Don’t assume anything -
It just makes and ASS out of U and ME!
In todays society a lot of pressure is placed on how we LOOK!
Who actually determines what “looks good” anyway?
Everyone is different - body types, genetics, skeletal structures, personalities and goals!
We are made to think that drastic weight loss is a great thing - and don’t get me wrong in some cases if that is what we have been working for then yiew good on you!
Sometimes it can be a result of something much different.
A while back I stumbled across a Girls gone strong post similar to this. You know when you are in a gym routine, you go the same days and same times and you start to recognise people who are on the same schedule as you.
This article described two ladies that did the usual hello how are you head nod in the change room / gym floor. One said lady had not been seen for a while, once she returned she was a much smaller version of herself.
Lady 01 : "Hello I haven’t seen you in ages, you are half your size what’s your secret I want in on that?"
Lady 02 : "My husband left me and I haven’t slept well and barely eaten in 3 weeks."
At first I thought, hmm ok this may be fabricated for blog purposes, until I was actually a part of a similar situation.
Before starting a class a few of us were chatting, two ladies hadn’t been in the gym for a while. Being a tight community that we are we see each other regularly and communicate often before and after class.
On this occasion
Lady 01 - "My gosh ……. You look incredible, look how skinny you are, oh how I wish I could lose that much weight. What have you been doing I need a dose of that?"
Lady 02 - "My Dad died! I haven’t had the appetite to eat anything while arranging funeral plans."
We all stood there bewildered as to what to actually say next.
Moral of the story if you don’t know the whole story please consider your choice of words.
I was put into a similar situation last week - returning to a school where I had previously taught boxing sessions late last year I ran into the teacher who back then was looking into getting some PT, it was out of my usual service area so I gave some advice as to what might benefit her goal and some people to reach out to if they could fit her work schedule in.
Anyway upon this reunion she did look completely different, new hair, no glasses and had significantly lost weight.
Now I only half knew her story - I knew she was looking at wanting to lose some weight a few months back, I could see she had - BUT I didn’t know the story of how?
Instead of purely focusing on her appearance I simply mentioned - Wow didn’t recognise you without your glasses and a huge new smile on our face, it’s been a while what’s changed with you?
I could visibly see what had changed, but in the act of asking her “What has changed with you?” gives her an outlet to tell me or not tell me the story.
She could have just said, glasses or hair.. But her response left me so happy.
Oh I took up your advice and i’ve started weight training with a trainer, i’ve never felt better. I’m in a routine and sticking to it.
If someone has been working towards something and are proud of it they’ll tell you, they’ll want to share it.
All I'm asking is to just be mindful of a person's situation, dramatic weight loss obviously means something in their life has changed and that may not always be a positive thing. Themselves or someone in their family could be ill or have passed away, something could have increased their stress dramatically, something is causing them to lose sleep which would affect all areas of their life.
A simple rephrase from - “wow you look amazing!” Statement purely focused on a person’s aesthetics which they may or may not be striving for
To “what has changed with you?” Open Question that leads them to tell you what story they have.
This can also work on the other end of the spectrum if someone has gained some weight, either way something has changed for them.
Let’s all just be mindful of how we talk to ourselves and each other!
Let's not purely focus on how someone looks!
If you don’t know someones story, watch the words you use around them and to them.
Until next time