By Ayotunde Adeyeri, MD, FASMBS
You are not obligated to tell anyone about any of your medical decisions, including weight loss surgery.
Let me repeat that–you don’t have to tell co-workers, friends, family or even your boss.
From my experience working with hundreds of bariatric patients here at Sterling Surgicare, I can say the majority choose to share their journey and feel less stress because it is ‘out in the open.’
Weight loss surgery is a positive step toward resolving a chronic medical condition, obesity.
Talking about it can be therapeutic and motivating. It’s inspiring to have people cheering for you to be successful.
It can also add a layer of accountability to your weight loss commitment.
After surgery, your body will change drastically. People will notice and may ask questions.
Whether you want to shout it from the rooftops or keep a low profile, it’s your personal choice.
What to Say if You Don’t Want to Tell
With planning, you can undoubtedly undergo weight loss surgery and maintain your privacy. Using vacation time from work or school should provide adequate recovery time, offsetting a need to explain any absence.
Keep in mind, you’ll lose a noticeable amount of weight in the early months after the procedure and people are going to notice. A truthful response to any queries is that you’re losing weight because you’re eating healthy and regularly exercising under a doctor’s care.
Down the road, if you want to tell more people about the details of the operation, you can. The best tactic may be to confide in trusted family and friends. Over time, you’ll know better if “going public” is the right decision for you.
Our bariatric support team compiled some ‘public/private’ advice that they have seen time and again with our patients, which I hope will offer some guidance as you navigate through your weight loss surgery journey:
Most People Support Your Journey
Many of the people around you will be happy for you. Most of us wish for others to be successful and are impressed by self-improvement efforts.
They’ll be supportive, sometimes too much so! You may tire of talking about your weight and body changes, even if the discussion is positive.
Some People Will React Negatively
Misconceptions about obesity and weight loss surgery are widespread. If you feel uncomfortable about handling negative comments, consider keeping your surgery to yourself, at least initially. Most of the time, naysayers are uneducated about obesity treatment or uncomfortable with someone else changing their life for the better.
Ahhh, yes, the family. You know your family members best and have time before surgery to determine who you will tell.
Keep in mind, especially early on, support is key to safe and fast recovery.
We recommend that you have at least two people in your inner circle who know about your bariatric surgery and can offer support.
For secondary relatives, including unsupportive family members, you may wish to exclude them from your journey until you feel comfortable explaining that you made a life decision to regain your health using a surgical weight loss solution.
Weight Loss Surgery is More than Just an Operation
It is a life-changing journey physically, emotionally and spiritually. At Sterling Surgicare, we take the weight loss journey with you, guiding your progress and helping to navigate challenges as they arise.
This is not an experience to fly solo–you will need health support, nutritional guidance, a fitness strategy tailored just for you, and occasionally a friendly voice to share any concerns.
If 2019 is the year you decide to pursue a surgical weight loss solution, call our friendly team at (732) 217-3897 and schedule an appointment to come in so we can talk more about your weight loss goals.