“You look great!” I heard it at bootcamp from an acquaintance. She had seen me a few times before. I don’t know if she knows I had a baby recently. I don’t know if she knows my baby died. She is the friend of a friend’s sister (who knows my story), so it’s possible. I don’t know if she was commenting simply on how I looked compared to a few weeks ago, on how I looked for someone who had recently had a baby or trying to say something nice to someone who recently buried her baby. For her, my response was easy. I smiled, said a quick thank you and continued with my goblet lunges.
Now that I’m back to work I’ve heard it many times. It’s always wonderful to hear people saying nice things about your appearance, especially after a body-changing event like having a baby. But it’s a weird compliment right now. Yes, I am thinner than I was pre-pregnancy, finally putting me at my first healthy BMI in 6 years. I am in really good shape- I’ve had a lot of time to exercise, but I’ve always been an exerciser. What’s changed is my appetite. I hadn’t been eating all that much and so my weight dropped. My appetite is low because I’m grieving. I look “great” because my baby died. If I had a living baby, I would not look this way. I wouldn’t have the time or energy to exercise as much and I’d probably be making even poorer food choices that I do now.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased with how I look and the compliments are wonderful and welcome. It’s just another example of how even the nicest thing someone could say, can still have a shadow of darkness for me. Everything is a reminder.