A little backstory. For all of my childhood I was a little barrel, a chubby kid, a little tub of lard. I stayed pretty much the same for adolescence, young adulthood, my twenties, my thirties, you get the drift. It affected my self image all my life and my understanding of how other people saw me. It defines me and always has.
In the last twelve months, for various reasons, I've lost a couple of stones and I weigh less that I have done at any point in my adult life. I'm not thin now by any stretch of the imagination, just less fat than I used to be. This, of course, leads people who I haven't seen in a while to say "Wow, you've lost a load of weight." This has happened a few times in particular with people I don't really know, who I might see a couple of times a year or less.
The implication in my defensive mind is "Wow. You used to be a really fat fucker, now you're less so"
In my head there's always a flicker in their eyes, almost a moment of disbelief, an element of "what happened to you? You're less of a stereotype that I used to think you were". I can never take it straight up, as if it were intended that way. Why?
Why can't I take a compliment the way it's intended?