The Lighter Side of Shade

8 Oct


On your weight-loss journey, you’ll hear lots of comments from the peanut gallery. Most will be positive.

  • “Good job, kid!”
  • “You’re looking really good!”
  • “Congrats on finishing that race!”

Many, however, will be shade in the guise of a compliment.

  • “God, don’t you eat anymore?”
  • “You’re just withering away.”
  • “You’re crazy to be working out that much!”

Nothing hurts as much as someone dismissing your achievements as an act of insanity. It takes a clear mind to dedicate yourself to taking care of your health. There’s an obscene amount of planning and scheduling that goes into a weight-loss program. For a “friend” or “loved one” to say your actions are crazy is hurtful, dismissive and counter productive.

It’s common human nature to reject the unfamiliar. But your friends and family love you, so they’ll try to say encouraging things that in the end come out kind of douchebag-y. To help you make your way through the muck, here are a few translations I use when someone says something completely idiotic as a complement.

1. “That’s all you’re going to eat?”=”Oh, you don’t eat as much to keep your weight down, right?”—One thing people will notice in the beginning is your diet. If they’re not working out with you, they don’t know how much work you’re putting into your routine. But everybody eats. And if you’re eating with friends and family who are privy to your dining habits, they’ll notice that you seem to be cutting your portions in half and requesting doggy bags all the time. Don’d despair . Explain to your dinner companion that you’ll just eat the rest later, which is true.

2. “You’re getting so small, you’re gonna just blow away.”=”It must be really windy out here.”—Unless there’s a tornado in the area, I highly doubt you’ll blow away. You’re definitely not getting that small. Blow into a building—maybe (that’s happened to me a few times on gusty days). I’ve never seen the wind pick someone up and move them.

3. “You run how many miles a week? That’s insane.”=”That’s incredible dedication you have to your program.”—A lot of the time, it’s just jealousy that feeds the shady comments people will make to you. They want to be able to do what you do. They want to be able to get up early to hit the weights or do a couple of laps in the pool. They want to lace up their shoes and just walk a couple of miles. You can. Try to be an encouragement to others who are interested in your good works.

” I just don’t have the time to do something like that. It must come really easy for you.”=”That’s really impressive and amazing that you’re so organized.”—Once your weight-loss plan has become routine, it becomes a task to fit other parts of your life into your plan. You’ve scheduled your meals, planned what fitness classes you go to and gotten all of your other projects in order. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Your friend could do the same if they stuck to a plan. Help them figure out what plan works best for them. Go over your routine and see what fits into their schedule. Soon enough, they’ll be working life into their fitness routine, and not the other way around.

You are doing great work. I’ll tell you that if no one else is. Don’t let your closest naysayers do anything to take you off track. And know this: there is pure sanity in taking care of yourself.

What do do when people make shady compliments to you?

Gif courtesy of Tumblr

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