100 lb. Club - Losing the fat but keeping the skin

03-29-2008, 04:14 PM
Since I have really decided to accept the fact that this fat is just not going to disappear on it's own (I know right, big surprise) I have tried taking inventory of the "why of the why's" I have hesitated to actually put effort into losing until now. Part of me has come to the conclusion that while I KNOW that I have to get this weight off, to feel better, to help put my RA into remission, to look better, etc... it scares the crap out of me to lose 100 pounds because I know that there is going to be a huge amount of gross disgusting lose skin that will be left over. I am terrified of working so hard to lose this huge amount of weight, and look even worse at my goal of 135 than I do at 240. I'm not comfortable being 240 by any means but I know what every inch of my body looks like right now, and I know how to position myself or wear certain things to hide certain areas I'm not happy about and it scares me to not know what is going to happen to it when it's 100lbs lighter. I know I should be more worried about the health aspects of losing than the vanity of it, but can't I be concerned about both aspects?

I'm curious if any of you have this fear or if I'm just a total weirdo.....?

03-29-2008, 04:26 PM
Have a look at this forum . . . http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=219 . . . very good thread about Loose skin after substantial weight loss.

I've got a long way to go until that is a problem . . . but, as most of the maintainers will tell you . . . it is easier to hide the excess skin than it is to hide the excess pounds. In other words, although we might not be too terribly glamourous naked, we will look great in our clothes and when you add that to the better health benefits . . . heh; sounds pretty good.

03-29-2008, 04:40 PM
Amelia, think of it this way -- if you lose all the weight and then decide that you aren't happy with how you look ... go ahead and gain all your weight back and you can be right back where you are today.

But I guarantee that you won't want to! I'm one of the moderators for the Maintainers forum here -- and we have a lot of maintainers! -- and I can assure you that NO ONE who has reached his or her goal has one second's regret about any excess skin. NO ONE would go back to being obese again in order to avoid any skin issues. NO ONE would trade their new slim, fit body for one with taut skin bulging with fat.

All the skin you're ever going to have is on your body right this minute. Losing weight won't give you more skin -- it will simply remove the fat that's underneath, making you healthier and your life better in infinite ways. Some people have no problems with excess skin after weight loss; some do -- but I have never met anyone online or in real life who thinks that weight loss wasn't worth any bit of skin that they may have. :)

Don't worry about your skin now because it really won't be a problem later. :hug:

03-29-2008, 09:17 PM
I am a bit "afraid" of the excess skin... I'm in no way gonna let that stop me from getting to a healthy weight. I have decided if, when all the weight has come off, I'm very disgusted by the skin, I am not afraid of a little plastic surgery to get rid of it all... and after all the work it will take to get there, I feel I will deserve it. Hubby has promised we would find the money somewhere... even if I have to wait for the first income tax to get it done.

03-29-2008, 11:37 PM
I didn't think about it when I started mostly cause I didn't set out to lose weight, I set out to eat healthy and then it happened and so quickly. I didn't really think of the skin issues till the second year and the last 30 pounds. Those really gave me some loose skin. I have it on my arms and my upper thighs and my belly. The one that bothers me the most is the arms because it's so prominent with any kind of short sleeve shirt. Still, I am hoping it will shrink some, but I am not letting it stop me from wearing any clothing I want because I worked hard for this and I am getting used to it.

And just like Meg said, I would not trade it for the fat... ever. The things I can do now, the way I feel inside, nothing can change that. As I sit at my computer, I consider all the comfy ways I can pretzel into my chair, it reminds me to stay on track and love the new me (loose skin and all).

03-30-2008, 12:20 AM
Total weirdo....

Just Kidding. I've lost roughly 60 lbs, and when I get naked to get into the shower, I try not to look into the mirror. Otherwise I start ranting about the loose skin, but like was previously mentioned, as a size 18/20, it's easier to hide the loose skin, but as a size 26/28, I couldn't hide how very fat I WAS. Nobody but my hubby and I ever see me naked, unless one of my kids pukes all over me and I toss them and me in the shower<I have young kids, 2 and 4, not teens, just in case anyone's wondering>. Frankly, I love being able to find clothes, in a more stocked size, than to settle for the horrible, granny styled muumuus and elastic wear. I know an 18/20 isn't a standard "I'm happy with my weight size", but I'm happy with it compared to last year.

If you find that the loose skin UNDER clothes is more of an issue than the overall health and presentation of a more slim you, then, have it removed, a section at a time if needed. Good luck!

OH, also wanted to say, I think alot of us, myself included lose weight, with an image in ou head of what we think we'll look like, as in taut skin, toned muscles and a more youthful appearance, and while some of us DO look like that after, most of us dont, especially if the loss was alot, or done quickly or we don't have surgery. For me, it was a GINORMOUS stumbling block not to have this svelte creature staring back at me after 60 lbs, so I've settled in at this weight, while I wrapped my head around what I thought would be, with what is. If you know going in you may not look like a 17 yr old, with no hips, boobs, or butt, I think you're ahead of the game.

