Weight Loss Surgery – To Tell or Not to Tell, That is the Question

It is an unfortunate truth that weight loss surgery comes with a certain stigma.  Other people can assume that the patient was too lazy to lose weight on their own, or that they simply took the "easy way" out. So it can be difficult to “come out” as someone who has had bariatric surgery.

One of the first decisions someone considering surgery has to make is when to tell the people around them that they are going under the knife.  Clearly, I could not have hidden the fact that I did something to achieve a 100 lb. weight loss - that doesn’t go unnoticed by those around you.  However, the decision of when to tell people was definitely something I thought about.

The reason I held off sharing was because I thought that many people would feel that surgery was drastic and unnecessary.  Having lost a great deal of weight in the past, some people figured I could easily do it again.  What they didn’t know was that it was a very hard process that I was unable to maintain over time.  In the end, I decided to tell my spouse, a few very close friends, my immediate family and the co-workers who would be directly affected by my absence.

The weight loss and drastic change in my eating habits were obvious, so I slowly shared the news with others as the need arose.  While many friends were surprised, they were also overwhelmingly supportive.  In hindsight, I probably didn’t need to keep the surgery quiet for as long as I did, but I didn’t want to chance having to face naysayers.  What I found helpful was to have a response ready for those who asked why I had surgery.  My reply is, “I’ve tried for years to lose weight and I was tired of fighting that battle.  I finally decided to take control and do something I knew would work as long as I did.”  Then we usually discuss my new eating plan, why I cook more now than ever and what I do to stay successful.

Some people feel very comfortable sharing their decision to have surgery, so it really depends on your own situation. I recommend that you have an answer prepared for those who may not be as enthusiastic as you’d like them to be.  In the end, it isn’t about what others think, but how you feel, that really matters.  Nine times out of 10  I know that how I look and feel has convinced people that this was the best decision I could have made!

Weight loss update: I finally broke a long plateau and saw 159.5 on the scale today!  101.5 pounds down!

- Written by Bettina M. Straight, Employee Engagement and Communications Consultant, Human Resources, LifeBridge Health

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

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  • The pictures are in from the #LifeBridgeHealth Sports Training Fair! Thank you to everyone who came out for this great event. Also, a big “thank you” to Dr. Kevin Crutchfield, Dr. Craig Bennett and Cal Ripken Jr. for the insightful discussion sports medicine, sports safety, Cal’s winning streak, and so much more. #SportsMedicine #CalRipkenJr #SportsMedicine #Sports

    lifebridgehealth: "The pictures are in from the #LifeBridgeHealth Sports Training Fair! Thank you to everyone who came out for this great event.  Also, a big “thank you” to Dr. Kevin Crutchfield, Dr. Craig Bennett and Cal Ripken Jr. for the insightful discussion sports medicine, sports safety, Cal’s winning streak, and so much more. #SportsMedicine #CalRipkenJr #SportsMedicine #Sports"
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    lifebridgehealth: "You knocked our socks off! Thanks to the #LifeBridgeHealth employees who sent in #LBHbestfootforward pics for our June contest, socks at Maryland landmarks. Take a look this album of the all places these socks got to go. The July contest is creative team photo, August is socks on vacation. There is also a weekly drawing for a LifeBridge Health gift bag. Keep those entries coming! #Contest #Baltimore #BalitmoreMD"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Remember: Join us on Facebook TONIGHT at 7 p.m. ET LIVE from the #LifeBridgeHealth Sports Training Fair for our “Start Your Streak” panel discussion featuring Cal Ripken Jr. and Dr. Craig Bennett and Dr.Kevin Crutchfield from the LifeBridge Health Sports Medicine Institute. Watch Cal discuss his famous iron-man streak and how he overcame injuries in his career, and learn about advancements in medical treatment for sports injuries and more! •
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#CalRipkenJr #FacebookLive #orioles #baseball #sportsmedicine #calripkenbaseball #calripken"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to Kezia Kellam who won our June #LBHbestfootforward contest, socks at Maryland landmarks. Kezia works in the office of pediatrician Dr. Steven Dennenfelser in Forest Hill. Kezia showed off her LBH socks all around Havre de Grace! Along with weekly random drawings, the July contest is for best team photo!"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Associates at @carroll_hospital were showing off their #LBHbestfootforward socks during a recent event for our employee engagement survey. Thanks to all our LifeBridge Health employees who took the time to share their opinions in the recent survey - you make #LifeBridgeHealth a great place to work!"
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    lifebridgehealth: "The #Levindale Auxiliary recently installed new President Rochelle Bohrer and nine new board members. Levindale’s President and COO Debra Graves thanked auxiliary members for what they have done and continue to do for residents…including installing new AV equipment in the town center. The auxiliary also added two new panels to its donor wall to honor and memorialize significant people the in donors' lives."
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    lifebridgehealth: "She knocked our socks off! Congratulations to Week #2 winner Vashay Thompson of campus services. She won a LifeBridge Health gift bag in our social media #LBHBestFootForward contest. LBH employees can win weekly and monthly prizes through August 31. #lifebridgehealth"
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