Weight Loss Support - Reassurance...can we be "normal"?




View Full Version : Reassurance...can we be "normal"?


Gamerchick
01-25-2007, 10:13 PM
Other than the stretch marks...and the things we can't change like our smiles and facial expressions...

Can my skin become tight on my muscles after toning...?
Can I really be fit like those who never gained excess weight?
Will people look at me and never figure I used to be 250?
While naked, could I fool someone that I never was fat?

If I can be "normal"...I will work as hard as possible and tone and do everything.

But can it really be done?

That's what I fear.


Cheryl14
01-25-2007, 10:35 PM
Hi!

I have wondered many of the same things myself!

For me, in particular, I wonder if I will ever have upper arms that look decent enough for me to be able to wear a sleeveless outfit out in public EVEN IF I do reach my goal weight.

I also am really concerned about the vericose veins that I have that are REALLY showing up now that I am losing the fat deposits that were hiding them so nicely (!) for many, many years. I'm not just talking about spider veins! I have LOTS of those, too.

I wonder if I can EVER do enough exercise to tone up my belly that has been stretched out with two pregnancies and THIRTY YEARS of fat deposits.

I often wonder how my body would look now if I had stayed at the 160 pounds or less that I weighed 30-40 years ago.

http://www.3fatchicks.net/img/heartbar/slider-hearts/lb/275/160/209/.png (http://www.3fatchicks.com/weight-tracker/)

Cheryl

fatBgone07
01-25-2007, 10:40 PM
Hello ladies,

I would suggest looking at the Success Stories section. Incredible stories! Like they say - A picture says a thousand words. No doubt in my mind that we can all be "normal". Good luck!


Jasmine31
01-25-2007, 11:43 PM
SO if you can't be "normal", then what? You are just going to throw in the towel? All you can do is your best and the most important thing is your good health!

rowanrowan
01-26-2007, 12:19 AM
I think age has a lot to do with it, the younger you are the better chance you have of getting the 'perfect' figure, that and how you looked after yourself while you were overweight. But my way of thinking about it is I couldnt expect a perfect figure naked after reaching 233lbs - but it's going to look a darn sight better at 153lbs whatever.

rowanrowan
01-26-2007, 12:22 AM
cheryl, re varicous veins, you can buy special camaflauge makeup if they are really bothering you. No need to think you can't wear a skirt with bear legs or anything these days.

almostheaven
01-26-2007, 12:25 AM
People are amazed to discover that I've lost over 100 pounds. They can't believe I was ever that heavy. So do they look at me and know I was once fat? Nope. And nekkid? Sure, if I bend down in the buff and the loose skin dangles a bit in the tummy. If I'm standing tall and keeping my abs tight though, you can't tell anything more than you can with my clothes on. Since I like wearing hipsters and short tops, I guess if loose skin was going to stand out, it would already.

NewDay4MeToo
01-26-2007, 12:58 AM
almostheaven- Your success makes me smile. I am happy for you.

Nikaia
01-26-2007, 01:26 AM
Perhaps not throw in the towel, Jasmine, but it would certainly be discouraging if we assumed that life was *always* going to be like this - that the specter of our heaviness would hang over our lives forever.

For myself, I just have to trust to hope, and the fact that A: I never let myself get more than 60 lbs overweight, and B: I'm still in my early 20s and so my skin has all the elasticity it's ever going to have right now.

choirgirlhotel
01-26-2007, 01:34 AM
For myself, I just have to trust to hope, and the fact that A: I never let myself get more than 60 lbs overweight, and B: I'm still in my early 20s and so my skin has all the elasticity it's ever going to have right now.

A: Good
B: VERY good and you're lucky

;-)

I think you will be just fine.....

Honestly, i think if we work hard enough, where there is a will, there is a way. And hey, there's always plastic surgery ha ha. *sigh*.

Cheryl14
01-26-2007, 05:29 AM
Hi All!

