What Not to say to someone going through weight change

What Not to say to someone going through weight change


I know I speak without filter sometimes, a perk of mine, and as I presume, many others as well. Needless to say, somethings shouldn’t require filter to not be said, common sense should suffice.

If you’ve ever gone through a weight change, either weight loss or weight gain, for whatever reason, then you’ve probably also been a victim of what I’m about to say.

It is so NOT COOL to greet anyone with the statement- you have lost/ gained weight. That is not a greeting; whatever happened to good morning, hi, or even hello. And when you do say it unintentionally (I’m giving the benefit of doubt here), please don’t utter those words as if you’re saying snort or something disgusting.

That being said, now to the main reason I am writing this post. To anyone who knows anyone who is going through a weight change, please (talking from experience here), one of the worst things you can say to them is- “you looked more beautiful before you lost/gained weight“. Because firstly, it is none of your business and secondly, it is none of your business.

You do not get to decide when a person does or does not look beautiful. You have no idea the reason behind the weight change or the effort put towards it. And also because by saying that, you’re endorsing the “ridiculousness” that beauty is measured in scales which is absurd in itself. 

I hope this doesn’t sound as one of those angst rant but rather something tangible. What are some of the worst things you’ve been told or heard, with regards to weight change? 

The above image is courtesy of Cranky fat feminist.

17 thoughts on “What Not to say to someone going through weight change

  1. I was always obese, then lost a vast amount of weight in just over a year. My mother hadn’t seen my ‘new look’. Here are some of her precious dillies:

    My narcissistic mother:
    -I remember when you couldn’t even tie your shoes without sitting down
    -Your face looks so much thinner now ( was I ugly before)
    -I always kept telling your dad, ‘when will she lose all of that weight’
    -I bet hubby’s happy
    -I like that you’re choosing salads now
    -isn’t it nice fitting into smaller clothes

    To note: my mother emotionally abused me from an early age, told me I was fat, every day reminding me of my imperfect body image. This woman drove me to be obese in the first place with her cruel words and lack of empathy. 3 words would have helped. You Look Fantastic (a narcissist doesn’t have it in them)

    Thanks for posting this, it’s important. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and share your two cents. No one should ever have to grow up living and hearing unkindly words especially with regards to body image. I think a lot of people do not understand the extent to which these words could cause damage especially when said to young one. It is your body and you get yo decide what to do with it! Thanks for sharing again. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for this post!! Glad I’m not the only one 🙂 So the worst thing I’ve heard in regards to weight gain was just recently when I overheard my younger sister mentioning how ‘it was great that she could share wardrobes and swap clothes with our oldest sister (not me) as they were the same size.’ There was no mention that half of my clothes are actually in her size and that she’s probably borrowed my clothes ten times more than she has from our older sister. I was absolutely crushed, still am actually…

    I have two sisters, and while I’m no longer as skinny as them, I once used to be (but I put on weight during college.) It annoys me because I’m actually the healthier one but you wouldn’t know it as I’m about 5-7 kilos heavier. I’m proud to say that I eat well and fuel my body with all the right foods and I also go to the gym four times a week and walk about 7ks with my dog on my ‘off days’. I love how fit I am. My sisters eat hardly anything in a bid to keep themselves skinny and we were worried once that one was anorexic and the other bulimic.

    To explain a bit… my sisters hover around the 58kg/127Ibs mark, while I’m 65kg/143Ibs. I’d love to be back at my pre-college weight of 60kg/132Ibs but I want to reach that in a healthy and realistic way, which I think I’m doing and I’m super proud that I haven’t started starving myself!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One of the worst thing is the same person telling me I gained weigh everytime we met in a two week span. Seriously! I heard you the first loud and freaky clear. I remember one guy told me I looked like a Coca-Cola and now I look a Vista soft drink but I am still beautiful….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In our culture it is very common for people to comment on your weight. They will either say, hey you look big you must be doing well, or you look small is something the matter. It’s just part of normal meet and greet chatter and it shows that the other person is interested in your welfare and you just say the same to them. I guess we just don’t take weight issues too seriously here. It is nice to hear it from another perspective. Looking at the comments it seems there are mean people out there in your side of the world though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for sharing that cultural difference JoyFrida. Indeed in many parts of Africa, putting on weight is considered as things going well in your life, while losing weight is more like something is the matter. It is indeed someone showing interest in your welfare. However, nowadays people are starting to copy Western standards, and things are changing a little it is starting to change.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hii, Dr Y. Yeah, most parts of Africa are all for “weight gain”. My issue is when people have a problem with not being big. Just as the westerners look down on big people, I am not sure if you realise it, the slim ones get poked at a lot here and that’s not cool too.


      2. I am not sure they have an issue with “not being big”. People come in all shades, and weights even in Africa. Actually nowadays, people look at skinny (not super skinny as in Europe, so say slim) women as beautiful or the norm because we are influenced by the western standards seen on TV, and also because we now see it as a bit more ‘healthy;.


      3. Which is one aspect of culture adoption that I am not particularly excited about. When it comes to me being extra careful about what to comment about a persons well-being I feel constricted. I also understand there is a difference between being mean and genuinely concerned. But that line is growing thinner by the day.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes… I agree… I try to see the person as a whole, and not their weight. Because we all go through phases. Some when stressed put on weight, others lose it; some go through teenage years and grow more ‘full’ in adult years,… these are all changes which are not all bad, but are phases, and should be respected. Just caring for one another is important, and you are right, that there is a fine line which is growing thinner by the day.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Joy, 😄 ohhh trust me I know. Nigerians, have it twisted backwards. Everything is great when you gain weight, but losing weight is not okay. I didn’t realize it till I lost weight, oh Lord. I generally don’t mind it, when people ask is anything the matter. But a lot of times, the reactions is- oh, so you want to slim to fashion now (in a jeering manner) and especially when someone says “you looked beautiful before”, I so take offense.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😂😂😂😂, we truly do not know subtlety. I saw quote recently- “being a Nigerian is abysmally frustrating and unbelievably exciting”. I’m like it is right on point 👌

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Very relatable post Sis. I am going though this weight change phase and all these comments/concerns I face regularly, sometimes it is annoying , Thanks to Allah to have a supporting husband who shut down all the doubting voices in my head .Thank you for this educational post !


  6. Haha I knew exactly what you were going to say before I read this. A close second is this one, “Are you STILL working out???” It bothers me because I never know if they mean it like girl you can’t possibly be still working out, or girl you look great, are you still working out?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s