Coming from a Coach’s perspective…
“WOW”, you lost so much weight!
“You are so skinny!”
“What are you doing? You lost so much weight.”
“You should be so skinny because you are fitness instructor.”
“I need to be on the diet that you are on.”
I think we all have been either told one of these or have said it ourselves to someone else. Now, before I dive in, please understand that we always have the right intention when we tell someone they look great because they lost weight! Or, looked at a photo where we were our skinniest and made a comment on that is when we looked our best. In no means, is this blog to shame you for complimenting someone by commenting on how skinny they are.
I blame society and social media on how we perceive beauty. It is around us constantly. Glamour, money, weight-loss adds are always portrayed by a “Skinny” person. You never are going to see a woman pasted on a billboard 20 lbs. overweight advertising weight-loss pills and/or fads. They are always half-dressed, size 6 and physically beautiful!
First off, being a fitness instructor means that I am in the service industry. I serve others. I have to put myself aside to properly serve my clients and their needs. In addition to this, I am not just an instructor, but also a business owner. I’m not going to list out all of the in/outs of running your own business, but I will say that time is never on my side. My whole life revolves around the times and needs of my members, and because of the nature of the classes that I teach, I can’t just join my clients in class and teach all at the same time. I need to be visually aware and present to give correctional cues, to physically adjust their body, and to keep them safe. So “being skinny because I work out all the time” does not actually pertain to me. I still have to find time to workout myself just like everyone else with or without a job.
My favorite is when social media reminds me of my past memories through photos. As nice as it is (kinda like going down memory lane) to see these memories, it amazes me some of the “compliments” come after sharing the photos time and time again. “WOW…look how great you looked!” and/or “What diet were you on? You looked fabulous”. I know the intentions were good however what they don’t see in that photograph is the lack of muscle on my body because of my endless need to do cardio to “lose weight”. The gaunt under my eyes from the lack of nutrients for the fear of gaining weight. In general, the insecurities I had about the way I looked that ultimately turned into a eating disorder. It seemed the more someone complimented me about looking good, the more I didn’t eat just to continue the facade.
I don’t expect anyone to know the issues that were underlying and they are just trying to give me a compliment. As much as I appreciate their intentions, it just reminds me that it’s those kind of compliments that imprisoned me in my way of thinking.
Eating and exercising correctly is something to master. It is an important part of life in order to maintain a healthy body and mind. No doubt and I have built my career based off of the importance of it. Your mind, muscles, and emotional state will thank you for it! However, having the goal to be “skinny” needs to be thrown out. Start looking at your body as a temple. Strive to be strong emotionally and physically.
For those who want to be kind and compliment someone….try these for a fit:
“WOW, you look extremely healthy and happy!”
“You look incredibly strong.”
“I am impressed with your dedication.”
Because, honestly, you do not know why they are losing weight. Someone could be battling a disorder, health problems, or even depression. There is so much more to life, to a healthy life, than pounds or inches. And to understand that is where the small, little progressions are made. It is those small changes that with the time, tend to change behavior, therefore leave more impact and more impressionable results to a positive life.