Weight Loss Support - venting..."no, I did not have surgery..."




Bekah
07-18-2010, 09:00 AM
First off, I want to put it out there that I have nothing against anyone who has had or is having surgery in order to loose weight!

However, I am finding it kind of an insult when people are now asking me if I had surgery in order to loose all the weight I have lost so far. Maybe it is the way they are asking it: most of the time it comes off like they mean "wow that is a lot of weight to loose you must have had surgery". It makes me feel like they doubt that I could have lost all the weight with consistency and time. I know it is still hard work to loose weight after surgery, but people tend to view weight loss surgery as the easy way out(not that it has to be or is) and I am getting really offended when people doubt the work I have put into this journey(and the work I am still putting in).

Anyone have any thoughts or similar experiences??:?:


MindiV
07-18-2010, 09:19 AM
I once had a DOCTOR ask me what pills I had taken to lose weight. And a friend/co-worker of mine started the rumor that I'd had "the surgery" to lose weight, so I understand where you're coming from.

I know people who have had WLS, so I know it's in NO way the easy way out. I just don't understand why other people on the outside of the weight loss journey think that surgery is the ONLY way to lose weight?

losermom
07-18-2010, 09:27 AM
My dr asked me repeatedly, at my last appointment, whether I had had any sort of weight loss surgery... There are rumors circulating that I have had surgery, an eating disorder, cancer, etc. It's hurtful, but people close to me know the truth. I just use my anger about it to fuel my maintenance.


Lori Bell
07-18-2010, 09:38 AM
My dr asked me repeatedly, at my last appointment, whether I had had any sort of weight loss surgery... There are rumors circulating that I have had surgery, an eating disorder, cancer, etc. It's hurtful, but people close to me know the truth. I just use my anger about it to fuel my maintenance.


:D Me too!

I talked openly about the possibility of having WLS many years ago, the lab-band specifically, when it first came out. Maybe that is why people think I have had it....I don't know. I guess people maybe never forgot??

But like losermom, I used this to my advantage. One of the greatest thrills of a life time is to walk into a room full of the gossips all dolled up and watch them squirm because I'm still at goal. :devil: (Such a naughty thing to say before church today!)

JessLess
07-18-2010, 09:50 AM
I think they are trying to make you feel badly because they are envious of your accomplishments, except for the doctor who should really know better...

rockinrobin
07-18-2010, 09:59 AM
Oh please, I get this all the time. People don't ask IF I've had the surgery, that just launch right into that and assume that I DID have WLS.

A good friend of mine finally convinced a mutual friend of ours (she's much better friends with him than I am), that I didn't have weight loss surgery, but then he immediately went on to say that I must have had liposuction. Oy.

And just recently, two good friends of mine bumped into a mutual acquaintance of ours. My name came up and this woman actually told them AS FACT, that Robin had WLS. As fact. Could you imagine? She was telling them that I had surgery. This woman who barely knows me. But of course these two women are my good friends, so they KNOW that I didn't.

Funny enough, wouldn't you know it. The very next day after they told me this, I bumped into this woman in the grocery store.I was ready to bring up what she said, but I was in a particularly horrible mood and I am certain I would have not been so nice. So I chose to say nothing. Of course looking back I wish I would have. What a missed opportunity! Oh well.

rockinrobin
07-18-2010, 10:01 AM
I think they are trying to make you feel badly because they are envious of your accomplishments, except for the doctor who should really know better...

This is the sad part - you would *think* doctors would know better - but they don't. My very own doctor told me that it would be impossible to lose all the weight that I needed to without surgery.

It is so sad that so few people know that losing weight and lots of it is a doable thing. That we ALL have the ability to do so. We are all capable of it.

ubergirl
07-18-2010, 10:12 AM
This is the sad part - you would *think* doctors would know better - but they don't. My very own doctor told me that it would be impossible to lose all the weight that I needed to without surgery.

It is so sad that so few people know that losing weight and lots of it is a doable thing. That we ALL have the ability to do so. We are all capable of it.

Yup. Mine too.

And yes, I also get the gossip about how I've lost so much weight, and I've seen people scrutinizing what I eat. It sucks.

The only thing I can say is that I've lost MORE than most of the WLSers at my workplace.... so there!

