Over time, I've learned that choosing the right things to say can be very difficult — even to your friends. One topic that I've learned to tread lightly around with my friends is that of food. From my own experience, I've had friends throw out a few "compliments" about eating habits that I took completely out of context. Or maybe not, because there were actually insulting and a little offensive.
One time specifically that I can remember is when I began a journey to lose weight and chose to stop eating certain things. My family and some friends didn't quite understand, and often gave me side-eyes when I explained to them that I preferred not to eat those things. The "You're eating so healthy" and the "We don't eat like you skinny people" comments began to roll in and honestly, they didn't feel too good. Though they tried to cover them up as jokes, the aftermath of how they made me feel were not good about myself or my decision to eat differently.
If you're not sure if you've said something to offend someone about their eating habits, these 13 phrases you mistake as compliments will help you figure it out.
1. "You Eat Like A Rabbit."
One of the most annoying things that I've heard about my eating habits has been the fact that I "eat like a rabbit" because sometimes, I may not eat as much as those around me. Although it may seem like a sort of compliment to people who may be skinny, it's actually a little offensive. You really never know what your friends are struggling with and at the time, I was dealing with health issues that prevented me from eating as much as I would have liked.
2. "It Isn't Like You'll Gain Any Weight."
Telling someone that they should eat something that they've already politely passed on by complimenting them on the fact that they won't "gain any weight" is a little rude. I've found that some women who are more on the skinnier side, struggle with gaining weight and can sometimes be a little insecure about that.
3. "Skinny People Like You..."
For me, this is the number one way to get under my skin. My choice to be fit isn't always something that needs to be the topic of the conversation. Saying things like "skinny people like you can eat that stuff" or "I'm not skinny like you, so I can't wear that" eventually becomes a little tiresome to hear because it makes those who are skinner feel as if you are penalizing them for being smaller.
4. "You Know, Since You're On A 'Health Kick.'"
Everything isn't a "health kick" when it comes to choosing to eat better and it's not just a phase that some people go through because of the latest fad. There are some women and men who just decide to eat better because it's what they feel is the best for their bodies. Though you may feel as if this is something positive to say to them or about them, it can actually be a little offensive to them and their lifestyle.
5. "So You're Dieting Again."
During the time of the year that I go on the Daniel Fast, my friends often confuse my fast with a diet or cleanse. They try to brush off the spiritual aspects of the time and tell me, "...in other words, you're dieting again." It's always important to be careful on how you cite people's lifestyle changes because what can be meant as a compliment, can really be offensive.
6. "You Eat So Much, But You're So Skinny."
Sometimes, we blow off the hurtful things we say to our friends as jokes and their weight issues are one of those things. Unfortunately though, I've even made the mistake of commenting on my friends weight issues not knowing if they were struggling or coping with a disorder.
7. "Give It To _____, She'll Eat Anything!"
Making comments like this can be hurtful to those that you know. I had to learn this lesson the heard way when I mistakenly said this to my brother in a positive way. I thought I was applauding him for having the openness to eat or try anything, because I'm a pretty picky eater. I found out though, that saying this wasn't a compliment at all because he felt as if I was calling him fat.
8. "I Can Tell You Haven't Been Missing Any Meals Lately."
During the time that I lost weight, my friends and family thought I wasn't eating enough. Fast forward a few years later and the gaining of a few pounds, their comments have completely flipped to telling me that I've gained weight. Of course they try to tell me that it's in "all the right areas," but commenting that I haven't "missed any meals lately," makes it seem as if I'm eating too much and getting too big.
9. "You're Going To Eat All Of That?!"
When going to cookouts or family reunions, I have a tendency to pile my plate up to the size that my heart desires. There's always that one family member that finds a way to make me feel bad about how much I'm getting though be asking if I'm going to "eat all of that." It's definitely a little rude to comment on how much or how little I decide to put on my plate.
10. "I Wish I Didn't Care About How Much I Ate."
Just becasue I eat differently than you, doesn't mean that I don't care about what I eat. Sometimes, saying things like this can be insulting because it makes it seem as if we don't care about ourselves, what we put in our bodies, or that we eat too much.
11. "I'm Glad You're Not Like Other Girls Who Are Afraid To Eat..."
I've heard this said from men to women before when they've been on dates. Women are known to eat a little lighter when out with a guy for the first time and though it may be exciting to see your date actually indulge in a full meal, letting her know that she's the first to do it isn't the best way to land a second date. No woman wants to know that she eats way more than the last woman you were with.
12. "Oooo, You're So Bad!"
Usually when you're eating anything unhealthy, someone around you will often give you a little flack about what you're eating. While they may feel as if they're only joking, it may seem like they're attacking you for choosing to go the extra mile and eat that tasty doughnut you've been eyeing.
13. "If I Ate Like That, I'd Have To Run 6 Miles To Burn It Off!"
Throwing your friend under the bus for choosing to eat more than you usually do isn't a good feeling for them. Also making comments about how fit you are or try to be is actually an insult to them too.