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What does 'you look well' mean?

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I've had an eating disorder for nearly eight years and have only recently started the very slow road to recovery. I have lost a considerable amount of weight (this was not part of my recovery) and have recently started getting a bit of a social life back into my life. People I meet say 'you look well' - what does this mean? Because my recovery is happening slowly, I equate the words 'well/healthy' with 'fat', and that really offends me. What does this phrase mean? I have tried so hard to get better, but these words make me think that I've achieved nothing.

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"well/healthy" does not equal "fat"!


What it means is you probably look less tired, pale, hollow....when you lose a lot of weight and have eating disorders you really do usually look terrible (I know I did!) even if you don't think you do! Whichever disorder it is, it takes a toll on your mental attitude which is reflected in your attitude, eyes, and on your physical body. You may be depleted of nutrients, which causes you to be a weird colour, or have very dry skin for example.


They mean it looks like you good and healthy.....they probably won't say something like "we were worried about you" so they say "you look well" as in they are relieved to see you are taking care of yourself.


It really IS a compliment. They are saying you look good, accept it openly and smile! It's a good thing.

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When I say that I mean it as a compliment. They are telling you that you look healthy and fit. You have to remember that when someone compliments you to accept that they have no hurtful intentions.


Take it as a compliment instead of an insult. I doubt the people that say that to you are saying "hey your fat"! Relax and try to remember not everyone makes comments about people with a hidden agenda.

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As an ex-anorexic, and I know exactly what you mean by taking 'you look well' as an offense. It is part of your healing process to take it as a compliment, believe me. I still struggle at this point with remarks like that. I have to admit that although I am no where near to the pit I was in back then, I still am happier when people say I'm skinny. Which I in fact still am, however a healthy skinny by nature, and not the hollow, gray looking, corpse-like skinniness I had when I was 16.


People mean it well. They mean you look more healthy. They are probably relieved to see you are starting to take better care of yourself.

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People are probably aware of the disorder that you have had and are trying to be supportive. They want you to know that you are doing well in fighting the disorder and that you look healthy. It is meant as a compliment. However, having had to stuggle with this for so long, you are probably very sensitive. It has affected your self image and because you question how you look, you are likely to assume that others are questioning you or putting you down as well. Sound like you are projecting the doubts you have about your own appearance onto these people and thus think they are being critical.


Pixiemeat, I am sure that you are a lovely person. (And I mean that as a compliment .) You should be admired for facing the disorder and for coming so far. Accept people's compliments for what they are, something nice that they want to say to you. And try to stay positive about yourself as well.

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Very good insight, Antilove. I experienced exactly the same, being skinny and anorexic used to be part of my identity, part of my 'safe' zone. It wasn't exactly that I was offended if someone told me I looked well, it was more that I thought "so I don't look like myself (being skinny and thereforeeee I must be fat)"


I hope both of you (antilove, pixiemeat) will be able to break away from these patterns. Do so as quick as you can, before it takes over your life.



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What doesnt kill us makes us stronger


True AntiLove. It may be a long, hard road, but in the end, you can get through. I know it may not register to people in this condition, that you have your identity wrapped up in how you look. But you, and everyone going through an ED, are so much more then that. And over time, you'll begin to see and more importantly, feel that.


Best of luck to Antilove, Pixiemeat, and anyone else going through the same issues. You are strong and I admire you.

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