Thanks for the encouragement! This site is awesome, and the people here are ANGELS!!! Thanks!

rowanrowan:
My biggest issue with my varicose veins is the BULGY ones that I have. There's one in my left leg that bulges out about 1/2 inch around my ankle to over 3/4 inch by the time it reaches behind my leg by my calf. By the time it reaches the thigh level it protrudes almost AN INCH! I have to be careful even when I shave my legs that I don't slice into it! Both my mom and my grandma had surgery to get rid of all of their veins that were like it, and when I checked last week, my mom said she had HER surgery at 55. I'm 55 now. I don't really want any more surgery -particularly ELECTIVE surgery. Two c-sections and a myomectomy (removal of a big fibroid) in seven years was PLENTY enough surgery for THIS gal!

My right leg isn't as bad with the bulgy vein thing, but both legs have so many spider veins that it looks like someone took after me with a baseball bat! None hurt, so at least I don't have THAT problem.

I would like to wear shorts or even think of wearing a swimsuit, but the veins are REALLY, REALLY ugly. Sad that now that I am getting tighter thighs, my veins are making them look bad in a NEW WAY!:?:

I guess I look at all the ladies who can go without stockings and look great and think that no matter how much I lose, I will STILL have very ugly-looking legs!

Sigh!!!:(

Cheryl

srmb60
01-26-2007, 06:52 AM
I've been mistaken for a naturally slim person too ... and at a buffet!
At 46 with three children, my belly will never be show worthy. Nekkid? Beats the heck outta what I did look like!

aphil
01-26-2007, 07:27 AM
I will never look like someone who has always been thin-3 babies, and three climbs up the fat ladder with each of them prevents that...but I look much better at goal with a little extra skin and stretch marks, than I do at my high weights, PLUS I feel better-so it is 100% worth it.

I am on my slow journey back down the ladder for the LAST time. It will be worth it when I get there, and it is worth it now. Every pound is an improvement. Everything I do-exercise, eating right-makes me look and feel better.

No-we can never be "normal". We are not naturally thin, never-have-to worry about it people. We will have to wrok at it every day of our lives...but that is the cards we were dealt. We just have to deal with it. :)

JayEll
01-26-2007, 07:29 AM
SusanB, you are so cool! :)

Well, I'm not so young, and even if I lose weight, I'm not gonna look like a slim 20 year old. Or even 30 year old. It's a hard thing to come up against--that this is our body and we don't get to "start over." Some things just won't go away. I do wish that I had been able to keep my weight down better over the years, because then my "human suit" wouldn't be so stretched out, but this is where I am now, and this is what I have to deal with.

So, the question becomes, now what? I am confident that I'll be a whole lot better if I lose weight--more comfortable, more able to buy clothes, better able to do things I want to do, and more healthy. Those seem worthwhile things to me. Reachings "normal"--well, I don't know exactly what that is, but it's not in magazines or on TV.

Jay

srmb60
01-26-2007, 07:33 AM
A normal 46 yo is overweight, has elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure. I don't want to be normal.

midwife
01-26-2007, 09:08 AM
Just to ponder: what is "normal"? I probably see more naked women than anyone else on this board and I have yet to see a "perfect" body...moles, errant hairs, pooches, pouches, saddle bags...we live in this society that expects women to have slim thighs yet big boobs, and, by the way, boobs are only appropriate for selling beer and chicken wings, how dare you breastfeed in this ToysRUs, there are CHILDREN around??? But back to all those poochy, pouchy, hairy women....they are normal...even if they are a few pounds over or a few pounds under "normal" BMI.

Delight in your ability to BE and to DO. To change our bodies, decrease poundage and fat by considering what we put in our mouths is a wonderful thing. The ability to change is in our grasps. To have our bodies respond to movement and weight lifting, how lovely is that?

"Perfect" is impossible. "Normal" is in your head. "Healthy" is the most worthy goal of all.

JayEll
01-26-2007, 10:08 AM
Hear hear midwife! :cp: :cp: :cp: :cp: :cp:

Cheryl14
01-26-2007, 10:10 AM
Hi SusanB!

