Murk

How did you keep it secret at work?

40 posts in this topic

8 hours ago, Clickin said:

So I have very different ideas than the peeps who've responded above. 

I say eff your little clucking hens. Be the example that makes them change their viewpoints. If the successful WLS patients stay in the closet, it just reinforces that "I know someone who gained all their weight back" opinionated behavior. 

I've been open and honest about my surgery. I've inspired someone to have the sleeve as well. I really don't care how people feel about why I "allowed" myself to become obese and "sank so low as to need surgery". They can all take a flying - well you know...

I also work in the medical field. In my system, we have "glass" that protects our information from nosy little coworkers. That doesn't stop someone who had a true need to be in your record from gossiping though.  In that light, it just reinforces my stance on being open and honest. 

I agree with this sentiment but at the same time believe there is a huge difference between preop and postop. Telling people preop is asking for a whole load of negativity to be brought into your mindset. I only told two friends preop about the surgery, one turned toxic the second I mentioned my impending surgery, while the other has been my greatest support. I have spoken to a couple of people since my surgery who not only started asking awkward questions, but could really benefit from WLS surgery themselves. I decided that the proximity they had to me as someone who knew the surgery from first hand experience, could only benefit from open and honest conversation. If they decide to get snarky down the track then I'll likely stop any conversations about my experience, but for the time being I'll take their questions at face value, because the social stigma surrounding WLS won't change until the many successful postop people become more visible. On the plus side, others knowing I had WLS gives me greater accountability to myself to be successful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm likely to agree with @Aussie H above, though in my case its also because where I am people are even worse about obesity and things like WLS in general and really don't know anything and give you lots of crap without knowing and having presumptions that are quite illogical.

BUT, there have been a few who have either been through it before or know about it and when I told them, they were open and supportive and so I've elected to keep the pool in the know limited till the surgery is over because I have enough on my mind without needing their nonsense.

After the surgery however I plan to definitely keep no secrets. If someone asks, I will be honest about it.

Aussie H and Jen581791 like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Framing this issue in the light of pre- and post-surgery is clarifying for me. It's hard for people to bad-mouth successful and sustained weight loss. I'm probably at the stage now where prejudice will be outweighed by support by most casual or work acquaintances. Plus I certainly want to stand as a good example to others who are obese and willing to consider WLS. 

Jen581791, Aussie H and athenarose like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, BurgundyBoy said:

Framing this issue in the light of pre- and post-surgery is clarifying for me. It's hard for people to bad-mouth successful and sustained weight loss. I'm probably at the stage now where prejudice will be outweighed by support by most casual or work acquaintances. Plus I certainly want to stand as a good example to others who are obese and willing to consider WLS. 

Agreed. When I tell people now (typically in response to a comment about how I must have great genetics to be so tiny), their response is very positive. The reason I kept quiet until recently is because I feel like it's easier for people to be dismissive or say negative things during the pre-op/early post-op and that's the time we need to hear those things the least. It would take an incredible amount of nerve for someone to tell me to my face, after losing over half my body weight, that I took the easy way out. I'd laugh in their face. When you're living proof of how successful WLS can be, it takes the wind out of the negative people's sails.  Now, I still wouldn't necessarily share the information at work. We don't owe it to anyone to share our story anymore than, say, a recovering addict does. I think it's important to share with those who will lift you up or who you can lift up (if you're in a place emotionally & mentally where that's a positive thing for you), but I also think it's important to be thoughtful & intentional about who you share with. Just my thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, athenarose said:

Agreed. When I tell people now (typically in response to a comment about how I must have great genetics to be so tiny), their response is very positive. The reason I kept quiet until recently is because I feel like it's easier for people to be dismissive or say negative things during the pre-op/early post-op and that's the time we need to hear those things the least. It would take an incredible amount of nerve for someone to tell me to my face, after losing over half my body weight, that I took the easy way out. I'd laugh in their face. When you're living proof of how successful WLS can be, it takes the wind out of the negative people's sails.  Now, I still wouldn't necessarily share the information at work. We don't owe it to anyone to share our story anymore than, say, a recovering addict does. I think it's important to share with those who will lift you up or who you can lift up (if you're in a place emotionally & mentally where that's a positive thing for you), but I also think it's important to be thoughtful & intentional about who you share with. Just my thoughts.

