Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Coming Clean

I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago that the guilt of not telling people about my lap band surgery was eating away at me- pardon the pun. I have chosen to only tell a few people and, to be completely honest, if I thought that I could have got away with not telling anyone, I would have.

The particular problem I have is when I spend time with close friends and my eating habits are drastically different post-band that it seems really obvious that something is going on. I hang out a bit with my old best friend from high school, despite the fact she lives so far away, and she has commented on how slowly I eat and how small the portions of food I eat are now. That wouldn't bother me, except she was beating herself up that she wasn't able to eat like that too. Instant guilt.

About a week and a half ago she came down to stay in my new place and we went to see a band, before we went out we decided to have dinner and a bottle of wine at my favourite local pizza place across the road. The pizza came and we started eating and she said in a slightly embarrassed tone "Oh, are you still doing that thing where you eat slow and really small amounts?"

I didn't want to tell her, but I really felt that at this point I had no choice because my behaviour was making her feel insecure and I just couldn't handle it anymore. So I just blurted it out and told her the whole truth. I thought she would understand because she has known me longer than anyone and she has seen my incredibly drastic weight loss and weight gain over the years and knows the problems I have with food.

After I told her she really didn't say much and I kind of just kept talking because I wasn't sure if she wasn't saying anything because she thought it was weird or because she didn't know what lap band surgery is and also because I am just awkward like that. So I just kept blabbing about lap bands and then she changed the subject and she hasn't mentioned it since in any of the numerous texts or emails we have shared.

I really don't know if she is angry at me, envious that I had the surgery, thinks the whole surgery thing is crazy or just isn't that interested, but I feel kind of stupid now. I honestly think she probably just thinks the whole weight loss surgery thing is a little bit strange, and I completely understand that because I used to think that too, so she probably just needs some time to get used to it.

This is why I didn't want to tell people...


  1. Ugh. I get it. There are a few friends I'm starting to feel like I'd be comfortable telling, but now I feel like it's weird, since it's been 9 months since my surgery. I feel like I'm in this 'no man' land. But for the record, like you, if my habits made anyone else feel badly, I would tell in a heartbeat.

    I hope she comes around.

  2. I also struggle with the decision of who to tell and when. While I completely understand wanting to clue people in if your new habits make them feel uncomfortable, I also think it is important that you feel comfortable as well. I think that, too often, we bend ourselves around to make others feel at ease while ignoring our own needs. You have every right to keep your privacy and discretion intact. Just because weight is an issue that people can see, doesn't mean that it is an issue that has to be open. You are obviously hurt by your friend's lackluster response, which is a valid feeling. Be good to yourself; if your friend can't be happy for you or respect your decision (or your decision to keep quiet) - it is her problem.

  3. What I'd like to know is - why can't people just be happy for you? If YOU have decided to have a lapband because you think it is the best decision for you, why are people weird about it???? I just don't get it.

    I am the opposite where I have told everyone that would listen about my bypass surgery and have had very positive feedback (to my face anyway). One girlfriend has always disapproved of any weightloss surgery but as she said to me when I told her I was having it "If that's what you want to do, I'm really happy for you".........brilliant.

    Don't feel guilty because other people don't understand why you got the lapband, its your decision and its your body........rant over, just stepping off my soap box...hahaha

  4. anyone who turns your lap band surgery into their own shit is totally self absorbed.

    there is no 'opinion' to have. it's your body, your health, your surgery, your everything.


  5. Aw, how awkward..

    I reckon she's curious, maybe envious, maybe upset because you didnt tell her earlier.

    I think it's funny how she said "Oh, are you still doing that thing where you eat slow and really small amounts?" It's like it some diet that you are doing.

    I think you have said all you can say now, you just have to let it go and see what happens.

    I do think in time she may actually be supportive, if she has her own struggles with her weight, surely she understands your decision.


  6. I think she's a smidge jealous. I'm trying to think how I'd feel if it was my friend in the same situation and yes, when I was younger this is exactly how I might have reacted over this.
    These days I'm a lot more open-minded and less jealous of people.

    Hope she comes good. xx

  7. PLease do not be guilty for your decisions. You are doing what is right for you and you don't owe anyone an explanation.
    If you want to, you can explain to anyone that you've learned the secret to losing weight is eating alot slower and eating alot less-- isn't that the truth at the end of the day anyway?

  8. Pure jealousy.... I had a workmate that NEVER mentioned my weightloss years ago... and when someone I hadnt seen for a long time saw me when I was with my workmate said.. OMG!!! Where is the rest of you.. My workmate simply walked away... This was at my own wedding! She was overweight herself..and for the 6 months before my wedding never once said anything encouraging! I had lost 26 kilos in that time... bit hard not to notice.. She may not be jealous in a nasty way but I think this could be part of it! Just know you are doing this for yourself and not other people! And you are looking awesome!

  9. Hope your friend comes around, maybe she just needs some time to process the news.

    I agree with the other commenters. It is not your responsibility to make others feel comfortable or ease their guilt on how or what you eat. You've worked hard to lose the weight, the band is just part of it. Don't feel bad about your decision not to announce the news across the land.

