100 lb. Club - afraid of loose skin




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IslaAzure
01-13-2011, 10:04 PM
i am so afraid of what i'm going to look like once i lose this weight. i know its so early in the game but this isn't my first time either. about 10 years ago i lost 90 pounds and had lots of extra skin. i'm afraid that i'm now 35, when i lose the weight my skin is just going to look like draping. so nervous and find it depressing. i know i'm going to need tons of plastic surgery. i'm trying not to let it get to me. how are you all dealing with this issue?
thanks!:?:


Arctic Mama
01-13-2011, 11:31 PM
Loose skin is better than diabetes, heart attacks, and restricted movement that tends to come with obesity. Seriously?

I admit, as many times as I have heard this argument/excuse on 3fc, it has never made any more sense to me... If loose skin is a deterrent to weight loss, don't lose weight. Otherwise, accept that it could be a natural consequence of being heavier to begin with, and move down the scale anyway. The benefits on the other side are so worth it. Moreover, most people losing weight through diet and exercise lose slowly enough that loose skin is almost a non-issue, or at least well camoflauged by clothes and improved by strength training.

If that is your only worry about lose weight, don't. Don't even go there. Because it is so irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, especially given the benefits of losing the excess pounds. And to worry about something you most likely won't even experience in any significant degree is a waste of mental energy.


Honestly, you'll be fine! Far more fine with a little jiggle to your skin than fat bearing on your joints and depositing in your organs. Cross the loose skin bridge if and when you come to it :hug:

Arctic Mama
01-13-2011, 11:36 PM
As to how I deal with it? I shrug and move on. Really.

Loose skin isn't any more of an issue than my stretchmarks from three children. It's no more problematic than my surgical scars, acne scars, uneven pigmentation, or anything else. My body is a workhorse, it's been through a lot, and I'm not so vain as to believe that somehow a little extra skin will be the straw the breaks the camel's back in terms of my personal beauty ;)

I acknowledge the worry, shrug my shoulders, and move on. I was lovely at 270 pounds, I'll be lovely at 170. Or 130. Or whatever. Just as grey hair and wrinkles won't make me less beautiful in any way that matters to me and my husband, neither will empty fat rolls. It's just another mark on the map of my body, telling what journeys I have been on.


Trazey34
01-13-2011, 11:38 PM
Heck I was terrified I was gonna look like a Sharpei but I've lost a whole person and it's ok - not bikini ready by any means LOL but I'm very happy. Oh and i'm ALIVE, that's kinda important.

let's see... stay fat and die, or get thinner and maybe have some loose flab. Hmmmm kind of a tough one LOL

Lori Bell
01-13-2011, 11:40 PM
I rejoice in the fact that I can tie my shoes and look pretty good in clothes!

Seriously, loose skin gets better with time. Give your weight loss a chance this time and you'll be amazed.

Arctic Mama
01-13-2011, 11:43 PM
I love your new before-and-afters, Lori! As always, you look fabulous!

Lori Bell
01-13-2011, 11:49 PM
Thanks Arctic! Since we have a lot of newbies lately I thought I'd put a few out there for awhile to let the new Chickie's know it can be done! :D

ubergirl
01-14-2011, 12:17 AM
I'm in my late forties, I've lost over a hundred pounds, and I don't think I have any more loose skin than I did before.

Here's the thing. I really think that many of us, at the beginning of our journeys, get too caught up in the idea of losing weight until we achieve perfection. And so we worry about stuff, like not making it all the way to goal, or having loose skin, that would prevent us from being perfect even if we lost the weight.

But most people, fat or thin, are never anywhere near perfect. And when we lose the weight, even though we are still not perfect, we are still way better off than we were before.... because it's just healthier and more comfortable to be thinner. Life is better.

cherrypie
01-14-2011, 12:19 AM
I'm in my late forties, I've lost over a hundred pounds, and I don't think I have any more loose skin than I did before.

Here's the thing. I really think that many of us, at the beginning of our journeys, get too caught up in the idea of losing weight until we achieve perfection. And so we worry about stuff, like not making it all the way to goal, or having loose skin, that would prevent us from being perfect even if we lost the weight.

But most people, fat or thin, are never anywhere near perfect. And when we lose the weight, even though we are still not perfect, we are still way better off than we were before.... because it's just healthier and more comfortable to be thinner. Life is better.

wow. That is so true.

