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Hi All!

Lately, I have been receiving attention for my weight loss, mostly positive. People have been asking me how I lost the weight. I prefer to keep my surgery private and only a select few know about it because I do not want to hear negative comments. When people ask how I did it, I say, "Thank you! I have been following a low carb diet, walking every day, and not drinking alcohol." Recently, someone commented on how quickly I lost the weight on this diet, and for a moment, I worried that they might be thinking I was using drugs. LOL

Does anyone use different excuse?

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nope - that's the same thing I told people! (except for other obese people - they know the "diet & exercise" thing is a bunch of schlock, so I was more honest with them. A lot of skinny people believe that, though...)

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I haven't told anyone -- even my family -- that I got surgery. It's none of their business, and people can be really ignorant and judgmental about WLS, and I don't want to debate about it. Sometimes when someone says, "Wow, you look great!" you can divert the conversation away from weight loss just by saying, "Thanks! So do you! It's great to see you; how have you been?"

My go-to answer when people ask me how I lost the weight is, "I made a lot of lifestyle changes..." That alone is often enough to make them lose interest because they're looking for an easy answer. If they press for more information, I'll talk about using MyFitnessPal to track my food, getting a FitBit to track my steps, waking up early to work out before work, finding healthy recipes on Pinterest, incorporating more vegetables into my meals, using grocery delivery to avoid temptation, etc. Which is all true. I'm 3.5 years post-op, and over time, the surgery itself is less of a factor and the "lifestyle changes" (I used to hate that term, but that's what it is) are what matter.

Nowadays, weight loss drugs like Ozempic are pretty socially accepted, more so than surgery. I would be more willing to admit to using Ozempic than getting WLS, except that I haven't used weight loss drugs and I wouldn't lie to say I did (and wouldn't want to have to answer questions about side effects, cost, etc. that would probably follow). But since weight loss drugs are so common, people might just assume.

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I totally understand not wanting to tell people about having the surgery. I was very shy about it when people started to make comments to me, but I also just decided that I didn't want to carry shame around that conversation for myself. For the people that I feel safe with talking to about it (knowing they won't judge me), I'm honest and I tell them because it was a big deal to me. I'm so happy and proud that I made that decision.

I wish there wasn't such a stigma around it. We shouldn't feel like we can't tell people, but if we choose not to, that's our right, you know? It's none of anyone else's business unless we want to include them. That's how I look at it. 😄

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5 hours ago, BigSue said:

I haven't told anyone -- even my family -- that I got surgery. It's none of their business, and people can be really ignorant and judgmental about WLS, and I don't want to debate about it. Sometimes when someone says, "Wow, you look great!" you can divert the conversation away from weight loss just by saying, "Thanks! So do you! It's great to see you; how have you been?"

My go-to answer when people ask me how I lost the weight is, "I made a lot of lifestyle changes..." That alone is often enough to make them lose interest because they're looking for an easy answer. If they press for more information, I'll talk about using MyFitnessPal to track my food, getting a FitBit to track my steps, waking up early to work out before work, finding healthy recipes on Pinterest, incorporating more vegetables into my meals, using grocery delivery to avoid temptation, etc. Which is all true. I'm 3.5 years post-op, and over time, the surgery itself is less of a factor and the "lifestyle changes" (I used to hate that term, but that's what it is) are what matter.

Nowadays, weight loss drugs like Ozempic are pretty socially accepted, more so than surgery. I would be more willing to admit to using Ozempic than getting WLS, except that I haven't used weight loss drugs and I wouldn't lie to say I did (and wouldn't want to have to answer questions about side effects, cost, etc. that would probably follow). But since weight loss drugs are so common, people might just assume.

Im thinking they think I am on the uppers and not the WLS drugs, LOL! I like the "lifestyle changes"

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3 hours ago, BrandiBird said:

I totally understand not wanting to tell people about having the surgery. I was very shy about it when people started to make comments to me, but I also just decided that I didn't want to carry shame around that conversation for myself. For the people that I feel safe with talking to about it (knowing they won't judge me), I'm honest and I tell them because it was a big deal to me. I'm so happy and proud that I made that decision.

I wish there wasn't such a stigma around it. We shouldn't feel like we can't tell people, but if we choose not to, that's our right, you know? It's none of anyone else's business unless we want to include them. That's how I look at it. 😄

I totally wish I could tell people but I just do not want judge or the infamous "you took the easy way out" I do not regret this decision and so wish I would've don't this earlier.

