Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Judgmental People: Exhibit A (or Z even) of Why I Don't Put my Bandit Status on Blast

So many of you know that I keep my band quite hush hush. While I've only told two people total about my surgery, I recently had a nail in the coffin to not to tell people in my professional circle. The scenario was this: The other day, my co-workers and I (including my boss) were talking about another local professional. One of the people in the group said something to the effect that, "Well, he should have lost weight: he had gastric bypass." The rest of the group agreed and acted as if that is the 'lazy person' approach to weight loss. There was a little more that I gathered from that coversation, but it's too filled with unspoken opinions and biases, I guess you'd say, to really articulate well in this forum.

With the unfortunate stereotypes surrounding WLS, it is too risky for me as a new employee (and fairly new attorney) to carry the torch of the banded among my peers at work (and even heightens my fears in telling others outside of work), particularly in this current job market. Will people think that I don't have a good work ethic because I took the so-called 'easy road' or that I'll cut corners? This inability to speak about the band is annoying. I certainly don't want any of my bandster friends to feel like I have isolated myself from my proud band-wearing community. I AM proud of all of our achievements, but I guess I just have to keep those thoughts closely held outside of you all and select others. In my blog a few days ago, many of you mentioned that we have a great support network and that people 'get it' here. That is so true and makes me not feel alone when I hear comments like I did at work.

So now that I've prefaced this, here's my opportunity to address my co-workers' comments (without the risk of being 'discovered'); please excuse my aggressive-assertive bitterness, by the way. Okay, so WLS has better long-term success rates than non-surgical weight-loss approaches. If you have been skinny all your life, you likely wouldn't pay any attention to this fact. You are probably also lumping us into that societally imposed lazy group of big people that just don't care--maybe even believing that we willingly choose to be big. But that just isn't true. Most of us know a lot about fitness and nutrition (hello, we've been working at getting there forever). Also, it seems like a lot of us here are working a lot harder than many skinny folks I see. We are watching with CAREFUL scrutiny what and how much we eat. We are also jogging; gyming it; doing Pilates; participating in Boot Camp classes; training for races with the C25K and other programs; spinning; doing yoga; getting fit with the Wii; swimming; doing aerobics with and without exercise videos; dancing; using the ellipticals, treadmills and gazelles; lifting; hiking; snowshoeing and skiing; seeing Grim Reapers and such while doing Zumba classes (see Amy W's blog); and moving in general. Heck, I hear far more about exercise and food choices here than I have ever heard in my life--and that's coming from someone who was registered for daily fitness/nutrition emails from Jillian Michaels for three years!!! That said, these stereotypers need to take a hike, but they'd best watch out for us beating them up the hills! Hrrmpphhh!!! So there!!!! Take that!!!

Okay, now I have to go back to my life as an undercover spy. :) I hope you are all having a good week.


  1. OH WOW! How i love this post - you have totally hit the nail on the head. So many of us that did turn to WLS could have written a book on nutrition and exercise! Hear hear!!

    I get that you have to keep things to yourself at work. It's a totally different thing though to say friends and family - because - well, its work!! Do or die kind of stuff. Must have been hard to bite your tongue though.

  2. I definatly Agree with what you have written. I have told my office about my surgery and a few of them have friends or clients who have had it done... While some people are a bit judgmental I have explained it in the best way I can and told them that it was the best decision for me after years of attempts at dieting.

    Loving your blog =)

  3. I won't tell coworkers either, My professional life is just work, has nothing to do with my medical procedure. My family is the only people that I feel sad about keeping it from, because they care about me. I intend to share with them down the road, but not right now.

  4. I think a lot about this... My real question is, what's wrong with easy (not that the band really is easy anyways)? Why should we have to suffer to lose weight, why should we have such a hard time? uGH!

    Totally agree with what you said!

  5. Its sort of like gay people - We're everywhere! So watch it before you spout some hateful, ignorant B.S.!

    You are totally right. And I am mostly "undercover" as well. Only my DH and kids, mom, and 1 close friend know about the band. That is it. Not even my siblings, dad, other relatives, or other good friends.

    Here is a repost of what I wrote on Vanessa's blog:

    There is really one simple answer to this issue.

    The statistics my surgeon quoted: 98% of repeat dieters will fail to lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off. It is a simple FACT.

    With those odds, people who continue to diet are taking the "stupid" way out. Sure, 2% will get it right, but there comes a time when you figure out you are part of the 98%.

  6. Well Said! I am in total agreement with you.

  7. Vanessa, Gen (in comments to posts--one of which is above!), and Sally had some great comments also dealing with this subject if you want to read more. And I really agree with you, Angie, why should losing weight involve torture? It's sad really.

  8. I feel very blessed to have a work environment where I could share, but had I not felt comfortable I definitely would not. There is too much judgement around. While I share abotu it on my blog and other places, I do not plan to outright tell any of my new friends when we move in a few months.