extremely considerate and thoughtful responses. What an excellent example of standing by who you are without trying to hurt or offend others.

  • Amy

    I love this – and I love your comebacks. Not inflammatory but still sticking to your guns! I know for me that I feel better when I'm at the bottom end of my weight fluctuations, but this is ok too. I just don't want people to think i have to be skinny to be happy!

  • squeaks

    I usually say "Thanks, I /feel/ great!" in response to compliments on my appearance, weight-based or not. This way, I'm telling the truth and putting emphasis on how I feel rather than my appearance.

  • sui

    Whoa! I wrote about the same topic a few weeks ago, but didn't know about your post. We both used photos by the incredible Christi Nielsen!

    http://s.rvxn.org/2010/09/21/you-lost-weight-is-not-a-compliment/

    Anyway, I LOVE your post– great responses. I'll have to remember them! :)

  • marisa

    i know this is old, but i still wanted to comment. my weight goes up and down a lot, especially considering i've had two kids in the past five years: i get pregnant and actually lose weight before i start gaining, then i get a cute baby bump, then i get huge, then i have post-partum doughiness, then i drop weight from breastfeeding, then i gain it from continuing to eat like i'm pregnant or providing a bazillion calories a day to another human being . . . so yeah. whenever people scan my figure and say, "you look good," i always respond by saying, "thanks, i *feel* good!" because that's what matters.

    okay. actually, sometimes i say, "really? because i feel like crap!" but normally i do feel good/great!

  • AJ

    I hate that compliment too! I had it a lot a few years ago, and now I’m back at my previous weight and I do wonder what those people think about the way I look now. The best compliments, and the ones I try to use now, are “You look happy!” or “You’re looking so confident lately!”

  • Cathy

    Oh this strikes a chord and I’ve loved reading through the comments.

    I have gone through times of losing weight (intentionally) and feeling good about it and I’m happy to have someone notice that I look good. I know I think I look better when I am less chipmunk-like, weight gain certainly shows in my face. There are health benefits too that have me trying to keep my weight lower and stable.

    That said, I have a friend who comments on my “weight loss” every time she sees me. It’s not always true. I can gain 7lbs and she will say I’m wasting away. It actually has me wondering how she sees herself. Personally, I think she’s thin to the point of underweight and I suspect she has issues with food. I usually answer honestly with something like “thanks, you know I’m feeling really good right now but my weight has been pretty stable”.

    Personally, I wouldn’t ask someone about losing weight, nor being pregnant. I’d rather give a specific compliment on styling of an outfit, adorable shoes, a flattering style, a fashionable dress. Like another commenter said, if they say “Thanks, I’ve been really working on getting to a healthier/pre-whatever weight…” then we can talk about it.

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  • Survivor

    I received very few aesthetic compliments growing up. Occasionally when we got dresed up, I’d get the negative compliment from family members of “That’s a really cute dress! It would look even better if you lost 10lbs.” Mind you, I was never big, but one side of my family all looked like Twiggy and I didn’t.
    By the time I was 17, I was 70lbs and buying my jeans in the kids section.
    At 31 I’m a healthy 114lb and I work out for strength and cardiovascular enurance. My goals are focused on increasing my health and physical abilities.
    Love all the ladies in your life and treat them with respect. If a young lady in your life seems a little pudgy and/or lethargic, encourage physical activities that are fun and get moving because it’s fun and good for your/their health. Telling them bad things about themselves is never the way.

  • El

    My mother in law always comments on people’s weight. After my recent operation and 3 days on a liquid diet she told me matter of factly, ” you lost weight”. Have not seen her since the 5 lbs are back, but it is tempting to plan responses knowing there will be cooments. But planning to say a certain thing to a certain person is not living in the moment! Laughing off people’s rude remarks is always a good idea. Silence is golden. Smiles are contagious. Let’s all spread love and not talk about weight.

  • Elia

    When I was growing up I didn’t have any weight issues until I went off to college I gained 30 pounds and my breast, my butt and hips became huge. My friend who is very pretty and thin girl and every time we go out and she asked out a lot and many guys wanted to date her. But guys would ask me numbers and talk to me, but not as much as my friend. Even though, I was much curvier than her. So later I lost about 30 pounds and I lost my breast, butt and thigh also I saw huge difference in my face. I lost my face fat. And then, I got lot of attention from guys, just like my friend did. I think it does make person more attractive. Humans are visual people especially when it comes to men, so at first i was really disappointing and didn’t wanna talk to any of the guys. I was not that fat I am 5’4 was 155. I was just little chubby. but loosing weight gives you more defined structure in your face i guess i looked pretty. I remember this guy i went to college with, he saw me and told me i looked so different, but better and looked so much prettier and wanted to date me. I said no. UUH. I am the same person expect thinner outside. Guys are so shallow.

  • Joan

    Great post – I found this under greatest hits.

    I appreciate your pushing back that losing weight automatically means looking better! Agree 1000%.

    I gained lots of weight after a brain tumor due to huge doses of steroids I had to take. Having recovered, the weight is coming slowly off after years of eating well and working out appropriately. It has been a long, slow process. I cannot tell you how many people recommended weight loss surgery to me at my peak weight – even total strangers.

    Uff Da!