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I told very few people. My response was I was seeing a dietician (true), did a lot of research (true), my GP was supporting me, I wasn’t on a known diet as such but was working out a way of eating that worked for me (also true).

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If they are obese and interested then I will tell them. [ 3 people] Other wise I have just said - You haven't seen me much because of Covid and such so you don't know how hard I worked for 4 + years. Oh I have done so much walking blah blah blah.

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13 hours ago, AmberFL said:

I totally wish I could tell people but I just do not want judge or the infamous "you took the easy way out" I do not regret this decision and so wish I would've don't this earlier.

That's what made me nervous, too. People don't understand that the surgery doesn't make you lose weight, but that it's all the work you put in after.

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I told everyone I had the surgery. Most of my friends and family have watched me struggle for decades and have been supportive along the way, so I wanted them to be able to Celebrate with me! NONE of them think I took the easy way out because I'm very transparent about how HARD this is. I wanted to be able to encourage open dialogue about the surgery and reduce the stigma around it. Even people I don't know very well have been really accepting and encouraging and curious.... It has been interesting for me to experience. Sometimes people judge us less than we think they do. I have had a hard time most of my life dealing with other people's judgments of me. But I decided a few years ago that was a THEM problem, not a ME problem. I have a few choice phrases for people who judge me to my face. Those that do it behind my back have issues and I really don't need to know about them...

That said, I tend to live most of my life as an open book so people are used to it. LOL Every person's journey is their own and I support people who keep it completely secret the same way I support people who shout it from the rooftops! You do you. It is perfectly okay to keep it to yourself, it is your body. You do not owe anyone an explanation for how you've lost weight. Just smile, say thank you, and change the subject. If they keep asking you can give one of the suggestions here or just say it is something you are still working out and you don't really care to talk about it. People need to learn to respect boundaries! I may be considered rather blunt (or a b***h) by some but I try to be kind about it. It has taken me years to eradicate the people pleasing side of my personality and I don't really want her back. 🤣

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On 2/21/2024 at 11:16 AM, AmberFL said:

Hi All!

Lately, I have been receiving attention for my weight loss, mostly positive. People have been asking me how I lost the weight. I prefer to keep my surgery private and only a select few know about it because I do not want to hear negative comments. When people ask how I did it, I say, "Thank you! I have been following a low carb diet, walking every day, and not drinking alcohol." Recently, someone commented on how quickly I lost the weight on this diet, and for a moment, I worried that they might be thinking I was using drugs. LOL

Does anyone use different excuse?

I have been struggling with how to tell my family and friends about my surgery. It's not even because they would judge me, it's kind of the opposite.

My brother was super skinny until about late high school and then struggled with weight gain and loss for years. Then 6 yrs ago he got the gastric sleeve and after seeing the results, my parents immediately looked at me and said I should do the same. I have always been bigger and curvier than everyone in our family, which is hard to ignore when you're an Asian girl (I'm not stereotyping here. They are all under 5'5 and the largest cup size is a B). While it has hurt me, it also pushed me to find a version of myself that I can accept and be happy with.

Oddly enough my existing health problems (which are mostly the known side effects that occur from wls) stem from a blood disorder from birth and I don't suffer from the common issues from obesity like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. Having dealt with a number of specialists and doctors over the years without any real solutions, I eventually decided to consider bariatric surgery this year. I planned on telling them about it after I had recovered, but it has been rough and I am still undergoing further tests and treatment. My brother gained a lot of his weight back while my sister has pushed herself and lost weight- both about the same amount that I have lost in a few months. I don't want either to feel shame or resentment towards me, not that I can control that.

It looks like I may have to go back into the hospital a 3rd time and get my gall bladder removed. How awful would it be if I lied and said that is the reason behind my weight loss? My family knows that I have been dealing with stomach problems and pain for years. I'm also losing weight much faster than the doctors expected due to this, in addition to nausea, and we're trying to figure how to slow it down. I HATE attention and it's getting harder to try and hide how different I look. Any advice or motivational speech from anyone would be greatly appreciated! 🙂

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12 hours ago, Clueless_girl said:

I have been struggling with how to tell my family and friends about my surgery. It's not even because they would judge me, it's kind of the opposite.

