Weight Loss Surgery - family and friends




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jiffypop
10-23-2005, 08:47 PM
it's not easy, folks! i've always preferred to hang out with people who were my friends when i was heavy because i knew they liked me for ME. but now, i'm not so sure. oh, nothing's really happened, but i'm not sure we really had all that much in common.

some wls friends - in real life - have lost their husbands. others have strengthened their relationships.

i read a study recently that concluded that people who were married when the wls patient was heavy had lots of problems after the surgery and often split up, but the opposite was true when the wls patient had been thin at the beginning of the relationship. [i don't remember where i saw this - i'll see if i can find it].

what i know for sure is that as i started dealing with my emotions differently after the surgery, i was no longer reacting the way other people expected me to. wasn't always pretty.

people who lose weight the old fashioned way run into this issue as well. but friends, family, and the loser all have more time to adjust to the changes. with the wls, it's often like a light switch!!!!

am wondering about lapbanders.... chickadeedeedear????? the weight comes off slower, but it DOES come off....


debo71
10-24-2005, 06:04 PM
Hi Ladies,

I am somewhat new here but this is one topic that has been worryied me a great deal. I will be have wls sometime in January because my pcp is out on medical leave.

I am not so worried about my relationship with my husband because we were together when I was thinner. (I think I read the same article that Jiffypop did, I just can't remeber where). When I went for my psych eval the Dr. mentioned it as well.

A while ago I mentioned getting wls to a friend and her comment was that I could not get skinny without her. So from that comment I wonder how long she will remain a close friend.

So any insight on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

Chickadee
10-24-2005, 08:45 PM
Interesting question, Jiff.

I think that losing slowly is one of the benefits of the LapBand (although there are days lately where I'm not so sure), because the changes are much more gradual. Everyone involved, me included, has more time to get used to the new me.

I'm really lucky that I have a great, great husband. He truly loved me fat and he loves me thinner. I know he likes that I'm much more energetic these days and can do more things. We have a lot more fun now. Fortunately, neither one of us has a jealous bone in our bodies and I think that helps. I hear that so many husbands are afraid that their newly thin wives will leave them for something better and they're pretty insecure about the whole thing.

My relationship with my mother has changed a little. I think she's mostly proud of me, but I also think she's a little jealous. She makes some pretty cutting comments about other people she thinks are fat and it really bugs me. She's always quick to say, "not you of course, you're so much thinner now" but inwardly I always wonder if she thought those mean things about me when I was bigger.

I think the biggest change is in me. I'm not such a patsy anymore. I'm much more willing to get into a confrontation with someone. The confidence I feel in my newly emerging body is also happening to my head. I'm less afraid to express opinions that will make people mad. I also don't care as much if I've pissed somebody off.

I think the changes in my personality have surprised a few people, but I haven't lost any relationships because of it. I have a few really close friends who know I had surgery, and the rest, less close, friends don't have a clue. I'm glad I didn't tell a lot of people because I'd hate for them to think I got snotty because of the band.

Oh, and Jiff, I like you because you're you!

:carrot:Chickadee - who thinks the dancing carrot is pretty cool!


Leenie
10-29-2005, 08:33 AM
Interesting question, Jiff.
I think the biggest change is in me. I'm not such a patsy anymore. I'm much more willing to get into a confrontation with someone. The confidence I feel in my newly emerging body is also happening to my head. I'm less afraid to express opinions that will make people mad. I also don't care as much if I've pissed somebody off.

YEEEEARS ago when I lost 150 lbs, I remember being the same way. I developed a confidence in me. It felt wonderful not to be afraid to stand up for myself as well as others.

I remember going out and seeing someone look my sister up and down and make faces, she was over 400 lbs at that time and I was 160 lbs... BOY DID I LAY INTO THAT PERSON, I told them off like there was no tomorrow. Now, if I was at the weight I am now, I probably would have turned my head. I know it shouldn't make a difference but it really does (to me that is).

I didn't lose any friends or relationships, I think I made more because my outlook on life was different, I was much more outgoing and happier.

I did notice jealous people trying to sabotage me with food. The faster I picked up on this the better it was for me b/c you wouldn't think your family or friends would try to do this to you. But guess what... they will if they are jealous.

