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    Thursday, February 22, 2007

    What Not To Say

    As I lose weight I've noticed that people seem to have a hard time knowing what to say to me. Most comments border on being derogatory. Let me give an example. My grandfather saw me recently and said, "You look soooo much better! I can really notice it in your face. You have expression in it now and you didn't before."

    Now, I realize that he was trying to be supportive and kind. I can't understand why people can't just say, "You're looking great." Why do they always have to give the additional put down? It's not like I don't know that I looked like crap before.

    When approaching someone who has lost weight, why not ask how they are feeling? How about, "You look great. You must be feeling so good."?

    Then there's the person who says something about someone they know that lost weight and now she's ugly. Why must you tell me these things? It's not like I can control my beauty. So I may end up ugly. What am I supposed to do?

    My body will probably end up a saggy mess when I'm done but it's a far healthier cry from living as an obese person.

    23 comments:

    Susan said...

    I hear you on the clod factor. Most women around me are pretty good about it. The face really has been a big point of comment this week - with only a -2 lb loss, might I add (not enough protein this week - grr).

    The one that really gripes my cookies is "I know a person who had your surgery (first fallacy - very few people hear have heard of, much less had the DS), and s/he lost tons of weight - but then they gained it back". First of all, why are you telling me this? Cautionary tale? Putting me on notice that I didn't get a 'get out of jail free' card? Jealousy?

    *S*

    Sal said...

    You have been and always will be a twinkle in my eye sweetie!

    Jodes said...

    you know you are looking good and do not let their stupidity bring you down.

    G-Man said...

    4th? Thats bull-shit!!

    How about..HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, DO YOU EVER LOOK AWESOME!!!

    xxGxx

    barman said...

    Thank you, this is perfect. I feel much better because I do not believe I ever toss in that back handed slam that you mention. I still feel awkward sometimes.

    You know I see no point in commenting about someone else unless it is going to be saying something positive to the person. You know the old saying, if you do not have something nice to say then don't say anything at all.

    By the time you are done there may be baggy saggy this or that but you know what, you look marvalous now and you will look marvelous then. I remember before when I lost a lot of weight I had people, including family, that said I was to skinny and should put some weight back on. Not helpful.

    Anyway thanks for this post, it helps.

    cadbury_vw said...

    yes - these comments are insensitive

    as for your grandfather's comment... he probably didn't think through what he was actually seeing. my guess is that you probably do have more expression in your face than before. he innappropriately directly linked it to the loss of mass in your face, when the likely cause is that you are smiling more, are happier, and are more confident - that is what he is seeing, but because he didn't think through his observation he came out with the dimwitted remark he did

    that does not excuse his comment, but it may make it a little easier to take

    as for the ugly thing - you were and are beautiful and attractive, and i fully expect you will remain so. it may take a year or two to bring everything back into the shape you want, but that is tomorrow's project.

    because you are under medical supervision you will likely have less issues with "sagging". a proper water and diet regimin will assist your skin to retract/shrink gracefully

    as for the rest of the rude comments... remember when the counsellors told you that your family would be the people most likely to sabotage your weight loss? the same thing with a lot of people. your success in changing yourself is intimidating to them. your success is obvious every single day.

    lots of people don't want others to succeed (even if they don't realise that's how they feel), because it makes them feel like they are failures for not taking steps to change their own lives.

    so they put you down.

    the comment about "gaining it back" is all about telling you that you will fail - a person who feels powerless in their own life would be very unhappy when someone assumes power in their own life - so they will predict yoru failure in order to justify their own inaction and resignation

    Susan said...

    I hope the "under medical supervision" will help the sagging for me too, but, frankly, I'm leery. Sagging has more to do with your age, skin elasticity and tone, underlying structure, including muscle mass, and genetics than access to or use of health care, I'm afraid. This is why our surgeons often say that the WLS should be looked at as a "step 1" of a two part procedure, with the second part being plastics.

    Some folks don't have much sagging, others look like they need a good ironing. I'm not sure if women tend to sag more than men, or if it's just concentrated in more noticable spots, i.e. breasts.

    *S*

    jillie said...

    Some people are just born with that foot in their mouth...

    We all think you're amazing!

    Top cat said...

    what's wrong with people?
    usually people who are inconsiderate have their own issues.
    hugs
    tc

    MilkMaid said...

    I don't think people mean it as a back handed slam, try to keep that in the fore front of your mind. Even tho I KNOW it sounds like one.

