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Do you tell others? Do you feel embarrassed or ashamed?



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I'm really considering keeping my whole surgery a secret from everyone except my partner ( who is supportive ).

I have a lot of feelings of embarrassment and shame about Bariatric surgery because I was very active in the fat acceptance and the health at every size communities in the past. I still believe that fat people can be active and healthy and definitely that fat people have innate worth.

But I want to lose weight none the less. I want this surgery and I want to feel comfortable and appropriate in my own body. I want to be lighter and smaller for health and other reasons.

But there is a stigma to this surgery. Have you experienced any negative feedback from peers? Have you dealt with feelings of embarrassment of shame about your surgery? Do you selectively not tell people?

I mean, I hope I'll drop about 100lbs and I suspect people will ask how I did it. I don't want to lie. I kind of just want no one to notice at all.

Thanks for your input.

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my family and close friends know - plus a handful of others. So not many. I just tell others I've been working with a dietitian the last two years and exercising like crazy. Which is technically true - I just omitted the part about the surgery. Skinny people probably believe this schlock - I doubt many people who have struggled with their weight do (although I tend to be more open about my surgery with other obese people).

and yes - people will definitely notice a 100 lb loss.

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Being private about surgery is one subject, dwelling in stigma and shame is another. No one can stigmatize and shame you as deeply and harmfully as you are doing on your own.

It's my non-professional, yet quite human opinion that you're not ready for surgery. To go ahead with it already believing that it's shameful and wanting to live invisibly ("I kind of just want no one to notice at all") is masochistic. If you strutted your fat to prove to the world that you had a right to live, why don't you have the right to live differently because you're decided that you want something different? If it's the fat-acceptance population you're fearing, don't. Any member of that group who understands that she has a right to a place in society should understand that, unless others have the same rights, no one does.

"I want to be lighter and smaller for health and other reasons." What other reasons? Might "appearance" be among them? That's a good thing. Aesthetics of environment and body have been part of the existence of higher life forms since the days before speech. People not only painted the walls of caves, they also adorned their bodies.

If I were you, I'd hold off surgery until I knew I'd walk into the OR with my head high and eager for the future. I'd see a therapist. Until your emotions and thinking are positive, it's premature to think about whom to tell and what to tell those you haven't told when they comment on the weight loss. That last part is easy, anyway.

P.S. I felt no shame about surgery before and have felt none since. The people I've told have been supportive to one degree or another; some were neither here nor there. There are times I've told strangers because it was appropriate to the conversation. There was no reason to tell anyone else.

Edited by WLSResources/ClothingExch

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This is your journey. Nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed. You are on a path to a healthy living.

I have chosen a few friends. My boss only knows I am going out on FMLA.

This again is your life and you should embrace the new chapter you are starting.

Cocoon to Butterfly

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I chose to tell people that were close to me and honestly sometimes I wish I hadn't. First, it is NONE of anyones business.

I am not nor have I ever been ashamed of having WLS. I had it for health reasons alone without even realizing all the other fantastic benefits like how I look, how i carry myself and most importantly how confident i am now.

That being said, people that do NOT understand that obesity is actually a metabolic disease assume that if we just ate less and excercise more we would lose the weight. The truth is, that can happen. It is keeping the weight off forever that is near impossible for those living with this metabolic disease. Also, the older you get and the more that you yo yo diet, the more you mess up your metabolism until you simply struggle to lose anything. this happens when you get older.....

There is nothing wrong with keeping this knowledge to yourself. it is your health and no one has a right to know.

Today, when people ask me how I lost all my weight I simply say: I have been working hard on a high Protein, lower carb well balanced diet. I get as much exercise as I can.

If someone who is heavy themselves aska and they truly seem interested, I will share that I had WLS with them. You can usually tell when people are being real and not catty about it in just the way they ask.

I did initially tell our best friends and things became very weird spending time with them right after surgery. They are both obese as is my hubby and like to go to restaurants that I could never eat at initially. Now, I can find something to eat on pretty much every menu.

They made me feel out of place and uncomfortable. They would not comment on my significant loss and avoid hanging out with us. In fact when I first told my friend, she mentioned that she works with a lady who had RNY and initially lost some weight but is now constantly eating candy. It was almost as if she was saying....it wont work for you. Anyway, now that I am two years post op and maintaining, things have gotten back to normal with them.

I just felt like everyone would be watching what I eat or drink.....that has not been the case and it is almost as if i have always been this weight now when we spend time with them. I think a lot of the weirdness was really me and not them.

Now, I really don't care what people think but I certainly dont advertise it because it just isn't that important....

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For me I didn't really care who knew. Since I am running for a State of Michigan Veterans of Foreign Wars position I put it on my FB page.

Sent from my iPad using the BariatricPal App

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I tell anyone who asks and tell them that I chose that option for the health benefits - which by now are obvious to everyone.

Most people have been very supportive although I did lose one friend over it. But I recognise that the issue was hers, not mine. My losing weight and getting more healthy made her more conscious of her own problems. But I also recognise this was the path I chose and she has to choose her own path.

My advice to you is own your choice and allow others to own theirs even if it means you lose a friend or two. There is a place for being confident at whatever size you are, but when it affects health then it needs to change.

