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This topic would make an interesting psychological study. After significant weight loss, do we feel superior or empathetic toward those who walk in our former shoes. Having lost around 100 pounds three times before by dieting, not surgery, I found myself feeling superior. If I can do it, why can't they? They must be made of weaker stuff than I am, right? But this time around, after losing even more weight and keeping it off for over a year, I find myself feeling empathetic instead. Is it because this time I used the surgery "tool", or am I just more mature and less judgmental than I was in decades past? Maybe it's a bit of both. But in general when I see someone who is significantly overweight, I want to reach out and help them by giving advice about surgery. BUT.... If it's a stranger I stop myself. There's a 99.99% chance that they don't want unsolicited advice about their weight. The same is probably true for friends, but in that case I feel more comfortable saying something like... "I don't know if you know this, but I used to be a whole lot bigger than I am now. I lost 120 pounds through bariatric surgery and I just want to tell you that if you ever want to learn about it, (the good, the bad, and the ugly), you can reach out to me and I'll be happy to share my experience with you. I'm never going to bring this up again, but I just wanted you to now that I'm a resource if you ever need it. Okay?" And then I shut up.

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Its funny because there are other people looking at you thinking bad about what you're wearing, talking, hair style, tattoo, economic status, age and so on. Just because you lose weight and are at goal doesn't mean people do not look down on you for many other reasons.

Sent from my SM-G930P using the BariatricPal App

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As someone who has had years of therapy for my issues, I can say this also applies to people who are getting mentally healthy. I sometimes want to intervene and give advise or support, but I know that respecting people's boundaries is important. I'm just at the beginning of my weight loss, and I hope that I can be empathetic, but when you're healing, mentally or physically, we often want to intercede or judge others for not doing what we are doing. With alcohol and drug addiction people have to be ready to kick the habit, and they still struggle. I think that trying to remember that people are where they are at because they are not ready for change, and may never be ready to change, is an important thing to remember. I hope that I will remember that as I become more successful in my journey.

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Shades of self hatred here. It has to do with how we see and treat ourselves more than anything else.

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This is a great topic, even if it's an old thread.

I've been at / below goal for 14 months now. And I definitely take notice of heavy strangers when I'm out and about -- probably more now than I used to. (BTW, I don't pay much attention to the size of people I already know, because I'm focused on what we're doing together or discussing.)

It would be hard for me, as a WLS patient who recently lost 100 pounds, not to notice others' sizes and wonder if they look as big as I used to be, or bigger, or how our sizes compared before I lost weight, or how our sizes compare now, etc. The thoughts and emotions I have about these heavy strangers are all over the place, depending on my mood, how they present themselves, and so many other things.

Do I feel superior to them? Honestly -- sometimes, I do. But that feeling is immediately coupled with immense gratitude to the fates / my surgeon / my PCP / my own efforts / whoever invented the sleeve / etc. that I'm no longer in their shoes. I'm also overwhelmed by how much change I've undergone in the last two years.

Often I project my old memories of obesity onto these heavy strangers. I think I know the pain in their joints and back. I think I know the mental exhaustion they go through just finding the energy to go to the grocery store and the resolution it takes to keep moving their carts toward the back of the store and finish their shopping lists. I think I know from their lack of eye contact how frustrated / embarrassed / mortified / angry they are about their situation, their appearance, their health concerns and how disadvantaged they feel at work and in their personal relationships because of their growing weight.

Sometimes these encounters are emotionally overwhelming. For me, being obese was brutal. It was an awful way to try to live. It's hard to see others in that situation.

On a related note, I recently started being a guest lecturer at my bariatric surgeon's all-day educational seminars for patients now prepping for their own WLS. When I'm standing in front of those folks I feel like I'm with my tribe.

I try to tell my own WLS story in a way that makes it easy for them to identify with the "skinny bitch" I now look like at 135 pounds and to imagine they could soon feel renewed health and social freedom. I show slides of myself over the years -- of unflattering weight fluctuations, aging, with obvious growing exhaustion and health challenges.

