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To tell or not to tell



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I know there are a few threads that address devious to tell family and co-workers but for this of you that chose not to tell, how did you explain your rapid weight loss?

I’m scheduled for October and trying to get my ducks in a row from a leave standpoint at work. I have a close group of friends and I’m on the fence about telling them. I attempted to once and chickened out.

I am not one to be overly secretive but just don’t want to address the “easy way out” neigh sayers. But after being out of the office for the procedure, followed by a rapid loss - I am sure the rumor mill will start churning.

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A couple years prior to wls I had lost 90 pounds on my own with tracking my food and exercise and I did it in 9 months. I did put it back on the following year after falling into a depression over the death of a parent, the 90 plus 10. The month before surgery I started talking to family/friends about getting serious about weight loss again. If they asked how I was doing it I would say the same way I did last time, tracking my food and exercise, which is true I am doing those things.

While I was recovering from surgery I told family/friends that I had the flu and it was kicking my butt. This became the reason I couldn't be social for a while or wasn't up to doing much... still getting over that flu, man it was a tough one. It worked for me.

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The people who really cared about me and my goodwill I told. They soon found out that this was not "the easy way out" and I got a lot of positive feedback about my dedication and willingness to give up foods that they said they could not. The people who normally would not ask or care if I was ok, I said nothing and said thank you when they noticed the weight loss. People not in your "inner circle of concern" are not owed an explanation or a made-up story.

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You can’t hide rapid weight loss. People will talk and speculate.

You don’t own anyone an explanation. It’s a choice on who you disclose your private medical information with.

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I had over 200 lbs to lose, so people didn't start noticing until around October (I had surgery in June), after I'd lost about 70 or 80 lbs. So I don't think they made the connection between my weight loss and the "staycation" I'd had four months earlier. By then, my weight loss had slowed a bit, too. I told most people that I was working with a dietitian, low-carbing and exercising like a fiend. I was more honest with close friends and other obese people (the latter because they'd know that was a bunch of crap), but skinny people believed that and were satisfied with that answer. Or at least they seemed like it - because they didn't ask further questions.

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I changed what I was eating in April 2018, spread the word that I was seeing a nutritionist (technically I was). I’m a teacher so I left in June and returned in September 50 lbs lighter, but to them that was over the course of 6 months, not super dramatic. Then when people see you everyday, they don’t tend to notice the changes because it’s not so drastic. They get used to seeing you. I talked a lot about working with my trainer and my meal plans and people never asked me. If they suspected WLS, no one mentioned it.

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I told them I had a meth problem,,,and that is why I was off work getting help

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Thanks for the assistance. I’ve lost almost 40 and people are starting to notice. I am hoping seeing the effort before will make the loss after surgery less dramatic.

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13 hours ago, catwoman7 said:

I was more honest with close friends and other obese people (the latter because they'd know that was a bunch of crap), but skinny people believed that and were satisfied with that answer. Or at least they seemed like it - because they didn't ask further questions.

Haha I love this--I did the same thing. I've been quite open with my immediate family, close friends and a couple of colleagues who I trust, and also obese people who I'm less close to but would know that 100 lbs of weight loss in 9 months didn't come suddenly from taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

I will say that I'm very glad I told a couple of colleagues who I also consider to be friends/acquaintances because I felt safe eating lunch with them and knew I wouldn't have to field "how do you do it?!" type questions. Each of them also opened up about their own health struggles--one with fertility, the other with anorexia, and the other with being overweight but not so overweight to qualify for surgery. It really transitioned them from being acquaintances to friends, and they have not betrayed my trust.

I do regret telling my neighbor, who is a 75-year-old Dutch woman (for reference, I'm 34 and American). We see each other almost every day and she means well, but she didn't have the nuance or empathy to take in the news in the way I needed. She asked some awful, insensitive questions like "How did you get to be so big anyway? I never see you stuffing your face." But on the bright side she was next door in case anything went wrong. Now she gives me constant compliments and is always telling me how much skinnier and amazing I look--which I actually don't even really like, because it feels like demeaning pre-surgery me, who I also loved. I think the compliments are the most weird to deal with, personally.

This is an incredibly personal decision that will be different for everyone. You can feel it out as you go--just make sure each person you tell is trustworthy in terms of respecting both your decision to get the surgery, your current appearance and your privacy.

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