03-30-2008, 01:29 AM
I know how you feel as I'm starting to look pretty ah saggy... but you know what? Even at this weight I feel 100x better then I did 95 pounds ago. I wouldn't trade this feeling for smoother but more obese. It's not all about the looks. I totally understand what you're saying but why not try and see how you feel a year out after you've lost it all... what do you have to lose?

03-30-2008, 01:52 AM
I do think about it and it is kind of scary. I know I am going to have a lot of loose skin, but that is the only drawback I can see of losing weight. There are so many more positive reasons to get the weight off. I guess I will just try to deal with the skin issue when that time comes.

03-30-2008, 03:35 AM
The only time I get really ANGRY at myself for letting myself gain as much weight as I did is when I look at my tummy and see the loose skin. When I last weighed 168, I had a poochy tummy, but I didn't have the fold-over that I have now. I have to admit that it was a disappointment for me to realize I was down in the 170s and now 160s and the fold-over was still there - just saggier.

BUT ... even so. I've gone from a 22-24 to a 12. A TWELVE. I haven't worn a 12 in almost 20 years.

So you know what ... I'll take the saggy tummy skin and the saggy boobs and the size 12. And in another year, when I've lost the last 30 and maintained, if I decide that I want surgery to get rid of the skin, then I'll do what I need to do to afford it.

But like everyone else said above ... I'd rather be thin and have to deal with the skin, than remain fat. The only other thing I'd rather is rather have never let myself get this way to begin with ... but no sense crying about that now. :)


traci in training
03-30-2008, 09:45 AM
I'm finding that the skin gets better with time. I'll have a really saggy spot - inner thighs for instance - and after a while I'll notice that it seems better. I think your body helps you out if you let it sometimes.

I have quite a bit left to lose, but I think if you lose it the right way - healthy eating and exercise - your body helps with the skin.

And ditto everybody else - I'd rather have excess skin than excess fat.

03-30-2008, 10:05 AM
Without a doubt, it is waaaaaay better to have loose skin, yet be healthier, happier, more productive, more energetic, more confident, have less worries, fears and anxieties, wear a size 2, look dynamite in clothing, feel overall marvelous, have improvement in each and every single aspect of my life - then to have no loose skin and be morbidly obese.

So please, let me ease your mind - stop worrying about the loose skin. :)

03-30-2008, 12:40 PM
Thanks everyone for your comments! I want to say that OF COURSE I would much rather be a healthy version of me than an obese fat slob regardless of the skin issues! I absolutely would not want to keep the fat around just because of the extra skin. It just sort of terrifies me in the back of my mind what that skin is going to look like. But there is always something that can be done about that after the fact to get rid of the saggy parts :) I keep reminding myself of that!

03-30-2008, 12:57 PM
Of course you really never know. Some people have pretty decent skin after losing weight and it will spring back 'some'. Also, the earlier you lose weight, the better the situation will likely be. (Ie now as opposed to 5 years from now)

03-30-2008, 03:16 PM
I'm barely noticing that my belly button is a bit loose. My husband doesn't even notice it. His words "Is this like the mustache you always tell you have?"

Everyone is right, you couldn't pay my to go back up to my starting weight. I'll take a bit of loose skin here and there, any day.

03-30-2008, 04:49 PM
The only loose skin that I have so far is on my stomach, and I had that before I began because of an emergency C-section. Of course, I still have more to lose, and this might become more of an issue for me, but loose skin is not inevitable. Appearance aside, I just love the way I feel, the things I can do and the wide availability of clothing I can buy. (Okay, the clothing was kind of an appearnce thing, but it's also way more convenient to be able to shop with my 14YO daughter than to have to go to other stores just for me. And since I'm so cheap and buy most of my clothes on clearance or at thrift stores, it's a big deal for me in terms of variety and affordability to have a more "normal" size body.)

03-30-2008, 05:08 PM
Without a doubt, it is waaaaaay better to have loose skin, yet be healthier, happier, more productive, more energetic, more confident, have less worries, fears and anxieties, wear a size 2, look dynamite in clothing, feel overall marvelous, have improvement in each and every single aspect of my life - then to have no loose skin and be morbidly obese.

So please, let me ease your mind - stop worrying about the loose skin. :)

Wow...you have had such a dramatic weight loss. How did you do it?

03-31-2008, 04:14 PM
My theory on it is this... I could see as a fat person how I was destroying my body. I have very pale thin skin--- and even while not being HUGELY obese or "round" my stomach was FULL of angry red stretch marks--- to the point where my GYN asked me if I was ever pregnant (at the time I was 19 years old!!!!). I know I have huge breasts right now and when I lose the weight they won't be as huge anymore--- and that's gonna show...

So I KNOW that my skin will be ugly afterward. It's not even a question. I can visibly see the damage now when I'm overweight.

