Weight Loss Surgery - If you've opted 2 keep your WLS private

09-06-2009, 07:45 PM
Hello all. This is my first posting here. I have been reading through the various threads and have found a wealth of information and caring people here at this site. So this is why I thought I could come here with this question as Ive also scoured the net and haven't found the answers I'm looking for.

I am planning to have WLS (RNY) in November. I am 5'8" and weigh about 278 lbs. It is a very personal decision and I realize that each person arrives here in their own way and in their own time. It is also a very personal decision to decide who you share this with. For me, I plan to keep this private only telling my inner circle. However, I know that I am going to have ALOT of people asking me how I lost weight; particularly because initial weight loss can be very dramatic and rapid. I may change my mind later about telling people but for now this is my decision.

If there's anyone else out there who has chosen to keep their WLS private, how did you explain your weight loss and scars to others...yes those little laproscopic scars; hey who knows who will be seeing my tummy :D

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to hearing from those of you have been in my shoes and how you dealt with it...

09-06-2009, 09:43 PM
Hi Desertmermaid and :welcome:

So glad you could join us.

Yes, I kept it private b/c people tend to want to watch everything you put in your mouth. I just told them I was watching what I was eating and eating smaller portions. IMHO its nobody's business, people also tend to think WLS is the "easy way out" .... so for me the right decision was keeping it to myself. :D

09-06-2009, 09:51 PM
StarJones tried....when you lose 5 lbs a day,people tend to notice.I agree that it is nobodys business but the truth shall set you free....If you want this and know its absolutely the right thing for you.Why hide it?

09-06-2009, 11:30 PM
it's a tough call - and you'll probably have to follow your instincts with this one. depending on how fast you lose, and how low you go, some folks will start thinking you've caught some horrible disease and you're on the way out.

others will gossip about you no matter what you do or say - and you know who they are.

for some reason, though, there's always a group of people who will argue with you afterwards!!! instead of keeping their mouths shut with nothing more than a 'hope this was the right decision for you' or something to that effect, they will launch into major lectures about what you should have done or didn't do or whatever.

ignore them.

in my case - and it was somewhat 'special' since i was bedridden and on oxygen before the surgery - i told the cranky people that i was dying, and this was my only chance for surviving. they generally 'approved' of my decision at that point - as if i needed it!!!

yeah, i'm feeling a bit feisty tonight. but seriously - it's a hard line to walk - it's none of their business, but some people will worry, and others will judge. no matter what you decide, just keep your head held high and keep yourself focused on what you have to do.

09-08-2009, 08:31 AM
I personally can't see not telling but then that's me.

I don't want to spend all my time after surgery reassuring folks at work that I'm not dying....

09-08-2009, 11:13 AM
Just watch who you tell in the beginning and feel people out. If your at a comfy part of your journey and want to tell, then go ahead, but just be aware that people are people and stupid stuff does come out. Then there's the folks that think WLS is a cure and you'll have to explain over and over and over and over. Heck, if you got the energy and the time and your not a sensitive person ...... tell em what you want.

Good luck !!! :hug:

09-08-2009, 01:48 PM
I told 3 friends at my job
when I came back from Disability 40 lbs lighter ppl asked questions I'm open about it now but
its up to you how you handle it you can explain if you want but you don't owe anyone anything!

09-09-2009, 01:55 AM
Thank you so much for your warm welcome Leenie and thoughtful replies Leenie, Jiffy, and Divatude...your read my post and have given me insight for my specific question. I chose my words quite carefully in my initial post...and although well intentioned; Im not looking to discuss why you told others or why I shouldn't hide...there are other threads dealing with that...I am really reaching out to those who understand how I feel and who have specifically been in this situation and have also chosen not to tell others..I appreciate your understanding and insight in this highly personal choice...

09-09-2009, 06:30 AM
I do hope that if you are close enough to someone to see your scars that you feel close enough to tell them about your surgery. It could save your life should you have surgery related complications later on in life.