Catcuffling
01-14-2011, 12:30 AM
i like you are scared of loose skin! i have so many stretch marks on my hips that go up to my armpits pretty much..now what is going to happen to them when i lose the weight? i gather they are going to look like a saggy gut but on my sides! it's something that i do not look forward to, and im scared taht i wont even look good IN clothes, let alone out.

but i HAVE to lose this fat.. it's not healthy, not good, and i have a daughter to live for..

KenzideRhae
01-14-2011, 12:45 AM
I have stretch marks and loose skin. I also have body hair and my armpits are slightly darker than the rest of my skin and my elbows are dry and gross and my nose is oily. Most everyone can find something about their body that bugs them, or that they downright hate. But they're all things you just learn to deal with, and they don't make you any less beautiful. Stretch marks and loose skin are FAR better than carrying around all that extra weight, and I'd take them over the weight any day.

goal4agirl
01-14-2011, 01:35 AM
I'm in my late forties, I've lost over a hundred pounds, and I don't think I have any more loose skin than I did before.

Here's the thing. I really think that many of us, at the beginning of our journeys, get too caught up in the idea of losing weight until we achieve perfection. And so we worry about stuff, like not making it all the way to goal, or having loose skin, that would prevent us from being perfect even if we lost the weight.

But most people, fat or thin, are never anywhere near perfect. And when we lose the weight, even though we are still not perfect, we are still way better off than we were before.... because it's just healthier and more comfortable to be thinner. Life is better.
:bravo: :cp: Well said!!

starbrite
01-14-2011, 02:25 AM
Clothed I love my new body. It doesn't ache, and I can get up out of a chair without hauling myself up, I can cross my legs, and there is evidence that I have bones because I can feel them! Clothed I look pretty hot :D
Naked I look like my skin is rippled, my stomach looks like a deflated balloon, and my legs are descending from my foofoo to my knees. Do I feel less sexy? No siree! Does my husband find me less sexy? No Maam! Does it worry me - fleetingly, then I remember what I looked like at 300lbs.
Honestly whilst it is a problem aesthetically, like all the other clever chickies have said here, loose skin is nothing compared to a BMI of 47........

ThinningVegan
01-14-2011, 05:16 AM
I always love this topic because I've spent many years thinking about it. As said above ubergirl I think my worries of not being perfect when I reach my goal weight has in fact kept me from reaching my goals. I've always had this image in my head of me being totally perfectly hot like a girl I see in a movie or magazine. Having a perfectly smooth toned stomach, etc. etc.

The truth is my body is completely covered in stretch marks. All of them are old and already white/silver because I started gaining weight at a very young age and much too quickly. I have them on my thighs, knees, all over my tummy, breasts, down my hips and around my bum cheeks (where girls get tattoos), down my back and sides, on my shoulders, and down my arms. So yeah like literally covered LOL. :dizzy: I have also reached over 300 lbs and I think I'm finally accepting of the fact that I am never going to have a perfect body. I don't necessarily think my stomach will hang everywhere, but I think I'm going to have some floppy underarms and inner thighs.

I don't care anymore. I know I will be happier regardless. Saggy skin is an excuse for me personally that I've used for far too long as a reason to stay fat. I hope that when I reach my goal I can look at my stretchmarks and skin as battlescars of something I overcame and won! :carrot:

Nola Celeste
01-14-2011, 05:39 AM
My attitude toward loose skin is a big "Mehhhhh."

Even twenty pounds gone has given me vastly greater stamina, energy, confidence, and comfort. Why on earth would I wring my hands about whether I might face some loose skin? I might get mauled by a bear, but I'm not going to avoid a walk in the woods because of that remote possibility.

As for "needing tons of plastic surgery," I tend to think of necessary surgery as that which is crucial to sustaining a patient's life or granting them mobility that otherwise would be lost--bypass surgeries, joint replacements, that kind of thing. There are some people who have enough excess skin to make walking or moving about normally an ordeal, but that's more typical of someone who's suffered with lymphedema and lost many hundreds of pounds--the kind of surgery you'd more likely see on the Discovery Channel than at your local hospital.

