Body Image

How To: Respond to Comments About Your Weight

November 22, 2020

Ryann Nicole

Hi, I’m Ryann.

Your Not-So-Average Food Freedom Therapist & Virtual Coach. As a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Certified Nutritionist with a BA in Psychology, and a MA in Professional Counseling, yes I do a little of the "so how does that make you feel".

But my ultimate goal is to provide you with the resources you need, in an easy-to-understand way, on healing your disordered relationship with food and your body. 

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Are you tired of comments being made about your weight?

I'll never forget when I used to get a comment about my weight every time I went home to see family. It was hard because it wasn’t always negative comments. And honestly, the positive comments about my weight made things worse. But I knew that even though I secretly loved getting these positive comments about my weight, they were still harmful. So I had to set a boundary with family members. A boundary that it does not matter if I have gained or lost weight; my body is no longer a topic of discussion. 

I’m so glad I did because it not only took the anxiety away – thinking of whether I would get a positive or negative comment about my weight; it also provided space for us to have different conversations. And I learned t telling my family not to comment on my wt didn’t upset them or create all this confrontation. It set a boundary with them that they respected because they love me. 

If you are struggling with family members constantly commenting on your weight. You are not alTheyoften They are often doing it out of pure love and support – or, well, thinking it is pure love and support. However, they will never know if you do not tell them the effects these comments have on you! 

It is so tough – I get it! Here is the formula I use to set boundaries with family members: Define, Communicate, Stand, and React.

01. Define your need 

You must know exactly what you need so that you can be specific. Often, when we do not know what we need, it causes us to set unclear boundaries, which are just as ineffective as not setting boundaries. 

Your need: Your family members to stop commenting on your weight 

02. Communicate your boundary 

Once you define your boundary, you must communicate these boundaries to the person. This is probably the hardest part about setting a boundary. It feels confrontational, but it does not have to be. Remind yourself that setting a boundary does not make you a bad person, a mean person, or a needy person. Setting a boundary is taking care of yourself so that others no longer treat you in a way you do not want to be treated. 

This can sound like: 

  • “I appreciate your support, but I am not seeking weight loss advice right now.” 
  • “I hear your concern about your weight, but I would appreciate it if you kept that to yourself.”
  • “I need you to stop commenting on my weight, regardless of if it is positive or negative.” 

03. Stand Your ground 

Act confident and do not budge. Remind yourself that this family member is likely making these comments to try to “help you.” They might think what they know is best. It is your responsibility to teach them otherwise. Remember why this boundary is important and necessary for your health and happiness. 

04. React if boundaries are broken with consequences 

What happens if this person breaks the boundary? They must know, and it must be worse than the person holding the boundary. 

This can sound like:

  • “If you continue to comment about my weight, this conversation will end.”
  • “If you continue to comment about my weight, I will no longer answer your phone calls.” 
  • “If you continue to comment about my weight, I will no longer spend time with you.” 

Remember, it is your responsibility to set boundaries with others.

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