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Should I explain myself??

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Old 04-24-2014, 11:26 PM   #1
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Question Should I explain myself??

Hi all! I'm new to this, but I'm desperate for advice, especially anyone else who has had weight loss surgery.

I had mine on February 5th of this year, down 62 pounds so far. I'm feeling great, and my confidence is going up every day.
I've kept my surgery a secret. I don't want EVERYONE knowing about because frankly I don't want unwanted remarks, comments, or judgments. I made the mistake of telling my mother in law, and begging her not to tell anyone. But she doesn't respect my wishes, and told the whole family anyways. "I don't know why it has to be a big secret!" Don't even get me started on this horrible womAn.

Now I'm torn. Should I explain to my family WHY I did this? I just hate that they all already know, and that some of them won't understand, and will just think I'm taking "the easy way out." Which is total bull. At least if I can explain a little bit, maybe they would understand better? That I tried the old fashion way, and I got tired of failing over and over again. Life is too short to be anything but happy!! And I was tired of fighting the same battle. Plus it was killing me.

Anyone have any advice?! Please & thank you!
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:50 AM   #2
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It happens - sometimes I open up my mouth by accident too but in reality its all their fault for being gossipy in the first place, we're just unfortunate bystanders. Anyways, nah I wouldn't - explaining yourself (in this case) is just playing into the game of having to justify a decision that YOU made for your body. Sounds like my family - I would just extra-aggravate them by giving them a nonchalant "Cause I feel like it" and watch them squabble like chickens.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:00 PM   #3
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I haven't had my surgery yet, so maybe I'm not the best at advice... however, I think you have two choices.

If people know, most likely, its going to be the topic of conversation for a while-- this seems unavoidable.
So you can either let that chatter happen, ignore it for the most part and continue doing well on your new lifestyle. Which means you have very little control over what is said and won't get to address it much at all.

Or, you can address the situation, explain (not justify) your choice and perhaps quell some of the discussion. But it adds to the uncomfortable confrontation piece.

I am always a fan of dealing with it, cutting off the conversation at the head and explaining my choices. It feels, to me, to give me back a bit of control-- at least my side is out there and the gossip can happen after I've said my piece.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:52 AM   #4
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Hi!

I don't usually come to this board. While I haven't had WLS, this thread was the one visible from the main board, so I clicked on it. If I could offer you a piece of advice.

I understand the feeling of knowing you are being judged, and it is especially frustrating when you know the person judging doesn't have the full story. I've had this happen in my life, and I'm sure may others have as well, with various things. We think if we can explain or revel some more of what's really going on (in your case, why your had the surgery) that people will "get it" and maybe have an "ah-ha" moment where they let go of their judgments now that they know the full story and reasons.

But I started to realize that this isn't how it goes. People that are inclined to judge, are not the kind of people that will listen to your reasons. I think sensible people understand that there is always more to the story and remain neutral on these types of things. In other words they are not making any assumptions about you or why you had surgery. Those are the same people that would probably listen to your story, and be understanding of it. But those aren't the people you are trying to inform.

Those that have little to go on, but are assuming, have already created a story in their minds, a story of why you are doing this and what kind of person you are. And they hold their judgments to be true, despite not knowing much of the reasons behind why you had WLS. The kind of person that would do that, that would find it acceptable to make leaps and jumps to conclusions based on their own thoughts, probably aren't going to hear you out anyway. They've made up their mind, and have no intention of admitting even to themselves that they are wrong. So no matter what you tell them, they will either think you are lying, or just judge your reasons.

As long as you know in your heart what you did was for you and what you needed to do, the heck with anyone that is judging you or making assumptions. I know its hard to let go of feeling hurt or annoyed by that, but you will likely waster your energy trying to make them see what you want them to see. Anyone that is more concerned with judging you than supporting you for taking steps to improve your health, was never in your corner to begin with and doesn't deserve your explanations.
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPhotography84 View Post
Hi all! I'm new to this, but I'm desperate for advice, especially anyone else who has had weight loss surgery.

I had mine on February 5th of this year, down 62 pounds so far. I'm feeling great, and my confidence is going up every day.
I've kept my surgery a secret. I don't want EVERYONE knowing about because frankly I don't want unwanted remarks, comments, or judgments. I made the mistake of telling my mother in law, and begging her not to tell anyone. But she doesn't respect my wishes, and told the whole family anyways. "I don't know why it has to be a big secret!" Don't even get me started on this horrible womAn.

