How did you tell everyone about the surgery?

Hi everyone! I was wondering how everyone handled telling others about the surgery? I have told my immediate family and my clothes friends and co-workers. Aside from my mother everyone has been super supportive of my decision. Obviously the weight is going to come off quick, or I hope so at least lol, people will be able to tell a difference. A part of my just want to put it out there on social media so that its out there and its not a surprise and another part of me feels that it isnt their business.

How did you all handle when to tell people about the weight loss surgery?


  • garber6th
    garber6th Posts: 1,894 Member
    I told people as soon as I started the process with my surgeon's office. I kind of eased into it and told people individually. I wasn't comfortable putting in on blast on Facebook or anything. Most of my Facebook friends knew, but not all, and I wanted to choose who to tell. I told my close friends, my family, and my boss and coworkers. I get how you feel that it isn't anyone's business, but I feel better that I put it out there and I am being open about it. I am not worried about people being judgmental because the people who are important to me support me. I also feel that if we are more open about it, maybe there will be less stigma attached to having WLS.
  • grace20072010
    I have chosen not to share beyond immediate family and a few close friends. The weight isn't just falling off. I have lost quite a bit but not enough that it seems out of place for 7 weeks, so I just tell people if they ask that I am on a medically supervised low calorie diet (which is true!). I am just not comfortable sharing, at least not right now. Maybe I will be eventually.
  • rpyle111
    rpyle111 Posts: 1,066 Member
    My mother and sister both have had the RnY so it is understood and accepted in our family. I resisted even considering it for years because I thought it was cheating and was comfy being an athletic fat guy. When I started having hip pain due to arthritis made worse by 40 years of overloading my joints, my ability to be active and athletic went downhill at an alarming rate, and I realized the folly of happily carrying so much weight. I also realized that if I couldn't be active, the chances of losing it myself were also severely diminished.

    I had half heartedly gone through the approval process in 2011, mostly to appease my mother and doctor, who was very pro surgery for people of my size. I got approved, but wasn't mentally on board. My company changed HMOs so that I wouldn't be able to go through the procedure and would have to restart the approval process with the new HMO. I did nothing for a while (except gain weight), until summer 2013, when I realized I needed to do something and restarted my pursuit of insurance approval for WLS.

    Fast forward to April 2014, insurance approval in hand, heavier than I had ever been, I went to the orientation meeting and a light came on! I walked out of there energized and fully engaged in changing my life. The pre op diet they wanted us to follow was both to lose weight and to learn some of the post surgery behaviors. 1500 calories, 100 G protein, find a protein shake I like, stop carbonation, caffeine and alcohol, and start exercising. Easy right???

    I jumped in with both feet, was more diligent and compliant than I had been with a diet in years and found huge success. I am down 73 pounds and everyone has noticed by now. (Finally getting around to answering your question!). My close work friends, I told in April that I was heading toward surgery. Mostly positive reactions, but a few negative but respectful concerns about taking such a big and irreversible step. As I have lost more and more, a little more push back about why not just keep doing what I am doing for longer? I had my own doubts, but Garber6th gave me a phrase that stuck with me. At this stage in my life, "maybe isn't enough".

    For those who I am less close to, I talk about my success as "eat less, move more", and go into more detail about what I adoring pre surgery without mentioning the upcoming surgery. I am starting to tell more folks that the weight loss is practicing behaviors for weight loss surgery, and will start telling more people as the surgery approaches because I will be off work for a month.

    So, a long, rambling answer to where I am and how I am approaching telling others. I am not going to hide the fact, but am not too eager to have the "why" conversation to those who aren't close. I feel more comfortable now, because I have shown myself that I am capable of losing, and the surgery really feels like a tool to support my efforts when the internal motivation wanes, which has always been my downfall in previous weight loss attempts. I am in so much a better mental place with the surgery than I was when I first started pursuing this.

    September 30, here I come!

  • ATXHeather
    ATXHeather Posts: 218 Member
    I decided not to tell anyone. The only people who know are my ex-partner and my children. My mother knows I had surgery but she thinks it was due to a former issue. I guess I just really wanted this to be MINE and to not feel like I had to share my experience with others. I had surgery on Tuesday and my friends think I had a really bad stomach bug this week (which is kind of true since I was vomitting and dry heaving for a couple of days.) When people start to notice the weight loss, I guess I'll tell them I am on a supervised diet, which is also true.
  • ericadouglas0412
    I told my parents and siblings as soon as I started the screening process. I told my in-laws and larger family a few months after once approval was pretty well secured. I've been pretty open about it with everyone, it's not like it's a secret that I am overweight and they will notice me dropping weight so quickly. Once I had my surgery date confirmed, I posted a big FAQ on my facebook to give everyone info about the whys and hows of the whole thing - why I was doing it, expected results, how they could help/support of they wanted to. I told my boss and coworkers one month before surgery so they would know how long to expect me to be gone, and I actually found a few other coworkers that are in the screening process right now.
  • katematt313
    katematt313 Posts: 624 Member
    Do what you are comfortable with. I told a few people here and there, and asked them not to share. It is really no one's business!! Also, I was concerne that if my employer found out what the surgery was for, they would act like it was elective and give me a hard time about taking time off of work.
  • pawoodhull
    pawoodhull Posts: 1,759 Member
    I told my sister and husband when I first started thinking about it. Told the kids and the rest of the family when I was decided. Told friends next and then my cowrokers just before the surgery date. I felt like there's no point in hiding it, 2 weeks off and then rapid weight loss. Either everyone will think I'm sick or they will guess WLS.