I can't wait to see them when I'm actually at goal!:devil:

catherinef
07-18-2010, 10:15 AM
I'm sure I've held forth before on just how much this angers me, but I guess I'm just SO angry about it that I can't miss an opportunity to say so. ;) Most of it, I suppose, is that I hate being the subject of gossip, but there's a good element of...just irritation. No, I did not have weight loss surgery. No, I did not follow a crazy miracle diet. No, I didn't take pills. All I can tell you is that I ate calorie-counted portions of healthy, whole foods, and moved my butt a lot. Why don't people just believe this? Why are they so darned disappointed when you tell them, Look, I just changed the quantity and quality of what I eat. There is not one thing miraculous about this, it's EXACTLY what you're 'supposed' to do, if you want to lose weight without resorting to surgery. I QUIT EATING SO MUCH, OK? I can't tell you a single thing about WLS, since I DIDN'T HAVE IT.

It does irritate me, because this is not some deep, secret knowledge.

Bekah
07-18-2010, 10:39 AM
Thanks everyone!!! I knew there had to be others out there who felt the same way!! People just can't believe that you can loose the weight by eating well and sticking to a calorie and fat limit. There is the exercise part as well, but it really is just a matter of creating healthy habits and remaining dedicated to your goal!!:carrot:

Can I just say....

WE ROCK! :D

Rosinante
07-18-2010, 10:57 AM
WLS isn't that common in the UK so last time what I got was

a) You must have taken the easy option and done Atkins. (I didn't; and Atkins isn't easy)
b) Have you finished the chemotherapy?

Onwards.

PapayaMule
07-18-2010, 11:00 AM
Couldn't it sometimes just be the case that people can't imagine how they themselves could lose so much weight without something like surgery?

I don't think most people would mean it in a vindictive way, they are just in admiration because they don't feel capable of it themselves. I would take it as a compliment.

losermom
07-18-2010, 11:01 AM
But like losermom, I used this to my advantage. One of the greatest thrills of a life time is to walk into a room full of the gossips all dolled up and watch them squirm because I'm still at goal. :devil: (Such a naughty thing to say before church today!)

It's ok to be naughty if it works. :s:


A good friend of mine finally convinced a mutual friend of ours (she's much better friends with him than I am), that I didn't have weight loss surgery, but then he immediately went on to say that I must have had liposuction. Oy.


Robin, is it even possible to "lipo" out 165 lbs?!??!:shrug: And if it is, would it be healthy?


And yes, I also get the gossip about how I've lost so much weight, and I've seen people scrutinizing what I eat. It sucks.


Ditto. :(

No, I did not follow a crazy miracle diet. No, I didn't take pills.

Over the July 4th holiday, while at SIL's holiday BBQ, SIL asked me (very hostilely I might add), if I was taking "pills". When I responded no, she then accused me of not eating. Which is weird, because she saw me eat a plate of food, including a sloppy joe, pasta salads, fruit and a rice krispie bar, washed down with a couple of beers (Miller 64s). I don't eat like that every day, but I do indulge occasionally.

Shmead
07-18-2010, 11:08 AM
Related: I had a friend the other day asking me about my "super healthy diet" and "how long could I keep it up"? It actually took me a few minutes to realize she was saying "super healthy" sarcastically because she just assumed I was starving myself and that it couldn't possibly be healthy or sensible. I have never eaten such a healthy diet in my life, and I suspect I eat healthier than 75% of Americans! (not to mention how UNhealthy all that fat was).

When possible, I give people a long spiel about how WLS is NOT the "easy option" and how grateful I am that I didn't have to do it that route.

That said, I have a family reunion coming up and I am tempted to get a bikini--despite my sagging stomach--just so that people can see there is no scar.

Shmead
07-18-2010, 11:15 AM
Couldn't it sometimes just be the case that people can't imagine how they themselves could lose so much weight without something like surgery?

Right, and since they can't imagine that they could be determined enough to do, it follows that we must have taken a "short cut" as well. It feels like minimizing the accomplishment.

It's like if you saved up a bunch of money by working lots of overtime and living without any luxuries and then went on a cruise and people at work --the ones that left at 5:00 and bought a $5 latte every day--were like "Must be nice to have money. Did you win the lottery or did your parents pay for it?".

I don't think most people would mean it in a vindictive way, they are just in admiration because they don't feel capable of it themselves. I would take it as a compliment.

Sometimes, maybe. But often they want to minimize what you have done so that they don't feel bad about not doing it themselves.

The irony, of course, is that WLS isn't the "easy way", but people think it is.

Meg
07-18-2010, 11:17 AM
The fact that our doctors assume that we had weight loss surgery isn't just offensive, it can be downright dangerous.

Not long ago, a doctor who knew I had lost a lot of weight but apparently had forgotten how, made the assumption that I had WLS -- and made a decision about what drug to prescribe for me based on that assumption. When we discussing the drug, I caught his reference to surgery and said, what are you talking about, I didn't have surgery! And he was shocked and embarrassed and apologized profusely. His explanation was that he didn't have any patients who had lost and kept off as much weight as I have, so "naturally" he assumed I had surgery. Not a good excuse in my book for making such a drastic assumption.

