Ways to Take a Compliment

I wrote this article for the fabulous online magazine Ms. In the Biz.

4 Ways to Take a Compliment.”

Click. Read. Learn. Enjoy.

Bikini Day

You guys.

Last week, I wore a bikini. At a pool. In LA.

You wanna talk about motivation? I knew this day was coming for a while (my office was celebrating Man of Steel coming out!) so I knew I’d have to be in a bikini and I knew pictures would be taken.

I wasn’t the best about my diet, but I was great about my weight-lifting and daggummit- it kinda worked. I got some compliments on my abs.

No, the compliments were not “Oh my god, look at those abs, you’re AMAZING” (although I did say that to myself several times in a row in the mirror in order to get the confidence to put on a bikini in LA…) They were more like, “Oh look, girl! You got abs!” The couple people who said something to me sounded as surprised to say it as I was to hear it.

The point is- it’s progress. I used to HATE my stomach. It’s where I hold my weight. It’s the most obvious part of my body to gain and lose weight. I never appreciated having a strong core before because the rest of my could make up for it. I was always convinced my stomach was larger than everyone else’s and gross and yadda yadda yadda.

So I’m in the process of turning my least loved feature of myself into my pride. It’s gonna be a long process, but at least I’m getting closer every day with every grueling crunch.

And I’m proud to say I’m at the point where I’m willing to wear a bikini without freaking out and covering it at every moment.

So take that, bikini! I won the day!

“You look like you’ve lost weight”

I’m a person who others remember as fatter than they actually are. I’ve been around the same weight for years. I was a little bigger in college, but after college I’ve pretty much plateaued in a certain range.

But it never fails that I see someone I haven’t seen in a while and they always say, “You look like you’ve lost weight.” And I’m not gonna be the asshole that pretends I don’t like hearing that- who wouldn’t? The problem is, I’ve heard it so many times in my life, often in times when I haven’t made any physical changes at all, it’s lost some of its impact.

Years ago, I came to term with the fact that people remember me as fatter than I actually am. And that’s just how it is.

So unfortunately, I’m difficult to compliment in this realm because I’ve heard it so many times that when I actually do feel like I’ve made positive physical changes in my body, they’re so subtle nobody except me would notice. They consist of fitting into certain pants better than usual or noticing more muscle and less fat on a certain part of my body.

Truth be told, I’m actually noticing some of those changes in my body right now after lifting so much. My arms look a little more cut and my abs are getting strong. But they are small, almostĀ unnoticeableĀ changes. And my weight hasn’t really changed for it’s usual spot at all. So as much as I appreciate hearing “You look like you’ve lost weight,” I really haven’t yet, folks. You just remember me fatter.

But when I do see major changes, I’ll post before and after pics. That’s a promise (if it ever happens…)