    I've had no-one say a negative thing. If they felt it, they kept it to themselves. Everyone has been possitive and supportive. And if telling people will help someone else out of obesity, then sharing is well worth it.
  • JenaOnTrack74
    JenaOnTrack74 Posts: 443 Member
    You don't have to tell anyone anything if you're not comfortable doing so, my short answer would be "Hard work and Dedication! Which is VERY true!!
  • mlomago19
    mlomago19 Posts: 16 Member
    The one thing I noticed when I started telling people is how many knew someone else who had it. The great majority were success stories and hearing about others helped me feel less alone and a bit more normal. I'm thankful to have so many supportive people, even those who I thought would be anti surgery. The few detractors were easily silences with a simple: My doctor and I think this is the right thing. Good luck and remember that no matter who you tell, this is something you are doing for you, so as long as you are happy with the decision...
  • janetksc
    janetksc Posts: 80 Member
    I chose to tell my husband and kids. I did not tell anyone at all. When I had to take off work I told them I was having "gall bladdar" surgery. I missed about 2 weeks of work. After the surgery, I told my mother and siblings. I did not want any input from outsiders I felt like this was my life desicion.

    Once I returned to work, I told a few. Still dont think it is anyones business but mine!
  • adiggs2777
    adiggs2777 Posts: 111 Member
    I do not feel obligated to tell anyone just because they have noticed I've lost 60 lbs. I just say I am working out and eating better (and I am). Casual people don't need to know all my business. Hell, close family proved they didn't need to know either. My mother told her sister. I then heard from my cousin about the Lap Band I didn't get (I got a VSG). And my husband felt the need to tell his parents. They were supportive but again, I was not prepared to field their questions about my medical decisions! Your medical decisions are not the business of the world.

    So tell the people you want to tell. But be prepared for pushback, and blabbing. And further down the road some people might get snarky and jealous. If I could do it all again I would still tell my parents and husband, but I'd let them know that sharing my private medical decisions is not up to them.
  • BigBaby4Lyfe
    I didnt tell anyone with the exception of my husband and my eldest son. My family and friends have a tendency to be very judgmental and I didn't want to deal with that along with all of the other things we deal with while going through this process. In fact, I had a co-worker who was having the same surgery (hers was scheduled a week before mine) and I just told her last night that I did in fact have the surgery last month. She said she was offended and hurt that I didnt share, but I dont want everyone at work or anyone else for that matter in my business.

    Do what makes you feel comfortable...
  • PapaJames
    PapaJames Posts: 12 Member
    I didn't try to keep it a secret, but initially only told my wife and daughters. Along the way, I dropped hints to my siblings and close friends. Finally, when I got my surgery date, I did a Facebook post. I asked that everyone accept my decision and that I don't expect any special treatment, and if I eat only baby-sized portions it will be just fine and not to fret. My decision, not theirs!

    The result has been overwhelming support and very positive. WLS seems to be much more socially acceptable these days!

    One of my motivations for the surgery... I lost my 35 year old son to brain cancer in April 2013. He made me promise to do something about my weight, preferably WLS. This is for you and me Bill!
  • Chris10_9817
    Chris10_9817 Posts: 15 Member
    I did not plan on telling many people at first. Just my husband, mom and a few close friends. Then I figured I didn't care, it was my life anyways. So most the people I talk with know about my WLS, but there are some that I talk to just once in a while that ask how I am losing weight. I just tell them portion control and exercise.
  • JohnnyMART
    JohnnyMART Posts: 10 Member
    Thank you everyone for sharing.
    I am pre-op. My surgery date will be sometime in December. My insurance requires 6 months of dietary counseling before the surgery. I have met with the surgeon, his PA, and nutritionist.
    I had my psychological evaluation, and met with the nutritionist for the month of August. I am on a 1200 calorie diet until the pre-op liquids phase. Some days I want to eat my arm off. I'm starting to get creative.
    My husband attended the initial visit with me and is totally on board. Our kids are young, so they just know that our family is getting healthy. We don't plan on telling them anything other than that.
    My bff was not supportive at all when I told her. It was so bad, that I left her house in tears. She said some hurtful things and thinks she has the 'right to be worried about my best friend.' We have been best friends for 25 years. I haven't spoken to her since it happened. Which was 5 days ago.
    My husband says it's not her decision to make. I know that, but it still hurts me that she is so upset with me for starting this process. She's not the one who's 100 lbs overweight. She's not the one who lives my life.
    I'm very reluctant to tell anyone else. Why does this have to be difficult already?
  • ericadouglas0412
    I am sorry your friend didn't support you immediately! I did have a few people react negatively, but I found most of them were my close friends concerned about the risks of surgery, they didn't realize how safe it is and how long it's been studied now. She may be someone who thinks it's the easy way out, or she may be someone worried that you're taking a risk that's not worth it, or she may just need some time and to know what changes to expect. If you can find a good support group in your area, maybe ask her to go to a meeting with you so she can see the success stories and you can both get a lot of questions answered together.
  • Tristaan
    Tristaan Posts: 126 Member
    I told my husband at the beginning of the process since it's changed his life too. I also told my grandmother, who I am very close to. Unfortunately, my workplace isn't the environment where I felt I could share and be unaffected career-wise, so I still have not shared the reason for my surgery. I did use short-term disability, but with HIPPA, no one questioned the actual surgery I had. I just told anyone that asked that it was "women stuff". LOL. I had no intention of telling anyone else in my family, but my husband talked me into it the night before just in case something went wrong. So the night before my surgery, I mass-texted my father and siblings to let them know. I don't have any regrets. The only awkward thing is that now, especially at work, people are noticing my weightloss and complimenting me, which is nice, but sometimes that compliment is followed with the "What's your secret? or What are you doing?" question. I feel kind of like I'm lying by saying, exercising, high protein, cutting sweets and fats, and restricting my calories, without disclosing my surgery. So depending on the person and how I know them (and who they know), I might tell them I had surgery.