Now I'm torn. Should I explain to my family WHY I did this? I just hate that they all already know, and that some of them won't understand, and will just think I'm taking "the easy way out." Which is total bull. At least if I can explain a little bit, maybe they would understand better? That I tried the old fashion way, and I got tired of failing over and over again. Life is too short to be anything but happy!! And I was tired of fighting the same battle. Plus it was killing me.

Anyone have any advice?! Please & thank you!

I totally get it. My husband got a WLS in August and we didn't want to tell my parents until it was a done deal because my parents always took care of their weight through healthy eating. Well, when I finally told them I chalked up my husband's decision to a health concern (which, hello! being obese IS a health concern!) and they didn't ask any further questions in that aspect. People around us, in general, don't ask many questions because since we started telling people we've been straightforward with it: he decided to get this surgery to improve his health. Period, end of story. See if that helps you.

Good luck!
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:27 AM   #6
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so let me make sure i understand this. crazy MIL spilled the beans. and it's been about 3 months, and not a single member of your family has come up to you and said something like 'why did you do this?' or 'what's it like' or ANYTHING? does MIL have strange silencing powers over everyone?

well, bottom line. here's my two cents. everyone. EVERYONE has been talking behind your back. and now you're thinking about opening the door and letting everyone talk in FRONT of you [and maybe even to you!] and you want to let them know your reasons - try to explain to them, try to change their minds.

I'm not sure it's worth the effort - at least not right now - but there's a lot that goes into that decision. Here's what I'm thinking. those of us who have had surgery have put a huge amount of preparation and effort into it - and continue to do so afterwards. That's really difficult for someone who hasn't gone down this road to understand. not impossible, just difficult. and you've already said that they won't understand and they won't listen.

and they certainly won't change your mind about it!

But perhaps more important is LESSON 101 of WLS: it is NOT possible to change your relationship with food without changing your relationships with PEOPLE as well.

IMO, you owe NO explanation to them. But i'd consider giving a prize to the first family member who comes up to you and initiates a discussion that shows real interest and caring.

And perhaps maybe think about why you told MIL pretty much knowing that she'd do something like this. This sounds like a relationship that needs changing [see LESSON 101 above]

you're doing a great job - DO NOT let these people get into your head. DO NOT let them second-guess your decision or put any guilt on you for not including them in the decision making. in fact, that's a good line for you to use: my doctor and i decided that this was the best option for me in terms of controlling my weight.

and then move the conversation along
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Old 04-27-2014, 02:00 PM   #7
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Having just spent a lot of time with extended family, GG's words of wisdom ring so SO true. Some people have great family... but others are exactly as she described. I'm with her 100% that if you're going to face negative judgment no matter what, then save yourself the energy and don't try to explain. You can't win for trying. They are who they are, and you'll never get that understanding. This may or may not resonate with your particular family, but either way, congrats on your success.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPhotography84 View Post
Hi all! I'm new to this, but I'm desperate for advice, especially anyone else who has had weight loss surgery.

I had mine on February 5th of this year, down 62 pounds so far. I'm feeling great, and my confidence is going up every day.
I've kept my surgery a secret. I don't want EVERYONE knowing about because frankly I don't want unwanted remarks, comments, or judgments. I made the mistake of telling my mother in law, and begging her not to tell anyone. But she doesn't respect my wishes, and told the whole family anyways. "I don't know why it has to be a big secret!" Don't even get me started on this horrible womAn.

Now I'm torn. Should I explain to my family WHY I did this? I just hate that they all already know, and that some of them won't understand, and will just think I'm taking "the easy way out." Which is total bull. At least if I can explain a little bit, maybe they would understand better? That I tried the old fashion way, and I got tired of failing over and over again. Life is too short to be anything but happy!! And I was tired of fighting the same battle. Plus it was killing me.

Anyone have any advice?! Please & thank you!
First of all, congratulations on your 62 pound loss- way to go!!!!! Keep up the great work!

Secondly- please stop justifying to others why you are taking good care of your health. The only one you need to answer to about your weight loss is YOU. So long as you are happy, healthy, and losing at a nice and safe rate, what does it matter what others think?

