Friday, 18 Nisan, 5784
  |  April 26, 2024

Fed Up with the Compliments on My Look

From the COLlive inbox: I've been recently getting compliments for losing a lot of weight and questions about how it did it. Here's why I find them unsettling and hope that people stop making them. Full Story

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Thank you
January 15, 2023 2:23 pm

I fight the same depression battle thank you for posting it’s so hard

I'm glad you're feeling better
January 15, 2023 2:24 pm

Thank you for sharing. This is such an important topic.

Complimenting weight loss can be
Ozempic – and other harmful drugs

We are so deeply immersed in diet culture, that we care more about how people look, and so little for how they feel.
We need to refocus to that which matters.

Mixed feelings
January 15, 2023 2:36 pm

If there are people with specific sensitivities, does that mean we have to change the way we interact with everyone else?

Reply to  Mixed feelings
January 15, 2023 3:51 pm

Yes. This is a serious problem and is very damaging to peoples emotional well-being.

Reply to  Yes!
January 16, 2023 6:27 am

When I lost a hundred pounds I got all the same questions and comments, but I felt encouraged and boosted by them! I felt like all my hard work was reaping rewards. I was flattered beyond. People with underlying emotional situations should seek help as they’re going through their struggles so that they can develop a healthy attitude towards being complimented on their accomplishment – regardless of how they got there.

Reply to  Disagree
January 16, 2023 1:59 pm

As the OP wrote, it often starts with people complimenting a person who is sick – who then becomes afraid to gain the weight back. So, YES! Comments helped strengthen my anorexia and made me fight against recovery “You look so good you lost so much wait” (then sensitive person thinks maybe it is because you were sick “did you lose it on purpose?” My answer is yes. Because I am sick. OP please please please make sure you are under good care and don’t let yourself wander deeper into the world of eating disorders. It is miserable and you… Read more »

Reply to  Disagree
January 16, 2023 2:05 pm

Somehow I don’t think getting compliments should be the reward that you reap from losing weight. The weight loss is the reward itself.

It doesn’t sound healthy to only feel accomplished when you are complimented.

P.s this is often also counted as an underlying emotional issue.

Reply to  Mixed feelings
January 15, 2023 6:42 pm

It’s more people than you think.
And not just “sensitivities.”
I know too many people whose weight loss was not their choice but was brought about by illness.
It really doesn’t hurt to change our wording to something more empowering, like, “you look so beautiful, as always.” If you’re a closer friend you’ll probably already know if there were weight loss efforts to acknowledge and if not your friend will be ok with your judgement.

Interacting with everyone else
Reply to  Mixed feelings
January 15, 2023 7:29 pm

As someone who has lost weight in a healthy way, I didn’t appreciate comments on my weight. It gets old very fast, and it’s awkward.

While, “You lost so much weight,” is uncomfortable, “You look great!” or “I like your outfit,” has the same effect but is more appropriate.

Commenting on weight just shouldn’t be a thing.

Commenting on weight is rude not PC
Reply to  Mixed feelings
January 15, 2023 8:17 pm

It’s not about correctness. Who gives others the right to comment on one’s weight. I am not a PC person. I say it like it is. I can not stand when people comment on my body size (which is naturally skinny). It’s obnoxious. I actually really struggle with being around “dieting ” friends

the health and welness coach
Reply to  Mixed feelings
January 17, 2023 6:50 pm

Please contact me! I can see on a persons face if its healthy weigh loss, I can help ith heaalthy eating and wellbeing as a health and wellness coach
sheyna- fittestplanet2020@gmail.com

stop your crap
January 15, 2023 2:37 pm

frum American jews are majority overweight , all kosher products are unhealthy and carry lots of sugar and other nasty stuff,

there’s tons of excessive food, on top of all the kosher fast food eateries that are fare worse,

be conscious about food and weight don’t obsessed with food,
all the excuses are wrong,

there 2 types of people, eaters with no self-control and eater with self-control

the clear difference can be seen in the way USA and Europe and Israel, Being overweight comes with the additional disease, heart failure, and depression, while Europe and Israel have much less depression,