You might desire surgery to remove excess skin at some point, which is fine and dandy for people who choose it, but I wouldn't worry so about needing surgery. Considering your high weight and mine were about the same and I'm snapping back quite nicely at age 41, I doubt you'll find it a medical necessity given that you're younger and taller. ;)

Lori Bell: The new pictures are indeed fantastic! I covet your wintry white coat and hat. :D

shannonmb
01-14-2011, 07:36 AM
Yeah, loose skin is already happening to me. I'm interested to see the extent of it as I lose more. I'm nervous but hopeful. I have no grand illusions of looking slammin' in a bathing suit, even a one piece. But I do worry that I'll have that weird roll in the belly if I wear a fitted pair of jeans or something. Once I finish this, it would be nice to be able to at least look good in clothes! Lori, your pictures are amazing and proof that a former very large girl can look dang good in a pair of jeans!!

Not one small part of me is even remotely thinking that this journey is not worth it because of what the end product will look like. But of course some of us will think about it from time to time, especially those of us with very high starting weights. I always just tell myself if it really bothers me, there ARE surgical options. But since that's not generally covered by insurance, it would have to be really, really bad for me to spend 10 or 20 thousand on it! I'd much rather take my saggy skin with me on 5 glorious vacations with that much $.

I never really imagined that being this morbidly obese for this long that I was going to get out of it unscathed. I'll just be happy to make it to the other side having diverted some of the scary health problems. I'll take the loose skin.

Shmead
01-14-2011, 08:35 AM
Right now you are concerned about loose skin because you don't understand how wonderful being a normal weight is. I worried about it too, but now that I've gotten (nearly) here, I find it's like winning an all-expenses paid vacation to a resort only to get there and find out the margaritas are lousy. If I could chose, I'd prefer better margaritas, but in the big scheme of things, I don't care that much.

I am so, so, so happy with my new body. Yesterday I had lunch in a crowded restaurant, and I negotiated between tables close together and then slid into a seat that was back-to-back to another person. I can hoist myself up onto high counters. I can climb fences. I get hit on by attractive men. And yes, when I am naked in front of a mirror I grab the loose skin at my belly and shove it around and get irritated, but then life goes on. It's 90 seconds of irritation in a day filled with delight.

And let me tell you something: foundation garments are AMAZING these days. Forget $10K worth of surgery--for $300 you can get top of the line stuff that will put everything exactly where it's supposed to be. And post-35, no man expects a woman to look like a 20 year old when she's naked.

sept15lija
01-14-2011, 10:18 AM
And let me tell you something: foundation garments are AMAZING these days. Forget $10K worth of surgery--for $300 you can get top of the line stuff that will put everything exactly where it's supposed to be. And post-35, no man expects a woman to look like a 20 year old when she's naked.

Yup! I second foundation garments! I wore them under almost everything at 230+ pounds, but now I only wear them if I am wearing something especially fitted. I have lots of loose skin - upper thighs, upper arms, stomach...etc etc. I've had two kids, two c-sections, and an extra 100+ pounds on my body for almost 15 years. It is what it is, and I wouldn't trade my extra skin for the pounds back, EVER!

rachael
01-14-2011, 11:00 AM
I have a little loose skin. I don't look great naked. But I didn't look good naked when I was fat. I don't really understand the perseveration about loose skin. Yes, we want to look good, but health should be a bigger priority. But let's say that it's not and weight loss is purely about vanity. It's not like you're starting off looking like a centerfold and then suddenly getting loose skin. You're going to look better with excess weight gone, even if you do have some sags and bags under your clothes. Period. How many people see you naked? VERY few. How many people see you in clothes? Everyone you encounter. When you're fat, EVERYONE can see that you are fat. Period. When you have loose skin, a very few select people, people who should already love or like you a good amount (or medical professionals) will be the only ones to see you naked and know about your loose skin.

So. In this world where health doesn't matter and vanity is the only value of weight loss, it's still MUCH better to have loose skin than to be fat.

XLMuffnTop
01-14-2011, 11:24 AM
When it comes to the vanity side of loose skin I see it like this:

When I lose weight and have loose skin ( I know I will, darn genetics) most people won't be able to tell. Right now while fat, there's no hiding it. There's no undergarment, Spanx, sausage casing torture device in the world that can make me look NOT FAT.

Naked, of course it'll be obvious that I have loose skin but the only person that will see me naked is my doc (and I don't really give a crap what he thinks) and my husband. And if my husband loved me and was OK with having sex with me at 246 then it won't change when I weight less and have loose skin. He probably won't even notice because I'll have more energy to have better sex more frequently.

ThinningVegan
01-14-2011, 11:32 AM
There's no undergarment, Spanx, sausage casing torture device in the world that can make me look NOT FAT.

And if my husband loved me and was OK with having sex with me at 246 then it won't change when I weight less and have loose skin. He probably won't even notice because I'll have more energy to have better sex more frequently.

