I have been banded for over three years and have told only two people - my husband and best friend. Here are my tips for eating out with others and keeping the "nosey nancy's" at bay : (1) Be very careful with what you try to eat. Avoid the bread, potatoes and other difficult food or you will need to explain why your eyes are suddenly watering, you sound like you're being strangled when you talk, or you have to lunge for the table to make it to the restroom. I tend to stick to soup or very small portions. My husband is also well trained in picking up the signs that I need a moment for a bite to pass and will fill in the conversation until I can talk again. In a pinch, I have gasped something like, "Went down the wrong pipe!" and then excused myself to go to the restroom. Fortunately, this has only happened twice. (2) Ask for a to-go box as soon as you feel comfortable and take a good portion of your food home. If you do this, it is not so obvious that you are sitting there with an almost full plate and you can eat it at home at a pace that is better for you and the band. (3) Tell people that you are a slow eater. Which is very, very true with a band. (4) Tell people you are dieting. Again very true. I tell people that as part of my diet, I have cut out things like bread and potatoes. (5) Go to the restroom during the meal, if only to walk around and let your food settle. This will give you some extra time where you are not just sitting there staring at your full plate or your dining companions. Good luck on the upcoming surgery! It was the best investment I have ever made in myself.