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DO WHAT YOU FEEL IN YOUR HEART TO BE RIGHT



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I know this is not a new subject thread...but I really need to share with you my light bulb moment! (sorry a little long winded....)

So, to give a little background...I am having a really hard time opening up about my upcoming surgery to people. As of right now only 3 people know, including my husband. I have yet to broach the subject with my 2 sons and am holding off for at least until I have to start my preop diet. I have also skirted the issue with my supervisor and have not asked for time off yet. Luckily, I work in a small company and time off should not be an issue at all. However, I know that I will be criticized by most and I have been envisioning the horrible things people will think and say, so I keep dragging my feet. Which is completely ludicrous as I am already criticized and talked about because of my current size at work. I have been yelled at from passing cars while walking from the parking lot to my work building, telling me to lay off the donuts, I have been oinked and mooed at while checking the company mail and I have been almost been run over in crosswalks several times by cars that find it funny to play chicken with the fat girl. This all sounds like a Lifetime movie, but honestly it has all happened. I have no desire to add to the constant cranking workplace rumor-mill, but at the same time I am really angry that I feel the need to hide the fact that I am having surgery to save my life. I have been recently obsessed with coming up with the premeditated answers to people's probing questions.

Then today as I was talking with my husband about the upcoming preop diet, has asked if I was going to share about the surgery to other members in our family, specifically his parents. I immediately went on the defensive (I've been on the emotional roller coaster since I received my surgery date!!! Ugh!) and asked why in the world anyone else had to know. He then said that people will wonder when I only eat a little at dinner and I am suddenly half my size. I then replied that I can say I am on a medically supervised diet, which would not be a lie. I then began the following rant:

He had no idea what it is like living in an obese body (he drew the genetically lucky card at birth and has never had a weight issue, ever). That he had NO idea what it is like facing the daily horrors of life that come with aches, pains, horrific looks and hateful words from people, to be essentially treated like a circus freak. How people will judge and comment. That people will think that I am a failure and took the easy road out when they have no idea what the surgery is really all about. That they will continue to spout misinformation they have heard through the years and fail to understand how the surgery really works and why in the end I chose this path.

Since this was NOT the first time he had heard this rant, he took a moment, shook his head, took a deep breath and said.... You should NOT be ashamed of this! This is a medically necessary step for a person who has battling this disease since birth. Who cares what other people think? If they don't like it or do not understand, then that is their issue and not yours. You know what is right for your body. If anything, you could be the one that helps people understand. You could be the one that explains why this surgery is life-saving and not a cosmetic operation. That obesity is not a chosen path guided by ignorance, laziness and lack of willpower.

At that I was speechless. For once, I couldn't come up with a counter-argument. He is right! AND he has been listening to me! He has heard what I have been preaching for years. I was taken aback. After what seemed like several minutes of shock, I finally told him he was right. That I shouldn't be ashamed of this and should be preaching whenever and wherever I can. I agreed, but I am also not delusional. I know this will continue to be a hard sell. That until we all go out and spread the word, people will continue to feel free to treat obesity as a chosen path and WLS as a copout.

With that, I go to bed tonight thinking of my favorite quote...and hope that I can muster the courage to talk to my supervisor tomorrow!!

Do what you feel in your heart to be right -

for you'll be criticized anyway.

--Eleanor Roosevelt--

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Good for you! But don't think you have to "sell" it to anyone. If you want to say you are on a medically supervised diet, that is fine. If you want to tell people that you are having surgery, that is fine, too. But you don't have to give rationalizations or try to make them understand why this is so important and how the surgery works - because they won't understand, and basically they won't care. Seeing you actually lose the weight may even make some of them jealous and even more mean. Believe me, the day will come when you will NOT be the biggest person in the room - someone else will fill that spot and that will really upset the apple cart. All the overweight people who make fun of you now (because they secretly are happy that YOU are the fat one, and not them) will have to start wondering what everyone is thinking about THEM! Bottom line - say what you feel is the right thing, but keep it short and simple. Be prepared for everyone's opinion, but be prepared to brush them off. You don't have to answer to any of them. This is YOUR life, YOUR decision, YOUR health, and YOUR success. So glad your spouse is on board and supportive. That really means a lot.

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This makes me really happy; thank you for sharing.

I finally realized there's nothing wrong with me when seeking help for my binge eating disorder.

I didn't choose to have a rough childhood (increasingly understood to disrupt the hormonal mechanism that keeps our weight 'normal'). I didn't choose food being taught to me as 'comfort' and 'love' (the direct path to emotional eating). I didn't choose to live in a world that somehow decided to ignore the fact that obesity is a chronic disease.

What you and I can choose is to claim our right to be here. I think that's what he helped you say so wonderfully; there is nothing wrong with you. And you have a right to be here, to be healthy, to be happy! :)

Best of luck, and congrats on sharing your life with such an insightful human.

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10 hours ago, TreeTrunks said:

Who cares what other people think? If they don't like it or do not understand, then that is their issue and not yours.

