Today’s society is becoming more aware that health doesn’t equate to being skinny. Being healthy is more than what others refer to as their standard of beauty. Body positivity advocates have done a great job spreading this message — most notably, loving and accepting oneself. However, some still tend to forget the power of comments toward a person’s view about themselves. It often happens online or in person, especially when there are gatherings. For this reason, a lot of people avoid social meet-ups to free themselves from unsolicited advice and remarks.
The first thing they’ll notice is how someone lost weight or became too fat in their opinion. People always think such comments are a form of praise or concern, but they can be very disrespectful and can trigger a person, even making their health condition worse. That’s why, during family get-togethers or reunions with friends or colleagues, never make it a habit to greet people with a comment about their appearance. Especially when you don’t know the story behind such changes. Also, if they start talking about it and their lifestyle choices, avoid intervening, as it can make them feel bad. If no one’s asking for your opinion, then it’s best to refrain from blurting out something that might sound offensive.
Since many people are still experiencing that kind of treatment, a Redditor has posted a reminder in Reddit’s LPT section. “If you see an overweight friend/acquaintance making healthier life choices or who lost weight: don’t talk about it unless they do,” 579red wrote. Under the post are comments sharing their realization about the matter and their stories. People should be reminded that bodily changes shouldn’t be discussed for the reasons below.
Their body condition is a huge factor in gaining or losing weight. FrauMausl shared, “I once met an acquaintance I hadn’t seen in a while. ‘Hey, you really slimmed down. Looking good.’ ‘I have pancreatic cancer.’ Since then, I’ve never said anything about looks again.” Instead of considering it a compliment, others could be reminded of why they are physically struggling. Being thin isn’t always a good sign of wellness — their body may be fighting a disease and trying to survive treatment procedures. Medicines could also ruin appetites, which is never a healthy way to lose weight.
Pressure to maintain the “right weight” often leads to an eating disorder. “My ED THRIVED on compliments and encouraging comments from friends and family who meant well. Bless the literally one person who looked at my rapid weight loss and questioned whether I was doing it in a healthy way rather than complimenting me. I lied, of course, but that interaction was a turning point for me and helped me seek help later on,” copperboom2 explained. Aside from causing it, comments could also trigger people amidst recovering from their eating disorder. They might find it hard to heal if they often hear “compliments” that were never asked for in the first place.
Mental Health Problems
A person’s diet can be affected by their mental health issues since some conditions reduce appetite or cause stress-eating. Sometimes a person eats less or is healthier as it helps regulate their mood or eases stress, while others have issues with food in general, like what happened to Askmyrkr. “I have schizophrenia! I regularly cannot eat because I become convinced that my food is being poisoned, and when you don’t eat poisoned food that you personally cooked, you lose a ton of weight!” He did not want to be reminded of weight loss, since it indicates that he is living through a medical condition and slowly losing reality.
Everyone has internal struggles that can’t be easily remedied, as it’s often a sensitive matter. Refraining from saying how glowing they are since they lost weight is another act of kindness you can do every day. The world has already been harsh to them, so don’t be an added factor for why they find it hard to endure their problems. A simple greeting is enough during social gatherings. Ask about their actual lives rather than their looks. Start building that habit now, and the world will be one step closer to a more accepting society.