Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss - Excess Skin




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GeekMom
11-14-2011, 02:47 PM
I know I will be probably the 1000th person to post about this but, It's making me so unhappy. I've lost over 90 pounds. I weight 230 pounds when I gave birth and a little over a year later I am 139 pounds. I'm SO proud of myself but, there's all the extra stretched out skin on my stomach.

I'm 24 years old and I used to have an amazing body and perfect big breasts. Now they are saggy too. I'll probably never be able to afford excess skin surgery or a breast lift (Over 10K) I just want to feel sexy like I should.

I just can't and my boyfriend is trying to be supportive but, I made him be honest with me and he agrees that its all excess skin. I was wanting to strive for 120 pounds and I probably still will.

I've been doing p90x lately and its been building up a lot of muscle and I'm hoping that some extreme ab and upper body exercises will lift it some.

I would put a picture up but, I just joined so I can't.


Nibbles
11-15-2011, 05:26 PM
I am really worried about this problem myself GeekMom. I'm twenty three and when I reach goal I'll be 90+ pounds down. I look forward to being thinner, but I have seen people honest-to-goodness look worse after significant weightloss and it scares me!

Some thoughts:

I know a lady who lost a lot of weight, and she says her skin tightened up a good bit after a year or two. *fingers crossed*

Get your body fat % checked. There's a chance that there's still some fat making loose skin look worse. Loose skin is really thin. Your plan to build muscle sounds like a good one.

Take good care of yourself and be proud of yourself! You've accomplished so much, and you've got a beautiful kid.

I hope others who've got more experience can post with encouragement/info.

milmin2043
11-15-2011, 06:08 PM
I would love to post some encouraging words, but alas, it would be lying. I have lost just about 110 lbs. total. The worst spot for my loose skin is on the upper back part of my legs. My stomach has tightened up in the past 6 months, but my legs look like melted candle wax and feel like pizza dough. I can't even shave the back of my legs because the razor just gets stuck in all the skin. Eeewww....gross, I know. That's the best way I can describe it.

What bothers me the most is that I almost always wear running tights rather than shorts when I'm running, no matter what the temperature. I don't have any chafing, but I can't stand to think of someone seeing me from behind with all of that loose skin.

Everyone says "you should be thrilled, you've lost all that weight". It's hard to feel thrilled. Although, I can fit in small sizes now and can at least hide the loose skin with clothing. I appreciate the fact that my husband doesn't hide the truth from me. I wouldn't want him to say that my skin is smooth and beautiful. I'm not blind, I can see. However, he says that even though I have loose skin, he still loves me and thinks I'm beautiful. As far as being embarrassed during sex, I am somewhat, but he doesn't care. I am very thankful that I have a spouse who is sensitive to my feelings, but doesn't lie to me.


k8yk
11-16-2011, 11:41 AM
Things are rarely perfect in this imperfect life. But we have the choice of focusing on the positive or focusing on the negative. Whichever choice you make, you will greatly change your experience of everything.
I have some loose skin and do not want surgery (it goes against everything I believe in to cut myself up and risk my life in the name of vanity). So the only solution is acceptance and gratitude. I have a wonderful, 125 lb lighter, physically fit and healthy body. If there are some loose bits or jiggly pieces, so what. Life is about a lot more than having a "perfect" body- regardless of what they try to feed us through popular media. Ragging on yourself will not help. Try to focus on the positives and let the negatives roll on by.

GymRat18
11-19-2011, 12:42 AM
I have the same issue. I have lost some weight, but I still have a ways to go. I'm worried by the time I have lost all the weight, that my skin will be saggy.

sontaikle
11-19-2011, 02:58 AM
60 pounds lost and I notice that my stomach is all saggy skin right now. I was just talking about this with my fiancee because I've been working hard on my abs and I was laying down with him and poking my stomach. There was muscle hidden there underneath a layer of excess skin! :joker: He felt it too!

I sort of have hope that it might go away. I had the same thing with my arms where I had the excess skin but could feel the muscle I had been working on underneath. Now there's very little extra skin (actually I think it's just a little bit of fat now) and I can see the muscle definition I've been working so hard for!

I'm hoping that with a little more fat loss and some more strength training that what I think is extra skin will at least lessen, but I'm prepared for it to not do that, unfortunately.

For reference, I'm 23 and never had kids. So I suppose I'm just genetically unlucky.

GeekMom
11-20-2011, 01:21 PM
Thanks girls. I don't want false hope. My boyfriend doesn't lie to me either I mean he isn't rude about it.

