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When you can't even be honest with yourself



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So this is going to piss off a lot of people. But I call BS on everyone that says they are a "private person" or "its nobody else's business" when trying to justify why they don't admit to having WLS. Saying you had your gall bladder removed or a hernia repaired or any other number of fake surgeries instead of WLS is "sharing" a personal health issue, just not the one you actually had. If you needed a knee or hip replacement, would you fib and say you sprained something to explain your brace and/or crutches? Do you hide your need for insulin if you have diabetes? Do you all wear contacts instead of glasses so people don't know you have bad vision? How about if you needed your appendix removed? A kidney transplant? Can you seriously say you would come up with a "story" to cover up the fact you needed these surgeries?

What are you all afraid of? Why are you ashamed? This was a huge commitment for all of us. Why aren't you willing to stand up and defend your convictions by being honest about your decision to have surgery? Some people claim they don't want to hear negative feedback. Well how is the social stigma of obesity and WLS ever going to be overcome unless those negative people hear and see all of our success stories for themselves. Every time I am asked about my weight loss I see it as an opportunity to educate. Maybe next time the subject is brought up, that person can say "I know someone that had VSG and she looks and feels great! Why don't you give her a call".

I don't mean to offend, I just don't think "privacy" is the whole reason why WLS isn't admitted to and talked about openly.

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I agree! I understand that some people would rather avoid the negativity, but it generally does a disservice to those who suffer from obesity to project a false image of someone who's successfully lost a significant amount of weight without surgery. It just perpetuates the myth that with just a little more will power anyone can lose that weight.

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I do love a good debate.

What if it was HIV or if you needed surgery for urinary incontinence? Would you be quick to share this information with everyone you work with? I've known lots of people that are private about their health.

I did not share my surgery information with the world. I also do not share details about any of my other surgeries or past health issues other than a random cold. I'm just not big on sharing.

I also don't tell people how much money I make or how much I spent on my house. Not everyone is an open book.

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Lexie, All good points. And I'm not talking about shouting it off the rooftops or posting it on social network venues. It's more about the excuses and fibs told when directly asked about our obvious weight loss. I proudly stand up for my decision, but a lot of people don't and I believe there is an element of embarrassment and shame that people aren't admitting to and that isn't being talked about on these forums.

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I'm definitely an open book. And one of my main reasons is that I hope I can be an inspiration to someone one day.

I haven't shouted it from social media just yet but that's only because I'm waiting until I'm post surgery because I'm afraid of jinxing it. Lol

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Agree with points above as well. I didn't share my surgery widely when I did it. And I debated sharing it at all. But once people started asking me what I was doing I just wanted to be honest. I thought about the people I work with or associate with who struggle so hard and can't keep weight off. I felt like it would be cruel to make them think that I just found more strength than they had.

And sharing has led to lots of conversations with people who've considered it, or have a loved one thinking about it. It's nice to feel like my sharing might help someone else - and help reduce the stigma associated with it.

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I went from telling everyone to telling no one, so I understand both sides. I got tired of defending myself. Truth is, educating people doesn't always or in my case ever sway someone's opinion about wls. I've since left my job where everyone knew about my surgery and now only friends and family know. I got so tired of my weight being the topic of discussion. I'm 2 years out now so it isn't at the forefront of everyone's mind when they see me now, thank goodness! I can definitely understand why people would want to keep it secret especially they have a lot of people in their lives. The conversations about what I'm eating and how much I've lost and why I reverted to wls get old real quick! But more power to those who continuously stick up for us!! WLS was a life saver for me!

Edited by Nicolanz

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The thing about it is.....people that have known me for a really long time are gonna know that I had WLS or they're totally stupid. For me.....I have been fat for 20 years and now all of a sudden at 50 yrs old ...Im gonna lose at ton of weight......all by myself.......on my own......YEAH RIGHT!! I don't feel the need to justify it to anyone....Its my money and my body.

