Today’s Q&A is two parts, and serious business:

Q: My family comments all the time on my weight loss (“GIRL! You are really losing that weight!”) , but I don’t see any difference in my body. In fact, the scale certainly doesn’t corroborate this weight loss. Should I assume that my family is putting me on or that they REALLY do see a difference? If they do, how do I graciously accept their compliments when I’m not “comfortable” accepting compliments (yet)?

Now… Unlike my family, I haven’t had one, single, solitary friend comment on my weight loss. Am I to assume that (1) my family is crazy (as I stated above) and there really isn’t any noticeable weight loss or (2) my friends are too embarrassed or maybe even jealous (GASP!) to mention my progress?

My weight loss IS a personal issue and I don’t need folks pointing it out to me in order for me to continue on my path to better health. However, I can’t lie and say that it doesn’t feel good to have people point out your progress and knowing that your hard work is paying off…

So, in short (LOL!):

  1. My family comments on my weight loss, but I don’t see it. How can I graciously accept their compliments even if I’m not “comfortable” accepting them (yet)?
  2. Unlike my family, my friends have yet to comment on my weight loss. Is it that it really isn’t noticeable or could they be too embarrassed or jealous to comment on it?

I believe that the good members of our families are encouraging individuals – they want to see us happy, they want to see us thrive, they want to see us survive. If they think we might be at risk of running back to habits that might prevent us from thriving or surviving, it’s not a far stretch to think they might prematurely compliment us to keep us going.

But why would you look at it that way? Do you not deserve a compliment? Does there have to be some underlying lie behind why family is complimenting you, and friends are not? Why so much focus on external sources of validation, anyway? I mean yeah, they’re nice… but going so far as to question why the comments are coming? What’s really goin’ on?

When it comes to friends, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s hard to watch your friend do what you know you should be doing. It’s also hard to comment on someone else’s weight loss if you know that you, personally, need to be equally focused on your own health. It’s almost like you don’t want to spark the conversation, because you “don’t wanna hear it.” It’s almost as if starting that conversation is something like shining a spotlight in a mirror… because you can’t avoid the light being turned back onto you. So no, I don’t think it’s a far stretch to say that they may be embarrassed.

I also want to say that people who would show a sense of jealousy toward a friend making great strides… have questionable character in other ways as well that would turn you off to them. So jealousy, I’m going to hope I’m right by saying “Nah.”

Is it possible for you to be experiencing results that you’re not seeing on the scale? Absolutely. Is it possible for there to be changes going on in your figure that you cannot see? Yes! If you’re building muscle and burning fat at the same time, you’re basically replacing one weighty substance (fat) with another (muscle) and that’s not a change you can easily see on a scale.

However (and this is a big however), you look at you every day. Every day. Every. Day. It is extremely possible to look at you every single day – analyzing, scrutinizing, criticizing, pinching, poking and prodding – and not notice the long-term changes you’ve made in your body. I may not think I look different from a week ago, but if I compare “Me, today” to “Me, 6 weeks ago” I’m going to be blown away. And if you don’t have a “six weeks ago” to look at and compare yourself to, that’s okay – that’s why you put your faith in your fitness.

All of that is to say… I think you’re looking at this all wrong. Take the compliments with a grain of salt, because – as you noted – you can never truly identify whether they’re coming from a good place or not. For me, a polite “Awww, thank you” works fine. I don’t want to turn a convo into an “All about me” type situation, because if people have questions about what you’re doing, they’ll simply ask them. And don’t be offended by people not being able to or choosing to recognize your dopeness because I presume the only person who really needs to remember how awesome you are, at the end of the day… is you. 🙂