But here's the thing. Here's what makes me realize that no matter HOW my skin looks at the end I'll be happy. Who sees me naked? I see me naked. My husband sees me naked. So? SOO? Would I rather see some unsightly skin shaking around during sex or MOUNDS of fat BLUBBER doing the same thing?

The answer was easy. At least my husband and I can both look at my "skin" and smile knowing how proud we both are of my accomplishment. My skin only looks like that b/c I worked my BUTT off to make myself healthier and ensure that we have YEARS left to live together. And in a happier, more active, more confident lifestyle.

Yeah, I'll take some saggy skin over FAT FILLED skin. ANY day.

03-31-2008, 06:16 PM
The extra skin is an issue for me as well because I am not looking forward to looking my age. My goal is to get the weight off and then see what I need to do. I know some people are in pretty good shape after the weight loss while others see more skin hanging.

But truly I just want to be thinner, in better shape and when I walk into the room....that I am not everyone's big sister figure but someone they want to go out with. I am tried of being all the men's buddy.

03-31-2008, 06:52 PM
I lost 90lbs a few years back...I had a saggy roll of empty skin. I was able to wear control top panties and hide it. I wasnt able to maintain my weight loss because I lost it to fast and couldnt live on so few calories.I gained it all back pluse about 20lbs. I know that I will have even more loose skin this time. But I plan to keep it off and I dont care if I have to wear control top panties forever. I know my body will look worse this time..(im older) but I know how awful I looked naked when I was fat and I know I will look better even with flabby skin than fat and celulite. Besides spanx are wonderful for those special occasion when you have to wear a slinky dress or something.

03-31-2008, 07:15 PM

Do you realize how awesome that will be?

03-31-2008, 09:08 PM
excellent point of view, bigtxmomma!!!

03-31-2008, 10:21 PM
I have to admit that the loose skin hadn't even occurred to me until very recently, and I recoiled at the thought. I never thought I was a vain person, but I've found my vanity. It's so nice to come here so soon after I start my wellness project, and find such positive reinforcement. You are all amazing!

I'm no where near loose skin right now, but you can bet I'll be checking into this particular list whenever my vanity hits. And we just got our washroom reno'd with mirrors directly in front of clear shower doors. Oh well!

03-31-2008, 10:24 PM

Do you realize how awesome that will be?

LOVE your attitude!!!! You are soo right though, that's exactly it. What a great way to look at it.

04-01-2008, 09:01 AM
I posted the same question when I first started and the thought of loose skin worried me to death!! I finally just had to put it out of my mind because whatever happens, happens. I'll just be happy to wear cute clothes again and not worry about always being the biggest person in the room.

04-01-2008, 09:13 AM

Do you realize how awesome that will be?

I feel EXACTLY the same way . . . bring it on!

04-01-2008, 10:39 AM
I try not to worry about it much. I hope I don't end up with much loose skin but if I do I'll have to decide what to do then. I will consider plastic surgery if it bothers me a lot, I'm not opposed to that. Hopefully for my wallet it won't come to that.

04-01-2008, 11:50 AM
Absolutely do what you can for the skin - there's not a lot, but keep it moisturized, don't lose too fast (hah! Not my problem), keep your boobs really well supported at all times - and after that, it's out of your hands. I have a little loose skin on my belly, and it's absolutely frustrating because I know it makes me look bigger than if it were taut - but hey, overall, I look good. and I'm proud. And you will be when (not if) you get there.

04-01-2008, 12:05 PM
Absolutely do what you can for the skin - there's not a lot, but keep it moisturized,

Does keeping it moisturized help? Out of curiousity, what does that do?

04-01-2008, 12:09 PM
This isn't something that should be a concern - i'll tell you that finding clothes that cover the loose skin on my stomach (that didn't even appear until the last 10lbs, which i lost fairly quickly in relation to the majority of most of my weight) is a lot easier than having to hide the 80lbs that i used to have on me.
the stretchmarks on my stomach? the weird flap of loose skin? battlescars from a war that i am winning!
yeah, i look thicker around the middle, and i'm confident that i would be a size smaller if i didn't have this skin (though a size smaller - a 6 - is pretty unfathomable to me) but when i look in the mirror and i see my body - for all of it's flaws - i see a happier, healthier person who is just amazed at how far she's come and how i continue to triumph everyday. I have another 20lbs to go, and once i reach goal and maintain for a year, i'm hopeful the skin will go away with hard work and exercise as my body gets used to it's new, healthy size.

04-01-2008, 12:59 PM
As far as the speed of weight loss, moisturizing and all that stuff - I'm pretty certain that doesn't have any affect whatsoever on just how loose your skin will be.

The main factors are genetics, the amount you have to lose, the length of time you were obese for and your age.

04-01-2008, 08:05 PM
Jen, that's such a great way to think about it. I am going to remember that when dh and I are doing things that make my skin wiggle and jiggle.

I totally second the beauty of SPANX -- and even better, for those of us dropping sizes faster than our wallets want us to, TARGET brand SPANX.