You do realize
Reply to  stop your crap
January 15, 2023 5:37 pm

That losing weight like that also means losing muscle…a whole lot of skinny people are susceptible to diabetes because they don’t have the muscle to burn off excess carbs, more susceptible to hip fractures because they are so frail. What we really need is a focus on strength building exercises instead of BMI

Be kind
Reply to  stop your crap
January 15, 2023 8:54 pm

How insensitive. You obviously were not cursed with this addiction. Keep quiet and be kind

Zip it
Reply to  stop your crap
January 15, 2023 9:32 pm

Your horrible comments and cruelty could push someone over the edge to suicide heaven forbid. May Hashem help if you have children or anyone in your life.

Reply to  stop your crap
January 16, 2023 2:02 pm

Your comment is reinforcing my anorexia (and I’m sure that of many others). If I’m “in control” I don’t eat, and lose weight. When I’m “out of control” I eat. Control is a huge part of eating disorders. Your comment is cruel and will hopefully not cause harm to anyone.

January 15, 2023 2:40 pm

this new pc world is killing social interaction. you can’t talk anymore and make basic chitchat? So i’m not your friend but i know you from school/camp/work/shul/etc and we meet at an event. hi, what’s up? Good, BH. You? Good, BH. whats next? talk about the weather? or is that trigger that memory when you got stuck in the snow? how about the yummy buffet? it will remind you of your weight battle should we talk about the decor of the hall or that remind you that you were in a dormitory without any style? talk about the economy or… Read more »

I get your point
Reply to  really????!
January 15, 2023 2:49 pm

But consider a little nuance. Someone else’s body isn’t fair game for a small talk conversation… it’s 2023

Reply to  I get your point
January 16, 2023 6:36 am

Heaven help us

Speak about Torah
Reply to  really????!
January 15, 2023 3:01 pm

You won’t offend anyone, and your time will be wisely used.

Let's talk torah
Reply to  Speak about Torah
January 15, 2023 6:04 pm

I dunno.. some people will be offended by today’s Tanya about food if they are not in the correct frame of mind

The bottom line is
Reply to  really????!
January 15, 2023 3:08 pm

They know you if they need something from you that they know you would never give them, otherwise they dont know you at all. Literally. Or I was always getting “hi’s” when I was fresh in the parsha of shidduchim. If I didnt respond how THEY wanted me to they would get insulted and drop me like a sack of potato. I would tell myself good riddance. Find a girl who would agree with that nonsense. Which they did find a girl and now complaining that shes a witch. No kidding?!

It’s not PC
Reply to  really????!
January 15, 2023 3:23 pm

It’s not some crazy PC here , it is just not ok to comment on another persons body. I did it recently, it just came out and the person I commented to that lost weight just looked at me weird.
My daughter is recovering (hopefully) from an eating disorder , can you imagine someone complimented her weight loss and it would be a trigger her to start having eating disorder thoughts. Do you want to be responsible for that ? She was in the hospital and looked like a skeleton .We need to her very very careful.

Reply to  It’s not PC
January 16, 2023 6:45 am

Your daughter obviously has some emotional issues and they should be dealt with. A professional should explain to her that people may comment on her weight loss – not because they want to be mean, and she should be encouraged how to deal with it, because in the “olden” days world people did this out of friendliness towards the person, and NOT because they were trying to be mean or nosy. This insane modern culture is making it so that we’re lucky if we’re allowed to breath

Reply to  Daughter
January 16, 2023 2:04 pm

I’m not talking about an older grandma that will say you look so good and slim and my daughter will laugh because that’s an older person that we are not trying to teach oh you know now we don’t comment on bodies today. I’m talking about being aware that commenting on peoples bodies is actually not ok. Her brain did not fall out because she had an eating disorder.

Not the point
Reply to  really????!
January 15, 2023 4:02 pm

This isn’t about triggers, it is about having common sense. Most dramatic weight losses are not for good reasons and should not be complimented. I lost 30 pounds due to illness and it hurt every time I got a compliment. It took over a year to gain it back and feel normal again and I am so grateful for every pound and curve.

