21 January 2006

Complete misconceptions of WLS

Yesterday, I ran into one of the custodians in one of our buildings that I typically see every day but have never really talked to with the exception of talking about issues with the classrooms. I asked her if she was ready for Monday (the first day of classes), and we talked about that for a little while. As that conversation wrapped up, she said, "you're really looking good, Jenn". I thanked her, and then she said, "I just don't know how you can only eat 3 tablespoons of food a day". What?! First, I'd never told this woman I had WLS. But, I know that people like to talk. So, it obviously means someone that I did tell told someone else who told someone else, etc. But, what really gets me is that this woman had the misconception that I only eat 3 tablespoons of food each day! What other things are people thinking about me and the surgery that are completely incorrect? And, if they think I'm only eating 3 tablespoons of food a day, it leads me to think they can't possibly respect what I have done in order to lose this weight. I haven't told everyone at work who's asked how I lost the weight that I'd had WLS; maybe I would have been better off if I had because at least I would have been disseminating correct information!


Kim said...

While planning to have my surgery, I kept it a secret, as I didn't want anyone saying anything negative. I already knew the risks and didn't need to hear it from Jane Q. Public. Once I had the surgery, I told anyone that would sit long enough to listen. I can't even begin to tell you how many questions I was asked...really good questions. Sure, some were just being incredibly nosey, but most were just amazed at how things worked. I'd draw on a napkin in the lunch room to show them how the surgery was done. This being said, the people that I work with KNOW that I earned every pound that came off of my body. They watched me pass on the samples of food that came around (I work for Costco's Regional Office and we have to taste all of the food that we bring in!). They also watched me go for a walk EVERY day, rain or shine, after eating my lunch. There are still...two years later...a few folks that watch me prepare my lunch and say, "Can you eat all of that?". And to these people I simply answer, "Watch me".
Best to you and congrats on breaking the 100 mark and tucking!

Melissa said...

Aloha. Boy I can relate. Before surgery I told as few people as I could that I was doing it. One friend all way up to D-day tried to talk me out of it by telling me all the horror stories. Now I pratically shout it from the top of the mountain cause I am really happy that I did have WLS. Who cares what anyone thinks. I did this for me,not them. Look at me, I'm alive and healthy! Anyone asks I tell tell tell, and some of the ?'s are real doozies. One asked how I could handle eating all day long meals the size of a quarter. Or what do you do when your stomach grows back? Duh. I think explaining as Kim says, gives those who ask more of an understanding of what you are going through each day after WLS and that WLS is not a piece of cake or the easy way out.
Think about it: Your an obese person. Six months later your not. Every obese person who has been struggling with every weight loss gimic looks at you and knows you did something to your self. Why not just be truthful. There is not one damn thing wrong with having WLS. It is our body, it is our choice. I wouldn't go out there and say excuse me I had WLS, that's why I am thinner. But if they ask, I tell, I explain and maybe help someone else stepover the line and join the rest of us that are post op.

Marla said...

Some people just don't get it!! Congrats on the tucking a shirt in!!! Before I decided to have the surgery I was one of those people you thought it was the easy way out! I even tried convincing a friend not to do it. Then thank gawd, I woke up from my own personal denial and reserached it. I am so thankful that I did thios for myself!! I can't believe it is almost 3 weeks already.

Personally, I didn't tell people (other then my parents and best friend) untill I started going for my appointments. Nobody really talked me out of it.

People now are just asking me resonable questions. Nothing to stupid as of yet.

Also, wanted to say congrats on the 100 lb. loss. That is totally amazing and inspiring!!!

Melting Mama said...

Ugh ugh ugh... three TBSP, I wish.



Holly said...

i'm like the walking poster girl for WLS. i tell total strangers. i answer questions i give out my surgeon's name and number and give reviews on hospitals LOL.

there are alot of misconceptions out there. i think if we had to live the rest of our lives like the first few weeks post op no one would choose it. that was certainly unpleasant. i honestly never realized i could be/feel as "normal" as i feel now. i don't feel cheated or deprived. i just feel greatful.

you're doing wonderful jenn, just plain damn wonderful!

Kaye Bailey said...

I agree with the other commentors. The only way to dispell the myths is to be good ambassadors for WLS.

Best wishes!