Wow! I never thought of that! I guess I don't want to be "normal" either if THATwould be my fate! I've lucked out, and even with the added weight have been healthy. It's good that I stopped tempting fate, though! People in my family live long lives. My mom just turned 95 and doesn't take any medication. She's a skinny vegetarian. I figured a few years ago that if I had 50 more years left, I was going to live it at the beach, on rollercoasters, playing in the pool with grandkids, and going walking rather than in a wheelchair or on a couch!

Cheryl

srmb60
01-26-2007, 10:21 AM
"Perfect" is impossible. "Normal" is in your head. "Healthy" is the most worthy goal of all.


That is profound!

healthytoad
01-26-2007, 10:34 AM
well said midwife! (btw I am a big fan of your posts.. always a voice of reason.)

lilybelle
01-26-2007, 10:47 AM
Susan, I'm totally with you on this. I am 46 yrs. old. I have had many people assume that I've always been slender. I was obese for many years. My body isn't "perfect" but it looks far better than it did at 234 lbs. and I don't have many of the health problems that I had as an obese person. It is 100% worth the effort to take off the wt. and become healthier.

shrinkingchica
01-26-2007, 10:58 AM
Susan, I think that you have alot of fab advice to offer but........sweetie, you were NEVER even "fat." Or not so much so that you got stretch marks on your back. That is fat.

The one thing that gives me away as formerly fat is the stretch marks. And you can't do a damned thing about them. But, in clothes no one can tell and let me tell you that I would take DOUBLE the amount of stretch marks and stay slim then ever be big again.

And, like other posters have mentioned, it really is all about what is inside....and being slimmer is healthier.

Also, gamerchick, I really wouldn't focus on this right now because it is too premature. You are likely to get discouraged and possibly give up if you focus on any negatives......and when the day comes when you are 100lbs lighter you can worry about all of these issues then.
Til then, just focus on getting healthier and losing some excess weight that you don't want. :)

nelie
01-26-2007, 11:09 AM
Some days, I feel deformed. I have a huge belly that hangs, I have wrinkled areas where fat used to be (inner thighs/upper arms) and I can feel my body fold in itself when I bend over. I can't tell you how happy I am to have lost 100 lbs. I am 31 years old and from at least the age of 14, I have been 300 lbs or more. I have no idea at what age I hit 200 lbs, possibly 10 or so. So not everyone has the same history as me but I have to say that I think I look awesome with clothes on and even with clothes off, I don't look so bad. I do have loose skin but that is expected for someone like me who has been so overweight for so long.

So no one can give you any guarantees where you will be but it seems like there is a consensus here in that you will be happier when you lose weight. Losing weight sure beats not losing weight.

Cheercoach
01-26-2007, 11:10 AM
I think your concerns are valid. And it does seem to be disheartening to think that after you lose your weight that you will still struggle with body image issues. But I have to be honest, and agree with previous posters that focusing on these small concerns won't help you lose weight. You have to do it because you want to/need to. I think everyone (yes these includes the size negative 0 models) has some sort of body hang-up. But think of how much better you will look & feel. You may always hate your legs...I know that I do. It wasn't until a few months ago that I kind of accepted them, and I hadn't even reached my goal weight yet. I went and took the after photos (which was actually 10 lbs ago) in the link posted below and I was astonished. Really? Those are my legs? So even though they have always been my weak point, I noticed it wasn't that bad. So I would suggest taking weekly or monthly photos (something I REALLY wish I would have done) so you can look back at your progress and see yourself from a different view then what you think you see in the mirror......