From their head nods and strong eye contact and smiles I know we're connecting. I wouldn't walk up to a stranger and offer them some version of "WLS could save you, too." But those pre-op patients are sitting where I sat three years ago. I know how badly they NEED TO FEEL that their hope is not irrational and that they really can escape the prison of obesity. I feel so honored to give back this way.

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On a related topic, I still get judged by the non-obese for my size. Now keep in mind, I'm 2 years post VSG (and 8 days post revision to bypass because of GERD), have lost 130 lbs and wear a size 4. I was shopping at the outlets and went into Lululemon to look at the workout clothes. As I walked in the door, the greeter looked me up and down, smiled at me and sweetly said, "the size 12-14's are to the left by the men's". In that exact moment, she took me back to when I was 255 lbs. I felt so horrible and all I could do was turn tail and walk away. That moment reinforced to me how hurtful and harmful it is to judge someone solely by size. (Although it makes no sense given that I don't think I look like I wear a 12). Do I feel empathy for the obese? Yes. Do I wish everyone got to the point where they were ready to lose the weight? Yes. But I realize all I can do is try not to judge the journey someone else is on just because I chose a different path. Because I know from experience that it hurts.

Sent from my iPhone using the BariatricPal App

Edited by stacyrg2

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On a related topic, I still get judged by the non-obese for my size. Now keep in mind, I'm 2 years post VSG (and 8 days post revision to bypass because of GERD), have lost 130 lbs and wear a size 4. I was shopping at the outlets and went into Lululemon to look at the workout clothes. As I walked in the door, the greeter looked me up and down, smiled at me and sweetly said, "the size 12-14's are to the left by the men's". In that exact moment, she took me back to when I was 255 lbs. I felt so horrible and all I could do was turn tail and walk away. That moment reinforced to me how hurtful and harmful it is to judge someone solely by size. (Although it makes no sense given that I don't think I look like I wear a 12). Do I feel empathy for the obese? Yes. Do I wish everyone got to the point where they were ready to lose the weight? Yes. But I realize all I can do is try not to judge the journey someone else is on just because I chose a different path. Because I know from experience that it hurts.

Sent from my iPhone using the BariatricPal App

Just one reason I will NEVER give Lululemon a penny no matter what my size. Everything I have ever heard about that company is repulsive.

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I gotta say ... I now want to find a Lululemon and encounter that kind of response just so I can RESPOND to it!

If I do make a field trip there, after having been well forewarned, I will report back and relate the fun I had at their expense.

;)

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I gotta say ... I now want to find a Lululemon and encounter that kind of response just so I can RESPOND to it!

If I do make a field trip there, after having been well forewarned, I will report back and relate the fun I had at their expense.

;)

Oh, goody! This sounds like it could be entertaining.

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Their clothes are so not cute anyway !

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On a related topic, I still get judged by the non-obese for my size. Now keep in mind, I'm 2 years post VSG (and 8 days post revision to bypass because of GERD), have lost 130 lbs and wear a size 4. I was shopping at the outlets and went into Lululemon to look at the workout clothes. As I walked in the door, the greeter looked me up and down, smiled at me and sweetly said, "the size 12-14's are to the left by the men's". In that exact moment, she took me back to when I was 255 lbs. I felt so horrible and all I could do was turn tail and walk away. That moment reinforced to me how hurtful and harmful it is to judge someone solely by size. (Although it makes no sense given that I don't think I look like I wear a 12). Do I feel empathy for the obese? Yes. Do I wish everyone got to the point where they were ready to lose the weight? Yes. But I realize all I can do is try not to judge the journey someone else is on just because I chose a different path. Because I know from experience that it hurts.

Sent from my iPhone using the BariatricPal App

Just one reason I will NEVER give Lululemon a penny no matter what my size. Everything I have ever heard about that company is repulsive.

Me neither. I'm out. I've moved on to better stores. Gap Fit, Athleta and Fabletics now get my money.

Sent from my iPhone using the BariatricPal App

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