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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Wants to Keep News of Gastric Surgery Under Wraps

DEAR ABBY: I have been overweight more than half my life. I have tried many diets and exercise plans, and invariably I gain all those pounds back. I'm planning to have gastric sleeve surgery as soon as my surgeon can fit me into his schedule.

Although I have gone through all of the required office visits with my primary care provider, I haven't made a final decision because I'm nervous about it. No one in my family knows except my husband.

My parents are elderly and probably would hate it and worry about me, so I don't want them to know. As for my children, I know they won't like it, but I don't mind their knowing. I will (hopefully) lose 60 to 70 pounds.

Should I tell them in advance or wait until it becomes obvious? I'm a private person and don't want anyone outside my immediate family knowing about this. I certainly don't want any negative or snarky remarks from neighbors or my church family.

Am I being ridiculous, selfish or silly? If I don't disclose, how will I explain how I lost the weight if someone asks without spilling my secret? -- READY FOR A CHANGE DOWN SOUTH

DEAR READY: A way to do that would be to reply, "I have made the decision not to discuss my weight anymore. Please respect that."

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