Mom's Dramatic Before & After Photo Reminds Us Why We Should Never Compliment Someone's Weight Loss

Crystal Lowery-Comedian/Facebook

These days, a common compliment to hear is, "Have you lost weight? You look great!" It makes sense, since being thin is valued so highly in our society -- despite the fact that it gives no indication of how good of a person you are. Anyway, UK-based comedian and mom Crystal Lowery reminds us in a dramatic before-and-after photo on Facebook that complimenting others over their weight loss could actually be more harmful than helpful. 

  • Lowery has lost a lot of weight recently, and someone took notice, and "praised [her] thinness."

    That person probably didn't know the real reason for Lowery's significant weight loss: About a month ago, doctors found gallstones and a polyp, or an abnormal tissue growth, in the pancreas. Due to insurance issues, she had to wait until the new year before she could get the proper surgery. 

    So in order to go easy on her pancreas "and avoid going into full-blown, acute pancreatitis," she went on a "low-sugar, low-fat, extremely low-calorie diet."

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  • And she was miserable.

    "I was weak. I was suffering, I was terrified to eat anything," she wrote in her Facebook post. 

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    As someone who has formerly battled with eating disorders, Lowery found that her new strict diet put her on the edge of an anorexia relapse and made coping with her new health problems all the more difficult. "It is not fun," she said. "It should not be celebrated."

    But all the person who complimented her saw was someone who was skinnier on the outside.

  • "Being skinny is so engrained in our society that we no longer see drastic weight loss for what it is: a red flag for health problems," she said.

    Because of this, she doesn't blame this person or think any harm was meant. In fact, she thinks there are probably many people out there who envy and strive to be her "after" picture. 

    So she wants people to stop assuming that being skinny equals being happy and healthy. In reality, and for many people, it often means starvation. "Please don't perpetuate the destructive lie that a thin person is the best version of that person," she said.

  • Here's some wisdom from her: Instead of telling folks how great they look after losing weight, instead ask them how they're doing.

    "What's happening in your world lately?" also works, as does, "Anything stressful going on in your life?"

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    "In doing so, you may be a lifeline to a friend who needs support during a health crisis," she said -- and in our humble opinion, that seems so much better than just telling others that they look better a size smaller.

body positivity body image weight loss