So sorry for the long post...but good luck!

improbable
01-26-2007, 11:16 AM
Hey, just a quick note from someone in a similar situation - I'm 19, in the past 9 months I lost about 50 pounds, and I have to say, its really almost impossible to tell when I'm naked. I have a few little stretch marks, but they've lightened so much since I lost weight, you really have to look for them. The only place that's a real problem for me is my boobs, I was a DD and am now a D, and they sag more than I'd like to, but I'm hoping that as my skin continues to adjust and shrink they'll get a little perkier - again, just a personal thing. I have 10 more to go, and I'm perfectly happy with everything except that little belly I've still got. Anyway, for what its worth, my skin actually seems tighter to me now than it did with all the fat underneath - nothing to jiggle!

ennay
01-26-2007, 11:28 AM
you know what..I may never have pretty thighs no matter how toned they get. They may always have stretch marks and cellulite. And my arms may always have some jiggle

but when I get to goal I sure as heck am gonna wear sleeveless shirts and shorts. Because my worst at that point is still gonna be better than my best now and better than most of the population.

I wont be held hostage by stretch marks on a hot day.

ennay
01-26-2007, 11:33 AM
when you get near goal...go to some place that allows nudity. I am going to put in a flat out plug for breitenbush hot springs in oregon. they have women only weekends. They only allow nudity in the hotsprings, it isnt a nudist camp. It is a retreat.

Anyway the first time my "cant change in the locker room" friend went she wore a swimsuit in the springs. But that weekend she was "confronted" by the site of probably 60 different women from 20-75, from size 0 - 30, flat chested - voluptuous, and she realized that we are ALL beautiful women and NO ONE has a "perfect" body

It was very therapeutic

heck..why wait for goal...learn how beautiful you are NOW. Its easier to take care of your body when you stop hating it.

JayEll
01-26-2007, 11:34 AM
With regard to shrinkingchica's remarks--

Let's not get into whether members are "fat" or not. ;) Just don't go there. Some of us feel "fat" with 15 pounds to lose, others convince themselves they are not "fat" when they have 60 pounds to lose. We're here to support each other! Cheers to all!

Jay

rockinrobin
01-26-2007, 11:43 AM
We certainly all are different, with different stories to tell. Just how heavy we got and for how long and how old we are now, how many children we've had, how tall we are, genetics and on and on and on.

For me personally, I didn't have very high expectations of what my body would look like. Although I'm only 86 pounds down, with a bunch more to lose, I am already seeing some saggy skin. But I'd rather be 201 lbs with saggy skin then 287 lbs without it. And when I get to goal, lord knows there's gonna be more skin. I will take it. Anything has got to be better then living out my life as a morbidly obese person.

And yes, if 10 lbs makes you feel fat, then you are indeed fat, if only in your own eyes. The only difference is there just won't be as much damage done to the skin as if one had been morbidly obese. That's where the "we're all different part" comes into play.

srmb60
01-26-2007, 11:44 AM
Calm down everyone. Between you all here, you've brought up a good point. Do you check out other posters to see if their contribution is 'worth' listening to?

That sounds like a good idea for a new thread!

QuilterInVA
01-26-2007, 11:56 AM
Judging by appearance should be on the bottom of your list. Judging by how healthy and fit you are should be foremost. I lost 200 pounds - yep, I've got some lose skin and I do work out. But I consider the skin to be my badge of honor. I'm healthier than most of my contemporaries who may look better but are on all kinds of medication. There really is not such thing as "normal" appearance - that is defined by the beholder and will differ from culture to culture and individual to individual. I don't want to just be another old lady in a wheel chair at the home - I want to be out and about and caring for myself all my life.

midwife
01-26-2007, 02:21 PM
well said midwife! (btw I am a big fan of your posts.. always a voice of reason.)

Thank you, and JayEll and Susan B, too. You guys are very sweet.

YP1
01-26-2007, 02:36 PM
In terms of normal, that's not my aim any more. Normal tends to mean slightly overweight, unfit and not as healthy as I am now. So why would I want to be that.

But in terms of where you can be after a large weight loss, you can definitely be as fit as someone who's never been fat. I joined a running club a few months ago. Not only am I one of the stronger female runners there, no-one has guessed or suspects (or if they do suspect they've never mentioned it to me) that I used to be 260lb. I was talking to someone on a run once and admitted to it. She asked why I started running, I said it was to lose weight. She looked at me in horror and said there was no way I needed to lose weight. I explained that this was the after body not the before one and told her how big I used to be. The look on her face was priceless.

