Please Don’t Comment On My Weight Loss Goals


I’ve recently started following a new weight loss program as part of my never-ending endeavor to better myself. I’ve got a myriad of reasons for wanting to lose some weight, including things like health benefits (I am hoping some weight loss will reduce my need for high blood pressure medication), fitness gains (excess weight definitely makes running more challenging), and if I’m being honest, for general vanity purposes, too. I like the program I’ve chosen because it seems realistic for my current season of life and I’m not restricting entire food groups. It’s a well thought out and reasonable plan, and I hope that will translate toward long-term lifestyle changes and ultimately, long-term success.

weight loss

A few days into following my new program, I found myself engaged in a conversation with another woman about what I was doing. Her immediate response to me was:

“But you work out all the time and you’re so toned and healthy! You don’t need to lose weight.”

While I believe her comments were well-intended, they were the absolute last thing I needed to hear in that moment. Starting (and sticking to) a weight loss program is hard work! Especially in the beginning, as you work to form new habits, you absolutely don’t need someone to give you an excuse to quit when things get hard. During the course of this conversation, I found myself having to both defend my choices and remind myself through my own internal monologue of my reasons for making these healthy changes. Luckily for me, my “why” was big enough that I could ultimately brush these comments off and carry on.

But what if it wasn’t? What if I had already been considering throwing in the towel? Would that have been enough to cause me (or perhaps, allow me) to give up?

We should all remember that some topics are better left alone, and unsolicited advice about another woman’s weight or dietary choices definitely fall into that category. If you have a friend or family member who is trying to lose weight and you aren’t sure what, if anything, to say to her about her journey, consider saying nothing at all. If she engages you in a conversation about her goals, just choose to be supportive and encouraging. Tell her that you know she can do anything she puts her mind to doing and that you can’t wait to watch her crush her goals. Ask her how you can help. But please, don’t tell her that she doesn’t need to lose weight.

The old adage holds true in this case – if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.  Even if your intention is to give a compliment when you tell another woman that she doesn’t need to lose weight, just remember my perspective. Your “compliment” may not be helpful at all in this situation.