  10. Its whatever makes you feel comfortable. Maybe you are overthinking her feelings...
    The only people that know are my fam...READY FOR THIS??
    My parents or mother in law dont even know! YUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. I don't really know you or her so I may be way off here but I wonder if maybe she was hurt because you didn't trust her to tell her before you had the surgery or confide in her before now. Whatever the reason, I hope your friendship doesn't suffer because of it. If she's a real friend she will be there to support you no matter what you've done or will do.

  12. This really got me thinking. I sooo struggle with food and social situations because I don't want to draw attention to myself or make other ppl feel weird. But her response made me immediately think: Brooke it's not your fucking job to make other people feel okay about themselves.

    I wonder if she's jealous at your transformation (such a pat way to describe the complicated emotions that run through a friendship, I know!) and then knowing what you did to lose weight was almost anti-climatic or too much to process through the lens of "her". Everything in my life has to come through the "Brooke filter", I'll bet she's no different.

    Maybe she'll come around but if she doesn't it would be okay for you to bring it up again and get some closure, either way.

  13. Without actually asking her outright how she feels, you can only guess.

    It maybe a combination of things but I do think that because you did not tell her the last time you got together she feels a bit hurt that you did not tell her then when (she felt) you had the opportunity.

    If she is struggling with her weight there is also possibly some jealousy that you are managing to lose weight and she isn't.

    My suggestion is that you talk to her & explain why you had the surgery and that you are struggling with who to tell & who not to and that you are sorry if you hurt her feelings.

    If she is truly a friend she will get over it.

  14. Today makes a year ago that I've had Lap Band surgery. The only people I tell are on my blog. No one knows me there.

  15. You are never going to know why she has reacted the way she has until you ask her.
    Don't go presuming. You might be wrong.
    I still think being honest is the best way to go.... but it is a totally UP TO HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT IT decision.
    Onward...and downward! *smiles*

  16. *hugs* You echo so many other people. I don't understand why getting botox is ok, getting Lipo is accepted, but having a procedure that could actually save your life is so threatening to other people!!

    I think you are a really nice friend for trying to make her feel better about herself on the night, and I think you are a really kind person for worrying more about how she feels than yourself, BUT you can only look after yourself.

    Keep doing the things you need to do be a healthier you.

    Everyone else will just have to suck it up and like you anyway.

  17. I can relate. It's been 11 months since I've been banded and I have had lots of questions about how I'm losing weight and many comments on how slow and little I eat. I decided not to tell a soul (except DH), and it's been very difficult sometimes because of the guilt. I decided to tell one friend, who I don't see very often and doesn't know any of my other friends. The only reason I told her was because she is the only friend I thought may actually benefit from the information. Her reaction was much the same as your friend, so I was instantly sorry that I told her.

    The most awkward situation is with my best friend. She wouldn't qualify for a lapband, but does struggle a bit with her weight. She has told me about women she knows who have had the surgery and don't tell anyone, but everyone knows because they have dropped so much weight so fast. She told me that she knows I didn't do that because my weight loss has been so slow! Now I feel horrible guilt, like I've misled her by omitting the information. At this point, I can't tell her because I think she would be so hurt.

    I'm guessing that once I'm done losing weight and I'm just maintaining, this will not be on my or anybody elses mind anymore. Hopefully everyone will get used to seeing the "skinny" me and forget I was ever obese in the first place.

  18. Cristal (15 months after my surgery)Saturday, August 28, 2010 5:36:00 pm

    I'll be honest and say that I do think that those of you who don't tell your close friends and family about your surgery are wrong. Of course this friend feels akward about having being lied to! Yes, she did think it was a diet you were on when you "ate slow and tiny portions". And then she's slapped in the face with the truth that she probably should have been told 12 months ago.

    I really don't see the big deal here. It's your body, your decisions, if you want to have a lapband - have it! But what's the point in hiding it and be so secretive about it. That only adds to the stigma. If everyone was upfront about it, it wouldn't be such a huge thing. I told all my close peeps right from the get go and have never had any bad reactions from anyone. Probably because I've been honest from the start.

  19. Even though I have been so so big for so long, I still always thought weight loss surgery to be a sign of weakness and something thst only the Americans did. Until finally last November I cracked. Something in me just said - enough. So when I decided I would go ahead and get a band, I didn't tell anyone except my hubby. I was ashamed of myself, and mortified at the thought of my family finding out. But I told them because, though they try not to be obvious, they have followed my struggle with food closely and I knew they would know something was up. They were fine! Supportive and even offering up lovely positive stories they had heard about bandits. I have slowly come to realise, even as I stuggle to drop the weight pre surgery, that it really isn't a big deal. Am even considering telling the truth to my employer, for the real reason I will need those few weeks off soon! The whole world doesn't need to know, but if your family and friends love you and want you to succeed, they will support and respect your decision. xxx


Awww thanks so much for the comment!