Now, whenever I see a doctor and my weight loss is relevant to the issue, I make a point of saying that I lost 120 pounds, did it with diet and exercise, have kept it off for more than eight years and didn't have weight loss surgery. Hopefully that message is loud and clear!

losermom
07-18-2010, 11:22 AM
Meg, that is scary! I'm not really comfortable doing that with my doctor, but I probably will have to as he is my primary card dr. My obgyn, while amazed, has been super supportive of me.

QuilterInVA
07-18-2010, 11:35 AM
People losing weight (me included) get so angry over everthing. If no one comments about our weight loss, we complain; if they do, we complain. If someone offers food, we complain. If they open their mouths, they are bad mouthing us.

We all need to learn to stop getting angry all the time. It only hurts us. I've lost nearly 200 pounds and people ask me about surgery too. I just smile and say no surgery, just Weight Watchers and hard work. They accept that and we move on. All these hurt feelings and anger just hurts us, not the other person.

PapayaMule
07-18-2010, 11:35 AM
Right, and since they can't imagine that they could be determined enough to do, it follows that we must have taken a "short cut" as well. It feels like minimizing the accomplishment.

It's like if you saved up a bunch of money by working lots of overtime and living without any luxuries and then went on a cruise and people at work --the ones that left at 5:00 and bought a $5 latte every day--were like "Must be nice to have money. Did you win the lottery or did your parents pay for it?".



Sometimes, maybe. But often they want to minimize what you have done so that they don't feel bad about not doing it themselves.

The irony, of course, is that WLS isn't the "easy way", but people think it is.


I get why it's frustrating and unfair, and I am not saying I agree with anyone making such a personal comment. However, most people have no idea what you may have been through in order to lose so much weight and how much of your life you have had to change. They are not neccessarily in weight loss mode and they may not have spent much time thinking about what real weight loss entails. Therefore, because they don't see drastic weight loss that often, they wrongly presume something drastic like surgery must have taken place. It probably slips out without much thought and would only take for you to correct them for them to realise they made a stupid comment.

No one is an expert on everything and everyone has their mind on different priorities. Just because weight loss is yours, doesn't mean it is theirs. They are ignorant but potentially innocent.

I also completely agree with the poster above me :)

Windchime
07-18-2010, 12:28 PM
So here's the deal: Until I came to 3FC, I didn't know of one single person in real life who lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off simply by adapting a healthy lifestyle of healthy foods and exercise. Not one. I know of many who have had weight loss surgery and dropped a lot of weight quickly. So it's my belief that most people aren't trying to be malicious when they assume that the weight loss must be due to WLS; it's just that they have never known anyone to lost that amount of weight any other way!

My original goal when I came to 3FC was to lose 70 pounds. That, to me, sounded unachievable. I don't think I know any other woman who has lost that much weight without surgery. I know a couple of guys who lost 40-50 pounds, but no women that I can think of. Until I came here, I wasn't sure it was possible but now I know different, because of all the success stories I see all around me.

I really think that's it. I don't think it's malicousness, or raging envy, or nasty intentions (for the most part). I think they just assume, and when you combine that with some peoples' love of gossip, the rumor spreads like wildfire!

rockinrobin
07-18-2010, 12:41 PM
Robin, is it even possible to "lipo" out 165 lbs?!??! And if it is, would it be healthy?

If only. But I think this just shows the extent of this mans ignorance.


We all need to learn to stop getting angry all the time.
And yes, it does make me downright ANGRY that people that barely know me are TELLING, ACTUALLY TELLING others that I did indeed have surgery. That is wrong, wrong, wrong. And it DOES anger me.

As far as the doctor goes, they are supposed to take a complete medical history. Why is "have you ever lost a significant amount of weight and if so, through what method?" not a standard question?

Expunge
07-18-2010, 12:55 PM
I'm actually quite shocked that doctors would assume that type of surgery occurred. I mean... it's MAJOR abdominal surgery... wouldn't there be something in your file about it? Wouldn't it be something that everyone who has had it would make known to their doctor(s), due to risks and complications?

losermom
07-18-2010, 01:07 PM
I'm actually quite shocked that doctors would assume that type of surgery occurred. I mean... it's MAJOR abdominal surgery... wouldn't there be something in your file about it? Wouldn't it be something that everyone who has had it would make known to their doctor(s), due to risks and complications?

My doctor implied that I had had WLS without his referral or knowledge.

