How to Tell People You've Had Weight Loss Surgery
People are curious by nature, and dramatic weight loss is bound to bring questions from all corners.
However, information about our bodies and our medical status is very private, and it can be difficult to figure out how to address the inevitable inquiries once you start to lose the weight. There is no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to discussing your weight or your efforts to get control over it.
Obesity and obesity surgery are medical issues, and they are as personal as any other condition and treatment, so you have the right to discuss them — or refuse to discuss them — just as you would with another medical issue. If it makes you uncomfortable and you prefer to let the results speak for themselves, it is entirely OK to keep quiet and be happy with any appreciative glances and supportive comments you may experience.
Do What Makes You Comfortable!
If you choose to be more open about your weight loss surgery, it’s also OK to bring it up in conversation. You can volunteer the information or let people ask questions, and you can go into as much detail as you like, given the comfort level and depth of the conversation.
If someone says, "You’ve lost so much weight! How do you do it?” you can describe your operation and its consequences in as much detail as the situation demands. Or, you can simply say, “Thanks. Hard work.” And you’ll be telling the truth, because the surgery doesn’t do the job for you — you’ll have earned each pound you lose through diet and exercise. The surgery simply helps you on your way.
Whichever approach you choose, you can be proud of the work you’re doing for the good of your health. Bottom line: it’s personal, and you should do what makes you feel best.
There is one group you’ll probably need to discuss this with sooner or later, though: your family, close friends, and anyone who needs to know for practical reasons (your boss, for example). You should talk about it with them before surgery, while keeping in mind that surgery is a decision that needs to be taken between you and your doctor. Family and friends are an important source of support before, during, and after weight loss surgery, and they should be aware of what’s going on.
Help Is Available
The Marina Weight Loss program at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital has a clinical psychologist on staff whose job is to help with the personal issues attached to weight loss. If you have questions about discussing your procedure with people, please contact us.