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Strange (un)Supportive Comments?

I just had a strange conversation with a co-worker.

She brought up the weight I had lost and I said I was starting to feel a little top-heavy because the weight isn't coming off proportionally. She said "and that sweater isn't helping either. You should get a better bra too." Now, I don't know this woman well enough to be discussing bras with her and I'm doing my best to not take her comments negatively. I'm trying to be amused by it because, seriously, who says that?

Has anyone else had weird exchanges like this?

Wed. Mar 1, 10:38am

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I love this topic idea!

I am currently losing my pregnancy weight, but BEFORE becoming pregnant, I had successfully maintained a 40 pound weight loss for 2 years. So, now that I'm trying to lose the weight again, I've had several family members, friends and coworkers tell me that they hope I don't get as low as I did the first time because I looked TERRIBLE. Some people have even told me they thought I was anorexic (which I wasn't).

It makes me wonder...why didn't they say something to me at the time?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 11:10 AM

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I notice that a lot of the comments I have received come from people like my grandmothers. I don't know if that is everyone's experience, but my grandmother is always making comments about people's weight. She is nice enough not to put them directly at me, but I have heard her make comments about other people, especially my mother.

A few months after my baby was born we went out to eat with my husband's grandmother, who I might add is overweight herself. As I was stuffing my face with a piece of chocolate cake, she happened to mention, "I sure do hope you get down to the weight you used to be at, you sure were beautiful." I said, "So do I, but I don't make comments like that when people are stuffing their faces full of chocolate cake." She said, "That's the best time."

I mean, do I really want someone commenting about my weight in front of my husband - again?

Another one for you... I was out exercising one day - walking in my neighborhood - and found a big, long tree branch that I wanted to use for Halloween decorations. The sidewalk is across the street from my house, as I neared the house I crossed the street where I normally do. There was a plumbing truck parked in the street at the house next door, and I walked very close to it to avoid being in the street as much as possible. I accidentally swiped the side of the van with the long branch I was carrying.

The guy got out of the van and made a comment to me about how it must have been too much exercise for me to walk further down so I wouldn't scratch his van.

That was in October - over 4 months ago, and it still hurts. And this was coming from a stranger.

It's amazing how long hurtful comments can stay with you. I know my mother is still battling demons from childhood.

You know what, screw 'em. (Excuse me.) There are plenty of positive people and things in this life.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 11:53 AM

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The plumbing company was David Gray Plumbing in Jacksonville, Fl.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 11:54 AM

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In college, one of my roommates mother said point blank "You've gained weight" She made dinner for all of us that day (a huge Mexican meal, lots of carbs) and filled up my plate. When I did not eat it all she then proceeded to tell me how rude I was for not eatng all of her food she cooked. This is after telling me I've gained weight, do you believe this woman? I then understood why her daughter, my roommate as CRAZY.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 12:48 PM

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Oh, My grandmother was just like that. The moment I stepped in the house it was, "Eat, eeaatt, eeeeeeeat more!" Interspersed with running commentary about how I really needed to lose weight and become "sylphlike" to find a husband. I just figured her knowledge of biology was less than rudimentary.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 12:57 PM

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The people who make comments like that have huge issues of their being so unhappy that you need to bring other people down. Always remember that you cannot control other people, only your own reactions to them. So ignore them and feel pity for them and go about the business of making your life the best it can be. And then turn around and pay somebody a compliment or do something nice for someone else because it makes you feel better but don't waste your energy fretting about the mean things people can say.....unless it's your mother-in-law in which case you have to draw the line and tell her to keep her opinions about you to herself.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 1:26 PM

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My sister likes to give back handed compliments like when I went from 175 lbs to 160 lbs she said "Oh, you've lost weight. Good, because I was so worried about you." Worried about me? Why? It's not like I was so obese I was in danger of heart failure.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 1:37 PM

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My mother is horrible about saying just what she is thinking. I came home from bootcamp in the best shape of my life, totally proud of all I had accomplished. She told me I was anorexic and should see a doctor for my eating disorder. I mean really I just came from bootcamp, had a six pack, never once did eating disorder even become a possibility.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 2:06 PM

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I wouldn't take it too personally.... maybe she just saw the Oprah episode where the right bra can make you look tons better. Or maybe she just read an article about the same topic. Maybe you should treat yourself and get fitted for the right bra at Victoria's Secret or another upscale department store - where the sweater you were wearing and see if you see some difference. All your hard work may show off even better! Who knows!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 2:09 PM

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oh my gosh! what a b*tch! that is such a crappy thing to say to someone! she's possibly jealous of your success!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 2:13 PM

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It isn't about bringing other people down. People really are trying to be helpful in their own way. I don't get a lot of remarks about my weight, but I DO get well-intentioned advice from friends and total strangers about my EYEBROWS. Which are natural, but not bushy or very dark. Which is the way I like them.