Wise

athenarose likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the idea you've mentioned of getting more open about it later in the process. I think thats a good way of meeting halfway, honestly. As athena said, hearing the horrible things at the beginning of pre or post op is not the time to have it. I think using it as a learning experience for the MAs in my office after having success with my WLS could be great for myself and them. 

I did talk things out with my officemate today. It would be nearly impossible for her to not know as we sit three feet from each other all day every day and work on a lot of things together. I made it clear with her I didn't want the rest of the office to know, and that I currently am not intending to tell our manager either, and she was supportive. Hopefully telling her won't end up being a mistake, but at the end of the day, this place is just a job, and if I felt a toxic environment, I'd be happy peacing out and going elsewhere. 

Jen581791 and athenarose like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Clickin said:

So I have very different ideas than the peeps who've responded above. 

I say eff your little clucking hens. Be the example that makes them change their viewpoints. If the successful WLS patients stay in the closet, it just reinforces that "I know someone who gained all their weight back" opinionated behavior. 

I've been open and honest about my surgery. I've inspired someone to have the sleeve as well. I really don't care how people feel about why I "allowed" myself to become obese and "sank so low as to need surgery". They can all take a flying - well you know...

I also work in the medical field. In my system, we have "glass" that protects our information from nosy little coworkers. That doesn't stop someone who had a true need to be in your record from gossiping though.  In that light, it just reinforces my stance on being open and honest. 

You are awesome! You make loads of good points! 

Clickin likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/10/2016 at 4:10 PM, Little bird said:

I too feel the same way. I'm a very private person and I also don't want to hear " oh you're taking the easy way out", because of what I've read , this will be extremely difficult. So,  I'm looking forward to hearing from others. Btw.. I work for the same medical company that will be doing my procedure, just in a different clinic. 

and @Murk and @ShrinkMe

Well, you've seen the diversity of opinions expressed. In a couple of days I will enter an immersive work period - 2 weeks of nothing but work for 16-18 hours a day through the holiday and weekends, and with people who are, shall we say, blunt. Will post how my interactions with them have gone. (In general my posts will become much more infrequent). Honestly I expect - now that I am more than 50 lbs down from January weight, over 40 lbs from day-of-surgery weight - mostly positive things. Since I am not a shrinking violet don't be surprised if I report blunt stuff on my end too. Should be interesting! I guess the best thing I could report is that this is a non-event. Time will tell. 

Jen581791 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I am a little torn with this subject of disclosure, because my weight is so closely tied to my self-esteem and sexuality. I did not tell my coworkers what I had done (I said I was out for surgery on my stomach to correct my reflux) because I did not want the food police on me upon my return. It was hard enough emotionally without comments. I work with 95% women in a medical facility and they are know-it-alls to the nth degree about everyone else's health but their own. They are mostly kind people, just uninformed. I did not want to educate them newly post-op. Now I would be more open to it, but only one person has noticed. HAHAHAHAHA!

I do so agree that with food or alcohol issues, people, whether they are medical professionals or not, see obesity and addiction as a moral issue and not a physiological one with a mental component. I hope I can be someone to help change that when I am further down the road.

I use the term "medical professional" loosely for anyone who would talk disparagingly about a patient. I certainly have had similar thoughts / judgments, but how do I know what got someone to where they're at? That'd really be the pot calling the kettle black. I am also going to throw out there that the helping professions are a magnet for codependents with unresolved issues. Lord knows it's easier to tell someone else what to do than help myself! Not everyone who is a teacher, nurse, social worker, counselor, etc. is avoiding their own pain, but there are A LOT who are. We don't have to be their Patient Zero. Ever.