In terms of skin and shape, I'm probably not as toned as someone who's never been fat. My stomach can look a bit baggy when I stand in certain positions, and when I'm doing press ups or certain yoga poses you can see a bit of skin hanging down. But under clothes it's fine, and it doesn't stop me wearing a bikini if I want to. My boobs have all but disappeared. They weren't huge in the first place, and now they're rather minimal. If I stand in a certain way while wearing a sports bra which flattens them even more my bottom rib sticks out as far as my boobs, giving me a bizarre four bump look. But then it's good for running (less bounce!) and I can get by with a bit of padding in my bra.

shrinkingchica
01-26-2007, 05:16 PM
With regard to shrinkingchica's remarks--

Let's not get into whether members are "fat" or not. ;) Just don't go there. Some of us feel "fat" with 15 pounds to lose, others convince themselves they are not "fat" when they have 60 pounds to lose. We're here to support each other! Cheers to all!

Jay


My point was that if you only have to lose 30-40lbs you aren't going to have all of the extra skin and stretch mark issues that those of us with 100+ weight loss have to deal with.
And with regard to gamerchick's original post-----that is the main thing that can "give" one away when naked.
It is just a different body story when one is at a higher weight-----which is why there is a 300+ support forum to deal more specifically with a base of posters who have that extra baggage (meaning other issues like skin) to deal with.

sweet_talker
01-26-2007, 05:21 PM
when you get near goal...go to some place that allows nudity. I am going to put in a flat out plug for breitenbush hot springs in oregon. they have women only weekends. They only allow nudity in the hotsprings, it isnt a nudist camp. It is a retreat.

Anyway the first time my "cant change in the locker room" friend went she wore a swimsuit in the springs. But that weekend she was "confronted" by the site of probably 60 different women from 20-75, from size 0 - 30, flat chested - voluptuous, and she realized that we are ALL beautiful women and NO ONE has a "perfect" body

It was very therapeutic

heck..why wait for goal...learn how beautiful you are NOW. Its easier to take care of your body when you stop hating it.

wow that is a really creative way to be more comfortable with your body. that would actually be kinda cool.

and to SusanB, I always read through every post on a board before posting, that way I know what's been said (so that I don't repeat it) and I have a better grasp as to where the thread is heading (sometimes it gets to be about something else a little different from the poster topic).

BerkshireGrl
01-26-2007, 05:38 PM
...varicose veins... one in my left leg that bulges out about 1/2 inch around my ankle to over 3/4 inch by the time it reaches behind my leg by my calf. By the time it reaches the thigh level it protrudes almost AN INCH! I have to be careful even when I shave my legs that I don't slice into it! ... I don't really want any more surgery -particularly ELECTIVE surgery... no matter how much I lose, I will STILL have very ugly-looking legs!

Cheryl,

I had a really bad varicose vein stripped from my left leg a few years ago at age 30 (they run in my dad's family.) It was a simple day surgery, with a spinal block (though I was "knocked out" too with drugs but not deeply). Mine ran from my calf to my upper thigh, and I was left with about 6-8 half-inch incisions, sewn up, then my leg was wrapped in a giant ace bandage for a few days to prevent swelling.

I walked out of the hospital that afternoon, up stairs to my apt., and had no real problem healing up. I didn't have any real pain; I was prescribed Vicodin but didn't use any.

This is all to say, I think you should go for it! :)

My BCBS HMO even covered the cost 100% after my doc recommended it because my leg ached and the vein was getting bigger with time; I called her to talk it over and she said she'd sign off on it with no problem. I was getting to the point where I didn't want anyone to see my leg, so I know how you feel...

There was no way I was going to let it turn into the huge knotted mess my father had on his calf; it looked like a big mass of blue linguine stuck under his skin :( (He also got his removed later.)

ennay
01-26-2007, 05:38 PM
lol I hardly ever read every post, just dont have the time, so I often repeat

sweet_talker
01-26-2007, 05:49 PM
Hey, to each his own :) I find it almost therapeutic.