How do I tell my family and friends I’m having gastric bypass surgery?

Updated: Jun 18, 2019

Telling family and friends you are having weight loss surgery is a big step and a highly personal decision.


Some people choose to keep the information to only those who will be of immediate support, while others are happy to share their journey with all who will listen.


Penelope Flowers, Psychologist at Toowoomba Weight Loss Surgery, encourages discernment when it comes to deciding who to tell about your surgery.


“Having supportive people around you during this process is highly beneficial,” Penelope says, “and honouring your privacy is also of importance.”


If you do decide to tell family and friends, there are some things to take into account when making the decision.


Consider who might be a helpful support


Before telling family and friends that you are having bariatric surgery, think about those who are likely to be helpful supports in your life.


This is especially important if you are hesitant or have a strong need for privacy.


Consider sharing the news with those helpful and supportive people first. You can then decide whether you want to share with anybody else or not.


Consider what you hope to achieve when you share with people


Penelope suggests that you take a little bit of time to think about the purpose of sharing the news about your surgery.


“For some it will be to make a request for support before or after surgery. For others it is to simply let them know what is happening in their life,” she explains.


Knowing what you want out of the conversation in advance can be a helpful step.


Consider sharing your motivation for surgery

When telling people about your decision it can be beneficial to share your goals and motivation for undergoing bariatric surgery.


Explain to your loved one what has led you to this point and what you hope to have in the future as a result of the surgery.


Perhaps consider sharing the concerns that you have had and how you see it now that you have been through the process of researching and consulting with health professionals.


You can also share how you see this process might benefit the relationship you have with your loved ones in the future, too.


Consider practising what you plan to say


Practising what you plan to say gives you an opportunity to work out what feels right to you and how much you feel comfortable sharing.


“I am the first to admit it can feel a bit weird to rehearse a conversation,” says Penelope, “however, practice does make progress!”


Think about the person or people you plan to tell and step through what you anticipate will happen. You can talk it through aloud, or write it down so that you are clear on how you plan to share your news.


Before telling family and friends about your weight loss surgery, it’s worth taking the time to think through what feels right for you. Considering these points can help you strike a balance between your need for support and your level of desired privacy.


In Part 2 of this series, we will cover how to respond to loved ones’ concerns and in Part 3, we will cover 3 ways to support someone who is having bariatric surgery.


If you are not receiving the right support consider talking to your GP or a mental health practitioner.


Curious about weight loss surgery? Give us a call today (07) 4646 3295


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