As a fellow guy and one who has posted on this site many times for this same subject My view

People Suck, This is your decision for your health F#$ck what others say! This is very common on this board and you should search thru for many others. I agree with your husband you do what you want, For yourself not for what others want.

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Quote
9 hours ago, AZhiker said:

Bottom line - say what you feel is the right thing, but keep it short and simple. Be prepared for everyone's opinion, but be prepared to brush them off. You don't have to answer to any of them. This is YOUR life, YOUR decision, YOUR health, and YOUR success.

Thank you @AZhiker. This is what I hope to prepare myself for. Growing a backbone after years and years of being treated like garbage...I know it will be more than difficult. I am going to add this to the mantra, to realize that this is indeed my life, decision, health and MY success. THANK YOU!

3 hours ago, OAGBPal said:

I didn't choose to live in a world that somehow decided to ignore the fact that obesity is a chronic disease.

What you and I can choose is to claim our right to be here. I think that's what he helped you say so wonderfully; there is nothing wrong with you. And you have a right to be here, to be healthy, to be happy! :)

You have no idea how much this touched me @OAGBPal. Thank you for reading and you are right!! We can choose to claim our right to be here! Good Luck to you as well!

27 minutes ago, Mr Alley Gator said:

People Suck, This is your decision for your health F#$ck what others say

Absolutely 100% agree @Mr Alley Gator!! I just hope that I can shrug off the negativity... it has a way of niggling into your brain and popping up at weird times. Like I told @AZhiker above, I hope that I can grow a backbone and for once stand up for myself. 45 years is a looong time of being stepped on! Thank you for reading!

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Your husband sounds like a love.

I was extremely reluctant to say anything to anyone, including both my closest friends and my family. During the months before my surgery I kept it to myself, and only told one person just before the liquid diet. Then I expanded that to my inner circle of 4 a couple of days later. I told my dad a couple of days before surgery. Every person was overwhelmingly supportive. Each time it became easier and less of a burden.

I told my very gossipy work nothing, and used annual leave rather than sick leave. That part has been a little weird. I ended up having a bit of a bumpy recovery, and had to take some sick leave during the 2nd week. I provided a doctors note with no details, and gave no more information. That might have given some people at work that I was seriously ‘sick’, but since no one has asked me anything directly I’ve not had to correct any misconceptions. I’ve been teleworking since March and no one has seen my weight loss. I kind of hate having people think that I might have had some serious ailment, but I guess I get to keep kicking that can down the road for a while.

The good news that I’ve become less and less worried about what others think. I’ve told a few more people about the surgery, and all have been supportive. And although I’ve asked them all not to say anything, I know that it’s unlikely that it’ll stay quiet. Mostly I don’t care. The only blips I’ve had from other people is one friend who likes to tell me how to diet, and tells me I’m doing it wrong. (Not about having the surgery, but how the carb restriction is unnecessary.) I am able to easily shrug that off, and it’s easy to change the conversation. (I look at that as her being interested in weight loss, and her figuring out what might work for her.)

My concerns and anxieties now, almost 6 months post op, are just not the same as they were before. And that’s a great thing.

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14 minutes ago, Lillimint said:

My concerns and anxieties now, almost 6 months post op, are just not the same as they were before. And that’s a great thing.

You have no idea what a relief this is to hear! I am hoping that I can also be in the same boat in 6 months. I think you are right, the first few times will be difficult, but the more I share, I think the less likely I will be so anxious about sharing. I also have been remote working since March and it looks like we may continue to do so until this March at the earliest. You will have to keep me in the loop about reactions once you return to the workplace. It sounds we work in very similar work environments. Sometimes, I feel like I am back in middle school with all the gossip and drama. HA!

Thank you so much for reading!

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UPDATE...

So I did it. I finally spoke with my supervisor, well actually emailed because I am much better in written word rather than spoken word. I was more than nervous after I clicked send! After what seemed like years (more like 15 minutes - yes a little overdramatic) she replied and she is 100% supportive! She has even offered to look into short term disability if I would like to MORE time off than planned. Amazing, amazing, amazing.

I will need to thank my husband tonight...

2021-01-11.jpg

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This is wonderful news! And what a great husband. He sounds like your greatest cheerleader!!

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That is great news. I learned about weight loss surgery from a co-worker who casually said that she had had it and that it helped her when someone asked. I circled back to ask more privately and she was lovely. It was so helpful. It took me years to actually do the surgery long after I had left that workplace. You may plant a similar seed.

My go to phrase is one that I have heard others use "no, it does not make it easy, but it does make it possible"

Good for you. Remote both makes it easier (not so much drama) and harder (the kitchen calls)

I'm excited, a bit anxious and looking forward to the future. I've already done so much by doing the pre-op and surgery. I feel that I can do this going forward. Again, congratulations to you and that darling husband.

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Loved your post. It too, was very supportive.

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Good for you! Take the time off! :D

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