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Keeping surgery a secret? What did you tell others?



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I really do not want to tell people I am having bariatric surgery. To me, it is a personal decision and I do not want others to know in such depth. Obviously I will be taking time off for work and losing weight fast. What should I tell people who ask?

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48 minutes ago, rmarierenwick said:

I really do not want to tell people I am having bariatric surgery. To me, it is a personal decision and I do not want others to know in such depth. Obviously I will be taking time off for work and losing weight fast. What should I tell people who ask?

Welcome to the board! I think each person's choice is their own. At first I didn't want to tell anyone that I was having gastric bypass. I thought for sure that everyone would have a lot of opinions, etc on the matter. Once I started to telling people I realized that I was comfortable with my decision and that I didn't care what anyone else thought. Yes I have had people ask me why I was doing this, I keep my explanation as short and simple as possible. I wish I had some advice for you as what to tell people. Good luck to you!

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I really do not want to tell people I am having bariatric surgery. To me, it is a personal decision and I do not want others to know in such depth. Obviously I will be taking time off for work and losing weight fast. What should I tell people who ask?

I had mine less than 2 weeks ago, and like you, I didn't tell anyone. I told my family I was having a different surgery, at my job i told them i didn't wish to discuss, and honestly i don't know if I'll tell anyone. Maybe one day, right now, I'm not comfortable.

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I’m getting a sleeve and haven’t had surgery yet but when I put in for leave at work I told my boss and coworkers that I was having part of my stomach removed due to ulcers (not entirely a lie, I do need it for that reason as well). I joked about how “at least I’ll lose weight as a side effect” and everyone was supportive and called me “lucky” to be losing weight as a side effect of a “legitimate medical procedure”. And then they all trash talked getting a bariatric procedure solely for weight loss 🙄. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing with anyone you certainly don’t have to, but if you want to maybe stretching the truth a bit will help it be easier to swallow for others. It’s so sad that weight loss procedures are shamed. We’re looked down on for being fat and then looked down on for doing the things we have to do to lose weight. It’s not fair

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If you don’t want to tell them about having surgery you could say you had hernia/gallbladder surgery and then started the Keto diet? People usually lose weight fast on keto too and it’s a fad right now

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I only told my immediate family and close friends. I had my surgery in June 2015 (I told people I was on a "staycation" to work on some house projects). People didn't start noticing my weight loss until October, and I told them I was working with a dietitian (doing low carb) and exercising like a fiend. Skinny people believe that schlock. Plus it'd been four months since my "staycation", so I doubt anyone linked it back. Later on I was more upfront with other obese people (although luckily, I didn't have to deal with this at work - there were no other obese people there) - but I did have some obese acquaintances from other places who were curious. I did tell most of them because I knew they'd never believe the diet & exercise story - but most skinny people do.

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1 hour ago, catwoman7 said:

I only told my immediate family and close friends. I had my surgery in June 2015 (I told people I was on a "staycation" to work on some house projects). People didn't start noticing my weight loss until October, and I told them I was working with a dietitian (doing low carb) and exercising like a fiend. Skinny people believe that schlock. Plus it'd been four months since my "staycation", so I doubt anyone linked it back. Later on I was more upfront with other obese people (although luckily, I didn't have to deal with this at work - there were no other obese people there) - but I did have some obese acquaintances from other places who were curious. I did tell most of them because I knew they'd never believe the diet & exercise story - but most skinny people do.

It'a amazing how often I agree with Catwoman.

My story is similar. I also told only immediate family and close friends. (One family member and one close friend were extremely critical when I told them of my surgery plans.) I took annual leave for the surgery. When the weight loss started becoming obvious, I said that I was doing a medically-supervised weight loss program through a local hospital, which was technically true. However, when seriously obese people asked me about it, I confided in them about the surgery in hopes they might be inspired to look into it themselves. In one case, a woman did subsequently get the surgery and has done very well, so I'm glad I told her about it.

At this point (two years out), I've been at a normal weight for quite a while, so nobody asks about it any longer (or in many cases didn't know me when I was obese).

Edited by Recidivist

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I only told my husband, and parents. When others started noticing my weight loss, they never asked me if I had the surgery. I just accepted the compliments, and never told them. I think everyone just thinks I was dieting? It is no ones business how, or why we do it. If anyone asks me specifically, I am not sure what I would say.

