Gabourey Sidibe on Conan in 2010

Weight Loss: “Congratulate Me Every Time I Pee?”

Since Gabourey Sidibe opened up about her experiences with bariatric surgery, we’ve been enjoying the refreshing rush of reality she offers. Public fascination with personal weight loss is relentless. So in her latest interview with Refinery29, she went right to the heart of what people face from nosy bystanders:

What has been happening is, since I’ve been losing weight over the past year, people have been saying, “Congratulations on your weight loss!” It doesn’t rock me. It just annoys me because I’m just like, don’t congratulate me on that. If you’re going to congratulate me on my weight loss, also congratulate me every time I pee.

Take It Anyway You Like, It’s Just a Human Body at Work

Sibide packed a lot into a few, simple words.

First, a person’s body parts and how they function are nobody’s business but their own. Unless someone asks for an opinion, it’s usually not welcome. Even when people ask, it’s better to listen than to tell.

Second, she exposes the utter fiction of thinking that people choose how their bodies will function. The hypothalamus tells a person to grab some food when they need it and sometimes when they don’t. A complex web of organs, hormones, and nerve signals regulate how the body absorbs, processes, burns, stores, and excretes what a person consumes. Conscious choices have an effect, but it’s generally small.

And yes, having bariatric surgery is a matter of choice, but its effectiveness is not. The surgery resets that complex web of body functions regulating body weight. Most people lose a lot of weight, some people lose less or none. But it’s not a matter of choice.

None of this suggests that kindness and compliments are problematic. Far from it. But comments about bodily function are not kindness. Intimate details of someone’s health are not fair game for casual conversation.

And all too often, the comments of strangers imply harsh and false judgement.

Thank you, Ms. Sibide.

Click here for more from Sidibe’s interview. For more on her experiences with bariatric surgery, click here and here.

Gabourey Sidibe on Conan in 2010, publicity photo courtesy of

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June 7, 2017

One Response to “Weight Loss: “Congratulate Me Every Time I Pee?””

  1. June 07, 2017 at 6:57 pm, Michael said:

    I totally agree with this. Sadly 99% of the population (incl. in healthcare, ‘big food’ and politics) would totally disagree. This is the essence of why progress on obesity is so disappointing and presents the mother of all educational challenges.

    Like with global warming, nihilism and denialism in obesity will prevail until the proverbial ice sheets slide into the sea.