Jiffy, I hope your okay, I'm a stone throw away, if you want to come visit or chat, please let me know, you have my # and I'll be home alot the next few weeks (vacation time ;) ). I would love to spend some time maybe shopping at the mall with you or something. Anyone that ditches you b/c of your weight is very insecure and jealous of you.... their loss !!!

HUGS !!!

gbo
10-30-2005, 01:15 AM
Right you are Leenie! Some women in your circle may not be jealous but threatened. We fat people are not a threat to slender women we are safe around their husband and boyfriends, generally speaking. Friends who are weighty with us do not want to be left behind. Our lives change or will change a great deal, so do our personalities as we become what is buried deep inside. We are or will be more active, physically active, hard for a large person. Look at the good...you will find out who your real friends are and find those who have insecurities you may choose to work with. It is human after all to have some insecurities. You may find a few you never reallly had much in common with other than food and weight but letting them go if they choose to is ok too. Be assured real friends will always be there and love you no matter what! They are a Blessing.
Pam

gbo
10-30-2005, 03:56 PM
Wow Pookie, how true,how truuuuue! I was stunned to hear Bill Mahar say something closely along those lines. How little is understood about this process.
Pam

Leenie
10-30-2005, 07:56 PM
When I think about everything I have been thru the last couple of years, it makes me feel really sad that some people either resent what I did or think I took the easy way out. --Pookie

You know what Pookie... give them one day in your old shoes and they'd be thinking different. Its so easy to mock what you don't understand.

Tell those folks to go under the knife and then let them say its the easy way out. Bet they go running 90 mph with their tails between their legs.

Risking your life during surgery is NOT the easy way out.

Ignorance.....sigh

GBO, you got that right !!!!

ageoldie
11-05-2005, 09:15 AM
Hey Gang!!!
It's been a while since I checked in with all of you. OleAlvin is doing fine, he's always had a strong personality, so he didn't change much in that way, but he is much more outgoing than he was before surgery. He goes out of his way to speak to people now where before he would never speak until someone spoke first.

It's interesting that this should be the topic you were discussing, because the reason I checked in was to give a report on my friend Pam. As most of you remember she was my former officemate who had surgery about 16 months ago. Now we are working together again, and she is literally like a different person. She has lost about 130 pounds and she makes me laugh all the time when before she was "all business" But the neatest thing is how much she loves to shop!!! She hated having to go shopping before and now she goes almost every day. She was widowed about 11 years ago and never seemed interested in men in the slightest, but now she "flirts" with everyone. It's so much fun to watch her.

But as for the subject at hand: Her best friend has always had a weight problem too and they have dieted, exercised,dieted some more together, etc.
Now that she has lost her weight and her friend has lost a lot too, but not nearly as much their relationship has changed. Pam doesn't see that SHE has changed, but really notices that her friendship with Donna is strained at times. I take this as a typical case as thing change, be they relationships, situations, or mindsets. Just go with it and if it works out that past relationships(how many times have I used that word in this post?) aren't the same, just see that as growing and keep doing what you know to do.

http://h1.ripway.com/ageoldie/thanksgiving/turkey_looking_around_cornstalk_md_wht.gifHappy Thanksgiving!!! Barb.g

DancingAngel
11-07-2005, 01:29 PM
Hello there! This is a great topic.

I have lots to say on this subject! When I lost my weight once and for all, nobody knew I had had the surgery, because although I had the surgery in 1986, due to my pregnancy my weightloss stopped until I started working it again in '95. I chose not to tell about the surgery, and indeed, I still don't talk about it. Whatever surgeries I have had are nobody's business! I do vigorously defend those who choose to have it, and I really get ticked off by those who call it a quick fix or think it's cheating. I get up every morning at 4:30am and work out for an hour to maintain my healthy body, and I enjoy doing it. I count every calorie I eat, keep my weight within a 3-pound range and step on the scale each day to make sure it stays there. So don't tell me that I took the easy way! It is a life-long battle, and I fight it daily.