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Pretty much embarrassment and shame. I'm also afraid of failing. I don't want to be the girl that couldn't even lose weight after having surgery. That's why I don't tell people. I would have my VSG done a million times over.. but if I had the choice to go back and do it all again, I would choose to not have gotten this fat to begin with. I hate it. I don't want other people to know AND it's none of their business. I also had an abortion, which I still think is the right decision for me at the time.. but do I like that or tell people? Hell no. I wish that hadn't been a thing either. Is it inappropriate for some people to talk about these things with others? Not at all. Does that mean I have to? No. That's my choice.

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You're right...everyone has to do what they feel most comfortable with. I Think shame is something that's normal for us to feel, but we shouldn't have to. It's funny the embarrassment thing doesn't happen to me when I talk about my surgery. But it does when someone asks exactly how much I lost. I won't tell them a number because then I am admitting just how much I actually weighed and I am ashamed I let myself get that fat. The funny thing is, it's mostly the guys that want an exact number. I guess girls just have better "scale etiquette" and know better than to ask :)

And congrats on your success. It looks like you are killing this WLS thing!

Pretty much embarrassment and shame. I'm also afraid of failing. I don't want to be the girl that couldn't even lose weight after having surgery. That's why I don't tell people. I would have my VSG done a million times over.. but if I had the choice to go back and do it all again, I would choose to not have gotten this fat to begin with. I hate it. I don't want other people to know AND it's none of their business. I also had an abortion, which I still think is the right decision for me at the time.. but do I like that or tell people? Hell no. I wish that hadn't been a thing either. Is it inappropriate for some people to talk about these things with others? Not at all. Does that mean I have to? No. That's my choice.

Edited by Kindle

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I chose not to tell anyone except my immediate family. I haven't lied about anything. I didn't make up another surgery to cover. I had mine done in Mexico and all anyone knows is that I took a trip to Mexico with my sister. No one has said anything or asked me how I lost weight. Everyone that I'm around knows that I started running a lot, so I guess they assumed I was losing from that. I have had people ask how much I have lost (rude!) and I say a bunch or enough. I'm a private person. I don't like talking about the surgery. It would bore me to tears answering the same questions over and over. I also had extensive plastic surgery this summer and didn't tell anyone but my best friend. I work at home and was in between projects so I didn't have to see anyone for two months. I'm guessing most people assume that I just lost more weight. I don't know why this subject comes up all the time.

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Kindle, your lifestyle and personality are such that you aren't harmed by others' opinions about either WLS in general or your own WLS. Your decision to be transparent about WLS works for you.

But your situation isn't the same as mine. Looking only at our work situations, you work in veterinary medicine, and I work with people who wear suits six days a week.

My clients and yours probably couldn't be more different in terms of what is considered appropriate to discuss when the meter's running. "Buttoned down" only begins to describe how formal my work world is.

It's also a judgmental culture, in the sense that judgment is what my clients pay for and what their clients pay them for. Very few (if any) of my clients and work colleagues are overweight, much less obese. They are fit, fashionable and lead mostly healthy lifestyles. The comments they've made over the years about people who are heavy make it crystal-clear that they have zero understanding or empathy for those who are not like them. And trying to convince any of them that WLS is the proper response to obesity would be like trying to convince them that ... sorry, but I can't even think of a suitable analogy.

One of my motivations for WLS was to be able to become even more successful in my career. I'm not looking to be perceived as even more different from them.

So in response to your thread title, I am very honest with myself. But I do not see any upside for me in being honest with them.

Does this put a barrier between my work colleagues and clients and me? To some extent, yes. Is it possible I could change my mind and become more transparent with them? That option is always available to me.

But while I'm going through all these WLS changes myself and sorting out my own feelings about so many aspects of weight, overweight, health, and other things in my life, the last thing I need or want is to struggle through difficult conversations with people who have no understanding of the problems I have struggled with since I was six years old.

So this is why I think the decision to tell or not tell about WLS will always remain a very personal decision. There is no universal right or wrong about this decision.

