Has a Compliment Ever Changed Your Thinking About Yourself?

Happy Monday!

I started my morning with a quick and simple breakfast: an egg and cheese sandwich on a toasted whole wheat Sandwich Thin with a plum and a glass of iced coffee with vanilla soy milk on the side.

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For the egg, I nuked a Good Food Made Simple egg patty in the microwave. They’re so easy to make”” just toss on a plate and microwave for 90 seconds. Done.

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Workout

After breakfast, I hit the gym for a Step & Core class. The first half of class was devoted to heart-pumping step aerobics (I know, I’m so cool), so the instructor really kicked our butts since we only had about 30 minutes. I was dripping sweat by the end. The second half of class was all core work”” crunches and lots of Pilates-type moves. My abs definitely got a good workout.

After class, while I was putting away my equipment, a woman came up to me and told me that I had really nice legs. Her step was set up right behind mine in class, so she noticed them while I was bouncing around in front of her. Her comment was really sweet, but it totally caught me off guard.

In the past, I’ve blogged about how I don’t love the way my legs look, but I still appreciate their awesomeness with regard to their strength, endurance, and ability to run long distances. Her comment actually made me think differently about the appearance of my legs. Maybe they aren’t as burley-looking as I thought? Maybe they do look toned and strong? Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and just get over my hang-up about my legs? I definitely looked at them differently as I was leaving the gym.

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Question of the Day

Has anyone ever given you a compliment that changed your thinking about yourself?

98 Comments

  1. I think most of us are way too hard on ourselves – it always feels good to get a compliment. Compliments can make our day, week or even month. It feels great to receive them but it also feels great to give them and see a smile on the recipient’s face. Have a wonderful day!

  2. I used to be awful at taking compliments, mainly because I thought people were just being nice and didn’t truly mean it. Then, my boyfriend at the time’s friend told me I looked good after losing some weight. He and I had never gotten along before, so my response was “oh, did Steve tell you to say that.” He was like “no, I really think you look great, but glad to see you are still your charming self.” LOL, like I said we didn’t get along!

    That made me stop and think though that I had a pretty $hitty response to someone trying to be nice. From then on I smile and say thanks when someone compliments me!

  3. The compliment that changed my perspective on myself was when I realized that having an apple bottom was a GOOD thing when I hit my teen years (until then I’d been teased about it by my family!!)

  4. I’m my own worst critic. I see a spare tire (or 2) around my middle, guys see my amazingly long & toned legs. I see a whitehead at my hairline, strangers see fine, porcelain skin. I see awkwardness and 200+ pounds, my Pilates instructors ask if I’m a dancer. If only I could see what others saw in me, then I could be truly beautiful. Seeing only the flaws makes me flawed…

  5. Earlier this summer I was heading out for a run and grumbling to my boyfriend about how my legs were looking in my short running shorts. Partway through the run, I just wasn’t feeling it. I was considering walking, when a woman walking towards me looked at me and said, “Killer legs!” While I know that the way my legs look isn’t the key to happiness, it was exactly what I needed at that moment and I pushed through to finish my run.

    When I got home and told my boyfriend about the comment, he said, “Yeah they are!” Sometimes you just need another person’s perspective to get you out of your own head and appreciate what you’ve got!

  6. Once last year I was out at a bar with some friends gabbing away and one friend stopped and said, “You look so happy, Claire.” No matter how much time I put into my workouts or makeup or blowout, that’s still maybe the best compliment I ever got, and I try to keep that in mind–and I try to remember to pass it on.

  7. I hate to admit it, but comments from others about my appearance have changed the way I have thought about my looks (both for the better and the worse!) Gotta love it when it’s for the better though, right? 🙂

    Thanks for informing me of the egg products. I hope I can find them near me!

  8. This actually happened to me today too! I was running for maybe the third or fourth time coming back from my stress fracture and just felt so slow and tired. And older man asked me why I wasn’t running farther because I was so good! It’s all about perspective, I guess!

  9. I really can’t recall any compliments like that… My personal trainer would compliment me, but I think a lot of that was him trying to get me to like him so I’d keep buying sessions… haha. I’m definitely going to do this click for breast cancer thing! I’ve known many women who have fought the disease!

  10. The woman is right. Not that I checked you out, lol, but you are in great shape so I am sure your thoughts about your legs are just in your head. You look fantastic and yes, strength is sexy! 🙂
    I like real compliments but I am pretty hard on myself so unfortunately they rarely really stick.

  11. I loved reading all of these, I think women are especially hard on themselves and sometimes a simple thank you is all that is necessary. Don’t disagree with a compliment, they wouldn’t take the time to stop and tell you if they didn’t really mean it.

    I have been trying to give more compliments, I know how great it makes me feel to receive one and giving one feels even better.

  12. Having seen the pictures you post of yourself in shorts and skirts, I will say that not only are your legs NOT bulky, but you have a FABULOUS set of gams!!!!!

    Leslie Goldman Alter (who wrote “The Locker Room Diaries”) did a segment on taking compliments on “The Today Show” and on her blog (healthbreaksloose.com). It’s all about why women find it so hard to take a compliment.

  13. Compliments that catch you off guard are the best, whether they’re about physical traits or otherwise. I think it’s so interesting to see yourself through someone else’s eyes!

