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HI guys,

My very first post on this awesome forum. Your stories have been so great and I feel a lot better going into surgery knowing that there's a supportive community out there for people like me.

I have a lot of questions, but one of them that comes to mind:

For my job I often take people out to lunches. I'm not making my surgery common knowledge, and I know I'll have a lot of restrictions in the months following, so I'll avoid eating out at the beginning. Let's say about 6 months out, if I go out to lunch with people, will it be glaringly obvious to them by how little I'm eating? In other words, if you're sitting across from a post-VSG patient 6 months or a year out, what do you see?

What about your experiences? Has eating out been difficult? What do you order at your favorite restaurants now, and how much of it do you eat? Can you have a glass of wine with dinner?

Thanks in advance, lovely people!

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I usually order a bowl of Soup or a small appetizer depending on the type of place we are dining. So many people are watching their food intake that they really don't watch what you eat. Or I will order a lunch portion and nibble on in and box it up to take back to the office. I am not able to do wine with my dinner or any liquid really. I always order a Water so it looks like I have something. ;)

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You can still go to lunch early out. Just order a cup of Soup, chili, or something like that. You'll be eating more "normal" foods as early as a couple months out. Just order fish, chicken, beef (although beef is hard for some) and a veggie. Leave the starch and the bread alone. Take what you don't eat home. See? Easy.

I go to a lot of business lunches for my job, also. I used to stress about if they were noticing how much (or in our case, how little) I was eating. Turns out, nobody notices or even cares. For all they know, you're on a diet.

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Hi.

Why hide it. Eventually they will all ask how you lost the weight. Who cares how you did it, at least you did something to make yourself become more healthy. Yes, they will stare and then ask questions.

I bring friends to dinner too, or get asked to go for a bite. I order what I can eat, mostly it goes home with me for other meals, but I let them know why and they are okay with it.

You did this for YOU and not them. They will ask questions, or some may just talk behind your back and think you may be sick. Be honest with yourself and with others.

annamarie

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It's pretty easy if you order something like chili or Soup. It can be a little more weird if you are picking your food apart or leaving sides uneaten. Like, today I went to lunch with two coworkers. One knows about my surgery and the other doesn't. The place we went had pretty limited options (mostly sandwiches), so I ordered chicken tenders and then proceeded to peel all the breading off of them. I just told the one coworker who doesn't know about my surgery that I'm doing low-carb right now and didn't want to eat the breading.

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I'm not "hiding it", I simply see no reason to share my personal information with everyone.

If anyone notices what I've ordered or how little I've eaten, I simply tell them I am watching my diet, I am really not hungry, or that I had a big (previous meal).

I typically order Soup or an appetizer. Sometimes I order a side salad and add chicken. I rarely spend more than $10 including tip on a meal and I try not to order something I need to take home unless my husband is home to eat it. In the last almost two years, only 2-3 people have commented (and I go out a LOT) and no one really cared about my answer.

People are too wrapped up in themselves or what's going on around the room to pay attention to what everyone is or is not eating.

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Soup (early on), fish or appetizers are a great choice when you're out. You'll be surprised how much other are NOT watching you! Take some home or order a la carte if you can. I order off the kids menu sometimes as well. Not the healthiest choices there, but I'm not going to eat very much of that chicken finger anyway and it didn't hurt my progress.

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Thanks so very much for your answers everyone! I'm so relieved that it's not hopeless to find restaurant food to eat. And thank you to those who are saying that people aren't going to be looking that closely. I sometimes forget that no one is really paying too much attention while everyone is chatting.

(Also, while I appreciate the advice, I see no reason why I should share something like this with other people if I don't want to. Having this surgery is an intensely personal choice, and I am choosing to keep it that way. Thanks!)

Edited by carrie3101

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I recently changed companies and went to a buffet lunch with several new co-workers. I immediately grabbed a salad plate to keep my portions small. I didn't even really think about it. I just grabbed a little bit o' this 'n that at the buffet...proteins and a few veggies. At my previous company, all my co-workers knew.

When I sat down, it suddenly dawned on me how little food I got compared to everyone else and they didn't know about my surgery. One co-worker asked, "Saving room for dessert, eh? You're a light eater."

I actually told them that I'd had the surgery and they were so interested in hearing about the surgery and my journey. And what's really cool is everyone said they couldn't believe that I was ever large. One co-worker said, "But you're so thin! You look like you've always been skinny!" Talk about words I'd never thought I'd hear! I whipped out my driver's license, which is just about the only pic of me at 305lbs. And I got the ooohs and aaaaahs.

So I have to admit...telling co-workers and others can have it's advantages and pique interest. It also portrays a positive and safe image for weight loss surgery. Especially those people who want to talk about "the friend who got WLS but gained it all back."

It's everyone's individual choice, of course, as countless threads on here have discussed.

If you do want to keep it a secret, an easy out is to get most of your food to go and say that you prefer to eat sevearl smaller meals, which is totally true. You just don't have to say why. ;)

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I order a salad with shrimp, dressing on the side so I can take the leftovers home. If they don't have a light dressing that you like, bring your own. I use an empty MIO container. It's the perfect size. Just tell people you like this dressing better that what restaurants usually have. Or I get fish, chicken or shrimp. You can ask them to grill it instead of frying it. If they come pre-breaded (UGH), you know it's not fresh anyway, so I probably would find more healthy place to eat.

Good luck to you!!!

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When I have ordered a full meal at restaurants I have actually had a few waiters/waitresses ask me if something was wrong with the food since it looked like I barely touched it. I just tell them no that I can't eat much and either take the food home or, if it was bad, just send it off.

Mostly I try to order appetizers but those can be really high in calories since most of them are usually fried. I like the idea of a salad with Protein but I have never been huge on salads. Right now though I definitely need more Fiber in my diet.

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Since nobody addressed the alcohol I will. When you are allowed alcohol seems to vary from surgeon to surgeon.

I have read some surgeons are no alcohol ever, for a year after surgery or not until you get to the maintenance phase.

I am allowed to have alcohol in moderation at 6 months. I have been told that many post WLS people become a cheap date. They get buzzed MUCH quicker post surgery than pre surgery due to the change in anatomy. Therefore, I would not try alcohol for the first time when you are out with clients. You may want to try that glass of wine at home or a non-business event with a designated driver.

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