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Telling me how bad I used to look is really backwards

Friday, August 20, 2010

I’m currently visiting my grandma. I love her, and for the most part, she’s always been really sweet and warm. She lacks tact, however, and she never, never hesitates to tell you when she thinks you need to lose—or more rarely, gain—weight. Because I’ve struggled with my weight most of my life, this has usually been every visit. Since I started losing weight this time around, she’s changed gears and told me how good I look. In a completely backwards way that is beginning to really piss me off. emoticon

I know she’s old; I know she comes from a completely different generation. Maybe that generation was more direct. Even so, she's adapted to other changes over the years. Social niceties shouldn't be too difficult to learn. Seriously. WHY would you think it’s a compliment to tell someone, anyone, let alone your granddaughter, that they look “so much *better* now”? In what way is it nice to tell her she looks young now and she used to “look like an old lady before”? Why make all the nasty, hurtful analogies to what you think I looked like previously?

Here’s an idea. Instead of telling me I look better, tell me I look good. Tell me I look healthy or fitter. Leave out all the commentary on how disgusting you think I looked in the past. (Especially when you know that I’ve always struggled with my weight and that future weight gain is, sadly, a viable possibility.) These 'compliments' are completely backhanded, and I neither need them nor want them. They only make me feel horrible about myself.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I have the same problem with my family. On my mom's side it's the same thing, always complimenting you, but also letting you know how awful you looked before. Whereas on my dad's side it's more, "what's wrong with you, you are so skinny! you are going to waste away, you don't need to lose weight." It's so frustrating that people can't just say you look great and leave it at that. I would encourage you to talk to your grandma, but if she doesn't get it (like my family doesn't, and I've tried to talk to them) just try to let it roll off you. If they just mean well, great; if maybe there is some spite behind the words, just know that you are the bigger (er..smaller?) person.
    2798 days ago
  • TWEAVER0715
    I am sure she doesn't mean to be hurtful... some people don't know how to think about what they are saying before they say it. You have done an awesome job.
    2798 days ago
    Just remember that they have watched enough "Oprah" to really get with it. lol You can't change them, so just smile and know you look good!
    2801 days ago
    I don't know what it is about older people but a lot of them are just that way. I don't understand it and it is VERY irritating!! So you had to experience it. You are doing awesome and have been a fabulous leader for our group!!
    2802 days ago
    WoW don't know what else to say that everyone has not already said. I vote you have a heart to heart with Grandma and let her know about those comments hurting you.

    I have been following along with you for quite awhile now and I think you have done an awesome job and you look good! WooHoo
    Don't let Grandma put a damper on your accomplishments.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2803 days ago
  • ANNIE99
    I have a great Aunt who is like this and I always leave our visits irritated so I feel your pain. No matter what keep in mind how you feel about yourself. Congratulations on how far you've come and where your going from this point forward. Keep it up!

    2803 days ago
    UGH! Talk about discouraging! What happened to "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"? The only advice I have is to try to have a heart to heart with her about how much her backhand "compliments" hurt you. Without knowing your grandma, I don't know how affective that would be. Some old habits just don't die! Good luck to you and remember, you are beautiful no matter what your weight. You've lost 62 pounds and ran a 5K- you're amazing! emoticon
    2804 days ago
    You look amazing! She probably doesn't realize she is hurting you by those comments. Like Debra says-you should tell her that last paragraph and tell her it hurts your feelings and you feel like your in a constant struggle with your weight.
    2804 days ago
  • 3016DEBRA
    YOu know she doesn't mean to hurt you, it's just her way. Tell her exactly what you said in your last paragraph. And, a GREAT BIG CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU!!!!!! Keep up the good work! emoticon
    2804 days ago
  • TERRYT55
    I agree and dread comments like those. I love it when someone says I look great and leave it at that! By the way.....I looked at your gallery and you look TERRIFIC!

    2804 days ago
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