If you have been working hard trying to lose weight or stepping up your exercise then you will most likely be seeing the benefits, and soon others will notice too. It is a great feeling when someone pays you a compliment, but it can also feel a little awkward and embarrassing knowing how to respond. We don’t want to seem conceited or big headed agreeing with them (even if we do agree). Some of us simply feel we don’t deserve praise, and we try deflecting kind words, dismiss it, or play down our efforts. But imagine if we didn’t dismiss compliments but embraced them? How can you celebrate the success of your healthy lifestyle without feeling embarrassed or arrogant?
Let people who love you, make you feel good.
At some point in your weight loss journey your friends and family are going to start noticing the difference in you and your body. And because these people love you they will want you to know that they have noticed, that your hard work is paying off, and they are proud of you, and they will pay you nice compliments. And not just your friends and family, your work colleagues, neighbours, the man in the shop, the woman at your Pilates class that you hardly know, they will notice and more than likely at some point pay you a compliment.
I have never been very good at taking compliments, not just about my weight loss, but about anything. During and in the months and even years after my weight loss journey I received lots of nice comments as people noticed the difference. It felt good when people noticed, but it was also embarrassing and awkward. I would never know what to say, so I would usually try underplaying it and say things like: “oh no, only a bit really” or “a little bit, but I have got loads left to loose”.
But then I realised, I hated it when other people did that. If I was paying someone a compliment then I wanted them to enjoy it, I wanted them to feel good. Think how, why and when you give others compliments. Is it because you expect something in return? Are you lying to be mean? Or do you just want them to feel good? So I started trying not to dismiss people’s compliments, and embrace them instead. Remember when someone gives you a compliment they are wanting you to feel good about yourself, because knowing you feel good will in return make them feel good. Dismissing their compliments denies them that positive feeling.
Take it like a gift.
So how did I learn to take compliments? Well a wise friend of mine once told to me think of a compliment like a gift. As that is what a compliment is, it is a gift. It is something given willingly without payment or expectation, given to make you feel better, or mark an achievement. It would be rude to dismiss a present somebody gave you, you wouldn’t throw it aside, or feel embarrassed, you wouldn’t say: I don’t deserve this gift take it back. When someone gives you a gift you thank them, you appreciate it, be grateful and enjoy it. The same should be true of a compliment. Don’t feel ashamed, don’t feel embarrassed, don’t feel that this person is trying to mock you. They want you to feel better, they want you to be happy and feel good about yourself.
So here is a few things you can say to gracefully accept a compliment about your weight loss:
- Thank you, I appreciate that you have noticed
- Thank you, that means a lot to me
- Thank you, that makes me feel really good about myself
- Thank you, I have been trying to eat healthier and I feel a lot better for it
- Thank you, that is a really nice thing for you to say
- Than you, I am glad you noticed, I feel a lot better for it
- Thank you, I have tried really hard so it helps when people notice
- Thank you, I actually I have really enjoyed eating better and getting more active, I am glad the difference is noticeable
Sometimes you might want to share your gift by acknowledging other peoples part in earning it. You might say: “thank you for noticing, yes I have lost a bit of weight, my partner has been a real support with cooking healthy meals, and my friends are great as we all go walking together”. No deflection, no denial, but not all about you. You can share your success and celebrate the contribution of people around you. If you not sure what should be the natural and honest response to a compliment, try complimenting a child. Kids don’t dismiss praise and kind words. They lap it up, they smile and let it boost their self esteem and confidence.
Sometimes you may even want to give yourself a gift; pay yourself a compliment. Complimenting yourself is a great way to boost your self-confidence. There is nothing narcissistic, or obnoxious or conceited about telling yourself how awesome you are, or even telling other people how awesome you feel. If you have worked hard to lose weight or make changes to your body, then why wait for the compliments, share it with others, share your happiness and your achievements.
Once you get comfortable taking other peoples compliments, and even complimenting yourself, you will feel so much better. You will have much more confidence, higher self-esteem, people may even like you more. That might sound crazy, but it its true, we are drawn to happy, confident people, we feel safe and comfortable around them. You may even become your own little ambassador for success, and who knows, you might just become someone else’s inspiration.
Anyone who knows me, or anyone who knows anyone who knows me, can’t have missed that I was in Women’s Health Magazine this month. They interviewed me for their real life weight loss feature. I was so honoured getting an opportunity to tell the world about my personal weight loss journey and my incredible body transformation. I was so honoured to be asked, and going to London for the shoot was a fantastic experience.
They wanted to talk to me about my weight loss journey and how I went from not daring to enter a gym to becoming a qualified personal trainer and running my own fitness studio. My life couldn’t be much more different to what it was 8 years ago. I am very proud of what I achieved, and I love to share my story with others. I am not trying to gloat, and I don’t tell people because I think my story is more special than any other weight loss journey. The reason I love to share my experience is the hope that in some teeny tiny way it might inspire someone else. If I thought that hearing my story inspired even one person to make a change I would burst with excitement.
Anyway, the photo shoot was back in November, so I have waited excitedly for 4 months to see the finished thing. In that time I have gleefully told anyone and everyone all about going to London and getting pampered, and how proud I was to share my story. Safe to say by the time it came out there was a few people waiting to see it.
I have been so touched and moved by how many people have gone out and bought a copy of this month’s Women’s Health magazine to see me in there. I have been even more touched by some of the feedback and lovely comments. I was with my friend Nic when I first saw it and we both practically screeched in excitement! She gave me a big high five and said; “you look amazing, your waist looks tiny”. My immediate response to this lovely comment: “no way- I think they must have photo-shopped it”. I dismissed her lovely comments just like that. So I stopped, took stock and corrected myself; “thanks babe, I appreciate that, I worked hard for the shoot”. Immediately I felt better. I did work hard and I should get to enjoy the benefits of my hard work. So should you.
I am Jennie, founder of set U free fitness, and Weight Watchers leader in Leeds. I lost 7 stone with Weight Watchers and transformed by body through exercise. I always dreamt that life after goal would be easier, but the reality is- it’s not. This personal blog is my ongoing journey to stay healthy and happy. It is a collection of my thoughts, tips, lessons learnt and mistakes made in trying to create a balanced healthy lifestyle that I can follow for life. I always love to hear your thoughts, and hear from people undergoing similar journeys, so please comment or get in touch.