Complimenter: "So, how much weight have you lost?"I know she meant well, but if she wanted to compliment me, she could have said, "You look great," or something similarly innocuous. "It looks like a lot more than that," really just implies, "Boy, were you a heifer before!"
Me: "Oh, I don't know, maybe 10 or 15 pounds, total."
Complimenter: "Well, it sure looks like a lot more than that!"
To be fair, I've looked at old pictures of myself and it does look like I've lost more than that. I've been weight-training and upping my aerobic exercise as I've lost weight, so I know that my body has gotten leaner. But still, I'd personally prefer the type of compliments that suggest I look good now, versus the kind that just refer to how huge I used to be. I wasn't really in the mood to explain it.
The absolute worst compliment I ever got was, "Boy, you must have lost a TON!" Well, no, since I never weighed more than 2000 pounds, it was physically impossible for me to have lost a ton. But thanks for implying that I used to weigh more than a cow. I had probably lost about 60 pounds when I got this "compliment" from a guy at my gym who had never spoken to me before. Until that point, I had lived under the happy illusion that none of the people at the gym really noticed me at all, and that they were all just busy doing their own workouts.
Mostly, though, these kinds of compliments make me think carefully about how best to express myself if I want to notice someone's weight loss in a nice way, rather than make them cringe. I usually either just say, "You look really good," or, if I don't know the person well, don't say much until they bring it up. It just seems safer that way. Once I complimented a formerly stocky guy that I hadn't seen since college on how trim he looked, and it turned out that he had been seriously ill for the past few years. Ouch.
What (if anything) is the right thing to say when someone has lost a noticeable amount of weight? What's the worst compliment you ever got?
Note: Anonymous comments have now been disabled, thanks to someone who is much too excited to tell everyone how they can show the latest news on their blogs. I've done my best to delete all the spam comments, but I may have missed a few.