Lately, I’ve been thinking about judgments & why people feel compelled to judge others. People post a lot here about feeling judged by friends and family members for deciding to have surgery, or feeling judged by skinny people for being fat in the first place. Personally, I have been fortunate that not one single negative word has been said to me with regards to having surgery. My family and friends have all been very supportive. Intellectually, I know I am (or have been) judged negatively by other people for my weight, but I honestly don’t usually notice those judgments. If I do happen to notice or feel judged by somebody, I don’t generally internalize the judgment and allow it to continue to affect me.
But it seems to me that there is also a fair amount of judgment happening among members of the WLS community. Sometimes it’s subtle and sometimes it quite overt, but it’s all judgmental bulls**t that says more about the person making the judgment than it does about the person being judged. Here are just a few judgments I have observed being made here and elsewhere among members of the WLS community. Some of these judgments have been directed at me, some I’ve observed in others, and one or two I am guilty of making.
Everyone who needs/wants WLS has a food addiction or depression or very low self-esteem. If you say you don’t, then you are either lying or in denial.
People who go to Mexico for surgery are less prepared mentally and emotionally than those who have surgery in the US.
My surgeon does things the “right” way. If your surgeon tells you something different, he/she is wrong and I am justified in telling you to ignore your surgeon’s instructions.
People who slip up on the preop diet are not ready for surgery and will likely fail.
People who do not follow instructions to the letter in the first couple of months post-op are not committed to the process and will likely fail.
People who do not commit wholeheartedly to an exercise plan postop are not committed to the process and will likely fail.
People who drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or smoke weed postop are not committed to the process and will likely fail.
People who come here posting questions without first searching for the answer are dumb or lazy.
People who credit their faith with helping them get through this process are annoying and should not talk about their faith in relation to WLS.
People who are atheist or agnostic are missing the most important part of life and should be pitied.
People who have plastics after WLS are vain.
People who struggle to put their own needs ahead of others aren't trying hard enough or valuing themselves enough.
I’m sure other folks can think of more, and there is also a whole raft of judgments that we frequently make against ourselves. The point is that none of these judgments are true and none of these judgments are supportive or helpful in any way. We all have our own path to travel, and I believe we each generally do the best we can at any given time. At various times, my “best” will be better than some and not nearly as good as others, and that’s true for everybody. I don’t know if judging others is a way to feel better about ourselves, or just a bad habit we fall into, but it certainly does seem to come naturally to us. In my opinion, reaching out for support is a healthy, intelligent, and wise thing to do. Let’s try to respect the courage it takes to be here, and check our judgments at the door.