Have you lost a little - or a lot - of weight after bariatric surgery? Congratulations! And now...for the bad stuff. Many bariatric surgery patients start to hear insensitive comments once they start to lose weight. People who see them may think it is okay to mention your weight loss or a change in your appearance. And those comments can sting. Here are some ways to handle insensitive comments about weight loss after weight loss surgery.
Tell Them the Truth
Let’s say that the person who makes a common is someone worth keeping in your life. For example, it is probably worth a bit of extra effort to stay close to household members, other close family members, and good friends. For people like that, with whom you have a close relationship, honesty is important. It can lead to a bit of friction, but what family members and friends don’t have a little bit of friction sometimes? You work through things together, and hopefully come out stronger on the other side.
In this case, being honest can mean telling them how you feel about them commenting on your weight loss. Let them know that it makes you feel uncomfortable or insecure. There is a good chance that they will agree not to make similar comments in the future.
Refuse to Acknowledge Anything Negative
Is someone being mean on purpose? You do not need to give them the satisfaction of getting upset. In fact, do not even let them know you realize they are trying to get your goat. Instead, return their comment with something positive. WIthout even acknowledging their rudeness, you can compliment them on something. They may get the point that their comment was unwelcome, but even if not, at least you did not lose your cool.
Change the Subject.
If someone makes an inappropriate comment about anything, you can always change the subject. It is no different with your weight. If you cannot think of anything else, you can talk about the weather, the local sports team, the past or coming weekend, or the person’s family. It doesn’t matter. Just pick another topic and move away from weight loss as an open topic.
Focus on Your Health.
This tactic lets you acknowledge their comment but it explains to them that you do not want them to focus on how you look. Instead, tell them about how great you feel, what additional activities you can do now, or how your doctor has praised you for lowering your health risks. Saying these things out loud can also help reinforce them for you.
The great thing about being grown-up about getting bariatric surgery is that you are grown-up enough to make your own decisions about where you want to be and how long you want to stay. If the situation becomes such that you cannot handle it, leave. No explanations are needed, though you can make up an excuse if you fear that you are appearing to be rude.
Insensitive comments are often part of the deal when you are succeeding after weight loss surgery, so it is best to be prepared. These five tactics can help get your message across and keep you from getting upset about their comments.