Many people who've lost a lot of weight know that their success can inspire jealousy in others. And that jealousy can rear its ugly head in the form of rude comments about your success.
Of course, not all people who comment on your lifestyle change are envious. Some people are just plain rude.
When dealing with rude people, the silent treatment may be your best bet for preserving a sense of calm and sanity, according to a November 2013 study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.
But sometimes the temptation to respond to rude comments about your weight loss is just too strong to ignore. Or maybe you feel a conviction to advocate for yourself and others who have struggled with their weight and are sick of all the snide remarks.
Here are seven rude comments about weight loss — and ways you can handle them without losing your cool.
"Are your sick?"
Someone who says this implies that in order for you to lose weight, something must be wrong with you. Or maybe your new appearance is so daunting that they assume it must be a medical issue.
Calm and cool response: “No, I'm not sick. In fact, I'm the healthiest I've ever been.”
If you want to go into more detail, you can explain to them the steps you've taken to get where you are today. How much you share is completely up to you.
"You look weird."
Sure, your face and body have slimmed down, and your features may look different. But the only thing that's weird is this person's statement.
There's the chance that she might have been trying to give you a compliment, or she just didn't know what to say. On the other hand, she may simply be one of those people who doesn't have a filter and just says whatever pops into her head.
Calm and cool response: A long, awkward blank stare. Then, change the subject.
This comment doesn't deserve a verbal response.
"You look a lot better."
If they mean you look healthier or more at peace with yourself, then maybe that's okay.
On the other hand, they may mean this comment as a value judgement about your appearance. In that case, your frustration is definitely justified because this statement is essentially an underhanded insult about how you looked before.
Calm and cool response: “It's not about appearance. It's about something much more important — my health.”
"Don't gain it back."
Obviously, no one wants to go back to being overweight. And you're probably doing all you can to maintain the success you've achieved. This finger-wagging comment doesn't necessarily help.
Calm and cool response: “Trust me, I won't.”
Your weight loss success was not an accident — it was the result of your effort and diligence — and you intend to keep it that way.
"It's about time."
Maybe you struggled with your weight for a long time. First came the realization that you needed to lose weight, then the decision to commit to doing it, then the action steps — diet, exercise, surgery, or a combination of all three.
ut instead of celebrating your journey, the person who makes this comment is mocking you for it.
Calm and cool response: “It's not your place to judge how long another person's weight loss journey should take.”
Maybe the person who makes this kind of comment doesn't realize their remark is judgemental. But an assertive response can help them get the message.
"Want to go out?"
If the person knew you before you lost the weight and didn't ask you out, then his sudden attraction is a red flag about his character. It could signal that he's only into you for superficial reasons.
Your weight changed, not your personality. His invitation implies that your personality wasn't enough before.
Calm and cool response: “No thanks.”
"Don't lose any more weight."
Unless the person saying this is your doctor, this statement could imply that you're somehow about to fall off some cliff or that your weight loss success is getting out of hand.
You may want to respond with: “Thanks, but my doctor and I will decide the best weight loss goals for me.”
This comment may not be as offensive as others, but assertively affirming your weight loss commitment — on your own terms — can help you stay motivated.