Losing Weight

I came across a post the other day where a woman’s photo that was used to illustrate the effects of anorexia was misused in a “listicle” for photos of successful weight loss. There was a lot of commentary about how people who suffer from emotional dysregulation (e.g. depression, anxiety, anorexia, bulimia, etc) are often “celebrated” for their good looks. They would often get comments such as, “Did you lose weight? You look great!” In reality, their weight loss was very unhealthy, yet still rewarded and showered with compliments on their “good looks.”

That got me to thinking about how one could approach another who has had a change in weight. Can you come from a place of concern? “I noticed you’ve lost/gained some weight recently, is everything okay?” Or can there be a neutral ground? “I’ve noticed you’ve lost/gained some weight recently, has something changed for you?” Or is there another way?

It’s definitely got me to reevaluate how I view others’ weight loss/gain. I can’t assume that others’ weight changes are done in a healthy manner. In order for me to stop rewarding or complimenting bad behaviors, I must reframe my commentary and/or not comment at all.

But for now, here are some examples of things I will not say:

“You’ve lost a lot of weight. You look great!”
“Please tell me how to fit into your pants!”
“You look so skinny!”
“Your face looks skinnier!”

2 thoughts on “Losing Weight”

  1. 🙂 Totally agreed !
    I went from 210lbs down to 120lbs as a competition with 2 friends. During that 2-year-long dieting period, i’ve joined a few weight-loss group and met a few people who suffered with eating disorder. Unlike any other disorders, anorexia and bulimia are, in my opinion, 2 of the worst kinds. They could be very functional, working their 9-5 jobs, being the happiest people alive; but instead of watching Netflix, cuddling with a significant other after dinner, they ‘order’ what Eva Longoria sarcastically calls ” a finger for dessert.”
    I have so much more to say… because i once dated someone who suffers with the same disorder. Thanks for the post. It’s great

  2. Love this perspective Dee! Losing weight isn’t always a good thing if it isn’t done in a slow, healthy way. Approaching it with neutrality is such a great idea!

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