Retroactive Self-Consciousness

I’ve noticed something about the way people talk to me over the last few years and it’s started to bug me a bit.
First off, some context: I am what you might call a “person of size”. It’s not that I’m fat, per se, it’s just that I’m big. I’ve got a bit of a belly and carry a few baby fattish pounds in the face and I could definitely stand to hit the gym a lot more often, but I’m not “fat” (at least, I don’t think so). I think I’m pretty realistic about my body morphology – the extra pounds are a health risk, so I really do need to get down to business and shed a good 25 lbs. or so and get svelte again.
What’s getting my goat is the fact that friends and relatives have taken to saying “Oh, have you lost some weight recently? You look so thin!”, a complimentary statement on its face, but one that implies “Hey, until recently, you definitely looked like you could drop a few pounds.” I know that the people probably have the best of intentions, but I just don’t know what to say to “Have you been working out? You look so good!” I mean, I do a fair share of bench and Army presses slingin’ Will around, but I haven’t hit the weight benches since well before he was born.
So how am I supposed to respond to those types of comments? I’ve tried the “Why thank you very much” route, but it always feels a bit disingenuous to take credit for stuff I haven’t done (i.e., lost weight). Thoughts?

4 Replies to “Retroactive Self-Consciousness”

  1. Don’t downplay all the baby-hefting – I noticed a VERY discernable change for what I wouuld call the better as The Boy aged in the first year (and it goes on). My shoulders broadened a bit more, and my muscle tone in my arms was improved.
    Maybe you DO look like you’ve been working out in relation to when they last saw you…

  2. Run around screaming “Get in my Belleh” until they stop making comments. Or convince them that you are a half giant like Hagrid.

  3. Hmmmm. While your suggestions are interesting, Brad, they’re not so helpful, as some of the people “guilty” of this infraction are from my church and probably wouldn’t get it.
    Also, Austin Powers 2 & 3 sucked. I hear they’re making a fourth – Heaven help us all!

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