I noticed when I first began losing the weight, everybody was most encouraging. They cheered my victories, noticed my milestones, and gave me such great support. After about a year or so, when I was 35 or 40 pounds more than now, things changed. All of a sudden, they commented that I must have an eating disorder. That I didn't look healthy. They noticed and commented on my loose skin. They criticized what I ate. They told me I was obsessed (to this I plead guilty, although I prefer to use the term "passionate") about my weight. I could only figure that by losing weight, I stepped out of the "fat friend" box they had put me in. What an affrontery, when people do not know their place!

I have changed in my outlook a lot over the past several years of being a person of "normal size." I no longer feel like people are watching and judging me, so I am much more confident. I'll admit to this as well -- sometimes I am a tad bit judgemental when I see overweight people who make absolutely no attempt to get control of their health. I don't say this proudly, but I'm being honest. I guess I figure, if I did it, why can't they? But I KNOW all too well what kinds of demons they struggle with -- I still struggle with them as well! And I remind myself of that whenever I start feeling a little smug.

Thank you for providing this forum in which to discuss things I never talk about!

jiffypop
11-08-2005, 09:42 AM
thanks for your honesty, dancing angel - you tiny person you!!! we all struggle. and it's hard when we see others who look like they're in the same boat that we were in. and yes, it's hard to know what to think, let alone what to DO or SAY to someone else.

but one thing i've learned is that we can never know what's going on in someone's life the first few times we meet them. i might see an overweight person have a large meal plus dessert, and it's possible that it's their monthly 'treat' night.

or, there may be a larger person around, and that person may have already lost a huge amount of weight, and is still trucking along.

i really have no idea what an appropriate thing to do might be in these situations, so i tend to keep my mouth shut unless asked. not always easy.

and that 'fat friend' thing - so sad, yet so true. we all struggle with the concept of obsession - or passion as the case may be - to one extent or the other. i truly believe that we ALL have obsession in our lives, and have had it for years. what changes, though, might be the FOCUS of that obsession, or the form it takes.

we might change from being obsessed about eating wonderful, high-calorie foods in an endless series of treats and binges to becoming obsessed with exercise or with eating as little as possible, or with shopping or sex or any of a number of things.

i'm struggling myself with balancing 'obsession' with taking care of my food and my exercise. it's not easy. i'm still not sure i can do it in a balanced fashion. i might have to inject a healthier dose of obsession into my daily life in order to meet my goals.

<sigh> no on ever said this was easy!!!!!

DancingAngel
11-08-2005, 01:26 PM
Jiffy -- You are so right! There is nothing easy about this journey, no matter what the weight! It IS a balancing act. My husband probably thinks I exercise obsessively, especially since I get up so early every day to do it. However, "experts" say that exercising 1 hour a day is a healthy choice! I do it when I can, and that early morning time has become a real sweet time for me. But sometimes even I think I'm a little nutty!

I do find myself compulsively shopping for clothes, or watching my food intake to such an extent that I don't go to lunch with friends or co-workers because there aren't healthy choices available wherever it is they may be going. It's hard to strike a balance! At whatever weight I find myself, there is a part of me that still wants to be compulsive.

I'm so happy to have a place where I can safely discuss some of these issues!

By the way, congratulations on your success so far. You have lost a tremendous amount of weight! I'll bet your life has changed so much! I wish you continued victory.

minnesotachicksicle
11-10-2005, 11:23 AM
Hello girls! I just wanted to post and say that I have had similar problems. Not so much with friends but my sister in law. When I first had the surgery and started getting closer to HER weight, she suddenly started dieting like mad and losing weight. She finally confessed (only half-jokingly I suspect) that she didn't want to be the "big girl" of the family, like that was supposed to be MY job! :( She's since fallen off the diet wagon and has gained back all that she lost and I get a few little comments and digs from her every once in a while. I think for the most part she's really happy for me, but the green-eyed monster rears her ugly head every so often. I just let the comments slide, I've never called her on anything she's said. I sometimes wonder if that's good or bad? :?:

Nita

Leenie
11-19-2005, 05:21 PM
Nita that is horrible what she said to you about her not wanting to be the big girl of the family. What an *** to make such a hurtful comment. I'm so glad you are able to rise above her pettyness, your a good person.

Congratulations on your WL !!!