Do I respond, "I decided to keep them this way because I think the way you wax yours looks RIDICULOUS?" No I don't, because THAT would be mean. I just think it. That way we can remain on good terms, each thinking that the other is a nice person with terrible fashion sense.

Apologies to anyone with skinny eyebrows reading this, of course.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 2:15 PM

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My family (ok, just mom and sis) scrutinize every bite I put in my mouth. Whenever I am around them I eat tons more than I usally do out of GUILT! (I'm the only one in the fam who has managed to lose weight and keep it off). My BF says he's never seen me eat so much as when I'm around them. I usually go on a diet before (and after) I go home for a visit.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 2:24 PM

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I'll be honest- a lot of people are clueless. They don't know how clothes are supposed to fit. Not accusing the poster here, but my best friends eyebrows are completely au natural, but she could use some tweezing of the strays. The paper thin or drawn on brows are terrible too, but please people, tweeze the strays!!! There is a happy medium! (End rant ;))

We grow so accustomed to how we look that we often either think we look great when we don't, or we don't realise how good we look. And usually, it's what we put on our bodies that we don't realise looks mediocre at best, and our bodies themselves that look better than we think.

Rather than a gut response of "who does she think she is??" Put aside any personal stuff and just evaluate what she said. Boobs should not be at your elbows regardless of their size. My mother is an H, and with her bra on, they're up where they belong. As for how the sweater fits- I never wear a sleeveless mockneck, I don't wear wide scoopnecks or crew necks. Boat or V. And I don't wear short sleeves. The shape of your clothes can affect the way your shape is viewed by others. This is why shows like what not to wear on TLC are so popular. When people are commenting on how you look, not what you are doing, actually consider what they're saying, and don't brush it off.

When they're giving a vague comment about weight or eating habits, ignore it.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 3:43 PM

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OP Here

My problem with what was said to me is the fact that this person is an acquaintance in a professional setting. Not a friend. Not hanging out in an informal setting. Had the same comment come from someone I am closer to (and hopefully put a *little* less bluntly) I would have been receptive to the critique. I do not care to talk about undergarments at work.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 3:54 PM

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I agree with the original poster, there is no excuse for a co-worker to mention undergarments to you. It is totally unprofessional and uncalled for.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 4:25 PM

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I had a neighbor say that before I lost weight she had never thought of me as an overweight person. Now, how am I supposed to take that? That was followed by, "Your boobs are getting smaller, aren't they?" Ugh. I've just learned that that's the type of person she is... She is generally a great person, just does too much of speaking her mind... Maybe your co-worker is like that.

Smile :) People are noticing that you're lookin' good!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 5:02 PM

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ya i get tired of ppl always asking if im 5'1 for christ sake im not going to weigh as much as most ppl!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 6:23 PM

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Usually if someone says a negative comment to you it is simply their lack of self esteem or issues they have with themselves. A good book to read is "The Four Agreements" .... it talks about not taking things personally and to know that it is the other persons issue, not yours. Take care.
Red :)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 7:54 PM

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I find the people who have something negitive to say are the ones who are jealous that your are losing weight and they are gaining. Besides looks are onlly skin deep it's what is inside that counts. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As long as you are happy to h.... with everyone else.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 9:16 PM

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this is mean but you can always say something like, "Hey, thanks for noticing my weight loss! How is yours coming along?"


Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 9:41 PM

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then when they say "Oh, I'm not on a diet". You can just say "Oh" and walk away!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 9:43 PM

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I'll go even further and add to the last comment. Or you can add to it that maybe they should think about starting one.

I have a little mean streak in me. People just don't think before they speak or they don't realize how it sounds to the other person. I'm sure it wasn't meant to be mean. I would never say anything to mean to a person, unless they said something worse.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006, 11:00 PM

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Yes, no talking about undergarments at work. I'm always astounded when people say things like this. Perhaps the best thing is just to say nothing, or say Hmmm, or really. From a man this would be sexual harrassment. I hope this person is not your boss. Good luck!

How do you like this - I'm almost 45, I'm at the opera with my parents, the curtain is going up after intermission, and my dad is asking me if I went to the restroom during the break! I said, "I'm almost 45, do you have to ask me about the bathroom?'

And then at the end of the show, my dad asks me if I have to go before we leave - loudly, during the applause. And my mother answers for me, "no, she doesn't have to go." Ok, maybe it's not totally on topic, but I'm still reeling from this. Can I please be a grownup now, Mom and Dad? Please?

Thursday, March 02, 2006, 6:18 AM

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devils advocate...

I understand where you are coming from however... You are the one that made the original comment of feeling top heavy. Not you co-worker. While her comment might not have been uplifting (no pun intended) She was giving her honest opinion.
I have noticed since I started losing, that my tops fit differently, as do my Bra's.
I have put on clothing only to look in the mirror and not like what I see, and wind up changing.
Put the same bra and sweater on and look in the mirror. What did she see that she was trying to tell you? I don't think she was trying to hurt your feelings, just trying to say something that would help you show off more of the weight you have lost. .... in my humble opinoin.