Good luck with your journey and look forward to the positive health changes you are going to experience because of the choice you are making

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I just tell others I've been working with a dietitian the last two years and exercising like crazy. Which is technically true - I just omitted the part about the surgery. Skinny people probably believe this schlock

Haha you make me laugh there. That's probably very true.

I suppose that's a good way to quickly explain it to people like my corworkers who I'm not close to. I mostly don't want people like that all up in my business.

Sent from my iPhone using the BariatricPal App

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If asked, and I was the talk of the town at our holiday party Wednesday, I just say I've given up alcohol, carbs, sugar and do not go over 1000 calories. I also leave out the part about surgery.

Sent from my SM-N910T using the BariatricPal App

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I'm keeping my whole thing a secret. Not because I'm ashamed or embarrassed, but most people even, even close friends have become extremely judgmental. I am in no position to explain my decision to no one, therefore, easiest way to go about is not mentioning it at all.

I am doing it for my one well-being and No one elses.

I've always been active, but I've developed diabetes, pcos and hormonal imbalance, imagine explaining to people why you can't loose weight even with all the workout you do.

Me, myself and I are the only ones in charge of this beautiful body that God had put in this world. Therefore there's no explaining to do to no one, but me!.

You need to be at peace with your self.

You're doing it for you, not to please the world.

Sent from my SM-G900V using the BariatricPal App

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If asked, and I was the talk of the town at our holiday party Wednesday, I just say I've given up alcohol, carbs, sugar and do not go over 1000 calories. I also leave out the part about surgery.

Sent from my SM-N910T using the BariatricPal App

This is exactly what I say.

I am not ashamed of the surgery, but I don't share my personal health information, either. If you don't need to know about my new IUD or my hemorrhoids, then you don't need to know about my weight. I don't understand why people think they have a right to discuss your medical care and status.

Sent from my SM-G925V using the BariatricPal App

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If asked, and I was the talk of the town at our holiday party Wednesday, I just say I've given up alcohol, carbs, sugar and do not go over 1000 calories. I also leave out the part about surgery.

Sent from my SM-N910T using the BariatricPal App

This is exactly what I say.

I am not ashamed of the surgery, but I don't share my personal health information, either. If you don't need to know about my new IUD or my hemorrhoids, then you don't need to know about my weight. I don't understand why people think they have a right to discuss your medical care and status.

Sent from my SM-G925V using the BariatricPal App

That's very comforting. I sort of got the feeling it would have to be public information or a total secret.

But I can share my healthy lifestyle habits without revealing my surgical history. I have a right to my own privacy.

I think people always see weight as an issue they're allowed to chime in on. And that's really not right. It's really only my business.

Sent from my iPhone using the BariatricPal App

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I'm keeping my whole thing a secret. Not because I'm ashamed or embarrassed, but most people even, even close friends have become extremely judgmental. I am in no position to explain my decision to no one, therefore, easiest way to go about is not mentioning it at all.

I am doing it for my one well-being and No one elses.

I've always been active, but I've developed diabetes, pcos and hormonal imbalance, imagine explaining to people why you can't loose weight even with all the workout you do.

Me, myself and I are the only ones in charge of this beautiful body that God had put in this world. Therefore there's no explaining to do to no one, but me!.

You need to be at peace with your self.

You're doing it for you, not to please the world.

Sent from my SM-G900V using the BariatricPal App

I can imagine because my partner has pcos and a failed WLS and she is very active. So active that she injured her knee and had to have surgery.

That's part of the reason I'm doing this. I'm scared to be active and injure my joints which are already weak.

I agree, this is a decision for me, and I don't really care what most of my peers think. But more than embarrassment I do fear judgement, misunderstanding, and losing friends.

But then again I think that the people who would hold WLS against me probably already hold my obesity against me and probably shouldn't be my friends anyway.

Sent from my iPhone using the BariatricPal App

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believing that it's shameful and wanting to live invisibly ("I kind of just want no one to notice at all") is masochistic.

To be fair, my current state is living in shame and wanting to live invisibly and not be noticed every day. I'm actually hoping the surgery will help with that. My fat acceptance activism days are back in college.

"I want to be lighter and smaller for health and other reasons." What other reasons? Might "appearance" be among them? That's a good thing.

Yes appearance is among them. Also I want my life experiences not to be limited by weight limits. I want to fit into seats on trains and airplanes. I want to be light and to carry myself lightly.

I feel like that is my personality and presence is young, light, and gentle and my body doesn't match how I feel on the inside. Even my voice ( a soft childlike soprano) doesn't match.

So because of those reasons appearance is especially important to me. Also, I want to feel good and confident in my body. I don't want to be ashamed of my own body anymore.

If I were you, I'd hold off surgery until I knew I'd walk into the OR with my head high and eager for the future.

The earliest I'd be able to have surgery is August 2017 so I have plenty of time to work through this with my therapist. Thanks for all your insight.

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I've chosen not to tell people. I use to mention when I was starting Weight Watchers or any other diet and people would ask, "should you be eating that?" or "how much weight have you lost?" I got tired of my latest diet defining how people spoke to me. If anyone asks now I tell them I'm doing Atkins / South Beach style--low carb and high Protein. I also say I'm doing everything we have all learned before such as chewing well, small portions, etc. ALL of this is true. Surgery is just another tool for me.

Banded 10/12/16

Edited by Treadmillwalker

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