I'm hoping it does tone up but, you girls are right. I need to be positive about my weight loss. I'm starting to really love my body. I think I need to stop being over critical on myself.

MagpiePDX
12-01-2011, 11:33 PM
I'm 28 and have lost about 185 lbs. At just under 5'5" I have been having loose skin issues too. I've been working with my doctor to look into options, because it's causing a few medical issues including the skin actually tearing and both she and a surgeon she referred me to recommended surgery. In the mean time I'm focusing on loosing more weight (I have about 30-40 until my goal) and toning. I've definitely noticed that toning does seem to help but so does time. I've maintained my current weight (175-185) for about a year now and I've seen seen the skin start to snap back.

Lainee01
12-02-2011, 10:17 PM
MagpiePDX - Your weight loss is absolutely wonderful!!!! I am quite a bit older than you....64 and have 150 to lose and have lost 45 so far. You are so smart to do it at your young age. Part of me is wishing I did it when I was younger but happy I am losing even now.

You must be like a new person! Keep up the great work

Chubby G

PS: I am a grandma and my dream is to get down on the floor and ply with my 3 grand kids!

cherrypie
12-03-2011, 01:29 AM
MagpiePDX - Your weight loss is absolutely wonderful!!!! I am quite a bit older than you....64 and have 150 to lose and have lost 45 so far. You are so smart to do it at your young age. Part of me is wishing I did it when I was younger but happy I am losing even now.

You must be like a new person! Keep up the great work

Chubby G

PS: I am a grandma and my dream is to get down on the floor and ply with my 3 grand kids!

that is an awesome goal.

twish
12-03-2011, 01:55 AM
When I was around your age, I lost 90 pounds and faced a similar issue. I did lots of research and what I came up with was to moisturizer and massage those areas (to stimulate circulation and help break down any remaining fat deposits) and to do a lot of yoga poses that would help smoothe things out (you can pm me if you want more info on poses). After a few months, I saw a big improvement.

This time around, I know that as I am in my late thirties and have stretched and unstretched my skin so many times, I have to be realistic about my skin's elasticity. Still, I am massaging trouble areas with bio-oil and doing yoga to try to help as my body (hopefully) shrinks.

MagpiePDX
12-03-2011, 02:37 AM
MagpiePDX - Your weight loss is absolutely wonderful!!!! I am quite a bit older than you....64 and have 150 to lose and have lost 45 so far. You are so smart to do it at your young age. Part of me is wishing I did it when I was younger but happy I am losing even now.

You must be like a new person! Keep up the great work

Chubby G

PS: I am a grandma and my dream is to get down on the floor and ply with my 3 grand kids!

Thanks Lainee...It doesn't matter when you do it...just that you do it :)

Sounds like you're well on your way to your goals. Playing with your grand kids is a great goal.

4myloves
12-14-2011, 04:45 PM
I don't know if any of y'all have heard of this, but BeautiControl has a product that is SUPPOSED to "fix" cellulite, loose skin, etc. I've ordered it, but I haven't gotten mine yet. It's one of those "it-looks-too-good-to-be-true" things, so it probably is.

Although, I will say, I talked to a girl who HAS actually used it and she said that it worked on the cellulite on the front of her legs as well as the lasar treatments she had on the backs of her legs.

I think the real name of it is, sculpt, or something, but if you google "skinny butt beauticontrol" it will pull it up.

InsideMe
12-14-2011, 05:27 PM
I'm not sure how true this link is but it was a VERY interesting read about the myth around loose skin.

http://www.bodyfatguide.com/LooseSkin.htm

4myloves
12-15-2011, 10:44 AM
InsideMe: that's a great link, but I don't know if I totally buy his theory....
Check out these two stories (which you've probably already read at some time in the past :) ) to see why:

http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/509459-post5.html

http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/593338-post6.html

sontaikle
12-15-2011, 11:00 AM
I don't really think excess skin is a myth at all. There are people who do everything the "right" way and still wind up with excess skin while others don't.

I have a little bit. I think it might go down with time but I did everything "right"—lost at a little less than two pounds per week, weight training and drinking lots of water—and I STILL wound up with some.

I'm sure those with a lot of weight to lose (say 150+ pounds) probably wind up with extra skin regardless unless they're super lucky and won the genetic lottery.

Honestly though I wouldn't go back and change my mind. I'm happy with my body. Even with the stretch marks and extra skin. They're battle scars to me...not everyone can say they lost 65 pounds.

