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To tell or not to tell... that is the question



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I am scheduled for surgery July 18th and I am really struggling with the decision to tell people publically that I am having the surgery. Part of me wants to keep this secret and so far no one outside of my immediate family knows about it. I think I have some deep-seated feelings of diet/exercise failure urking there that makes me feel ashamed to tell anyone about the surgery for fear of feeling like a total failure. I don't want to face the judgement that may come from people who have no clue what it is like to struggle with weight for years.

On the other hand I am a what you see is what you get kind of girl by nature and lying to people about why I will be off work and why I will be losing weight rapidly (hopefully) makes me feel guilty. Not telling anyone is something that goes against my moral makeup. But fear of undue judgement with outing myself is exactly the kind of response to my weight I am trying to get away from. Don't we all want to be treated like weight doesn't matter? Too bad we live in such a superficial society that puts looks above anything else.

I guess I want to hear if anyone else struggled with this like I am and what you decided in the end. Also, are you happy with that decision.

Thanks!

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I have not told anyone--I live far from family (my dad is dead and my mother has dementia) , and my friends have seen me lose and gain, lose and gain over the years so I am on just another diet to them. Thanks to HIPPA rules, I just told my job I was having surgery and would be out three weeks. If anyone asks me directly if I had surgery, I would not deny it, but so far people have just said, as they did in the past, that I look great and to "keep it up."

I would not change my mind if I had it to do over and I refuse to feel guilty about doing something so good for myself.

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I am scheduled for surgery July 18th and I am really struggling with the decision to tell people publically that I am having the surgery. Part of me wants to keep this secret and so far no one outside of my immediate family knows about it. I think I have some deep-seated feelings of diet/exercise failure urking there that makes me feel ashamed to tell anyone about the surgery for fear of feeling like a total failure. I don't want to face the judgment that may come from people who have no clue what it is like to struggle with weight for years.

On the other hand I am a what you see is what you get kind of girl by nature and lying to people about why I will be off work and why I will be losing weight rapidly (hopefully) makes me feel guilty. Not telling anyone is something that goes against my moral makeup. But fear of undue judgment with outing myself is exactly the kind of response to my weight I am trying to get away from. Don't we all want to be treated like weight doesn't matter? Too bad we live in such a superficial society that puts looks above anything else.

I guess I want to hear if anyone else struggled with this like I am and what you decided in the end. Also, are you happy with that decision. In the end you will know when it is right to tell what you are doing. I was shocked at some of my friends objection to me having WLS.

Hugs and congratulation to you for having this surgery!

Suzanne

Thanks!

Hi,

I would pick a select few close friends and share with them what you are doing. You may be surprise at the number of people that really are uneducated about WLS. They don't have enough correct information to understand that you are going to be safe and healthy.

My suggest is that you wait until AFTER you have the surgery so that they see you are alive and well and becoming healthy. Some people also are a bit jealous that you are losing weight and they are not. So be prepared for this. As you lose weight you might find it the right time to tell people and educate then a little about the kind of weight loss surgery that you had.I always try to take this time to educated people about what "sleeve" surgery really consist of. As I said before soooooooo many people really have a lot of wrong information.

Congratulations to you on your choice. You will never regret this choice!

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I have struggled with the same question also. Right now my husband knows and I just told one of my sisters ( I have 3) . I feel bad not telling my parents but they are very protective of me and I know it would be a lot of stress for them. I think that I will later. I feel bad not telling people but I think that it is the best choice for me know. I am a pretty private person and this is something that I am doing to imporve my health and life in general. I feel bad that I am keeping a secret. I just feel like it is better to keep it to myself for now. I am scheduled for surgery on July 11.

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i had my surgery last week and none of my family know and only a couple of friends and coworkers know. i saw people's reaction when i jokingly mention weight loss surgery and didn't want to deal with their insecurities. now that i've had the surgery i will start telling people, probably never my parents. it help that my family is not near, i only see them a couple times a year. i told them i was dieting so they won't be shock to see me for thanksgiving, lol. i hate lying to people but i had to think of me: my health and peace of mind.