HA! The first part made me crack up. I was just reading the posts about undergarments and thinking that eventually one day when I reach my goal I'm going to laugh about things like that. How I tried to suck all my fat into some spandex body thing thinking it somehow made me look better.

The second part is SO true. I feel the same way. If my husband loved me and was sexually attracted to me at 300lbs then I highly doubt some loose skin is going to be an issue. I KNOW I will be a lot more energetic in the bedroom and I think the happiness of being able to just truly live like normal will be far more amazing and important than some saggy skin.

IslaAzure
01-14-2011, 03:09 PM
wow, thanks for the encouraging words... i really needed that. the thing is i already went from being fat to a "normal weight" and i did have extra skin. i consulted a plastic surgeon about it and was about to do the surgeries but then i wanted to lose 10 more pounds, well that 10 more pounds ended up being 80 pounds gained back!
but thanks! i will not let it get in my way and make me sad because right now, anything will be an improvement!
lore- great pics, so inspiring!

kookie103109
01-18-2011, 04:31 PM
loose skin doesn't frighten me as much as stretch marks do! i have them on my arms and belly (a lot on my belly). unsightly, i know, but my husband doesn't seem to mind. we do not have any children (except for a cat and a dog). my stretch marks are really old, i think about about 7-8 years old. i got them because i had gained a lot of weight, about 90 lbs. i lost 50 of it when i moved in with my aunt in high school (she was a nurse and emphasized a lot on weight loss and proper food). i lost i think about 20 more, and the weight didn't matter to me after that. i started college, moved out, dated and got married. i gained those 70lbs back and some :-(. my husband gained about 50 lbs when we started dating. when we got married on halloween on '09, i was at my heaviest, about 238lbs, and my husband was at 265, more or less (really bad, he is only an inch taller than me)i have lost 13 lbs since then, and he lost about 20. we have slacked it off, but are working hard to shed the weight. next week, we start the insanity workout.

i heard and read that stretch marks look better after the weight is lost, and if you drink water it should help a lot as well..i am using 70,000 i.u. vitamin e oil (pure. and sticky as heck, had to add a few drops of 4000 i.u. vitamin e oil to help with spreading it) on my stretch marks and have noticed they shrunk a little. i am also taking zinc, because it helps with cell and tissue repair, and vitamin c (after all, stretch marks are scars). this gives me hope that one day they will be close to unnoticeable.

before, i couldn't wait to have kids because i can blame the stretch marks on pregnancy. this was just a poor excuse to have children, just for vanity. i wasn't even healthy enough to conceive. i have made up my mind. i do want to have children but not till after i have lost at least 40lbs, that way i do not go over my highest weight and be more at risk for anything that would harm me or the child. after all, when i am old and wrinkled next to my husband, stretch marks won't mean anything to me at all.

OhMyDogs
01-18-2011, 04:52 PM
I, for one, can totally understand where you're coming from IslaAzure. Will I let that fear stop me from losing weight? Heck no, but I am still terrified about it.

My fear is not based on obtaining perfection. I know I'll never be perfect, I know my stretch marks, etc will never go away, but I still care about the excess skin. I do not want to have to think about plastic surgery. Nor do I want to wear a bikini, I just want to look almost as good without my clothes as I do with them.

Lori Bell
01-18-2011, 06:43 PM
The thing is...Skin continues to firm even AFTER you are done losing weight. THat is a very important key to remember. Like I said earlier I do have loose skin, I should after losing 193ish pounds, but TODAY my skin looks a good 30-40% better than it did the day I hit my goal weight.

The trick to better skin is staying a consistent weight for an extended period of time. Until now, I don't think I was ever in a 10 pound range of the same weight for more than a few months at a time. This time I've gone 18 months at a very normal weight and many more at a near normal BMI when I was still in the losing game. I'm older than many of you, (45) and still at my advanced years it is amazing how my body responded to proper treatment and nutrition. My skin probably has shrunk as much as it can, but it really is much better than the day I cried goal from the roof tops!

Trust me, your skin will look BETTER the longer you are at goal...(until the biological clock starts it's evil tricks that is. lol :) ) All the better to come up with a maintaince strategy long before you reach that magic number on the scale.

aasshhlleeyy
01-19-2011, 04:24 AM
I hope that when I reach my goal I can look at my stretchmarks and skin as battlescars of something I overcame and won! :carrot:

WOW!!! very well said.