It’s time
Reply to  Not the point
January 16, 2023 6:48 am

And now it’s time to go for emotional (and/or) help so that you get a healthy attitude towards people who aim to simply compliment you

Not the point
Reply to  It’s time
January 16, 2023 6:26 pm

I bless you that you should never experience what I did.
To clarify, I was not hurt by the people who did clearly mean well, but it was a painful reminder of the situation and I did wish they had known better.

Huge difference
Reply to  really????!
January 15, 2023 6:32 pm

Between talking about food and commenting on someone’s body

Reply to  really????!
January 16, 2023 6:35 am

You hit the nail on the head!!! THAT is exactly RIGHT! when someone makes these weight related comments THEY ARE MEANT AS COMPLIMENTS! But again, that may be wrong in this crazy age we live in, where you can’t even call a male a “he” anymore.;

No need for extremes
Reply to  BRAVO
January 16, 2023 11:37 am

Just because we have the woke liberal movement that is too pc, it does not mean we have to be like conservatives or act like outright bullies just to prove they’re not a snowflake. You can still be kind or understanding .

Think about others
Reply to  really????!
January 16, 2023 10:40 am

I’m sure you don’t have a lot friends then 🙂
Nobody wants people in their life that are not kind or considerate and they only care about themselves!
Good luck with your attitude

three categories of topics
Reply to  really????!
January 16, 2023 6:13 pm

There are three basic categories of topics that people talk about:

  • ideas
  • events and objects
  • people

Talking about ideas can promote spiritual and intellectual growth. Did you hear a great Chassidus lecture? Give over a few of the ideas that inspired you.

Talking about events and objects is usually pareve and can be a great way to share information. “Did you hear a free crafts class is being offered at location x?”

Talking about people can easily veer into loshon hora, or hurt feelings.

And for some of us
January 15, 2023 2:54 pm

It makes us feel happy and we enjoy the compliment. Sorry you don’t speak for us all.

It shouldn't be
Reply to  And for some of us
January 15, 2023 5:43 pm

That is an issue in and of itself. It’s a problem that it is considered a “compliment.” You are mistaken if you think that’s true happiness.
I hope you don’t judge yourself based on a number on the scale or what size clothing you wear or what people say. Imagine if the Baal Shem Tov or the Alter Rebbe based their self-worth on what people said…chassidism wouldn’t have survived…

Reply to  It shouldn't be
January 16, 2023 6:51 am

And imagine if we lived in a world where no one ever complimented each other on their accomplishments! Be it weight loss or whatever .

Reply to  And for some of us
January 15, 2023 6:07 pm

Some people worked very hard for it and it feels bad if nobody notices their effort. New clothes or hair gets a compliment but not something more meaningful?

Working hard for it
Reply to  Right
January 16, 2023 4:19 pm

And some people worked hard for it by restricting their intake to almost nothing.

If it makes you feel happy
Reply to  And for some of us
January 15, 2023 7:32 pm

Maybe you should be the one to bring it up. It will let people know that you are excited about it and they will be happy to give you more compliments.
I don’t think it’s socially appropriate to comment on someone’s weight in any scenario, save for a doctor.

Loss outweighs gain
Reply to  And for some of us
January 15, 2023 8:55 pm

Find happiness from other places. Why is it normal to comment on other people’s body weight? The whole mentality has to stop.

Reply to  Loss outweighs gain
January 16, 2023 6:54 am

Why is any compliment normal? Because (it used to be) that it made the person feel fantastic

Sensitive to each other
January 15, 2023 3:03 pm

Please try to be kind we never know what others may be dealing with

with the old breed
January 15, 2023 3:36 pm


I joined the large Chabad community that is doing OA the 12 step program, I am very happy with it, lost all the weight and love life

Reply to  with the old breed
January 16, 2023 6:56 am

You must look amazing, but I promise I won’t tell you…
This whole thing is as ridiculous as everything (woke) else today!!!