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I told only a few select friends and family BEFORE I had the surgery. I didn't want to have to answer a million questions or have someone make me second guess myself because of stuff they said. Now AFTER the surgery it's a different story. I'm not going around with a bull horn announcing it, but if someone asks me how I've lost weight or about my time off work in the hospital, I tell them. It won't take long for it to get around by word of mouth and eventually everything will settle back into normality. The problem I would have with not telling is having to lie every time someone asks me about my weight loss. Sure you can say stuff like "diet and exercise" and it would be a half truth, but a lie is a lie. I wouldn't feel too good about myself doing that and this change is all about feeling good about myself! Plus if I can answer any questions or help anyone from my experience I want to be able to do that. I mean really, the people that really count are the ones that truly care about you and the others can just kiss your ass, right? My thoughts anyway. I will continue to tell people and I've had nothing but a positive response from people since I started. The best to you on your decision.

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OK, as far as telling people, let me first preface this by saying that this is a very personal decision and there are a lot of opinions out there on what to do. Truth be told, there is no right or wrong way--only the way that works for you.

My choice was to tell everyone that was important to me about the surgery upfront and I received mostly very positive support and one or two people who really questioned if I was doing the right thing or not. The naysayers shook their heads and just did not understand why I was going to go through with this and at the same time, I know that these same people are dealing with their own weight issues and I believe that me making this decision for myself called out their own insecurities around weight loss and getting healthy. The good news is after seeing the results ( down from 381 to 240 since surgery January, 2011) and learning while I am on this journey, they are now much more supportive.

So we know that theere is a lot of ignorance out there around weight loss surgery and especially around the sleeve I feel, that for me, if I remained silent about my weightloss, I was pushing that same ignorance forward by giving credence to the silence and possibly giving people the impression that I was doing something that I was ashamed of. I am just the opposite...I want to enlighten and educate and I do educate--whenever I can. People are very resourceful. If I didn't say anything, they would find out or at least speculate that I had help and "took the easy way out.". This way, by telling people and educating along the way, I can show friends and family how this is tough work and certainly anything but easy. I felt I could only do this by telling the full truth. I guess I just want to bring the sleeve out of the closet and into the light that it deserves. Sleeve surgery saved my life and I will tell the world.

For me, sleeve surgery did not make weight loss and getting healthy "easy"--it made it possible!

David

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I'm a university teacher, and I had surgery over spring break. I had told my family back in December that I was considering the surgery, and they all said, "Great! We've been hoping that you would," which totally surprised me. They had questions, of course, but I had done extensive research at that point and had answers, plus my husband had been sleeved the year before. My close friends, too, I told before surgery; one of them came and sat with me at the hospital when my husband had a work emergency.

As for work, I told a couple of fellow teachers who are close friends, but not my administration (no reason to). I did tell a small group of my upper-level students, because they are in classes with me several hours a day and I wanted to prepare them for my not being quite so physically active in the first few weeks post surgery; these are also the kids who serve as officers in the choir, and I take them for meals occasionally when we have council meetings. I had no negative comments at all. I also told the small community choir that I conduct, also because I needed them to understand if I was a little less physically engaged during rehearsals for the first few weeks. They were all 100% supportive, except for one sweet man who came up to me and said, "Well, personally, I like you just like you are," and I said, "I do, too! I just want to be healthier." We had a concert at the end of May (my surgery was mid-April), and he made it a point to say he could see the results and that I looked great. This group was very supportive overall--I asked them to help me remember to hydrate during rehearsals, and every time I stopped, someone would say, "Take a drink!"

So I guess it really depends on what you feel comfortable with. So what feels right for you. I don't mind telling people--I have even, kind of on the fly, told my waitstaff in restaurants who are concerned because I'm not eating the entire item I've ordered; I simply say, "I had surgery and can't eat very much, but it's wonderful!" and they are cool. People who have seen me recently who don't know I have had surgery say, "Wow, you look great!" and I just say, "Thanks!" with a wide grin.

Meg

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Tell only if you want to. It really isn't anyone's business. I only told family and a few close friends. I told others that I had an hiatal hernia and would be getting it repaired.

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I personally told hubby, mum, sister and a couple of friends. I actually regret telling those couple of friends, because they are now like "You are losing because you had surgery". I am happy I didn't tell more people. I AM working hard to make the sleeve work, I really don't need to tell everyone. I think it's personal, as much as it will be having plastic surgery next year. My life is almost back to normal now, I o out for dinner often I just say that being on a diet I don't want to eat too much and people seem to understand. I don't feel guilty at all because it wasn't an easy way out at all.

