You are not obligated to tell anyone about your medical decisions. If you’ve had or are planning to have weight loss surgery, you don’t have to tell coworkers, friends or family. Even your employer has no right to know.
That said, many people want to share their news. Weight loss surgery is a positive step. You may find yourself wanting to talk about it. 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 choice. Who should you tell about your weight loss surgery?
Here are some things to consider when you’re deciding who to confide in.
Most People Mean Well
Many of your friends and coworkers will be happy for you. They’ll be supportive. That support, however, may come with questions. Will you tire of talking about your health and body, even if the discussion is positive? Because weight loss continues for several years after surgery, you may be having these conversations for a long time.
Some People Will React Negatively
Misconceptions about obesity and weight loss surgery are widespread. Some people will disapprove of your choice. If you’d rather not deal with negativity, consider keeping your surgery to yourself, at least initially. Even if you tell a only a few of your closest friends, word tends to get out.
Families Are Wonderfully Complicated
You know your family best. Immediate family will be affected by your surgery, and you should talk with your spouse and children. They are part of your support system and can make recovery easier. For relatives you’re not close with, even parents and siblings, there’s no compelling reason to discuss your choices if you don’t want to.
What to Say if You Don’t Want to Tell
Depending on the type of surgical procedure, you may be able to return to work in a few days. You may have vacation time that’s more than adequate in which to take care of your procedure and recovery. In that case, you don’t need to discuss what you did while you were away. If you want, you can always say you needed to take care of a medical issue and leave it at that.
You’ll lose a lot of weight in the months after the procedure. Some people will ask “How are you doing it.” The truth is you’re losing weight because you’re eating healthy and getting exercise. Surgery is a tool that allows you to do the things necessary for weight loss. The surgery itself isn’t a magic bullet. You’ll be working hard to stay on track.
Later, if you want to tell more people about your journey, you can. The best tactic may be to start by telling only your most trusted family and friends. As you adjust, you’ll know better if “going public” is the right choice for you.
To learn more about weight loss surgery and support groups, contact us and attend one of our free informational seminars. We’ll answer your questions and help you take the first steps toward a healthier lifestyle.