My in-laws are very nosy. I just nod and smile and tell them I am watching what I eat and exercising, when they ask how I am losing weight. That's already obvious with my weight loss, and truly, I am not up to listening to their lectures about how I should be eating certain foods that I am allergic to (yes, they conveniently forget I am allergic to most fin fish and some shell fish, and continuously try to get me to eat these foods. They also didn't believe my youngest daughter had a gluten allergy- as we would make up such a diagnosis and torture our daughter by making her go gluten free!).

There are lots of wonderful, caring, and supportive people out there always happy for you no matter how you're losing, so long as it is healthy. Focus on them and just stop worrying about the negative people who no matter what the subject, will always have something to day, whether it's about someone's weight loss, hair color, or the make of car they drive. Just smile and nod, then make a quick exit out of the conversation or change it if you have no choice but to be in the same room as them.

Good luck on your weight loss journey- you're off to a great start! I was going to have weight loss surgery, but for some reason, I could not lose that last pound out of 20 that I had to lose before the surgery. I tried everything. My doctor felt so bad for me, even gave me advice on what to do the night before and morning of weigh in at his office, and one day I just bawled my eyes out and said forget it, it wasn't worth. Don't you know, as soon as I quit the "pre-surgery" program they make you do, I lost four pounds. Anyone who says that weight loss surgery is easy deserves to have a foot up their rear ends- easy, my butt! They ought to try eating protein shakes for several weeks and go through carb shocks when they dare to have a bite of pudding after surgery. One of my close friends husband had the surgery twice, and the dumping was brutal for him. I hope you have no problems and have a smooth journey!
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:34 PM   #9
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You might feel better if you could summon up the courage to tell your mother in law off for breaking a confidence. She will probably try argue with you/justify herself but you just say firmly, i'm really disappointed that you betrayed my trust and that's all i've got to say about it. And leave the room. It will shake her up and probably gain you some respect from her.

But i wouldn't bother with anyone else. You are doing what you feel you have to do and you shouldn't have to justify it to others.

and now you know you can't trust your mil with any secrets.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:46 AM   #10
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The whole thing is a done deal. You do not owe anyone an explanation. You are a grown woman capable of making your own decisions. It is too bad that you opened up to your MIL but it's over and done with. Like jiffypop said it's been 3 months and no one has asked you anything, well apparently they respect your privacy and your decisions better than your MIL. Let it rest. You would just be raking the whole situation up again to no one's benefit by approaching family members now to talk about it. It only feels like there is a big discussion about you, likely everyone has moved on in these 3 months and it is no longer a topic of discussion.
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Old 05-04-2014, 11:27 AM   #11
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I had a completely different approach. Before I had my surgery, I set up a blog and invited all my friends, family, and colleagues to "join" me on the journey. (My husband passed away almost 2 years ago and the only real family I have is my sister-in-law.) Once I got through the surgery OK and lost considerable weight, I feel like people are mostly bored with it. In other words; I am OK, it is working, end of story. When I see people at work or in the community, I get a lot of "that's amazing". it was hard to admit I had almost 300 pounds to lose. I never did it outright but now that I have lost over 200#, people know.

My advice, enjoy this wonderful gift you have given yourself. Whatever people think is ALWAYS more about them than you. Enjoy the new look, better health, and a better feeling about your body. Celebrate!!! your success.
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Old 05-04-2014, 01:43 PM   #12
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I don't know why people need explanations for something that doesn't affect them. It's your body, your life and I would guess that you didn't make the decision on the spur of the moment. Congratulations on your progress so far and good luck with the rest of the way
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Old 05-04-2014, 01:48 PM   #13
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Oh - and anyone who thinks WLS is the "easy" way out must be nuts! I seriously considered it and when I was researching how it worked, I learned it is most definitely not an easy road. It's just a different road.
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Old 05-05-2014, 05:41 AM   #14
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I just recently got the gastric sleeve done this past month. And i chose not to tell my extended family. The only one who know are my parents and my two siblings and maybe 3 friends that know how to keep a secret.
The reason i didnt want it getting out because my family is a bunch of gossiping chickens. And yes i know it for a fact they are my family after all. i love them but i wont be telling them.

What i would do in your situation since they all ready know. I would tell them you got it done for health reasons. and leave it at that. also i would talk to your mother in law or better yet see if your husband can and have her not tell any more people. what people don't understand is we are keeping it a secret because its our own private business its not because were ashamed of having had it done but why should i have to share my personal life with you.
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