Navigating Opinions With Grace
Recently at the grocery store, an employee stopped me. “I’ve been watching you over the last few months when you come in the store. I’ve seen your weight loss.” he said.
I started wondering what direction was this conversation was about to head. Over the last couple years, there have been many different opinions, questions, statements, and unsolicited advice that I’ve received concerning my weight loss. I’ve learned to take it all with a grain of salt.
So, I smiled, braced myself, and heard him out.
“You’ve lost a lot of weight and you’ve done really well. Good job! I just wanted you to know I’ve noticed your hard work.”
I was blown away by such a sweet compliment. Essentially, he said, “I see you. I see the work you’ve put in. Great job.” And that was that. It was so refreshing, so encouraging to hear that from someone who had no ulterior motives, no underlying jabs to give. Just a kind word to offer.
For the most part, family, friends, and acquaintances have been super supportive. There have been only a couple of downright ugly comments I’ve received, and maybe a friend or two who checked out once the weight started coming off. I’ve learned that most people mean well, even when what they say can be brash, uninformed, or somewhat hurtful. Usually, they’re curious, or want to know how they can lose weight too. I’ve heard a whole gamut of statements/questions.
“When are you going to stop losing weight?”
“You’re too skinny!”
“I thought you lost all that weight because you were sick.”
“You need to lose a few more pounds.”
“You’re going to dry up and blow away!”
“Here, have a donut.”
“What makes you think you’ll be able to lose weight after surgery?”
“Having weight loss surgery is the easy way out.”
“You can eat anything you want to now, can’t you?”
I’ve learned to give grace and try not to take things too personally when people voice their opinions of my weight loss. Some people think I’ve lost too much weight. Some people think I need to lose more. Others think it’s been a cake walk since I had surgery. But mostly, like I said, they don’t mean anything by it. Sometimes, it’s just small talk and maybe they’re not sure how approach the subject.
So, here a couple of take-aways I think we can apply:
If you have a friend or loved one who has been on a weight loss journey:
If you are the one who has lost a lot of weight:
So, at the end of the day, I’d encourage you to be kind, show people (and yourself) grace, know it’s okay to have boundaries when talking about your personal health and weight loss issues, and to use the opportunity to encourage others.
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Navigating Opinions With Grace Recently at the grocery store, an employee stopped me. “I’ve been watching you over the last few months when you come in the store. I’ve seen your weight loss.” he said. I started wondering what direction was this conversation was about to head. Over the last couple years, there have been
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