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So, I feel funny writing about this, but...has anyone else ever experienced a negative change in their social life post-op?
I had my surgery back in January. Although my physical health has made drastic improvements, I'm afraid my mental health has taken a toll.
I noticed people have been treating me very differently since having the surgery. I've been getting so many rude comments, I can't keep up. They think I "took the easy way out (not realizing it was actually quite the opposite: the last resort)," and/or are freaked out by all my new eating habits and restrictions or are saying cruel things like "oh, you'll just gain it back like so-and-so did anyway, you watch." A lot of them have also proceeded to claim my changed appearance "weirds them out." Some of my now ex-friends have even gone so far to complain that I "betrayed the body positivity movement by giving into society's expectations of what women should look like." What the actual heck? Even dating, something I thought would get better as I lost weight, is just as bad as it was before. Since I can't drink alcohol anymore or eat a lot of foods, guys have been pretty hostile. Although I've been private about my surgery while dating (simply stating I have a strict diet I need to follow), that hasn't stopped guys from being mean or rude.
Bottom line here is I've lost a lot of friends this past year and my love life is no better than it was. I'm extremely lonely and depressed.
Has anyone else ever encountered this? What can I do to change it? Why is there so much social stigma towards this surgery?

I felt I had a great support system, but I got some eye rolls from my sister when I mentioned this app today and It did bother me. She didn't want to hear about it. She been with me from the Beginning so she knows how much I've put into it. I lost 95lb on my own following the dieticians plan and daily workouts, and logging every bite I put in my mouth. If you're like me the bariatric program requirements just to be approved for surgery includes jumping perfectly through all those hoops to give us the best chance for long term success possible. So we do A LOT to get approved, then it is so hard afterwards, NOTHING is easy about it. I knew that i had to do this tho and for your reasons so do you. I am 3 weeks post op and i have said 25 times "why in the world did I do this?" My surgeon said I will probably be saying that 25 more times before I get everything figured out, and in the end it will be worth it, I do believe that. You deserve to have all the support in the world. I would ignore those so called friends unless they have an apology for you and some respect that you deserve. I hope that this gets much better for you. They should be proud of you and stand beside you throughout.

You'll be in my thoughts, & Good things coming your way!

Sent from my SM-T307U using BariatricPal mobile app

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4 hours ago, Lilfootie said:

People are not toxic.

Yes, some of them are.

IMO people are "toxic" if they continue their (abusive) behavior after having been called out on it, especially after telling them repeatedly that their behavior is not ok the way it is. They know their behavior is not ok but they continue to behave this way.

I don't want to have overly selfish, manipulative, passive-aggressive etc. acting people in my life. There are people with some really sh*tty personality traits out there I don't want to deal with voluntarily.

ETA: However, I also hold the (maybe not very popular) opinion that not all WLS peeps change for the better after having lost weight. Sometimes it's not "the others" who're the problem, but the person who've lost weight.

Edited by summerset

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On 10/5/2020 at 8:37 PM, ChubRub said:

I'm so sorry this has happened to you!

I think it's time to find some new friends! I know it's hard to socialize during Covid, but do you have any hobbies or interests that would lend to joining a club? Gardening, hiking, skiing, cycling, golf, etc? If you could find some friends with non-food involved hobbies, then you would eliminate some of the problems. Likewise with dating, instead of going out to eat or to a bar, how about going hiking, skiing or playing mini golf. Just trying to think of a few ideas!

Thank you! Unfortunately, there aren't many options for non-food related activities, which stinks. But hopefully that will change at some point. Thank you again for the kind words!

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On 10/5/2020 at 8:57 PM, JillianL said:

Some people may feel threatened or jealous. This is something that scares me, that I will lose people. I think in the end the people that are meant to be on your journey stay. As far as the others you just bid them farewell and good wishes. I have to admit before finally checking into getting surgery done. I had two friends that went to Mexico and had the sleeve done last year. I am admitting that I was green with envy when I saw them dropping weight. Here I was struggling with Hypothyroidism and emotional stuff and they were posting pictures looking phenomenal. I felt it wasn't fair. I sat and cried my eyes out because I have been working hard on my own to do it and nothing was happening. Having the initial appointment today was overwhelming. You have to change everything, so it is hard work and the stacks of orders of tests from the doctor. This surgery is a tool, not a cure all. No one lives inside your body, they have no idea what you go through. I have one friend that I connected with who has gone through this process (not to Mexico) and she is supportive. I am holding on tight to that friendship, because she may be the only one that understands. You are not alone. There is support out there, you just have to dig for it. I'm scared of the naysayers myself, but I know I have this forum, and that helps out tremendously. Sorry my answer is so long. LOL. -Best Wishes

Thank you for the kind words. I wish you the best of luck too!