CherryQuinn
12-15-2011, 03:04 PM
eek. i have another 122lbs to lose i dont have loose skin yet and i know i wont for another 30 odd lbs cause ive been that low before with no issues, im just worried that the last 85-90lbs will give me lose skin , this thread scares me. ive had no kids though and im only 24 and i exercise every day, so im hoping i wont get any, if i do and it doesn't leave on its own after a couple years, ill be getting surgury

Lyla
12-21-2011, 08:10 PM
I'm not sure how true this link is but it was a VERY interesting read about the myth around loose skin.

http://www.bodyfatguide.com/LooseSkin.htm

I read that a couple of months back, and I do believe loose skin is a myth.. Most of the time when i see people complaining about it, is because they still have a high fat percentaje in their body. But of course, i will have to see that in my own skin when that happens. As of now, i have to say, as i lift hard (cause is not lift light weights and that's it) i don't see lose skin yet, but i have lost just 35 pounds, i will have to wait.

RaisingThemLeft
12-22-2011, 05:27 PM
My stomach looks a LOT better after losing weight, but I do still have excess skin on my tummy. It's not from being overweight, it's from 3 pregnancies. I have friends who are tiny, have never been overweight, only gained 25 lbs when pg, and still have the mommy tummy. I am very tight everywhere else, even though I was once 100 lbs.+ more than I weigh now. It's right below my belly button and it bugs me (my abs are toned above that, with the visible muscle line and everything), but there is nothing I can do about it, short of surgery. I will say, it looks 100x better now than it did 60 lbs ago. It also improves over time- it looks like your baby is still little, it's been 7 years since my last. My stretch marks have faded a lot. The saggy breasts are a gift from pregnancy as well. Mine actually looked better when I was overweight, because they were filled with fat, and they are deflated now. I'm 35 though, not 24, and I've had 3 kids, so I bet you will bounce back better than me!

Oh, and I spent $130 on Strivectin and that didn't do anything for me. I am getting a boob job and tummy tuck one of these days.

Veronica133
11-22-2012, 01:50 PM
I'm not sure how true this link is but it was a VERY interesting read about the myth around loose skin.

http://www.bodyfatguide.com/LooseSkin.htm

Interesting read.

Radiojane
11-22-2012, 02:14 PM
Mark Sisson of the primal movement makes the same argument. I don't feel I can pick a side until I see what my body does after 250 pound weight loss.

I do believe you should strength train and take care of your skin anyway, even if only to make the healing process after surgery easier.

kaplods
11-22-2012, 05:23 PM
In my experience, most of the people who consider loose skin a myth, are young, male, body builders who have not ever lost more than 50 lbs, who have only worked with people exactly like themselves.

They have a lot of opinions about something which they've never experiences, and have never truly seen others experience. Because they've seen young, male body builder bodies "snap back" with diet and exercise, they assume that if a body doesn't snap back the owner is doing something wrong.

Also men can "bulk up" to an incredible degree, to the point that they can often fill whatever loose "bag of skin" they have with muscle, except that in the hip area (and men almost never have a great deal of excess weight or skin in that area).

Loose skin also often feels soft, much like fat so it's easy for a person to assume that the connective tissue must be fat and could be lost with further diet and exercise.

I've seen some of the most extreme cases of loose skin (almost always in postmenopausal women) in which it literally looks like the person is wearing a skin "suit" ten sizes too big. I've also seen the surgeries performed, and it actually looks like a tailoring job. The surgeon doesn't suck any fat out of the person, they just cut and tailor the "suit" to fit properly.

I don't feel I can pick a side until I see what my body does after 250 pound weight loss.


Personally, I don't feel that I (or anyone else in the same circumstances) should pick a side even after seeing the bodily effects of 250 pounds of weight loss, because what one body does (or even 500 or 5,000,000), doesn't have anything to do with the spectrum of possibility. Just because one person or even a million people escape the experience of permanent loose skin, doesn't mean that everyone will.

I think this is where the word "myth" gets carelessly thrown around. Some 25 year old guy loses 250 lbs and goes through some temporary bagginess, but is able to tighten it up with exercise and time, so he decided that because he didn't experience long-term loose-skin problems, then loose skin "must be a myth." And if he only sees other 25 year old guys, who are also able to avoid incorrectable skin baggage, then that's even further proof that "anyone" can do so as well.


I'm so incredibly tired of hearing otherwise intelligent people say essentially, "Well, it's never happened to me, or anyone else I know, therefore it must not exist."


