The oh so familiar question that you likely either dished out or received multiple times over the holiday family gatherings. How many times have you heard that and actually felt relatively insulted? 

“So——are you implying that I didn’t look good before?” 

“What made you think I was trying to lose weight?” 

“Is looking good synonymous with being small?”

Obviously, the intensions were positive. But, does that make the recipient feel any better? 

Take a second to think about some of the reasons people experience some sort of weight loss. One may be by conscious choice. Maybe they started some sort of exercise. Or maybe they started keeping track of their macronutrient intake. But…maybe they’ve been battling cancer and been undergoing chemotherapy. Or, who knows, maybe they just lost a loved one. 

Regardless…who are we to monitor other people’s bodies?!? It’s a form of judgement in either way, whether we silently judge to ourselves that they appear to have gained a few pounds over winter break, or they “look great” since the last high school reunion. Let's pull back on providing someone the potential opportunity to think negatively about either their former or current version of self. Uplift with compliments that aren't debatable! 

Now that we’ve evaluated a bit of behind-the-words happenings…how about we bulletpoint some of the alternative methods of letting someone know they look great. 

  • Happy to see you!! 
  • Wow! You look great, and really happy! :) 
  • You look great! What have you been doing?!?
  • ...or, check this out. Just start a conversation and let them announce that they've been working hard on their fitness - leading them to lose 20 pounds - in which you can follow with a compliment. 

Final words: You never know why someone lost (or gained) some weight. Let it be their business. I'm pretty sure they're well aware of it either way. Find something else to pump them up about. Wardrobe, energy, hairstyle. Just cool your jets on letting the mindless "You look great! Did you lose weight?" roll off your tongue.