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I'm just getting started in my journey (still waiting on paperwork, have to do the classes, etc) but I too agreed not to tell anyone. Only my husband knows. I really just want to wait until I actually get all the work done, am approved and the surgery is complete. I feel like I don't want to go ahead and tell people what I'm doing then something happens that I can't get it done and then I have to explain that. Ya know?

Either way, I don't think anyone in my life would talk bad about me or the surgery because they know how hard I have struggled all my life. Lots of them have gone on the journey of weight loss and better eating with me and experienced weight loss while I remained stagnant. So I think they would be supportive. But yeah, just wanna wait until it's all said and done and then I will tell people.

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1 hour ago, SummerTimeGirl said:

I feel like I don't want to go ahead and tell people what I'm doing then something happens that I can't get it done and then I have to explain that. Ya know?

I felt the same way. I just had this nagging feeling that something would go wrong and I wouldn't be able to get it. Even on my surgery day, I was sure something would fall through. I didn't believe it would happen until I was post-op! I'm one week out now. Im so used to failing at weight loss, isn't it crazy?

I also only told 2 people, my fiance and another friend who is thinking about the process herself. I've known other people in my family or circle of friends who have done it and suddenly they become the person who had weight loss surgery. It somehow always comes up. Years later. Its not in a negative way but still. I don't want that to be an identifier when people talk about me. I also think people tend to trivialize your journey. They think, ohhh THATS why they lost the weight. As if you went to surgery and ta-da you are now skinny.

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4 minutes ago, TheycallmeXtina said:

I'm one week out now.

Yay!!! Congrats!!! Can't wait to get to where you are!!

4 minutes ago, TheycallmeXtina said:

I don't want that to be an identifier when people talk about me. I also think people tend to trivialize your journey. They think, ohhh THATS why they lost the weight. As if you went to surgery and ta-da you are now skinny. 

Yes!! I know exactly what you are saying. People tend to trivialize losing weight in general. Like all we need to do is eat less and move more. Yeah, I'm sure if it were that easy we wouldn't be here in this position. Pisses me off cause people just don't realize that many of use have multiple underlying health conditions and issues that made us gain in the first place and what now prevents us from easily losing.

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I didn’t tell people at work initially at work but eventually did tell people. Especially bc I lost 100 pounds. That makes it pretty obvious I did something. But for me I didn’t mind. I did tell family and friends right away. I don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of but I understand the hesitation. To each her/his own. If you don’t want to then don’t. It’s no ones business except yours to share or not.

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I am in the same situation. Only immediate family, my significant other, and a couple close friends know I’m having surgery. I was extremely disheartened when I tried to tell my best friend about it and she responded negatively. She told me that she wasn’t going to let me mutilate my body over a surgery that wasn’t necessary. I was shocked by her response as she is overweight as well. Luckily she lives 2 hours away from me, but I’m still bummed that I can’t share my excitement with her.

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I tried alot of different things the last three years nothing stuck. I didn't understand WLS and thought it would be dangerous, and that it was some kind of easy way out. When I decided to learn more about WLS I thought I would never make all the lifestyle changes required and that it would be dangerous and I was going to hurt myself not following diet restrictions.

My point is this was not any easy decision to come to, this was a difficult process that takes committment and strength and sacrifice to improve my health so I can enjoy my life and be as active as I want.

I was ashamed and didn't tell anyone before surgery, but the more I go through I realize I'm Strong AF. I will tell people if they ask and if they want to talk bad about me they can kiss my size 14's.

I'm not ashamed anymore.

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4 hours ago, Jnfinney said:

I am in the same situation. Only immediate family, my significant other, and a couple close friends know I’m having surgery. I was extremely disheartened when I tried to tell my best friend about it and she responded negatively. She told me that she wasn’t going to let me mutilate my body over a surgery that wasn’t necessary. I was shocked by her response as she is overweight as well. Luckily she lives 2 hours away from me, but I’m still bummed that I can’t share my excitement with her.

One of my very close friends also reacted negatively. He is also obese, and my assessment that he was threatened by my decision to proactively do something to improve my health (and later envious of my success). I'm sorry to say that the friendship has never fully recovered.

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