When I made the decision to have weight loss surgery (WLS), I told no one. Not exactly the smartest move when going forward with something as life-changing as this is. This type of commitment requires a certain level of support that is only found when you are open, honest, and reach out to the people most important in your life.
My immediate family is comprised of some of the least supportive people on the planet. Since my father died a year and a half ago, I have been excluded even more than usual because I don’t subscribe to the victim/snobbish attitudes (nice combination, eh?) that they carry. I think for myself, I like to do the things I say I will do, I like to try new things, and I don’t have patience for bullshit.
Save for my younger brother, my family is nucking futs. My sister is a pathological liar, my mother is a depressed, self-destructive enabler, and my older brother is so afraid of appearing a failure that he bought a ramshackle house in a ramshackle town because I bought a house first.
Still, I included them. I told my mom about it and, knowing her propensity for gossip and villainizing that by which she is threatened (me losing weight and being healthy will be a huge blow to most of my family), she ran off to tell my sister and SIL. Short of my mother’s comments about the evil of the medical community (another blog for another time), no one has said a word. Even when I try to bring it up, it is ignored.
Knowing that I would get nowhere with the Swiss Family Caustic-sons, and knowing that this is a lifestyle change, I decided to change my tactic: I am telling anyone who will listen. This is going to be a part of me. Forever. How I handle food is going to become a very public endeavor; I don’t plan on sitting out when friends want to go out to eat, have a party, etc. Neither will I be swayed when I am prompted to avoid the gym “just this once.” I may reschedule it, but I can’t cut it out.
I want to succeed, and if I hide this decision or the actions I need to take to reach my goals, then I am no better than I was before. People cannot support you if they don’t know what kind of support you need. While very few will understand it unless they have been through it, you can find support in (almost) anyone if you give them the chance.
I count myself lucky. My friends have been amazing, my boss is phenomenal, and * I * am excited about it. Being open was the best decision I have made, short of the decision to have the band placed, and I feel that people are more open to the idea because I am so candid.