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Well...here goes...

My husband knows....and a coworker (inadvertently) because they saw me in the hospital. I do not plan on telling anyone else currently. Perhaps in the future I will be more open about it. So the question becomes why....

A small preamble: Diet, obesity, food, exercise etc has been a really big interest of mine for years. I have spent so much time researching so many things when it comes to this topic. I feel I am reasonably well versed in this topic. The problem is...most people are not.

Many people are still knee deep in the billion dollar diet industry that will argue about Keto, CICO, Southbeach, Atkins etc etc. Many people also believe that you can control your own weight...and if you are over the amount you should weigh, it is your fault. Many people don't think about the factories that make "food". Many people don't think about so many things that so many people deal with. Lots of people think having surgery is cheating.

My obesity is still very much tangled up in emotionally abusive things from childhood. The very last thing that I want to do is have a conversation about that with people I don't know, or only know professionally. This has been a long hard road to get here, but I don't need to explain myself to anyone.

Did it occur to you that maybe people shouldn't be commenting on people's bodies? Why would it be my place to ask someone about their weight? There are going to be many people that don't agree with surgery for whatever reason....frankly, it's not my job to enlighten people on what they should do with their lives. If someone wants to know the 'secret', then they can do the research and figure out what is best for them and their health issues.

I hate to tell you this....but the surgery stigma is alive because of the rhetoric of the billion dollar diet industry is alive and well in most people. The stigma isn't alive because a few people 'lied' about having surgery.

I also really hate the explanation: If you needed surgery because you broke your leg, you wouldn't be hiding that from anyone! But really...medical ailments and treatments can be embarrassing and private or shameful. If I needed a colostomy bag, I wouldn't put out a newsletter about it. Jesus.

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19 minutes ago, canadianpopcycle said:

I also really hate the explanation: If you needed surgery because you broke your leg, you wouldn't be hiding that from anyone! But really...medical ailments and treatments can be embarrassing and private or shameful. If I needed a colostomy bag, I wouldn't put out a newsletter about it. Jesus.

^^^^ this. Exactly.

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Sorry but people do and don't tell others for many PERSONAL reasons. Just like someone who is gay MAY or MAY NOT choose to tell someone that info. It's THEIR choice. Just like when someone is in need of getting dentures. They MAY or MAY NOT choose to tell others. But it's THEIR choice. Just like someone with a life threatening disease MAY or MAY NOT tell others. It's THEIR choice. I personally do not see how someone withholding personal info about themselves is harmful to others. IMO it isn't. No rules saying we must tell the world about every little diet, procedure, dental work, life saving intervention, etc. that we may need or want needs to be broadcasted.

Also, I didn't need to engage other overweight people with questions to learn if or how they've had surgery themselves. I found out about it from my doctor. Like I imagine many others do too when the doc and patient have tried everything to help them lose weight and nothing has worked.

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46 minutes ago, canadianpopcycle said:

I also really hate the explanation: If you needed surgery because you broke your leg, you wouldn't be hiding that from anyone! But really...medical ailments and treatments can be embarrassing and private or shameful

Wholeheartedly agree

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I told a very small group of people beforehand cause I just needed to do it for myself but now that it is said and done I am more open. I think people like everything else in life are as private of a person as they are and they will share as much or as little as they are comfortable sharing. Some people are just very private in all parts of their life.

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I believe we leak energy when we keep secrets because that act in itself requires energy and attention. However, I did keep mine a secret from many people before the surgery bc I’m susceptible to people pleasing and I wanted to be sure of my decision only for me, regardless of what anyone else says. Timing is important. I finally told my dads side of the family this week when I felt ready to answer questions.
Ultimately, everyone needs to do things in their own time. We all protect our mental health in different ways.

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5 hours ago, BayougirlMrsS said:

to tell or not to tell is a person's choice. I've been on both sides of the fence and for me not telling is 100% better.

I agree with you. I’m going to continue not to tell we all have a right to medical privacy. As long as we are supportive of others what we decide to do has no effect on others.

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18 minutes ago, Chantrella said:

I agree with you. I’m going to continue not to tell we all have a right to medical privacy. As long as we are supportive of others what we decide to do has no effect on others.

I can tell firsthand that there is a difference in the way people treat you when they think you lost weight the "natural" way.

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Weight loss surgery is medical care and medical care is private. 🤷‍♀️ I encourage people to not be ashamed, but it's every person's choice how much they want to share about their medical situation.

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53 minutes ago, Jaelzion said:

Weight loss surgery is medical care and medical care is private. 🤷‍♀️ I encourage people to not be ashamed, but it's every person's choice how much they want to share about their medical situation.

definitely not ashamed... just chose to not have to deal with what I dealt with the first time.

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Turned out to be be a good thread with a terrible title. I told my family and friends, but do not offer any information to acquaintances unless I'm asked about my weight loss. I'm certainly not ashamed of it. Quite the opposite. I'm proud of addressing a life long issue. That said, I support anyone who chooses not to tell. People can be judgemental and cruel. Weight loss surgery is a difficult decision, that most of us did not take lightly. There Is no reason anyone owes an explanation regarding their weight loss to anyone.

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Posted (edited)

I've known two post-ops that lost their excess weight then became 'life coaches' who shared their experience and success at losing weight to their paying customers: Diet and exercise. No mention of WLS. Shameful.

I only shared that I was having WLS with those people that needed to know either for medical history or work contingencies. We didn't even tell our grown children.

Post-op my weight loss was rarely a topic of conversation outside the few people that knew of it. As we visited or were visited by family we let them in on the news. Anyone that could not be supportive were invited to share their insights with anyone but us. Of course, that last bit is pretty much a standing rule.

If an acquaintance asked about my weight loss I had two sets of answers:

1. If it was someone with a weight issue or other compelling story and I was feeling chatty I told the whole story;

2. Otherwise I just said I would not be discussing personal topics today, but thanks for asking.

I think lying outright is not a good feeling nor a good look, especially when the truth is inevitably revealed.

I've learned as I've gotten older to keep more and more of my own counsel. No need to lie. No need to even talk.

Good luck,

Tek

Edited by The Greater Fool

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Firstly like many mentioned - Everyone is entitled to privacy when it comes to their medical care and procedures!

Secondly, most of us have gone through the stigma being overweight and obese half or even more than that of our lives. Adding the stigma of WLS IMHO isn't a needed baggage for the remaining life. Because those haven't gone through this route and those who have never been overweight will never understand our hardship or struggles or the decision of choosing a drastic procedure like WLS!

Plus, I don't expect to know how others lead their lives, so I expect the same treatment when it comes to mine!

If by chance I hit it off with someone struggling similarly as me, and if we end up connecting, I may share my details to help out that person in need.

Otherwise I am content with only my family knowing what's going on!

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The disease of obesity is potentially fatal; the decision to pursue WLS is a private one. I decided to share my weight-loss and surgical experience with my closest friends. By far I have found them supportive. However, one person told me the post-op diet was unhealthy and would ruin my metabolism. I had to just let him know that this is prescribed as part of my doctor’s program, and I am going to follow it. So there is definitely a downside to sharing the choice for surgery. I do not feel that keeping things fairly private is hurting others because each person is responsible for their own health, and theirs only. WLS is so well-known now that virtually every heavy person os aware of that option.

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wow...shaming people to reveal personal medical information is just as bad as shaming people to keep quiet. It is about freedom to choose how to live your life and how to connect with others in your life. For me, WLS was a very personal decision that I spent over a year thinking about and meditating on. So, my decision to only tell my spouse is no one's business and frankly, trying to shame those of us who choose to keep our WLS private, pisses me off. Shame on you!

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