Why Body Compliments Aren't Always A Good Idea
How do you feel when someone tells you you’ve lost weight? Or if someone says you’re eating a lot more than usual? Not great, right? That intrusion into our diets and bodies, even if they’re coming from a well meaning place, does more harm than good to our self esteem. Just one comment can make a difference to someone’s day, week, or even month. This is a powerful topic and I’d like to discuss it on the podcast to find out what alternative comments we can make to positively turn this around! Try taking action today and notice how even one positive statement can uplift and inspire those around you.
Bonus answer coming up at the end of the podcast to the age old question of “How can I lose weight from my thighs?” I get asked this quite often on Instagram, so stick around till the of the show to find out.
GENERATIONAL BODY GAPS
We’ve all been there. Your mother, grandmother, or great aunt will see you and comment on your body. Whether you’ve lost or gained weight, look tired, or got a brand new pimple, someone will have something to say. It’s just not limited to the older gals, even a friend or two is known to comment about the way your body looks when you haven’t seen them for a while.
If you’ve recently become interested in health and exercising, you may notice those comments start to increase. You’ve told everyone how excited you are about your new plan and lifestyle changes, and now they’ve got an eye on you to see if you’ll fail or succeed. Again, this probably comes from a place of curiosity, concern, or commenting for the sake of commenting, all that matters is you stay confident in yourself and focus on your goals.
MOTHER KNOWS BEST?
I see this type of behaviour mostly from my mother’s generation. Mothers will say things out of love and because they want you to look your best, but sometimes praising you for losing weight or warning you that your tummy’s getting bigger can really do a number on you. It’s not a button you can switch on and off, results don’t happen overnight, and insecurity can creep in making you lose confidence in your hard work and dedication.
You don’t want to work hard “fixing” a specific part of the body that you started hating just because someone commented on it. We have to stay mindful and take each day as it goes!
BLOCK THE NOISE
There is so much involved when trying to reach a goal, you guys know that. Confidence is a key factor in that process. Saying something negative to a person clearly putting in the effort every day will only bring them down, demotivate them, and drive them away from their target.
I’m not innocent in this either, by the way. I’ve said my fair share of comments to people like “You’re looking slimmer/leaner”. While this sounds positive in theory, it’s basically implying this person wasn’t slim or lean before, meaning they weren’t worthy of a compliment before a body transformation happened. Now they associate their “new body” as better than their “old body”. But hey! We live and learn.
ARE YOU OBJECTIFYING WITHOUT REALIZING?
Objectifying someone’s body means putting emphasis on their shape more than who they are as a human, and I absolutely hate that we live in a time where people feel like their outer appearance is more or as important as who they are on the inside.
It’s time to realize how important it is to praise the journey, the effort, and the dedication exerted instead of just admiring the result. Following a healthy lifestyle, eating mindfully, sleeping well, exercising, and finding the right balance for yourself takes a lot of work, so comment on that instead of the person’s outer image or specific body parts.
CHANGING THE CONVERSATION
So, it’s time to change the conversation. Try to comment on someone’s healthy choices and commitment to working out, this will enhance a person’s self-esteem since you would be admiring their personality and will power instead of their body. You can always comment on someone’s smile, how bright and contagious it is. It’s always safe to compliment an outfit or overall style. Tell your gym going friend that you admire their hard work. Explain what you love about their journey, how much they’ve progressed, and if they have any advice they can share with you (people love giving their 2 cents).
Try these feel good comments instead and see how you good it’ll make YOU feel! Try to stay away from comparisons, such as “you look better/prettier/healthier/skinnier than before”.
Because of my profession, I’m used to receiving some judgemental comments here and there, especially during meals. Whether it’s someone that says “Oh, I can’t eat in front of Baraa, she’ll judge me”, or “Is that all you’re eating?”, or “OMG, you’re eating fries!” it gets quite frustrating and annoying to be around!
My clients tell me this often happens to them, especially if they just started a healthy lifestyle. There will always be someone on the table who chooses to comment about their food choices, how often they’re going to the gym, or if they think they can keep this up.
The way that I was able to change the conversation was by being honest. Thanks to the support I get from my husband, it’s gotten a lot easier. I would genuinely tell whoever commented that I eat the food that makes me feel good, the foods that I like, and that I balance my meals. If that doesn’t work, I either cut the conversation off or change the subject.
If this is something that happens to you, try pulling aside the person that’s bothering you and tell them (kindly) to stop commenting about your food and your body, because there are other things to talk about and that it makes you uncomfortable. With time they will catch on!
HEART TO HEARTS
I’ve had many conversations with my mom about this. Again, her comments are coming from a place of love and good intentions (nothing like that acquaintance or coworker that throws a negative body comment your way), but even her words can cause some harm. Thankfully, I was able to shift my mom’s mindset about making these body focused comments. Honesty is the best policy, even if it makes you uncomfortable in the moment.
What if someone is dramatically gaining or losing weight? Should you step in? If you’re genuinely concerned, then have a heart to heart with them. Maybe there’s something serious going on and you can help them out with it. Be prepared to listen and not judge in these scenarios.
DOING YOUR PART
What’s one thing you can say today that can uplift someone’s day? Don’t let it be about their body or their weight. Focus on them as human beings. What is it about them that you love? How have they inspired you? What do you appreciate about them? Call them, text them, and let’s build a healthier community.
Question: How can I lose weight in my thighs?
Answer: You can’t lose weight from any specific part of your body. More importantly, you should stop looking at your body in parts, start looking at it as a whole.
If you love this episode, share it share it share it, and let me know if it gave you positive feel good vibes to start your week on the right foot.
Cheers & I’ll catch you in the next episode!