Thursday, March 02, 2006, 7:36 AM

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I agree that the OP did bring up the topic herself. I would be offended if a co-worker talked about my bra-fit randomly out of the blue, but if I'd already brought up the issue of how I felt my upper body was looking then it would be understandable.

I guess you could be offended. At the same time, imagine if you really are looking bad in some way that you haven't noticed but she has - wouldn't it be worse if she didn't tell you? I assume she didn't announce this in front of everyone else.

Anyway, I'm one of these people who intentionally loooks bad quite a lot of the time. I don't have money to continually spend on brow shapes and new clothes, or the time. I resent the person who demands that everyone should pluck stray brow hairs - I prefer to let mine grow out a little and then have them done at a salon. I couldn't care less what anyone thinks, and in my experience most people do not notice at all.

Thursday, March 02, 2006, 8:31 AM

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For the March 2, 6:18AM poster (re: comment at the opera)

I hear you on this. My stepdad makes inappropriate comments and I get really annoyed. My mom does it too. When we're having a big family gathering, she'll tell me (in front of everyone) to tell aunt whoever about what I'm working on. I get angry because I think she likes reliving/re-enacting her days of total control over me. It took me a while to realize this, sadly. (I'm almost 31.) So, for the longest time I would just do as I was told. Now I'm better about changing the subject. But I still need to tell her that I don't appreciate it. There's never a good time to raise these things out of context!

Thursday, March 02, 2006, 2:21 PM

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When I talk to my parents on the phone, my mother asks if I'm eating enough vegetables.

One, I'm almost 40.
Two, I'm a vegetarian!

Thursday, March 02, 2006, 2:41 PM

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Yes, Mom & Dad can be the worst offenders--They are the ones who still think of me as their "kid" even though i'm 38!!!

My mom has no qualms about telling me that I need to lose weight--"Your face was so much prettier when you were thinner", etc. or the kicker a few months ago--
"Dad told me when he visited you that you were starting to get fat again."

Gee... THANKS... that really boosted MY self-esteem... NOT!!!

ON top of that, she'll comment about my sister & brother (and how thin they are getting.. but say to me "don't say anything to them-- they are "sensitive") WHat about ME???? don't they know that I'M sensitive, too?????

Plus, she'll refuse to buy clothes for me in my current size, so everything is too small!

Sorry... I'm not fitting that mold....


I've gotten my revenge, though. I've bought myself a treadmill and started walking-- (which my mom doesn't understand-- because I'm doing it for "a cause" and that cause is not necessarily ME, but it's my motivation....)

I decided that I've had enough... I will CHOOSE to like my body, whether it's at my ideal weight or not. and I will not allow myself to be squashed by their comments... In the end, the person who will win this battle will be me. I will be more confident. I can and willl look good and I'm the one who will win.

I won't do things for them, I do them for MYSELF....

*** sticking tongue out at all the detractors out in the world!! ***

Thursday, March 02, 2006, 3:45 PM

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Because family can be so open with you, they are usually the ones with the most offensive comments. Last summer, I went to a wedding with my sister and after the wedding, as we were getting ready for bed, she turns and looks at me and says, "wow, you really did get fat!" Can you believe that?! I went to bed that night, crying myself to sleep! Months later, I've now lost 10 pounds, fulfilling most of my goal to lose about 10-15! So ha! Who's the fat one now!

Thursday, March 02, 2006, 4:00 PM

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To the 3:45pm poster - congrats on all of your insight! But I have to admit, I'm JEALOUS that your mom buys you clothes, even if they are too small! I'm 23, and my mom hasn't bought me clothes since high school! My weight loss is costing me a fortune (especially b/c I have to wear suits to work every day), and I don't have much money; my parents' expendable income is approaching endless. But still, I live on my own and I clothe myself.

Now, I'm really not criticizing you for being upset that your mother underhandedly buys you clothes that are too small. Really, I think I'd be upset if my mom did that too. I'm just commenting on how odd it is how some of us wish we had what others wish they didn't!

Thursday, March 02, 2006, 5:31 PM

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Yes, drinking water is a secret sauce and most any weight loss specialist would agree with you. Although there are some who would argue that water should not be mixed with food, but they are not in the weight loss business and have their own agendas regarding optimizing health. mcse exams But mealtimes is not the only time overweight people eat--they often snack between meals or even late at night.mcts It has a lot to do with how they handle the nace certification emotional stress and yes, perhaps they would cut down on the amount of food they snack on if they drank water, network+ certification but there's generally no need for them to take a drink with a candy bar unless it's a soda and then they drink diet soda which makes them gain weight.

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