I know people that have undergone gastric bypass and are afraid of being asked the question, “How did you do it.” They’re afraid of the reaction of people who may say, “Oh, I thought you did it yourself.” There are people that don’t understand that you did indeed, do it yourself. Against all odds, and at great personal cost and risk, you did it. Let me say it again: YOU DID IT!

Let It Soak In….and Celebrate Your Accomplishment

Let that soak in for a second… for a minute. Revel in it. You did it. Nobody else did it for you. Nobody else experienced the pain, the fear, the cost. Nobody else will be making the same life-long commitment that you did for yourself. It is you. Do not let anyone make you feel less than proud about your accomplishment. EVER. Celebrate what you’ve done, what you’ve accomplished. Let it show:

In the happy expression on your face
In the excited tone of your voice
In the exuberance of your attitude and body language

It is nearly impossible for someone to make you feel bad about what you’ve achieved or how you’ve accomplished it when you’re beaming with pride and self-confidence. Your joy will overcome their ignorance (or jealousy, or callousness) every time, easily seen by anyone watching the interaction.

Dozens of times, I’ve been met with the “Oh” reaction from people who just heard me answer their “How did you do it” question with ‘gastric bypass.’ Their look of amazement morphing into that of ‘less than impressed.’ And dozens of times, I’ve changed their opinion by simply being so overjoyed to talk about the surgery and how I now manage myself successfully – how I eat right and exercise.

Truth be told, I couldn’t care less if they think I took the easy way out, or if they are impressed with what I’ve accomplished. Usually, I’m telling my story as a form of self-reinforcement. But, most importantly, I speak the truth… I don’t lie, to myself or others, about what got me into trouble, about my struggles to deal with my weight issues, or about the fantastic tool that gastric bypass is and how I’ve been able to use it to achieve my dreams.

Almost Everyone Has a Shortfall

I find that most people are inspired by my story and that they find my honesty refreshing. After all, almost everybody has an issue that plagues them. Almost everyone lies to themselves about something they know is ruining their life, something they need the courage to change. It could be alcoholism, gambling or another addiction. I’ve had people breakdown and cry, right in front of me, as I was telling my story. Hearing me speak truthfully about my own weaknesses, my own failings, they realize they’ve been lying to themselves and others for so long, and they want out. Out of their bad habits, out of lying, out of what scares them, and into whatever I have found. And I want it for them.

Changing the Naysayers Minds…with Honesty

Yes, there are people who don’t right away see gastric bypass as a real and legitimate weight loss method. I love running into those people. I love the opportunity to tell my story and bare the honest truth in front of them. I love being able to be open and honest and to share the supreme joy I have at what I’ve gone through and what I’ve accomplished. And when they look at me again, this time with respect and awe in their eyes, I know that honesty, with myself and with others, is essential to my success. There is no other way.

About the Author

Bill Streetman is a seven-year post-op RNY patient starting at 404 pounds and maintaining
a weight loss of 200 pounds. WLS gave me the appropriate tool he needed to
take control of hil life and follow a path of health and fitness.  Father of
three sons, all married and spread across the globe.  Married for 35 years
to Colleen – his most wonderful support person, and life co-conspirator, as he
navigates his WLS journey.  We supports the WLS community as a frequent blogger,
as a  presenter at WLS conferences, as the creator of the Tour of Hope Bike
ride, as the Male BariAthlete of the Year 2017, and as an elected member of
the board of directors of the WLSFA. Life is Good – Living is Wonderful.

NOTE: The Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America is a 501(c) 3 Nonprofit Organization. We have earned the Guide Stars Platinum Seal of Transparency. The WLSFA is a 100% Volunteer Organization with no paid executives or staff. We are fellow weight loss surgery patients, paying it forward since 2010.

Questions? Please contact the WLSFA at 415-234-9074 or email us at info@wlsfa.org

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