Bekah
07-18-2010, 02:25 PM
People losing weight (me included) get so angry over everthing. If no one comments about our weight loss, we complain; if they do, we complain. If someone offers food, we complain. If they open their mouths, they are bad mouthing us.

We all need to learn to stop getting angry all the time. It only hurts us. I've lost nearly 200 pounds and people ask me about surgery too. I just smile and say no surgery, just Weight Watchers and hard work. They accept that and we move on. All these hurt feelings and anger just hurts us, not the other person.

I have to say that for me "angry" is a strong word. Frustrated is a better one I would say. It is not because I want people to only praise me or anything like that, but I am a social worker and I see a lot of people everyday and it gets very frustrating to have to keep explaining multiple times that I have counted calories and worked out to get the weight off. Or I hear from someone else that "so and so was asking(behind my back) if I had had surgery". Assumptions of any kind bother me anyways.

I do understand that people sometimes dwell on feelings and no, that doesn't help a person. However, I think it is healthy to allow for a quick burst of frustration(even anger with appropriate venting etc) and then leave the feelings behind :) We are all working hard and achieving significant goals and we should not let anyone make us feel that our hard work is less important than it is! Loosing weight is hard and therefore there will be a lot of emotions around it and it is healthy to experience every one of them. We just have to be cautious about which ones stick with us :)

I hope I wasn't preaching!!!

mthrgoos68
07-18-2010, 03:08 PM
I agree, it's just frustration. The people at my work actually seemed to think that I was drugs... and not weight loss drugs. It's easier to think that than to think that somebody is actually working that hard. Plus, it makes them feel less guilty. They think that surgery is cheating (which it isn't, and even losing after surgery is VERY hard!), so they can justify not making their own lifestyle changes by saying... "Oh, well she had surgery". To know that we did it through calorie counting and exericse, which anyone can do, puts the burden back on them to make their own changes.

susieyarb
07-18-2010, 03:45 PM
No one has come right out and asked me, but I know they're wondering. They always ask, "what are you doing?!" At first I'd minimize my efforts and just say, "cutting back on my food and exercising more." But then I started being more specific. I say, "I eat 1400-1600 calories a day and exercise at least 30 minutes to an hour a day." I figure the more people I'm specific with, the more it will get around, that yes - I'm doing it the old fashioned way. I've been at it for over 6 months now, but to others it seems to have been overnight!

I think this is one of the problems with our society today. It's getting so that people don't believe they can do it w/o surgery. So once they get up so high in weight, it's almost hopeless so our country gets fatter and fatter. Especially with even Doctor's starting to believe it's not possible!

saef
07-18-2010, 05:17 PM
Yes, this irritates me, because of the tone of voice people sometimes use when they bring it up. So often, it's clearly a belittling tone. "Did you have 'surgery'?" I can hear the air quotes. This way of referring to it nearly always comes from ignorance, from people who know next to nothing about what the actual surgery entails, or the lifestyle changes those who've had surgery must make & their constant ongoing efforts to keep it off. In some peoples' minds, surgery is a quick fix. It's a shortcut that I took, instead of running the marathon. It means I didn't put in a lot of effort, in the old-fashioned way; that I somehow "bought myself" a new body by paying surgery. In their minds, it seems somewhat like "having work done" on your face. I find that insulting to me, yes -- because it took me two years & so much vigilance & so much sweat & so many bad moments looking at a number on the scale that I couldn't believe was dorrect. But it's also equally insulting to the people who have had the surgery. As I said, it's ignorance speaking.

I wish these people who think there's some magical "easy way out" could shadow me through a typical week. They'd be right there hovering over my grocery cart, seeing what I buy, and there when I try to stuff room in my fridge for more space-consuming fresh vegetables. (Kale? Heads of cabbage? Piles of zucchini?) They'd be there for all the cooking. They'd be there beside me, seeing all the junky food that I see or smell or am offered & turn down or pretend not to have seen. They'd be there on this 90-degree day when I walked past a line that run outside the door to the Baskin & Robbins next to the movie theater & they'd see me try not to look or think about what's inside & forget about that whiff of chilled vanilla & airconditioning that almost ... almost ... lured me in. They'd get up at the same hour I do, see what I eat for breakfast, and see me pull my exercise clothes on & head to the gym. Heck, they'd be beside me, clocking time on the machines & with the weights. Yeah, after a week or so of an internship in my life -- in which, come to think of it, I am doing so many of the things someone would do even if they DID have the surgery -- they'd see what a "quick fix" we all have recourse to.

So yeah, I relate very much to Shmead's analogy about jealousy over seeing the vacation without seeing all the savings & the deferral of gratification & the overtime & the paying-off of debt plus interest (I mean, in the form of fat) that went into it.