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On 10/6/2020 at 1:05 AM, Cheeseburgh said:

I agree that change scares people. When they see you, they have to face their own flaws, fears and insecurities. It’s human nature, however, good friends will support you and toxic people will sabotage you. Use this time to cultivate new hobbies, interests, self worth and crummy tv. It’s tough with COVID, does your Dr have a support group?

You have support here, don’t forget that.

Keep your chin up, your goals in a tight grip and recognize toxic people, you don’t need them. Brene Brown always makes me feel more confident when I’m down. Her TED Talk on YouTube is amazing and so are her books and Netflix special.

If we share our shame story with the wrong person, they can easily become one more piece of flying debris in an already dangerous storm.”
Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

Yes it definitely scares people. Thank you for the kind words and recommendation. Unfortunately, my surgeon's office no longer offers a support group. They did but cancelled it with Covid and only made the online option available to pre-ops.

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On 10/6/2020 at 8:18 AM, Meadow76 said:

I’ve been fortunate that all my friends & family have been very supportive of my weight loss. And not everyone knows I’ve had surgery! Most do but a few that I felt might be initially negative I just told them working on getting healthy @ 66! And man I see off & on who I did NOT tell even sent card how happy I’m concentrating on my health! I think one reason many are so supportive besides being good friends & family is I’m very upbeat about getting healthy. And those that know I’m very open with about changes in my lifestyle. I’ve been part of dining out group. I did not stop going just because of surgery. I don’t want to end that part of my social life. Dining out is not just about the food. It’s about the fun of socializing, ambiance of restaurant & yes I can still enjoy food but in moderation.
Are there any of your friends that you feel close enough to & worth salvaging friendship to address these issues? If not then it’s time to do some self discovery & eventually surround you with more positive people. Otherwise it will only sabotage you. Good luck!

Well, you are lucky, that's for sure. I think for me, because a lot of my friends were also morbidly obese, they felt like I "betraying" them or something. That being said, unfortunately, these relationships can't be salvaged. As far as dining out, it is almost impossible for me these days, as I developed A LOT of intolerances to sooooo many foods since the surgery. I can't keep down any meat, fish, fruit, breads/pastas/potatoes/non-skim dairy/sweets of any kind, nuts, and some even some vegetables. I've consulted my surgeon so many times about this in recent months, as there's foods I'm supposed to be able to tolerate by now that I just can't. He just said some people develop intolerances and left it at that. 😕 So, it isn't just a "I don't want to do something food-related," it's a "I can't do something food related." It's very frustrating, because it seems dining out is literally the only socialization people do around my home. Even during the pandemic! Thank you for the kind words. I wish you continued success. :)

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On 10/6/2020 at 9:07 AM, Cherie04 said:

I haven't had surgery yet, but have already encountered people like this. Whenever someone tells me it's the easy way out, I have to remind them and myself it's only a tool, not a magic pill. If I could have lost the weight on my own, I would have by now. I also have to remind myself why I'm doing it, for my health and to be able to enjoy my family more. I do hope things get better for you.

Thank you, and good luck to you on your surgery!

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On 10/8/2020 at 1:24 AM, tarotcardreader said:

Hey i think youre brave for sharing your story with most people. Thisll help other obese people To have hope that perhaps bariatric surgery will help them as well. People downplay that obesity kills. Better alive with unnatural anatomy then dead with no potential for improvement. As for dating i agree to find other activities but most people do like to eat. I once read Soup is a good thing to order as a bariatric patient When out with others and most places seem to have it. Keep up the good fight!

Thank you! :)

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On 10/9/2020 at 1:02 PM, ms.sss said:

This may not be a popular line of thinking but here goes:

<!-- Deep Thoughts, BEGIN -->

I think that alot of WLS folks believe that those around them would naturally share the same opinions and thoughts they themselves have about it, because, I mean, its a good thing, right? Why wouldn't anyone and everyone with a heart and a brain support and cheer someone on who wants to better themselves (for whatever reason)? The reality is that not everyone will think the same way as you.

Yes, one may get disappointed and hurt when those who we care about aren't on the same page, or react/behave in a way that we don't like/want/expect. Whatever their motivations are, in the end the only thing you can control is YOU. You have 3 choices (in terms of relationships, or anything else for that matter): work to change it, accept it, or leave it (and know when to do which). Anything else is doing a disservice to yourself.

I know, easier said. But I think the sooner one can recognize what things help and what things don't help (and act accordingly) for any situation, the sooner one can exist in peace and contentment, no matter what situations or people cross their paths.

<!-- Deep Thoughts, END...lol -->

Good Luck!

P.S. Re: Dating...take it easy and try not to put too much pressure on yourself...like attracts like. Again, I know, easier said. Good Luck! ❤️

Thank you! ❤️ I appreciate the encouraging words.