My brother was super skinny until about late high school and then struggled with weight gain and loss for years. Then 6 yrs ago he got the gastric sleeve and after seeing the results, my parents immediately looked at me and said I should do the same. I have always been bigger and curvier than everyone in our family, which is hard to ignore when you're an Asian girl (I'm not stereotyping here. They are all under 5'5 and the largest cup size is a B). While it has hurt me, it also pushed me to find a version of myself that I can accept and be happy with.

Oddly enough my existing health problems (which are mostly the known side effects that occur from wls) stem from a blood disorder from birth and I don't suffer from the common issues from obesity like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. Having dealt with a number of specialists and doctors over the years without any real solutions, I eventually decided to consider bariatric surgery this year. I planned on telling them about it after I had recovered, but it has been rough and I am still undergoing further tests and treatment. My brother gained a lot of his weight back while my sister has pushed herself and lost weight- both about the same amount that I have lost in a few months. I don't want either to feel shame or resentment towards me, not that I can control that.

It looks like I may have to go back into the hospital a 3rd time and get my gall bladder removed. How awful would it be if I lied and said that is the reason behind my weight loss? My family knows that I have been dealing with stomach problems and pain for years. I'm also losing weight much faster than the doctors expected due to this, in addition to nausea, and we're trying to figure how to slow it down. I HATE attention and it's getting harder to try and hide how different I look. Any advice or motivational speech from anyone would be greatly appreciated! 🙂

What version of the truth you choose to tell is up to you IMO. If you refer to the gall bladder thing as a stomach surgery and you said your “stomach surgery” is why your losing- frankly that’s not a lie because the WLS was a stomach surgery too. In terms of claiming it’s due to all the changes you are making that’s absolutely true. I made the changes three years ago and guess what. I changed back to old eating habits and I have gained it all back. I still have a sleeve but I am obese again. So that surgery did not do the work to lose the weight. I did. And the second I stopped doing my part I started gaining and ended up right back where I started. My point is it is what you are doing that is making all the difference in your weight. The surgery is just a tool. No one tells a carpenter he is taking shortcuts if he uses a drill instead of a screwdriver. So why does society assume we shouldn’t take advantage of the best tools money can buy to set us up to succeed. I am willing to bet that they all buy the latest and greatest gadgets they can afford to make things easier on themselves. And realistically it’s not even like it makes it that much easier. It just makes it possible instead of impossible!! IMO taking the lazy or easy way out would be to never try anything. We have tried everything. To include facing some pretty scary complications not everyone would face to achieve their goals. Nothing about this is easy and people who think it is are just ignorant. You just have to decide what your comfortable sharing. It’s no one’s business unless you want them to know. Honestly if someone was really going to think I was doing drugs I would just think to myself that they never really knew me anyways so what reason do I have to care what they think about me. You are facing enough with your upcoming surgery. I say Focus on yourself and your health.

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I'm only a week post-op so I don't have much experience with this particular conversation -- but I've struggled with weight all my life and have had a few periods of great weight loss. And those conversations were never great, either.

Honestly, I feel like the majority of people just want you to reveal "the magic solution" to them -- whether because they want an easy solution themselves, or just want to write you off as having "cheated" for your success. They don't want to hear about the tough, ongoing, lifetime of work you're putting in. Some people -- those who deeply care and connect with you -- that won't be the case. But those people that care, won't get too pushy if you set a boundary.

And that's really what I wanted to talk about: setting healthy boundaries. It's nobody's business how you achieved this. Decide how much you're comfortable sharing, and allow yourself to set a clear boundary.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with giving a bland "oh, you know, lifestyle changes" as an answer, and if they push further let them know "Honestly, I'm not comfortable talking about it. I'm healthy and happy though."

Anyone who tries to push past your boundaries? Deserves the stink eye, and maybe a LOUDER repetition of exactly what you told them. At most.

(But most people feel too awkward to push, I think. If they don’t, well, they don't really deserve you to be polite back. Get sassy. Ask them what part of your statement needs clarification. Ask them something extremely probing and personal back. Tell them to look up the definition of 'boundaries,' 'respect,' or 'pushiness.' Ask if they're a Taurus. Hiss at them 'Alien Abduction' and walk away.

Most importantly, take care of your own emotional and mental health first -- because nobody else will prioritize it for you. 🤍

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