January 15, 2023 3:50 pm

People need to stop commenting on weight. Period.
People struggle every day over weight and it’s not your business.
Even when you think you’re giving a compliment because they lost weight, the minute they gain weight they know you’re watching. And are disapproving.
Just stop any conversation about weight.
Those days are long behind us.
Today we know that people struggle.
Today we know that eating disorders are horrendously common and deadly.
Thank you for writing this.
I’m sorry for your painful illness, I wish you Refuah.

I could have written this!
January 15, 2023 3:58 pm

I’m literally going through the exact same experience. I’ve lost 15 pounds bc I’ve been suffering from depression and can’t bring myself to eat. I’m constantly getting compliments and although I’m feeling a little better, I’m also afraid to eat.

Of course people only have good intentions when they tell you that you look great but sometimes it is bc of a health issue.

I try to just appreciate the compliment but it has definitely created a fear of food.

Thank you for writing this.

Be careful
Reply to  I could have written this!
January 16, 2023 4:21 pm

Please make sure you are getting treated for this problem. Don’t let yourself be sucked into the world of eating disorders. I’m in touch with hundreds of people like myself who will probably die to try to keep their weight down.

January 15, 2023 5:04 pm

The same way it’s insensitive to tell someone they’re fat, it’s also insensitive to tell someone they’re skinny.
Whichever the case, trust me: THEY KNOW. they literally have a mirror and u commenting are making them self conscious.
Best advice I heard is don’t tell someone what they can see in the mirror. Acne? Oily hair? Weight? Height? Frizz? Etc etc. Just be quiet and talk about all the other pressing issues in lubavitch, there are plenty.

Lifelong struggle
January 15, 2023 5:07 pm

I’ve had so many times where I thought I was over my eating disorder and that it was in my past and than the cycle would start again.

More than a body
January 15, 2023 5:39 pm

As yidden, we need to remember that we are more than a physical body! We need to stop judging others based on their looks, and focus on the person and their middos. Those that claim that it’s out of concern for physical health, don’t always realize that may be at the expense of a person’s emotional and spiritual well-being. We need to stop glorifying skinny, and express more concern for a person’s OVERALL health and well-being. To the OP, I am so sorry for what you have been going through. May Hashem give you spiritual, physical, and emotional health, and… Read more »

Reply to  More than a body
January 16, 2023 7:03 am

Nobody is judging! For heavens sake, you can’t even comment anymore on what I might think is a compliment! People wake up! Get real, don’t you realize how your falling for this latest insane trend where every word has to be calculated for it’s appropriateness according to the latest by ridiculousness

And maybe
Reply to  Nobody
January 16, 2023 12:01 pm

No disrespect, but could it be that you’re falling for the opposite trend,the ultra right wing conservative movement

Part of the problem
January 15, 2023 5:44 pm

The focus on looking skinny instead of being stronger. You can lose weight by eating poorly but you can’t be athletic by eating poorly. You have to do many of the right things including exercise and healthy food that fuels the body properly

partially agree
January 15, 2023 6:06 pm

the same way that’s it’s not ok to assume that a woman who is overweight is pregnant and ask when she is due…..but most people are just trying to be nice and make conversation

Reply to  partially agree
January 16, 2023 7:05 am


Ok here's how to do it
January 15, 2023 6:26 pm

If you know that someone has a weight loss goal and plan and keeping everyone up to date of progress THEN you should give a compliment to show that you notice the hard work it took to reach the goal. But if they just happen to lose weight without giving a reason then you have to be careful. It’s just like pregnancy…if they don’t tell you that they’re pregnant, don’t assume anything and wish all kinds of things that’ll sound horrible if you are completely wrong

Chaim H
January 15, 2023 6:54 pm

Refuah Shlemah.
I hear you, you make several good points.
That said. STOP making people second guess a compliment. Someone gives you a compliment, they are doing so from the goodness of their heart, just say thank you and move on.

Every woke, turns to …..

Thank you for writing
January 15, 2023 6:59 pm

Thank you for writing this and opening our eyes to be more sensitive to others!
From experience with family member, some anti depressants can decrease appetite and make people loose weight. I’m sure people don’t want to be complimented on that type of weight loss either. We need to some concentrating on people’s weight and think about their feelings.
May we have the Geula Now and be healed from all ailments!

