Still Looking For That First Compliment

December 7, 2007 · 14 comments

I've written before how in 2001 I lost 40 pounds on Atkins and how good it felt to get compliments from people about my weight loss.  For some reason I can't explain, shortly after I started getting the compliments I went on a weight gain slide that lasted until this last August when I started this journey from fat to fit.

This time I am determined to get those compliments and to use them as motivation to work even harder, so as not to fall into the same trap as last time.

I feel like I am within a few months of getting unbiased compliments about my weight loss.  What do I mean by unbiased?  Well, after I had lost about 15 pounds my boss asked me if I had lost weight.  When I responded affirmatively, he said, "I can tell."  While that was good to hear it wasn't the compliment I was looking for.  He knew I had been exercising so I believe he asked the question based on that knowledge, not on any observation of my size.  Hell, I have a hard enough time seeing it now that I have lost 28 pounds - 15 was nothing.

This week I got a little closer, but still not quite.  My wife told me that one of her neighbor friends said it looked like I had lost weight.  Now on the face of it that would seem pretty close to what I'm looking for, yet I can't help but think that comment was biased as well.  I had been at the kids' bus stop with her and another neighbor who knows I have been working out.  He asked me, within her earshot, if I had still been working out (he's a runner and it had come up in conversations).  So I'm not accepting that as a compliment either.

I'm still looking for that unbiased, "Hey John, you look great.  What have you been doing to lose the weight?" kind of compliment.

I'm getting closer.

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John December 7, 2007 at 12:14 pm

You need to post some before and update photos John. That way us internet folks can give you meaningful comments.

It is embarrassing I know, but it will help you commit even more so to losing that weight.

Vilma December 7, 2007 at 1:38 pm

I know what you mean. I agree with the post John previously posted. Post some pictures up so your online buddies can also see and evalute your progress.

I think compliments are hard for me to accept. About 5 years ago, I lost 50+ lbs and everyone was telling me how skinny & fit I was but then all of a sudden they started turning on me and telling me I was too skinny & the I needed to gain a couple of lbs. I guess I let that get to me and here I am again 5 years later trying to lose 60+ instead of just 50. :(

Keep your head up & keep going strong. Those compliments will come!

~ Vilma

violet December 7, 2007 at 3:28 pm

I know what you mean about waiting for the compliments to come! I’ve lost 10 pounds since the summer, which on my 5’2 frame is quite a bit, and my neighbor popped over and said, “Violet, you look great!” It made me feel so good! I agree with Vilma that the new wave of compliments will come for you. In the meantime, please keep writing on the blog, it is great inspiration for me!

Lady Rose December 7, 2007 at 7:05 pm

You are doing great! Don’t forget to give yourself compliments too. And new photos here would be good too.

john - from fat to fit December 7, 2007 at 8:21 pm

Thanks all. I do update my picture page monthly.

Michelle December 7, 2007 at 9:58 pm

I know the feeling too well. I’ve blogged about having issues on receiving compliments. They will definitely come for you.

I, myself, have a hard time complimenting somebody if I think they’re losing weight because weight is one of those tricky topics. If somebody IS losing weight, it makes them feel great that you’ve noticed. If somebody is NOT trying to and in fact they’ve gained a couple, they might feel self conscious.

It will come. Keep up the good work!

Steve December 7, 2007 at 11:25 pm

It’s hard to get a really unbiased compliment simply because you have let it be known that you are trying to lose weight.

Try avoiding some not so close acquaintances for a month or so then go out of your way and talk to them again. See if they notice the change. Lol.

By the way you can really notice the weight loss in your progress pics. Especially the side views.

I had a run in with a women in the summer that I went to high school with. I hadn’t seen her in 13 years. She said I looked great and hadn’t changed a bit since high school. She didn’t know that I was 40lbs heavier for the past 10 years. Does that count as an unbiased compliment? :)

Sonya December 8, 2007 at 11:52 am

I completely understand what you mean. The first few compliments I received I just thought they were saying it ‘to be nice’. I thought they were saying it because a) they knew I was trying to lose weight and b) because isn’t that what you’re suppose to say when someone is trying to lose weight?

It wasn’t until I went to the dentist recently (and hadn’t been there in 9 months) that the hygienist was in shock because I had lost weight. She said at first glance she didn’t recognize me. This was odd to me considering I’ve only lost 29lbs, but I take this compliment as unbias because she never knew I was ‘trying’ to lose in the first place. She was the one that said ‘wow, you look great, what have you been doing?”

You’ll get your first unbias comment, don’t you worry. It will come.

Steve v4.6 December 8, 2007 at 3:27 pm

First off, great job working towards your transformation! Compliments or no, you’ve decided and are moving towards a healthier you.

Secondly, Use EVERYTHING as motivation- especially the LACK of compliments. If an atta-boy gets you going, great- but my personal experience has been that the giving of compliments is dependent upon the personality of the giver rather than anything I had done. Not everyone is all that gracious or supportive. For example, I hadn’t seen my in-laws in 87 pounds and nothing was said regarding any difference in my weight. My sister won’t say anything to me about it either; she mentions it to my wife- but never me.

I say keep going, John, you’re looking great!

Skinny Guy December 8, 2007 at 3:47 pm

The compliments will come in time, John. While it’s always nice to get them, for me the most powerful motivation I got while losing were about my body. How much better it felt, how clothes looked and felt better on it, the reduction in the medicines I was taking. Those things were under my direct control as a result of losing the weight. I couldn’t rely on outside sources for motivation, they were too undependable. Don’t get me wrong, when they came along I accepted them and used them, I just didn’t rely on them on a day-in, day-out basis.

TB-Milwaukee December 9, 2007 at 12:51 am

Took me almost till 50 pounds before anyone at work started commenting. Now, I get tons of people everyday saying that I look great and I should stop because I look good the way I am.

It will come, sometimes they’re embarrassed to say anything in fear that you may be sick or something, plus weight can be a touchy subject for many people.

Fat Man December 9, 2007 at 4:56 am

I haven’t had a compliment in weeks, we are in the same boat. It’s not like I need the compliments, but they do assist with motivating.

john - from fat to fit December 9, 2007 at 5:50 am

Wow, thanks for all the comments guys. I think this post may have generated the most comments ever for me. I think it is because this IS a touchy subject, and it sounds like others (liek Steve) have had some interesting experiences. I can’t imagine losing 87 pounds and not having a family member say something affimrative. And it sounds like there is a danger of it coming the other direction too - once people get over you losing weight they’ll start seeing you as thin and sickly I suppose. I can see my mom having concerns about that. Well, we’ll just have to deal with that when it comes!

Debo Hobo December 10, 2007 at 3:39 pm

Ah yes, the compliments-I had lost a bit of weight doing Jazzercise 4xs a week then came all those wonderful compliments. I got way to comfortable and the occational treat because I’ll work it off became a daily treat and then there seemed to be no time for working out. I got caught up in the compliments. So I too will be awaiting the compliments that will come and this time I know not to take them and sit with them I know now to take them and run with them and strive to get more.

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