So, I have these neighbor semi-friends. I don't know them really well, but on occasion, the male partner has helped break down the ice berm at the end of my drive in winter. And the female partner and I have chatted some.
Not so long ago, the female partner had bariatric surgery. She didn't tell most people, but she told me because she asked for some day time assistance when her partner wasn't around. It was a little thing, something she couldn't take care of while recovering, but that I easily could, so I did. We chatted some, because we were there. You know how it goes.
It's been about a month, maybe six weeks. (I don't keep close track.) In movie parlance, time passes.
She's recovered fine and is on this really strict diet; she says it's going well. She also says she's excited because she needed to buy some new clothes. I congratulated her.
But she's also disappointed because no one that she hasn't told has mentioned her weight loss or how good she looks (not at her work, not in the neighborhood, not her other friends).
I think there are two things in play here. First, she doesn't look that different to the casual observer. If I didn't know she'd had the surgery and was successfully losing weight because she told me, I wouldn't notice. (I tend not to notice clothes and weight in friends. I tend to notice voice and expression more.) So there's that. She's long worn the sort of loose clothes that are supposed to hide our weight, and still does, so maybe it's successfully hiding the weight. I don't have the nerve to tell her that the weight loss doesn't show, though, because she's pretty darned happy about it, and it's not the easiest thing to stay on the diet and all.
I have a colleague who had bariatric surgery a couple years ago now, at the beginning of summer. In the three months of summer, she lost a dramatic amount of weight; it was noticeable even to me. I think the noticeability depends a lot on how much people weigh and how they carry it before the surgery, probably.
Second, this is a "polite" part of the country. It's supposed to be, anyway. People will smile, but not really see you here, if that makes sense. And weight is one of those things that your adult friends won't generally mention; I don't tell people who are overweight that they look especially heavy today or anything. And so I wouldn't tend to say anything about looking less heavy. Mostly, that's because I don't pay much attention to other people's weight (I have my own to pay attention to), but there's also a fair bit of social conditioning: it's not appropriate for me to comment on another adult's body.
I especially can't imagine saying anything about weight to this neighbor pre-surgery, because I think she'd have told me off something awful.
We were doing the stand around in a driveway thing with another neighbor recently, chatting about the weather or whatever, and since our houses are further up, my neighbor who'd had surgery and I walked away from the conversation together. She commented about how disappointed she is that no one says anything about her weight loss. (I was sympathetic and said how people around here try to be polite.) She really wants to talk about the surgery and her weight loss, because she's proud and happy of how it's going, but she doesn't want to bring it up.
I never know how to handle diet/weight issues with folks. I tend to try to be supportive, and keep my nose in my own business. But bariatric surgery seems to change the rules somehow in ways I don't quite get.
Speaking of my business: So, I've been trying to lose weight, but it's slow. I've lost maybe 7 pounds. And yesterday, I mostly ran 5K, which is more than before, and I feel good about it (that is, I'm not sore). My feet were cold in the happy toes things, though, so I either need to go with regular shoes or get these wool toe socks that are designed to be worn with the happy toes things.