Haters Gonna Hate, Hate, Hate

-Marc A. Neff, MD, FACS, FASMBS

Patients who undergo weight loss surgery are experiencing a lot of new sensations.  Clothes fit differently, foods taste differently, and even new sensitivity to the temperature outside.  While they are learning about life after weight loss surgery, what they often will get a lot of, is the comments from the Peanut Gallergy.  Family, friends, coworkers, who feel like they know more than the patients physician and try to give “helpful” advice.  Comments like “You are losing too much weight” or “You should be losing more” or “You should be eating this” or “You aren’t eating/drinking enough.”  While these comments may or may not be true, they are not often helpful to the person who is trying to reboot a lifetime of eating and exercise habits.  Weight loss surgery patients need support and understanding postoperatively, not judgement and criticism.  When patients come to my office for their one month postoperative appointment, I often will emphasize to them that everyone eats and drinks slightly differently.  That everyone loses weight at slightly different rates.  That no two people are exactly alike.  I emphasize that when people try to give you advice on what they think you should be doing, remember that they didn’t undergo weight loss surgery, that they don’t have the education about the procedures or about the necessary diet and exercise plan like you do, and take their opinions for what they are, just opinions.   If there is ever a question about the hearsay you are being told, best to check it with your physician and/or dietician.