One post-op's thoughts on life after weight loss surgery. Question #3...
Question: What did you do about friends and family that said things like "Are you sure you want to risk dying?" and "Can't you just lose it on your own?" when you told them you were going to have weight loss surgery?
Answer: "Are you sure you want to risk dying?" Well hmmm isn't that what I'm doing now. A slow suicide by knife and fork. "Can't you just lose it on your own?" This is on my own... it's my guts getting rerouted, my lifestyle changes being made, my healthy eating choices, my exercising, my LIFELONG battle with obesity that NEVER ends even when I reached goal. I consider weight loss surgery to be a head start. The MAJOR change I needed to physically be able to get active again and eliminate the illnesses (Severe Sleep Apnea, High Blood Pressure, severe GERD) that were killing me.
A lot of friends and family comments are out of lack of knowledge and fear about weight loss surgery and what life will be like after (for you and for them.) EVERYONE claims they know SOMEONE who died, gained it all back, can't eat anything anymore. If you care about their opinion... take them to your bariatric surgeons support group. They can ask questions and hopefully put their fears to ease. Let them meet REAL people who have had surgery. Send them over to my blog. Hi! Show them the real stats on complication and mortality rates of bariatric surgical procedures. They are in-line with complication and mortality rates of pretty much every type of surgery performed.
If you don't care about their opinion... Ask them for the phone # of this mystery person who gained all their weight back so you can chat with them ;) $5 it's a "friend of a friend at work's second cousin's hairstylist" and they won't be able to get you that info.
Sometimes it is a little jealousy. In my San Diego State University (Go Aztecs) Psychology 101 class it was called "leveling the playing field." Everyone likes to be on the same level and when something like weight loss, new jobs, new relationships, happen we like to drag people back down to our perceived level. It's the nasty side of human nature. You get comments like "Oh you are having THAT surgery, yeah but you won't ever be able to eat XYZ again" or "Yeah you will lose weight but you will have all that skin."
Again... send them over to my blog or Pinterest page to see what food is possible after surgery. It is pretty darn tasty. Some foods you may not eat again. They may not agree with you, your Dr. may advise against them or in my case I choose not to eat a few foods.
Now excess skin is a reality and it's not pretty. Any time you lose 100+ pounds whether with surgical assistance or not you will have some skin issues. Make peace with it or make plans for getting rid of it. They can always donate to your plastic surgery fund if they are soooo concerned about your excess skin issues.
Sometimes friends and family come around when they see the health benefits and AWESOME changes in you BUT sometimes they don't. To those that don't... people come in and out of your life for a reason. New supportive friends are out there.
Find a Support Group
Come to an Event
What others are saying about this on my Facebook page.
Best wishes to you in your journey.