In many ways, this ongoing debate about WLS transparency reminds me of my all-time favorite bumper sticker (seen 30 years ago on the back of a San Francisco taxi): "Opposed to abortion? Don't have one."

Edited by VSGAnn2014

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@@Kindle

I am totally okay with your choice, I would appreciate the same curtesy with mine. You love to share, I don't. Does that make you better then me? The moment you comment about how others should feel, and how it's BS you kind of cross a line. As long as you are defending your choices and in the process trying to educate others on the validity of your argument/position you stand on moral solid ground. Even not understand other's positions is understandable. Lots of people have trouble with empathy. But asking what are you ashamed of? Really! So glad you didn't pick psychology as your profession. Perhaps you can be a great campaigner for WLS surgery instead. I wish you nothing but the best on your endeavors. Yours is a worthy cause.

Is this healthy debate? - NO, it is neither helpful nor instructive but it is hurtful.

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So this is going to piss off a lot of people. But I call BS on everyone that says they are a "private person" or "its nobody else's business" when trying to justify why they don't admit to having WLS. Saying you had your gall bladder removed or a hernia repaired or any other number of fake surgeries instead of WLS is "sharing" a personal health issue, just not the one you actually had. If you needed a knee or hip replacement, would you fib and say you sprained something to explain your brace and/or crutches? Do you hide your need for insulin if you have diabetes? Do you all wear contacts instead of glasses so people don't know you have bad vision? How about if you needed your appendix removed? A kidney transplant? Can you seriously say you would come up with a "story" to cover up the fact you needed these surgeries?

What are you all afraid of? Why are you ashamed? This was a huge commitment for all of us. Why aren't you willing to stand up and defend your convictions by being honest about your decision to have surgery? Some people claim they don't want to hear negative feedback. Well how is the social stigma of obesity and WLS ever going to be overcome unless those negative people hear and see all of our success stories for themselves. Every time I am asked about my weight loss I see it as an opportunity to educate. Maybe next time the subject is brought up, that person can say "I know someone that had VSG and she looks and feels great! Why don't you give her a call".

I don't mean to offend, I just don't think "privacy" is the whole reason why WLS isn't admitted to and talked about openly.

In the beginning of my journey I was so frightened that I would fail that I thought it would be a good idea to see if I had the stuff to succeed. I was also in a place where it would have been hard because I was always the heaviest and people liked that. So I said I had some work done on scar tissue from former ulcers.

Then all hell broke loose as you know and it was difficult to keep the lie going.

Now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am an open book. I feel a great need to put myself out there in a positive light to fight obesity and help others who suffered like I did and do. So if it comes up now...Well look out.. Do you have a hour or several..lol

I had my demons and my own pain and fears to deal with at first. I am farther in the journey now and the skies the limit as far as my plans to be more vocal about it..Watch out world. I plan on kicking some ass about the benefits of wLS even though I have been through the wringer. I am so glad I did this!! I really am!

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I am a private person - when I went thru a divorce 20+ years ago, no one in my office knew until they saw my name change back to my maiden name - was I embarrassed about getting divorced? No, I was happy to get rid of the abusive piece of crap, it just wasn't anyone's business.

There are now six people that know I had surgery - husband, son, parents and two friends. I just told my oldest friend last night. We recently reconnected after a couple of years of shutting her out. I felt like I wasn't being authentic with her when I didn't tell her about my surgery. I felt the need to tell her and finally did. She was supportive as I expected her to be. We had a great talk about it - she is naturally thin, she has different struggles than me. She listened and showed genuine concern and happiness for me.

I do not feel the need to tell people I barely know "how I lost all the weight". I just don't. I feel like telling them gives them license to share my story with others - this is my story, not theirs to gossip about. I live in a small community - the minute I tell one of the mom's at school, mom's on the other side of town will know. It's not that I'm ashamed, it's my story, not fat to chew at the pick up line at the school.

We are all different - our bodies were made differently, our personalities are different. That's what makes this such an awesome forum. I love to read other peoples' perspectives - I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to this debate other than "Do what's best for you!"

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