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Feeling Awkward & Embarrassed About Visible Weight Loss



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Hey everybody,

I'm still pre-op, but my surgery is June 20th, so we're getting pretty close now. I started dieting last October, just before Halloween (I remember because of all that candy I miraculously chose not to eat) and I've managed to lose just about forty pounds so far, and gone down one pant size, though not a shirt size, weirdly... But anyway, at work and at home, my friends/co-workers/family have all started talking to me about how I look. They say it's clear I've lost some weight, that I'm looking really good, aren't I excited for the surgery... One co-worker even has this thing she says all the time about me coming back after the summer (I work in a school) as a "whole new person".

I know these sound like compliments, but I hate them. I don't know how to respond, or act, and it makes me feel really awkward and embarrassed when people start talking about me and my weight loss -- even though they're actually being nice! Complimenting me! Supporting my efforts! Am I being a jerk for wanting to tell them to buzz off and mind their own business? I did come out and tell everyone about my weight loss surgery, but I did so because I didn't want to answer questions down the line about why I was refusing to eat/drink anything other than Premier Protein and tiny little half-cup portions of veggies and fruit.

I have a co-worker who actually went out of her way to research the surgery I'm having, and came back asking me questions about how I plan to deal with the loose skin afterward. I think it was out of genuine curiosity but I was so shocked by the question that I answered kind of snottily and she hasn't brought it up again, but jfc, I hate my weight being a topic of conversation so much.

I've mentioned this to my co-workers, and I've asked my family not to discuss it with other people without asking me first, but I guess it's too exciting for them to remember, because my mother can't go five minutes without bringing it up to random strangers at Wal-Mart, and my co-workers bring it up so often... well, at least now summer has started, but I'm cringing at the thought of losing more weight before the school year begins in September. Or worse -- not losing very much weight and completely disappointing everybody around me. I'm feeling resentful of all these people, despite their well-wishes and support, and it's driving me a little crazy to feel like this on top of the constant starvation of a liquid-diet and the anxiety of the major surgery I'm about to have.

It kind of feels like... like I'm excited, but I'm not as excited as the people around me, and I'm not sure what to do with that. Am I already failing mentally as a WLS patient? Does/did anyone else feel like this?

Sorry for the essay, ugh.

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It is hard that people start noticing your weight loss. I even had a former TOPS lady say real snotty. Well, (with her hands on her hips) how much have you lost now. It sounded to me that she was jelly. It feels very awkward to be put on the spot in a group. Heck, my in-laws kept it up so much that I got tired of even going to visit. I hate to use this passage but...it will get better. Try to just bear with it. It will get better. After awhile the compliments will end. Then another insecurity pops it ugly head up. You think why isn't someone noticing my weight loss. LOL It all comes with the journey!! Hang on...it is a GREAT EXCiTING RIDE!! Good Luck

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I struggle with this myself. I’m constantly getting complimented and some even say they don’t recognize me. I must have been dog ugly (sorry but my old dog was ugly, hahaha) and huge prior to weight loss/surgery. I’ve always been one who never really saw myself as heavy as I was but when I look at old pictures of me, it is quite a shock now and it makes me sad to know that was actually me just 5 months ago. Anyway, I’m happy to be on this journey and I’m excited to see where it’s taking me. I guess i just need to deal with the occasional cracks along the path. Happy trails!

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I agree with shedo. It will get better, because your friends and family will get bored with the subject, and something new will come along to claim their attention. That's human nature.

But I do think it's worth saying--it's just not appropriate to comment or ask questions about a person's body unless they've given you an indication that those questions are welcome. If I were talking nonstop to my family about my diet and my weight loss and any discomforts I was feeling, that would be an opening, but since I don't do that, I find it rude to get any of those questions. I would never ask a coworker if they meant to get surgery to correct their bad knee, or if they were going to get implants to fix the receding hairline. And if I knew a family member had had breast reduction surgery, I would never think to ask what size bra she was taking now. But somehow people think weight loss is open for all manner of intrusive comments and questions.

If it gets real bad, you could always stage a breakdown. Just stare at the offender for a minute with your lip quivering, then run out of the room crying. I guarantee you that the word will travel fast that you are "touchy" about being asked about the surgery. :oB)

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Or" You look good today!" You thought maybe i couldnt put me together without help before?
Truth it has been so long since someone actually complimented my appearance I would not know-how to handle it. Sad but very true.

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I also struggle with accepting compliments and attention, idk why, whether it's work, artistic, physical or academic. I choose to grin and say thank you because I know they are given with the best intentions and not to make me uncomfortable.

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It’s def uncomfortable . People mean well and I guess I’d also be bummed if they didn’t notice hahah. But after you say it once it isn’t necessary to keep commenting every time you see me- that’s when it gets weird 🙄

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@bluehat I definitely understand where you are coming from. For me, I don’t want people talking about my weight or the weight I’ve lost because that would mean I would have to acknowledge that I’m obese. It’s no secret but saying it out loud makes it all that much more real.

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I think people think they are being helpful and since it's (usually) meant to be complimentary, they lose sight of how it is still a very private topic to put you on the spot about.

I would (and when it's me, I will) have a few stock responses ready to re-direct the conversation. Just bounce a question back about themselves or something more general like "I cook at home a lot more, do you like to cook?" Hope that helps. And congratulations :)

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@bluehat, we have the same diease and a lot of us do. It's called WhoMe-itis, when someone complements us we say "Who,me?" like we can't believe someone noticed and cares. Smile and say "Why, thank you!" and you're going to realise you are worthy , good and you're finally as good to others as you always knew inside you were!😛💙☀

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I view the comments as compliments. In my head and heart, I recognize the surgery was a step towards improved health and a very positive change in my life. I am not embarrassed by the comments because people are recognizing I am doing the right thing and this is supporting to my efforts. I have only lost 40 lbs so far but am off BP and Diabetic meds already. I simply thank them for their comments and that I know I have a long way to go, but I am on the right path. Be well!

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20 hours ago, Ylime said:

For me, I don’t want people talking about my weight or the weight I’ve lost because that would mean I would have to acknowledge that I’m obese. It’s no secret but saying it out loud makes it all that much more real.

So much this!

I'm the same, I NEVER spoke about my weight or indicated I was in anyway unhappy with that aspect of myself, to anyone, ever. So yes, people mentioning my weight loss makes me so uncomfortable.. I know people mean well, but it forces an acknowledgment there was/is an issue with my weight.

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It is weird at first and I am sure that it will continue to be weird when school starts in the fall and you look REALLY different. Everyone will have a lot to say again.

It it bad to hope that someone in your circle has a scandalous divorce?

Hopefully they will all move on soon so that your surgery can turn into old news. 😉

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1 hour ago, Sleeved36 said:

It it bad to hope that someone in your circle has a scandalous divorce?

Excellent solution! :lol:

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