  14. yay for step! it is a killer cardio workout! i love my step classes….and yes I’m 28, and no I’m not the youngest person in the class haha 🙂

  15. Has anyone ever given you a compliment that changed your thinking about yourself? = yes, definitely!

    Sometimes if I am feeling meh about my photography or the recipes I make and someone tells me they made a recipe of mine or they liked my pictures…it makes me feel re-inspired and better about things.

  16. Great post. I’ve definitely been caught off guard by a compliment before. Even compliments from my husband … he sees me so differently from how I see myself (both inside and out). And I know he truly means those compliments, so I look at myself differently after he says them. 🙂

  17. Definitely. I get surprised all the time by compliments, I obviously have a completely distorted image of myself, both personality and in terms of my physical attributes. The hard part is remembering those compliments. Now that you say it I think I might make it my task for tomorrow to take note of all compliments (nothing like a bit of positivity to pick you up of a Tuesday! :)) LOVE your blog btw!!!

  18. It really does seem to catch us off guard whenever complimented like that, but they’re nice things to hear. Often times we get wrapped up on what we’d like to change about our body when, in reality, they’re probably envied by other people. the grass is always greener on the other side.

  19. Step is awesome!!! I love those kinds of compliments. They just make you feel good all day. And they’re free for the other person to give! 🙂 I’ve kinda felt the same way about my legs, but recently I saw a picture of myself. And I was like, why am I complaining? Those babies are RIPPED! lol

  20. awwwww! what a blessing that someone made you smile like that! and not only that, but changed your perspective! <33 I personally think you're very beautiful and have a feminine body. Almost like, the embodiment of how sculptures are many times!

  21. I have had almost the exact same thing happen to me! I’ve never liked my legs, but I had a friend comment on how they looked really strong as she was walking up the stairs right behind me. It definitely made me relax about my appearance a little, but keep working hard to strengthen and tone 🙂

  22. It’s so funny this is what you wrote about today. When Mass was over this weekend a lady walked up to me & said “You’ve lost so much weight! You look great!”. While, I see this lady at Mass all the time, I’ve never spoken to her before & don’t know her. I’ve lost 25 lbs. & it’s been very gradual. I can tell that I’ve lost but to me it’s not drastic. Apparently, it’s more drastic than I thought & it made me feel really good!

  23. I remember when you first wrote the post about hating your thighs, and thinking you were f-ing crazy. Glad you’re starting to recognize them! Trust me, we’re all envious 🙂

  24. I believe someone posted a similar comment, but I think the best compliment I’ve ever gotten – delivered by three separate people – was “You look so happy.” And it’s true! Within a four-month period, I moved into a new (and much-loved) apartment, got my dream job, and met my dream guy. These three things conspired to make me a very, very happy girl. So I do indeed feel (and look) happy!

    The compliment resonated more with me than any single one I’ve gotten about my appearance. Above all, being happy is my ultimate goal in life, and being told by others that I radiate happiness is the best compliment ever.

  25. It’s funny the way we fixate on something in our minds…because I always thought you had killer legs! Seriously, I wish we could trade!

  26. Compliments have DEFINITELY made me see myself in a new light. I believe that we all see the worst in ourselves and see things other people don’t. I’m self concious about my waist and hips, but I recently got a comment about how they wished they had my body because I’m tiny with curves. I have NEVER thought of myself that way, so it was nice to try to see myself the way others claim to see me 🙂

  27. I hate the way I look in my bike helmet, but a guy rode up next to me and said “You’re the cutest girl I’ve ever seen riding a bike. Wanna go for a ride sometime?” I still don’t think I’m cute in a helmet, but it was by far my best being hit-on experience, and it’s motivated me to ride my bike even more!

  28. I love this story! It’s always surprising to receive a compliment from a complete stranger, but I think it’s such a beautiful thing and we all need to remember to accept the kind words and not be afraid/shy to pass on the kindness to others and give a sincere compliment to someone we don’t know:)

  29. JUST today someone told me I looked like a runner. Thankfully I said, “Awww. That’s a really nice compliment.” I lost weight about three years ago, but still believe I am the heavy girl. I am still shocked when I see pictures of myself looking good. I have been running for almost 8 years now, but still don’t consider myself a runner. How silly we can be to our own selves! Her comment today and your post have reminded me how powerful our words are. Let’s use them for good!
    -your skinny reader, who also happens to be a runner

  30. I got a leg compliment today too! I was at the gym when a lady approached me and told me that I have “beautiful, long and lean legs.” I immediately thanked her but got awk and didn’t know what to say and responded, “Thanks! It’s really hard to find pants that fit!” Oyeee 😛

  31. YES! Great question. Today I actually posted about my decision to move back home to Boston next weekend – I was really nervous about what people would say since it was a hard decision that had nothing to do with my love for NYC (it’s for financial/professional reasons). Anyway, I was surprised that so many people called me responsible, mature, and smart for my age. It made my day – and convinced me how special this blogging community is.

    As a side note – would love to meet you sometime once I’m home! I’ll be living on the North Shore with my parents for a little to get settled, but have family in Hingham, Norwell, Southie, and Brighton! 🙂

  32. You know what’s funny? I just complimented a co-worker today about her “hip” and fun style and you know what she said?? “What?! Me?! I’m not hip or fashionable” and along she went. It’s funny how some times people don’t even see how amazing and cool they really are… 🙂

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