09-10-2009, 01:46 AM
Oh most definately lol! I am telling my inner circle but in the event the situatuin arose..and im not referring to an intimate setting..just generally...I just wantd to knw if those could be alternately explained away or even that noticeable..I really feel strongly about limiting the number of peple I share my WLS w/

09-10-2009, 06:21 PM
I have not told anyone except my immediate family about WLS. I suppose some have guessed at it. When the subject of my wl comes up, I could honestly say that I eat five to six small meals a day and am careful about what I eat. I had been on the SBD a month before the surgery and was, if I can remember, around 18 or 19 pounds lighter when I actually had the WLS. My DH and DD have both lost on the plan so I usually steer it to the South Beach Diet. I live in a very narrow minded community and didn't want, or invite the scrutiny.

The most open I am is on this board!

09-11-2009, 10:35 AM
I live in a very narrow minded community and didn't want, or invite the scrutiny.

Thats exactly it Nanj ... some people just don't nor will ever understand. My friend who had surgery before me warned me about people like this because she made the mistake of telling people at work she had surgery. She said that every time she ate lunch with them, some one would make a remark like... should you be eating that, are you eating to much, is that allowed on your diet, your not losing weight anymore? and if they don't say it, they are thinking it.


09-12-2009, 06:52 PM
No one but my immediate family (and physicians) know I had WLS.

I told everyone I was going in for a gb removal. I said it had been balky for years and that the doctor said I'd prob. start to lose weight once it was gone & my system began to function more normally. Then when I came back & had started losing weight I said I'd had such a great head start from the gb removal I decided to continue on & eat smaller portions to lose more weight.

09-14-2009, 07:39 AM
I am going to Mexico to self-pay for vertical sleeve gastrectomy in late October. I am taking two weeks vacation and I am hoping that I don't have to tell anyone at work about the surgery, ever. I am a social worker in a nursing home, which means I work with 105 other women, and I love most of them, but Lord! They can be so intrusive when it comes to food/ dieting. Fortunately, I mean, sadly,but also fortunately, they have seen me lose fairly large amounts of weight before (only to gain it back.) In one effort I lost 90 pounds and in another, 60 pounds. So I can convincingly say I am REALLY cutting back this time and making it work. Also, I plan to go on a liquid diet 3 weeks prior to surgery, and that will be visible to everyone, so when I come back from surgery, I don't expect to have to answer any questions about why I'm doing liquids.

A huge reason I don't want to tell anyone is that if everyone knows, when I DO go astray with my eating now and then, I will panic and believe I'm going to fail the surgery and look like a total pathetic loser in front of everyone. And that feeling will make me eat. And eat. And eat. I don't want the pressure of the expectations of others. I pressure myself enough.

And I can't imagine the gossip and the judgement if it comes out that I went to MEXICO. And if I explain that I went to Mexico because I was self-pay, there will be endless gossip about where did I get the money and how much do I get paid, anyway?

For these and other reasons, I'm really hoping I don't have to tell.

09-14-2009, 07:57 AM

First, good luck and congrats with the surgery :hug:

IMHO its ok to tell very close family but when it comes to the people you work with, even neighbors..... its a touchy subject. I felt the same way as you, I did not want the pressure of the expectations of others as I pressure myself enough too.

I hope you can hang with us and let us know your experiences with the surgery, mexico and your wl.



09-14-2009, 11:42 PM
I am one who felt that I should keep the details of how I lost weight to myself. I used to just tell people that I utilized the wellness program at work to jump start my loss or I would say working out and using a few alternative methods to assist my weight loss. After some people thought I was sick and seemed concerned or like other people struggling to lose weight asked, I told as I was comfortable. It's pretty obvious now, people don't recognize me after 120 pounds, I am much more open. Believe me I still don't always tell, I don't always want to answer all the questions.

09-22-2009, 02:29 AM
Thanks so much AAAA n Kim for your honest and heartfelt response. U made some very good points that support my personal choice of keepin it quiet. I hate thinkin I gotta lie but thinkin of the most plausible. GB surgery would be plausible. Kim , like u have i been on the weight loss rollercoaster in the public eye (at work 78 staff members, plus my 800 students, their parents, etc) teachn high school and all well documented every year in the yearbook no less!
mexico was an option since I live drivin distance to the border but opted for a local surgeon in my state. Please keep us posted on ur experience. Thank u all again for ur insight

09-22-2009, 02:35 AM
Worthylady...I can see me doing that...changin my mind later on dependin on the specific situation...particularly if it were someone struggling with their weight like me. I definately see ur point.