Saturday, July 21, 2012

Today I outed myself at work

Okay, technically it was yesterday.

I have never made a secret of the fact that I've had Weight Loss Surgery but, now that I'm almost four years out and have been a normal weight for over three years, it's not a subject that comes up much. I have worn my "Surgically Altered Freak" shirt to work and drank from my Bariatric Bad Girls Club blender bottle. But I am sure that most people haven't picked up on that and have no idea.

Yesterday the people I was eating lunch with were giving me a hard time about how little I eat (again). One of them said something about your stomach being the size of a fist so most of them were probably eating too much. I piped up and said that my stomach was actually the size of a Pilot Pen ... only longer.

So I told them about the surgery and showed around the pictures of myself at my highest weight.

Well that caused a stir as you can imagine!

I have mixed feelings about this. For one thing, I have enjoyed being at a job where no one knows me as "that gal who had 'that' surgery and lost all that weight." Also, I read recently that a study showed that people not only think less of fat people but, if they find out you used to be fat, they then think less of you than if they thought you were never fat. 

I'm not sure I buy that as mostly people are impressed I lost that much weight and have mostly kept it off. But I can see how knowing this will change people's view of me. How could it not?

I have a friend who is gay and he told me that coming out is not a one-time event but an on-going process and that he makes a point every year on National Coming Out Day to tell at least one person who may not realize it that he is gay.

I am finding that being a bariatric patient is similar. When I first had the surgery, I told everyone all about it at the drop of a hat. But as I get farther out, it's not on my mind as much. And so I talk about it less. And then, because I'm not talking about it regularly, it starts to get hard to talk about. There have definitely been times when I could have said something and I didn't. I could have said nothing yesterday, in fact.

However, I am not ashamed of the fact that I had surgery. My body was broken and now it's not. To be ashamed would be like being ashamed that I had an appendectomy.

Not to mention, I bet I get ribbed a lot less about  how little I eat at lunch now and that's got to be a plus.
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