All that being said, I do think that people worry excessively over loose skin. When you have 250 lbs to lose, loose skin is the least of your worries. Lose the weight, tone up as best you can, and then determine whether or not you need to do anything more than that. Some people are going to have loose skin to deal with, and some people aren't. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot you can do about it, beyond that. Even if you do have loose skin when all is said and done, you find that a solution is as simple as compression undergarments (e.g. spanx - they even make them for men - I believe spanx is coming out with a line called manx, the last time I heard the owner of the company on a talk show) or you may decide that surgery is your best option.

But whether or not you experience loose skin doesn't mean that someone else won't have the exact opposite experience.

Mom3LoveBugs
11-23-2012, 01:21 AM
In my experience, most of the people who consider loose skin a myth, are young, male, body builders who have not ever lost more than 50 lbs, who have only worked with people exactly like themselves.

They have a lot of opinions about something which they've never experiences, and have never truly seen others experience. Because they've seen young, male body builder bodies "snap back" with diet and exercise, they assume that if a body doesn't snap back the owner is doing something wrong.

Also men can "bulk up" to an incredible degree, to the point that they can often fill whatever loose "bag of skin" they have with muscle, except that in the hip area (and men almost never have a great deal of excess weight or skin in that area).

Loose skin also often feels soft, much like fat so it's easy for a person to assume that the connective tissue must be fat and could be lost with further diet and exercise.

I've seen some of the most extreme cases of loose skin (almost always in postmenopausal women) in which it literally looks like the person is wearing a skin "suit" ten sizes too big. I've also seen the surgeries performed, and it actually looks like a tailoring job. The surgeon doesn't suck any fat out of the person, they just cut and tailor the "suit" to fit properly.




Personally, I don't feel that I (or anyone else in the same circumstances) should pick a side even after seeing the bodily effects of 250 pounds of weight loss, because what one body does (or even 500 or 5,000,000), doesn't have anything to do with the spectrum of possibility. Just because one person or even a million people escape the experience of permanent loose skin, doesn't mean that everyone will.

I think this is where the word "myth" gets carelessly thrown around. Some 25 year old guy loses 250 lbs and goes through some temporary bagginess, but is able to tighten it up with exercise and time, so he decided that because he didn't experience long-term loose-skin problems, then loose skin "must be a myth." And if he only sees other 25 year old guys, who are also able to avoid incorrectable skin baggage, then that's even further proof that "anyone" can do so as well.


I'm so incredibly tired of hearing otherwise intelligent people say essentially, "Well, it's never happened to me, or anyone else I know, therefore it must not exist."


All that being said, I do think that people worry excessively over loose skin. When you have 250 lbs to lose, loose skin is the least of your worries. Lose the weight, tone up as best you can, and then determine whether or not you need to do anything more than that. Some people are going to have loose skin to deal with, and some people aren't. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot you can do about it, beyond that. Even if you do have loose skin when all is said and done, you find that a solution is as simple as compression undergarments (e.g. spanx - they even make them for men - I believe spanx is coming out with a line called manx, the last time I heard the owner of the company on a talk show) or you may decide that surgery is your best option.

But whether or not you experience loose skin doesn't mean that someone else won't have the exact opposite experience.

Very well said! :hug:

I had 3 children and then lost over 90 lbs from my highest non-pregnancy weight. I just had a lower body lift done over a month ago so I am sure you can read between the lines on what I have to say about loose skin. ;)

bargoo
11-23-2012, 03:35 PM
Loose skin is NOT A MYTH. Full term pregnancy and gaining and losing weight over and over did not do my body any favors. The only way I can get rid of that loose drape of skin is by surgery , no amount of dieting or exercise will ever remove it.

Garnet2727
11-23-2012, 03:53 PM
When I first started my weight loss effort, I was very worried about loose skin. I'm 49 years old and I've been overweight/obese my whole life. Now that I'm close to half way of where I need to be, I'm less concerned. Yes, I'm starting to see saggy, baggy skin on my legs, my belly and my upper arms. The reality is that weight loss has been so positive for me in so many ways that the loose skin just doesn't bother me much. Of course, that may change when I'm at goal weight when I have more of it to deal with.

kevfun
12-01-2012, 10:54 AM
Hi GeekMom,

You are on the right track!! You did what most people just dream of losing all that weight and keeping it off. Sounds like your boyfriend is loving and supportive, just keep doing what you have been doing to lose the weight and you'll be fine:)