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To Tell or Not To Tell – ‘I Had Weight Loss Surgery’

OC Staff After Surgery

standing on the scaleA lot of thought goes into having bariatric surgery. Research ranging from which procedure to which surgeon should I choose is done. But not many people think about their answer to a common question encountered after surgery.

“Wow, you look great. What did you do?”

It wasn’t until about 6 months after my gastric bypass surgery that I encountered this question. It came from a co-worker that works in a different part of the country but visits our office a couple of times a year. Many people at my office already knew I had surgery. I let a couple of people know that I would be out for about a week recovering from gastric bypass surgery. And they were all very supportive for the record.

I really didn’t have to tell many people on a day to day basis about my surgery after I got back. The weight doens’t just fall off after the surgery. Its still hard work and I had to drastically change my diet. And the people that saw me on a day to day basis never saw a big change. A pound here and a pound there kept my weight loss under the radar. But after 6 months I had lost close to 60 pounds and I looked thinner and healthier.

Sarah, the co-worker that I mentioned, hadn’t been to the office in about 8 months. The last time I saw her was before my gastric bypass surgery. She walked into the office and took a double take when she saw me. I should have expected it, but I wasn’t ready. “Wow, you look great. What did you do?”

For me, the answer fell out of my mouth. “I’m eating healthier and I’ve been working out five times a week.”

It’s strange, I’m really not embarrassed about having weight loss surgery and I’m not a good liar. So I have no idea why I didn’t tell Sarah about my procedure, but I didn’t. Sarah went to her temporary office to work and have her meetings for the two days she was here. I didn’t make an effort to seek her out and fix the lie I had told about my weight loss. In my defense, it wasn’t truly a lie because I did change my diet and I was working out five times a week. But still, I had lied about my surgery.

After that experience I have never lied about having gastric bypass surgery. I’m proud of the choice I’ve made and I’m 90 lbs lighter because of it. I’m healthier and I plan on living a longer, happier life with my family and friends. But I do understand not wanting to answer all of the questions that arise after you’ve told someone you’ve had gastric bypass surgery. But like I said, I’m a bad liar so I’m stuck telling the truth.

Sarah quit our company before she came back to visit our office again. So if you’re reading this Sarah, I’ve had gastric bypass surgery. Sorry for the lie. And yes, I can only eat a fist-sized portion of food each meal.

What are you planning on doing?

If you’re married or have a significant other, I’m sure you’re going to tell him or her. And most people tell their immediate family, but will you tell your friends? Do you wait for them to ask or just tell them? We were lucky enough to interview a patient who decided she wouldn’t even tell her mom. 

Whatever you do, its your choice to have weight loss surgery and your decision on whether or not you want to tell people about it. I don’t think keeping your surgery a secret is wrong or bad. What do you think?


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