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On 10/12/2020 at 3:18 AM, Alsgal said:

I felt I had a great support system, but I got some eye rolls from my sister when I mentioned this app today and It did bother me. She didn't want to hear about it. She been with me from the Beginning so she knows how much I've put into it. I lost 95lb on my own following the dieticians plan and daily workouts, and logging every bite I put in my mouth. If you're like me the bariatric program requirements just to be approved for surgery includes jumping perfectly through all those hoops to give us the best chance for long term success possible. So we do A LOT to get approved, then it is so hard afterwards, NOTHING is easy about it. I knew that i had to do this tho and for your reasons so do you. I am 3 weeks post op and i have said 25 times "why in the world did I do this?" My surgeon said I will probably be saying that 25 more times before I get everything figured out, and in the end it will be worth it, I do believe that. You deserve to have all the support in the world. I would ignore those so called friends unless they have an apology for you and some respect that you deserve. I hope that this gets much better for you. They should be proud of you and stand beside you throughout.

You'll be in my thoughts, & Good things coming your way!

Sent from my SM-T307U using BariatricPal mobile app

Thank you for the encouraging words! ❤️ I appreciate it.

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I don't have any sage words of advice and am not having my surgery until next week. I just want to say Congratulations! for making the decision to have surgery and significantly improve your health!!! I haven't experienced any negativity yet- just some concern and hopefully, it will stay that way. I hope that you are Proud of yourself and your success! No one else lives in our bodies and faces the consequences- positive or negative- of our decisions. I wish you happiness and continued success!

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KC that is a lot of food intolerance - maybe get a second opinion?? Also what about a different support group? Depending on your area you mAay be able to join another or an activity group. On line exercise - something to promote dopamine production. You have gone through a lot of changes - change is tough Maybe counseling, I hear every day that these are uncertain times! If you look at the national group takeoff pounds sensibly - TOPS they have categories for WLS and maintainers for those at goal. You are not alone. Best

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On 10/5/2020 at 7:38 PM, kc892020 said:

Has anyone else ever encountered this? What can I do to change it? Why is there so much social stigma towards this surgery?

Let me start by saying I have seen this a ton on here, People are mean by nature Not all but some. People are jealous and tend to talk out there ass. You have changed your life for the better that is what is key! Stay clear of the toxic people and enviroments, They killed this above so not going to harp on it, one thing i found was doing new things allowed me to meet new people. For example I joined a MC club and new nobody i never mentioned I had surgery and at huge cook outs i would just pick saying not really hungry. Met new friends and a few of them know now what i did but really do not judge

People Suck at times so just become Ice b***h and do not let it bother you, who cares what others think or say.

You got this

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On 10/6/2020 at 12:38 AM, kc892020 said:

So, I feel funny writing about this, but...has anyone else ever experienced a negative change in their social life post-op?

I had my surgery back in January. Although my physical health has made drastic improvements, I'm afraid my mental health has taken a toll.

I noticed people have been treating me very differently since having the surgery. I've been getting so many rude comments, I can't keep up. They think I "took the easy way out (not realizing it was actually quite the opposite: the last resort)," and/or are freaked out by all my new eating habits and restrictions or are saying cruel things like "oh, you'll just gain it back like so-and-so did anyway, you watch." A lot of them have also proceeded to claim my changed appearance "weirds them out." Some of my now ex-friends have even gone so far to complain that I "betrayed the body positivity movement by giving into society's expectations of what women should look like." What the actual heck? Even dating, something I thought would get better as I lost weight, is just as bad as it was before. Since I can't drink alcohol anymore or eat a lot of foods, guys have been pretty hostile. Although I've been private about my surgery while dating (simply stating I have a strict diet I need to follow), that hasn't stopped guys from being mean or rude.

Bottom line here is I've lost a lot of friends this past year and my love life is no better than it was. I'm extremely lonely and depressed.

Has anyone else ever encountered this? What can I do to change it? Why is there so much social stigma towards this surgery?

Sorry that you've had this experience with friends, but I don't think it's that surprising to be honest. You have lost an amazing amount of weight - many congratulations! A major change like this, whether by wls or not, is bound to affect the established relationships you have with family/friends. Your obese friends have lost part of their "support group" where they can justify their own obesity because all of their friends are similarly obese. You've upset the balance of the friendship group and they can't accept that - subconsciously, it feels like a personal criticism of them remaining fat.

They're being cruel and unkind about the weight loss and wls because they're trying to put themselves back into the position where they don't believe they should try to lose weight.

Making new friends must be the answer - and make friends who have the same interests you now do i.e. not eating, but keeping fit & active pursuits like walking, running etc. Personally I wouldn't tell them about the wls because why do they need to know, certainly initially? Good luck!

Edited by Deb9386
sp

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2 hours ago, Mr Alley Gator said:

ePeople Suck at times so just become Ice b***h and do not let it bother you, who cares what others think or say.

You got this

I love this SO much!

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