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I was sleeved on May 20th, I did choose to be open about my surgery and even posted a blog to Facebook to answer any questions people might have. I was perhaps more open than I need to be but like you said, I was also very uncomfortable with the hiding the truth and coming up with some white lies to people. Not that there is anything wrong with keeping it to yourself, this is a very very personal decision. What I've learned in my case is many people are very supportive - my neighborhood brought us meals (not that I could eat - lol) for the week after surgery for my family so I didn't have to cook. Others have inquired about how I'm doing and can't wait to go clothes shopping with me when I need to. Best part is those that are inquiring for info either for themselves or for those close to them who are struggling with obesity and what things are like for me. And I don't personally know anyone who has had this type of weight loss surgery or any other for that matter and I would have loved to have known someone who has gone through it so I could ask questions as well. I've only had a couple people be negative, and really more ignorant than anything. Not enough for me to regret my decision to be open, but more to just kinda let it blow over and not let it bother me.

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I am the mouth that roared for the most part. I told all my family and friends and my immediate group at work. Everyone else as far as they are concerned I am on a high Protein diet and exercise. Which is not a lie or a half truth. People do not tell me about what procedures they have so I do not feel the need to tell people that don't matter to me.

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I am scheduled for surgery July 18th and I am really struggling with the decision to tell people publically that I am having the surgery. Part of me wants to keep this secret and so far no one outside of my immediate family knows about it. I think I have some deep-seated feelings of diet/exercise failure urking there that makes me feel ashamed to tell anyone about the surgery for fear of feeling like a total failure. I don't want to face the judgement that may come from people who have no clue what it is like to struggle with weight for years.

On the other hand I am a what you see is what you get kind of girl by nature and lying to people about why I will be off work and why I will be losing weight rapidly (hopefully) makes me feel guilty. Not telling anyone is something that goes against my moral makeup. But fear of undue judgement with outing myself is exactly the kind of response to my weight I am trying to get away from. Don't we all want to be treated like weight doesn't matter? Too bad we live in such a superficial society that puts looks above anything else.

I guess I want to hear if anyone else struggled with this like I am and what you decided in the end. Also, are you happy with that decision.

Thanks!

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i understand, my situation is alittle like yours. i have been struggling for the last ten years with my weight maybe even longer. my goal is to be under 200pds. i now weigh 250. my surgery date is 7/19/11 at thomas jefferson in phildadelphia,pa where i live at. actually i change my date it was 7/12/11. but have been having so many mixed emotions. but no one know how you feel but you. forget what people say you tried other programs just didnot work doesnot make you a failure. i have been down that road too.my highest weight was 306. then i started working out watching what i eat and i went down too 244. now im back at 250. so its hard a struggle. so donnot be so hard on yourself. when people ask you let that be your choice if you want to share with them about your surgery. you will be okay everything will work it self out. stay positive :rolleyes:

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I too have my surgery scheduled for July 18th. and I have told only three people. My sister, my best friend and one of my good friends from work. I chose only those people that I feel will be absolutely positive and be my "cheerleaders" and who will not tell anyone else. I just want to do this on my terms with as much positive influences as possible and keep the negative influences to a minimum. There will be a time to tell other people, but for me, it will be later in the process. I just feel better right now about telling anyone else and it took me a long time to tell those three.

:)

I am scheduled for surgery July 18th and I am really struggling with the decision to tell people publically that I am having the surgery. Part of me wants to keep this secret and so far no one outside of my immediate family knows about it. I think I have some deep-seated feelings of diet/exercise failure urking there that makes me feel ashamed to tell anyone about the surgery for fear of feeling like a total failure. I don't want to face the judgement that may come from people who have no clue what it is like to struggle with weight for years.

On the other hand I am a what you see is what you get kind of girl by nature and lying to people about why I will be off work and why I will be losing weight rapidly (hopefully) makes me feel guilty. Not telling anyone is something that goes against my moral makeup. But fear of undue judgement with outing myself is exactly the kind of response to my weight I am trying to get away from. Don't we all want to be treated like weight doesn't matter? Too bad we live in such a superficial society that puts looks above anything else.

I guess I want to hear if anyone else struggled with this like I am and what you decided in the end. Also, are you happy with that decision.

Thanks!

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