Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Who to Tell

I always thought that celebrities who had weight loss surgery-yet wouldn't go on the record-were wimps and wienies and cowards. Until I decided that bariatric surgery was right for me. Then my mind starting churning. What will the hyper critical sister-in-law say? How will I deal with the the hyper concerned mother-in-law who is a worrier-and will put out a prayer APB to the ENTIRE family? Or my stoic family who looks down their noses at "those lazy" people with weight issues? Or my good friend who tells her kids, and then they tell their friends...? and the list goes on. I guess the reason that letting the cat out of the proverbial bag is so difficult is because of the shame I carry about being overweight. Deciding to have surgery means that I've acknowledged some painful issues: yes, I am fatter that I pretend to be; yes, my control and will power sucks; yes, I am easily defeated; yes, I am exhausted and sick of trying; yes, I tend to feel sorry for myself; yes, I eat my emotions instead of dealing with them. And yes-I NEED help. This issue is bigger than me. And therapy is helping me to wrap my brain around some of those issues and to even begin rejecting some of those self defeating thought patterns. Boy-this lifestyle choice is gonna take some work...and courage.

So last week at a girl's retreat, I shared this decision with some important women in my life. And their support and love were uplifting and affirming. And yes, I gave them permission to voice their concerns and to ask questions. Not gonna lie-I have them too. But it was a relief to share this "secret" with women who love me in spite of my shortcomings and are invested in my success and future happiness and trust that I am making this decision for the right reasons. So for all the haters and doubters and energy suckers in my life-screw'em. Because I really don't have the time and energy to spare. And we all know what a waste of time it is to try and please that crowd... Honestly-all I can do is go at this with all I've got. Come what may...or whatever they say.


  1. It is awesome to be able to share your journey with people that love and support you. I have told very few people but those are the people that matter, the ones that lift me up instead of trying to hold me down.

  2. it's difficult to decide who to tell. but it's hard to be excited and not tell anyone. all the people IN my life are in "the know". many are still doubters and haters about it...but they all know. i didn't paste it all over my facebook page, but then again...those "friends" aren't IN my life...they are mostly high school friends ON my page.

    i am one of those people that does great in front of others but horrible when on my own, so i decided to tell everyone in order to make myself more accountable. my campus is like Barbie-land...i know everyone will be watching every bite i take...every pound i lose...and i plan on using that to my advantage. i also have several women on my campus that have a band and have been successful.

    i just keep in mind the reasons that i got my band (7-1-10)...my family, my health, my self-worth, etc. and i try not to focus on the few negative people out there. just tell yourself that YOU CAN DO IT...and you will. i will say from less than a month of experience that this is an amazing place for support!

    good luck!

  3. What a great post. I am still too scared to tell anyone other than my immediate family. I know people will judge me and think differently. I need to deal with my weight loss and issues and then bring on the support!

  4. I share with certain people and some people found out from other people that weren't supposed to say anything! BUT, I know I made the right decision so it doesn't matter what they say or think!

  5. Hi - In case it's helpful, I've been banded for 5 years in November. No one in my family knows. There are only six close friends that know and my husband. I have no plans to tell anyone. I think it's a very personal decision (kinda like deciding to even have WLS in the first place!) on who to tell. I navigated it by thinking: well I can always tell people if/when I want to, but if I tell people and am not sure, I won't be able to take it back once I do.

    Plus the reality is the band is only a tool. It's not some magic weight loss device that you get and suddenly you are thin. Most people anyway (there are a lucky few that don't!) have to work at it - me being one of them - and a lot of people don't get that and I just didn't want to deal with potential nose thumbing, poo poo-ing, etc.

    Good luck on your journey!

  6. I just tell everyone because eventually they all find out - If they have a negative opinion I just tell them I appreciate their concern but this is my body and I am capable of managing my own body

  7. We'll be Autumn banding buddies! I don't have my exact date yet, so it may be November for me once all the paperwork makes its way into the right hands. We'll see! Very exciting regardless.

    About who to tell- what is funny in my situation is that since it still feels so far away, I haven't told very many people yet at all. My 2 roommates know and a group of 2 or 3 other really close friends do as well, but I still haven't told my immediate family even.

    I think it is a totally individual thing for each of us to know who to tell and when. I'm just waiting for it to feel right I guess? I'm also sort of waiting for this limbo period to be over and to have a definitive surgery date. Maybe it will feel more real then?

    Just my half-formed thoughts on the subject!

  8. 5 words: F*ck Your Sister-In-Law.

    OK, not literally, but screw them. If there's one thing that I've learned since surgery and going to all my support group meetings, it's that those who have been honest with the people in their lives are the ones who are more successful. Does it suck that people might be up in your business, asking about your weight loss, judging if THEY think you've lost enough weight. Sure damn right it does.


    It gives you so many opportunities to learn how to speak up for yourself and be your own advocate in a way that you never were before. All those times that you were quiet when someone would spout off about something weight-loss related. It gives you the chance to apply your backbone and even whip people in the ass with it.

    The majority of people that I've met who have had the surgery haven't been lazy or stupid or unmotivated. In fact, most of us have tried over and over again to lose the weight and haven't been successful because we're too perfectionist with ourselves and give up if we can't get it JUST RIGHT... in addition to us being people pleasers who put everyone else's desires before our own.

    You need to learn that it's OK for you to come first. It's OK for you to shine. It's OK to have something to rub in someone else's nose. Even if it goes against your regular nature. It's OK to give yourself the praise that you always give everyone else when they do even a mediocre job.

    And you need to feel comfortable to tell them to shove it if they try and make you feel crappy otherwise. Because when you can adopt that attitude towards them, you become your own best advocate and then, honey? No one DARES to try and judge you or be critical of you like they had the balls to in the past. That sister-in-law won't bulldoze over you any longer.

    And think about how damn good THAT will feel. (Plus the weight loss. ;)

  9. I've been banded since Sept 09 and decided from the beginning not to tell anyone. My husband obviously knows, but he's the only one.

    Now that I've lost 63 pounds and people are asking how I'm doing it, I feel guilty about not including the band in my explanation, especially if the question comes from someone who struggles with their weight too. My best friend has even told me that she knows many people who have had a lapband but that don't admit it, but since my weight loss has been so slow, she knows I'm working at it on my own. Yikes! Now I can't tell her because she'll feel foolish.

    I didn't want the added pressure of having people scrutinize my meals, ask me about my progress, or talk about me behind my back. It's just an personal matter to me.

  10. I am a very honest person...an open book if you will, or blog. I tell pretty much everyone that I have a band. I don't care what they think but it annoys me that they ask every time they see me "How much weight have you lost?" I don't weigh myself at all at home, and get my weigh-in every month at the surgeon's office so it seems like I am on a plateau... but I'm not. I just don't want to be obsessed with the scale and constantly checking my weight and I love having something to look forward to when I drive 1 1/2 hours to my surgeon's office. You will have to decide for yourself whether to tell or not but If I had to do it again, I think I would only tell my close friends, family and other bandsters... at least for a while. I think most people think it's an easy way out and they couldn't be more wrong. *Maria*-Blogger from "This one time at Band camp..." Check out my blog at mybigfatbandgeeklife.blogspot.com