Chaim H
January 15, 2023 7:04 pm

Stop wishing me a happy birthday, I’m going through a midlife crises. 🙄

Happy birthday
Reply to  Chaim H
January 16, 2023 7:07 am


Happy mildlife crisi..
Reply to  Chaim H
January 16, 2023 7:18 pm

Oh wait

January 15, 2023 7:13 pm

When my mother was sick taking chemo she got complimented anywhere she went how good she looked losing weight. You can imagine how she felt going home and breaking down. Compliment a person on them, not their body image you have no clue what’s going on in peoples life.
There are people overweight not from over eating but from hormones, nursing, medications…. DONT COMMENT S PERSON ON THEIR WIEGHT EVEN IF YOU THINK ITS A COMPLIMENT. And your children are watching what you value too!!!

It's Not About PC
January 15, 2023 7:30 pm

it’s about common courtesy. There are many other ways to give compliments – just tell someone how happy you are to see them! Or, if you must compliment someone’s appearance, tell them you like their dress of the color of her blouse or new glasses. That way you are complimenting their taste – not their looks.

p.s. thanks to this author for the article, and wishing you peace and happiness. Many hurtful things are not said with intent to hurt or pry. We all just need to talk less and think more.

Reply to  It's Not About PC
January 16, 2023 7:14 am

Why is it so difficult grasp that when a person loses weight therefore looks better, that they are being complemented out of the goodness of the person‘s heart, without the slightest intent of hurting the person. I have a child with an eating disorder who therefore lost a lot of weight and feels like in seventh heaven every time someone comments on her weight loss. People or people are making a huge Mountain out of a tiny little mole hill, As it is absolutely ridiculous

Reply to  Why
January 16, 2023 4:25 pm

You have a daughter with an eating disorder and you think it is good that people are complimenting her weight loss!?!?!?!?
This is so shocking I don’t know what to say.

Genuinely do not understand
Reply to  Why
January 16, 2023 5:22 pm

Trying to figure out if this is sarcastic or not. You chil has an eating disorder and you’re HAPPY that she’s happy when she’s receiving compliments on her weight? If you don’t realize what an actual issue this is then I have no words. None.

Not sure
Reply to  Why
January 16, 2023 10:52 pm

Not sure if this is sarcasm. If it’s not please please I beg you get guidance. I have a daughter with an eating disorder, these comments are encouraging eating disorder thoughts.
Eating disorder are not a joke, it is hell for the person and hell for the family.

Texas proud
January 15, 2023 7:44 pm

Great to hear you are doing well but it is a shame that you can not take a compliment.

January 15, 2023 8:53 pm

Dear Fed Up With The Compliments,
I’m so sorry you are going through all this, people should not be commenting on your weight. I stand with you. You definitely looked better when you were 30 pounds fatter! Dont let anybody convince you otherwise.
Much love,
Friend of fed up with the compliments

Reply to  Friend
January 16, 2023 4:26 pm

LOL (said in a light tone) ….. don’t say 30 pounds fatter, say back to your previous weight or something like that. LOL

Very important topic!
January 15, 2023 9:02 pm

If someone wants acknowledgement that they lost weight, they can ask for it. There have been people who have asked me if I noticed they lost weight and I told them honestly, I’m not paying attention to your weight. It’s really no one else’s business.

Weight issue
Reply to  Very important topic!
January 16, 2023 7:17 am

I have a constant weight issue and will never ever ask someone if they noticed that I lost weight. But I am elated when someone notices it. To me it shows the person cares enough to have noticed

Wow, brilliant, thank you!
January 15, 2023 9:24 pm

I never thought of it like that, thank you so much for this perspective. You are perfect exactly as you are. I learned about self love as a teenager and it is one of the most important things I ever learned abcs it’s stayed with throughout life. It taught to love yourself, be kind and loving to yourself, be a friend to yourself and definitely be your own biggest fan and supporter. Because you deserve it! 🙂 XO

Thank You soooooo much !!
January 15, 2023 10:03 pm

I am so bothered with how appearance on the outside is how we are typically judged, as opposed to the person inside.
Thank you soooo much for writing this article, as I completely get it and wish I was not judged by my weight but rather by who I really am.

