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Dear Lola,

In a few weeks I will be undergoing gastric bypass surgery. This is a very extreme method of weight loss, but it’s critical for me due to some health issues that have popped up because of my weight. I’m struggling right now with the question of how to maintain my privacy in regards to my family, who all live close to me. I know that I will be losing weight very quickly and unable to eat regular meals, a fact they will surely notice, but I do not want to have this issue become the focal point of our weekly get-togethers. How should I handle all the prying questions?

Healthy in Honolulu

Advice for humans. They need all the help they can get.

Dear Healthy in Honolulu,

First, let me commend you on your hometown, my Mommybeast is from the island also! From what I understand, food is a very big way of life on the beautiful islands of Hawai’i. You also have a large ‘ohana (family) that you see often, which sounds lovely in terms of a support system as you embark on your weight loss journey. I do have a recommendation for you.

Tell your family what is happening.

At the next gathering, sit them all down and explain what choice you’ve made. Let them ask you questions, because they will have them. People who love you will want to do their best to support you, and no where in your letter did you indicate your family was awful. This leads me to believe they will want to help you.

You will not be able to eat what everyone else is having. Since family meals are for the whole family, they will want to be sure that something is there for you to enjoy. Even if it’s only a few spoonfuls of food, imagine how awful they will feel if you cannot partake of anything.

You are robbing your family of their ability to support you.

I’m guessing that some of this hiding is due to embarrassment and stigma. Sometimes people think surgery is the ‘easy way’ to diet. I don’t know about you, but having my stomach cut open is not my idea of easy. You are drastically changing your entire lifestyle in an effort to become healthy. Make sure your family focuses on that. If you are worried that your family may try to talk you out of the decision you’ve made, talk to a few close confidants first. Have them help you address the entire group so that you don’t feel cornered or alone.

You are awesome, you are worth it, and you are going to kick ass!

Now here’s where I leave you with my final note. I hope that your surgery goes well and that you achieve everything in this life that you want. Bring your family and friends on the journey with you, that’s what life is all about!


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