    I heard that some too, but what I mostly heard was YOU LOOK SO MUCH YOUNGER. LOL, they don't realize what they are saying is that I used to look like an OLD HAG. !!?? It stung a little, especially the ones that hadn't seen me in a while and would just BLURT it.

    People mean well (most of them), try to take it as a positive and make it a good thing.

    Craig D said...

    Hey, thanks for providing a clue to us clueless folks.

    As you lay it out, it all sound so obvious and "common sensical" as far as what to say and not to say. I'll try to put this into practice.

    wmy said...

    Hello dearie...thank you for the shout out in your last post...it is nice to know that someone missed me.....but, i make you snort?!?!
    hahahah have a great day!

    wmy said...

    Ok, about today's post...I think sometimes people just do not realize they are being offensive. It would be far better to say, you look great...you must be feeling fantastic...unfortunately, alot of us have that hoof in mouth thing going for us. And, saggy or not, you are tops in my book!lol

    Lingerie Lady said...

    I am guessing most people (unless they are obviously going out of their way to be hurtful) just don't realize how they sound. To say something like you look so good and so healthy is usually a compliment. I always make sure when anyone tells me how good I look that I tell them I FEEL even better than I look.

    I tend to excuse old people and children - they are usually being honest and not hurtful. :)

    Manny said...

    First! You are beautiful. I think it must be your inside shining through. Believe you me, I know some people with great bodies, (if thin is great) and turn butt ugly as soon as they open their mouth.

    Second, everyone is different. My friend who had the same surgery, just love's hearing any acknowledgement of her wieght loss. She is a rare breed I tell ya.

    This one day, someone was at my desk. This person had BO like you wouldn't believe. The kind that lingered long after they left. I knew i had forgot my deoderant that day. I started smelling something and Tree walked up. She said, "What's the matter?" I said "I smell BO, and I forgot my deoderant this morning and don't know if it's me." Well this chickie stuck her nose right next to both of my pit's and said "No it's not you, I think it's ----." LMAO

    Now I have known this lady for 19 years. We just let each other know the truth.

    The truth is...You look great! I thought you always looked great. Again, your inside is shining through.

    Try asking yourself this. How would you feel if noone said anything?

    Please don't get mad at me!!!

    SignGurl said...

    Don't get me wrong, I love compliments of all kinds. I just don't enjoy backhanded ones. I don't need to be reminded that I am/was a cow. Moooooooooo!

    Manny said...

    You are not, nor have you ever been a cow. If you were a cow, i would be eating you right now. LOL

    Aw sweetie, some people just don't know how to be descent. I'll fly you my passwaord. Thanks, You are a true friend.

    Danyele said...

    Honey, you're gorgeous .. you are definitely not going to be "ugly" because you lost weight.

    Although your grandfather may have foot-in-mouth-disease, he may have a small point. When I look at "before" pictures, my face was so puffy that you couldn't see my expressions as clearly. Smiles just didn't look as full or bright as they do now. I'm sure that's what he was trying to express. I'm noticing that there's a generational aspect to how candid people are. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing though. Anyway.. keep on smiling girlie!

    Kristen said...

    I'm with Gman!!!

    You look absolutly wonderful

    terry said...

    people are stupid. they just are.

    i guess they mean well, but don't realize how hurtful they're being.

    which is why i always say, simply, "you look great!" to someone who's lost weight.

    btw, you DO look great!

    ~~Rae~~ said...

    The problem is some people never think before they open their mouths and some of the dumbest things come out all you can do is ignore them and know you are beatuiful

    G-Man said...

    Mornin Jenn..
    You sure look beautiful!
    You sure look great!
    You Look Mahvelous!!

    That wasn't so bad was it?...Galen xxox

    Alkelda the Gleeful said...

    Hey Signgurl! I followed your link from Nonny's blog.

    As a person who's had extra weight, lost a lot of weight, gained it back after pregnancy, and am now struggling with it again in my mid-thirties, I totally empathize with you. When I lost a lot of weight, a lot of people said something to the effect of, "Wow, you're a new person!" And there were guys who were clearly uncomfortable around me because they were attracted to me then and didn't know what to do with themselves. Far from being flattering, it just felt icky-- like, "Hey! I was a hottie before, you know."

    I knew Bede was going to be my future husband when he said, "You look good! But then, I always thought you looked good."