Not a good feeling
January 15, 2023 11:43 pm

Also when ppl go on about how much better you look it’s like receiving the other side of the coin – oh great- did you really think I looked so awful before?

Don't tell me I look happy!
January 16, 2023 12:09 am

Don’t comment that I look happy.

I drink. A lot!

And I struggle with drinking.

Sure it makes me happy but don’t encourage that happiness.

Reply to  Don't tell me I look happy!
January 16, 2023 4:28 pm

That is so difficult!

Not Pregnant
January 16, 2023 9:29 am

Please DON’T tell us how excited you are that we are pregnant and don’t ask when we are due!

We are NOT!


Not pregnant
Reply to  Not Pregnant
January 16, 2023 4:29 pm

I’ve had questions about my being pregnant starting as a teen and continues until today. I try to embarrass the other person by saying “I’m not pregnant – I’m just fat”

January 16, 2023 11:20 am

I council people on weight loss. The majority of them losing weight are spurred on by people’s comments and flourish by them. It like a kid struggling with math and they get an A on a test. If no one acknowledges there hard work they might just give up trying. I understand that another childs grades might improve because the have been released from an abusive home and that means their grades always could have been good but understand that isn’t a format to cancel out everyone elses achievements. The same is true for weight loss, are you at a… Read more »

Reply to  Councilor
January 16, 2023 3:07 pm


Just wondering.....
January 16, 2023 4:16 pm

I gained 40 lbs in the last 6 months. Why is no one coming over to me to tell me how fat I look?
The answer is that we don’t comment on other people’s bodies. Read appropriate comments by the original poster.
(Yes, “out of control” me wants to starve myself now. This is not the problem of any of the commenters, and I am already set to be dealing with it, BUT how many people like me are there out there?)

Completely agree
January 16, 2023 6:21 pm

I’m so sick of it, you don’t know anyone’s personal story and why they look the way they do. It’s so uncomfortable to get these comments

For everyone
January 16, 2023 7:29 pm

Stop being a typical stressed “new yorker” and make a decision in your mind to become happier in life. Look at all the jewish people like you would look and care for your closest family or group of close friend. Therefore, Dont let the first thought about someone else’s interaction with you, may it be speach or deed, sink in negatively in you, example” “he/she is trying to make me feel bad” “why is he being rude at me like that” Rather, give people the chance and judge favourabily (“is trying to be nice / “that person didn’t say hi… Read more »

From the author of this oped
January 17, 2023 12:56 pm

I just want to clarify that I am very well aware that people are just trying to be friendly/nice/make conversation, and I do appreciate the thought behind it. At the same time, being that you have no idea what the other person went through, try to be sensitive with your comments, and don’t leave the person needing to explain themselves. I’ve been grilled from so many people on what exactly I did and how I did it – and it’s quite uncomfortable. In general, sensitivity is a nice thing to have no matter what the conversation is about. Just think… Read more »

to everyone who this is relavent to:
January 17, 2023 4:58 pm

Hashem loves you and doesn’t care about how much you weigh! He just wants you to be healthy! Just eat a healthy diet. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks about the way you look except Hashem. He just wants you to observe His Torah and be a good person. He doesn’t care about how ‘good’ aesthetically you look in the eyes of others. Sometimes I have noticed personally that when I don’t have an appetite it is because the food in my house isn’t healthy enough so I feel repulsed by it. So then I just buy healthier food.… Read more »

be careful not to get nutrient deficient
January 18, 2023 11:50 am

make sure to eat enough because the symptoms of nutrient, vitamin and mineral deficiencies are really a problem that can be easily avoided. If you aren’t aware of what the symptoms are search online for:
b12 deficiency symptoms

vitamin deficiency symptoms
nutrient deficiencies.