My son, the blabbermouth, told my brother-in-law. He even said he didn't know why. That was weird. I knew they'd all be talking about it, particularly since I'm the only one in the family with a weight problem of more than 10 - 20 lbs. Ugh. But ultimately it was fine and I don't have to lie to them. I really can eat whatever I want; it just depends on the kind of results I want and how I want to feel going forward.

I say tell or don't tell as you see fit. And to those who violate HIPAA, I say report them. I had to do this more than once with my old HR. It got ugly but it was worth it. No one should have to put up with a hostile, invasive work environment.

Edited by slars04
Clickin and BurgundyBoy like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To tell or not to tell is such a personal decision. I have heard the argument that you can be open and hopefully inspire change. I totally get that. In the end, however, for me- I have to go with what works for me. Not disclosing works for me at this time. I am open to that changing some day, but for now, mum's the word. I worked in outpatient medicine for many years- plus on the floor. Cluckers gonna cluck, you know? There's always something to cluck about. Annoying but true.  I don't base my decision to not disclose on the cluckers. They're surely clucking about my weight loss as it is! 

You have to do what works for you, personally. If that means shouting from the rooftop, I support you. If that means needing help with a lie, hit me up. I'll figure one out :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Clickin  I've been open and honest about my surgery. I've inspired someone to have the sleeve as well. I really don't care how people feel about why I "allowed" myself to become obese and "sank so low as to need surgery". They can all take a flying - well you know...

LIke @delilas I aspire to your mentality on this issue as I get ready for my own surgery.  I'm not all that anxious about preparing for surgery, packing for surgery, having the surgery.  I know there will continue to be adjustments I need to make behaviorwise as I adapt to the changes but handling the office/'friend' cluckers is on the anxiety list.  And since anxieties are rooted in the future and what may happen out of my control, I'm trying to prepare now by determining if I want to talk around or directly address any comments on weight loss.  Still haven't decided on that one... 

Jen581791, Clickin and BurgundyBoy like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was good to login today and see more discussion on this thread that I started over a year ago. I think a lot of people struggle with the issue of whether or not to tell people at work.

So now that I'm 11 months out from a sleeve, I thought I'd offer some feedback to those who are new to the surgery and questioning the same things I did as to whether or not to say anything.

Nobody at work knows about my surgery - including one of my brothers who I work with.  

I eat less and they notice that and so they think I am dieting and that's how I lost the weight. In their minds it all makes perfect sense and so they don't question anything. I can participate in work potlucks and I put a "normal" amount of food on my plate and nibble on a variety then throw out the rest.

Nobody is analyzing my food intake like I had imagined. 

I'm honestly very glad that I didn't tell anyone about my surgery because I feel like I'd be under a different kind of scrutiny had I done so. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Murk thank you for this update! Please keep posting as it is so helpful when folks check back in.

What you say regarding intake scruntiny rings very true for me. And I think @tmcgee said he didn't tell people bc he was tired of being judged for his weight, he didn't now want to be judged on his method of weight loss. (If I credited that statement to the wrong person, I apologize!). Rather than unring a bell (a skill I have yet to master, my current plan is to keep it on the down low.

Maybe down the road when I am a bit more confident, I will tell them all to take a flying leap like our sassy @Clickin:D It will probably feel pretty cathartic!

bellamoma, BurgundyBoy and Clickin like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tell everyone so it was someone else. Other than family or close friends, I don't care what anyone else thinks. The only thing anyone needs to remember about telling is TG at you can't Nutella.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, tmcgee said:

I tell everyone so it was someone else. Other than family or close friends, I don't care what anyone else thinks. The only thing anyone needs to remember about telling is TG at you can't Nutella.

Say what now?

Jen581791 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now