After Surgery - Social Aspects/How to answer those inevitable questions.....

asfgsp
on 3/23/14 7:59 am - Willow Grove, PA

Hi,  I have not actually had surgery left but I am looking at so many thinks and as well as the medical, I am thinking about the social and emotional.  In terms of the social, I am curious what others say when you go to a huge meal at someone's house and you are questioned of why you are not eating much? I can imagine this question a lot coming from a family of Italians - cousins, friends etc., not all of whom I would like to share my surgery story with.  Can some of you tell me any of your experiences of running into any of these situations?

poet_kelly
on 3/23/14 8:05 am - OH

I usually just say "I can't eat too much at once due to my gastric bypass."  If for some reason I don't want to share the fact that I had surgery, I just say something like "It's wonderful, I'm just not real hungry" or "My tummy is kind of sensitive today" or something vague like that.  Most people don't seem to pay that much attention to how much I'm eating.  I think often we feel very self-conscious but that's more in our heads than in the eyes of other people.  Most people are paying more attention to themselves than to what I put on my plate.

View more of my photos at ObesityHelp.com          Kelly

Please note: I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  If you want medical advice, talk to your doctor.  Whatever I post, there is probably some surgeon or other health care provider somewhere that disagrees with me.  If you want to know what your surgeon thinks, then ask him or her.    Check out my blog.

 

kathkeb
on 3/23/14 8:16 am

I tried to steer conversation away from my eating habits.  Typically saying that I had already eaten, or had a big lunch, or wasn't feeling very hungry.

As Kelly said, most people don't really monitor what others eat.

I would take small portions, eat a few bites of what I could and then help in cleaning up .... I don't eat dessert food, so I moved away from the table after dinner or stayed with a warm beverage and sipped it or pretended to sip.

 

Kath

  
Eggface
on 3/23/14 8:47 am, edited 3/23/14 10:49 am - Sunny Southern, CA

After a few months you will easily find a few things you can eat most places (cold cuts, cheese cubes, veggies, shrimp, fish) but in the beginning it is more problematic... "Ohh everything looks wonderful but I'm just not hungry right now" "I ate a late lunch" "Ohh that cake looks great but I'm saving room for (insert food you can eat.)"

It is easier if people know you are trying to get healthier but I understand if that is something you don't want to share.

Some tips that have helped me... http://theworldaccordingtoeggface.blogspot.com/2013/11/eggfa ces-10-tips-for-surviving-holidays.html

I'm Sicilian... I get it. Everything is celebrated big with food but you are making a choice to be healthy and if that makes someone uncomfortable well... oh well. You have to do what is best for you.

It really does get easier as the years go on... you can bring things you love to share with them... I have tons of Italian makeover recipes on my blog (welcome to take a peek.)

Best to you in your upcoming surgery and GOOD FOR YOU for thinking ahead.

~Michelle "Shelly"

Weight Loss Surgery Friendly Recipes & Rambling
www.theworldaccordingtoeggface.com

dalaimama
on 3/23/14 9:24 am

Great tips, I had been wondering about the same kind of things. A coworker had RNY last year and we were just talking about what you say when an acquaintance mentions the weight loss, what do you say? I'm nervous about it, I don't want to lie but at the same time I don't really want to share with everyone I guess? She made a great point that at the end of the day, I don't want to feel like I've been less than honest. Other people are in charge of their own preconceived notions and if they want to judge me, that's on them. I'm still a bit nervous about it though lol I guess we just have to handle every encounter the best way we can and go from there. I also have a family who notices if you don't eat a lot. They're from the south.. many of those families seem to feel much the same way about food as big Italian families :) It's hard because if your family is like mine, the food is freaking amazing! lol

Best of luck! :)

~Cheryl

    
Retro Gal
on 3/23/14 11:04 am
RNY on 05/06/14

This is a real dilemma.  I am a private person when it comes to my health, and I really don't think it is anyone's business about my RNY and I shouldn't have to talk about it if I don't want to.  I will make excuses as some of you suggest at meals and when asked 'how did you lose all that weight?" I will simply say that I finally had had enough.  Besides, to be quite honest with you all, there is an element of embarrassment in all of this.  If we are all being honest with ourselves you will know what I mean.  The final step of someone who has failed at everything else in this area, whether there are other physical or emotional issues involved in it or not.  I'm not being a victim and of course, we have all now chosen to take charge, but still, if we could all have stuck to a 1,000 calories a day, well-balanced healthy diet along with exercise, every day of our lives, none of us would be here at a high morbidly obese level considering surgery.  I'm sure I will get some flak for this post, but I am not ashamed of what got me here or the drastic step I've chosen to correct it, but I am being matter of fact about this too.

Height 5'9", Heaviest: 321, Pre-Opti Program: 296, Preop: 250, Preop BMI: 36, RNY May 6, 2014.

kathkeb
on 3/23/14 1:11 pm

When asked about weight loss, I honestly told people that iwas eating less and moving more which we're both true.

I also went back to Weigh****cher meetings and mentioned that I was doing that, if I was so inclined.

I did not share much about my surgery outside the WLS community and family.

Kath

  
kathkeb
on 3/23/14 1:12 pm

When asked about weight loss, I honestly told people that iwas eating less and moving more which we're both true.

I also went back to Weigh****cher meetings and mentioned that I was doing that, if I was so inclined.

I did not share much about my surgery outside the WLS community and family.

Kath

  
MsBatt
on 3/24/14 2:40 am

"...if we could all have stuck to a 1,000 calories a day, well-balanced healthy diet along with exercise, every day of our lives, none of us would be here at a high morbidly obese level considering surgery."

Not necessarily true. Some folks simply have a super-efficient metabolism, able to store most of what we take in. It also makes a difference---a really BIG difference, for some of us---where those 1000 calories come from.

I personally am NOT embarrassed because I chose to have a medical procedure to help me overcome my morbid obesity. I wouldn't be embarrassed if I chose to have a cardiac bypass if I needed one, either.

Yes, there's still come stigma associated with WLS---and there always will be, unless people start being open about it. You can choose to keep your WLS a private matter, but please, PLEASE don't flat-out lie about it---don't say that you've lost weight through diet and exercise alone. How discouraging that would be to other MO people around you, who already feel like a failure if 'diet and exercise' hasn't worked for them.

And if you lie, the odds are good that eventually it WILL come out, and come back to bite you in the butt. I'd much rather people know I had WLS than to consider me a liar.

CerealKiller Kat71
on 3/23/14 8:47 pm
RNY on 12/31/13

I've been surprised how little other people notice my eating patterns.  At work, I eat lunch with the same people every day -- no one has commented on my lack of food. I've gone to several family functions.  It's been amazing to me how easy it is. Of course, I don't make it a production either.  I stay very matter-of-fact.

I told a total of 4 people about my surgery -- not because I'm a liar, but because it's my personal medical business.  I don't expect other people to disclose their surgical histories to me, and I shouldn't have to either.  When people ask how I've done it, they're really looking for a magic answer -- I don't feel surgery is magic. I would tell another obese person though, because I believe being obese isn't a moral failure and wouldn't want to contribute to the idea that I'm just more determined - I have a tool. 

I've lost nearly 80 pounds and eat very little. The only person who's noticed my eating has been my MIL who burst out asking if I was on a diet this weekend.  When I simply answered, "yes," -- it began with a barrage of questions to which I simply keep answers short and non-committal. I honestly explained I was working with dietician sat the Cleveland clinic and used that to rebut any comments that I am eating to little. 

 

 

"What you eat in private, you wear in public." --- Kat

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