Weight Loss Support - Overweight for most of your life




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ShrinkingPrettyGirl
05-08-2012, 07:58 PM
I'm looking for someone who has been large for the majority of their life and lost 100 lbs or more. I have a lot of questions about what I should or should not do and what to expect. I know everyone is different, but talking to people about their experiences will help me I think.


nelie
05-08-2012, 08:36 PM
There are a few of us, but what are your questions?

Tai
05-08-2012, 08:39 PM
I was heavy for most of my life and morbidly obese for twenty years. I'm no expert in weight loss but would be happy to answer any questions you might have.


ShrinkingPrettyGirl
05-08-2012, 08:48 PM
First off, I'm really concerned about what I need to do to offer me the best chance of not having a ton of loose skin. I know it is possible, because I have seen it happen, so I just want to make sure I am doing everything right when it comes to that. I know genetics and skin elasticity play a huge role, but I want to make sure my chances are as good as possible. I just refuse to accept that I will have a lot of loose skin no matter what.

I also want to know what you did for exercise in the beginning versus what you do now. Right now I just do dance workout on my Wii and I walk on my treadmill when it works properly. I need a new one.

I have completely changed my mindset, which I think is a good thing. I no longer view food as an indulgence, but instead, as fuel for my body. Diet wise, I am a complete 180 from where I was 3 months ago. How has your view of food/eating changed?

nelie
05-08-2012, 09:06 PM
Well the loose skin gets better... There is nothing that you can do but just do the normal things of eating right, drinking plenty of fluids, etc. The first year, I was quite depressed about the skin but the skin got better (not perfect) but also I became ok with it because I was happy to lose the weight.

It has been a few years since I started losing weight but in the beginning I did heavy weight lifting, very little cardio. Over the years, I've varied. Right now, I'm getting back into weight lifting and I try to incorporate cardio. The best exercise is the exercise you do though. I try to keep active as best I can and incorporate formal workouts as well.

My view of food and eating has completely changed. That doesn't mean I don't struggle with various things including portion sizes and indulgences. I eat a lot of things that are better for me now than I ever did but it isn't always easy to keep calories in check.

ValRock
05-08-2012, 09:10 PM
Time is the only thing that can change loose skin. Mine looks tons better now than it did at this weight last year.

Exercise - I started out just walking. I lost my first 50-60 lbs just walking. Now I mostly weight train. I'm finding that weights make a HUGE difference in the composition of my body. I run hills for about 20 minutes and spend the rest of my 120 minute workout lifting heavy. I LOVE how much stronger I'm getting. It keeps me motivated! Before, I just wanted to get skinny. Now I want to get strong and healthy!

As far as eating goes... I used to be SO 'all or nothing' about my eating habits. I'd binge like crazy and then restrict until I was miserable. I just gained and gained and gained. I recognize, now, what foods make my body feel good and which choices will just make me feel like garbage. My eating motivation is totally linked to making sure I feel good! Bingeing won't get me there, and I know that now.

Hang in there, you can do this!

sontaikle
05-08-2012, 09:19 PM
I was overweight for most of my life.

Exercise wasn't really all that hard for me to implement. I was active as a kid (I just ate too much), so when I started going to a gym, it was easy for me to pick up. I really enjoyed (and still enjoy) group fitness classes because it keeps me accountable and I've come to know the other women who go there. I've been going to that gym for seven and a half years...we're all a family!

With my eating I literally one day just decided to try eating less and it worked. My fiance has always been thin and I noticed that while he seemingly ate whatever he wanted, that he didn't eat the obscene portions that I did. In just cutting back and eating more reasonable portions I lost weight and eventually began calorie counting. In maintenance I'm still calorie counting and eat whatever I want--as long as it fits into the day's calories.

I have loose skin on my stomach. It's not really all that much and I would never really need surgery. I'm also guessing that to get it fixed would be nothing more than a tummy tuck. It doesn't bother me too much though anymore, as I view it as a battlescar that helps remind me of where I came from. I did everything right--strength training, lots of water, no more than 2lbs per week weight loss--and I still wound up with loose skin.

Tai
05-08-2012, 10:05 PM
I have a ton of loose skin so I'm probably not the best person to ask about that! I really don't mind it very much though since it doesn't show in clothes. For me I would rather have the loose skin than weight 272. Don't let it stress you out or discourage you!

When I first started my weight loss all I did was walk for exercise. I added the Walk Away the Pounds dvd's and also started walking on a treadmill. I still love to walk but have an issue with my knees now so exercise is on the back burner.

My view and attitudes towards food have changed completely. I would never go back to the way I used to eat!

ShrinkingPrettyGirl
05-08-2012, 11:29 PM
Thanks! It only concerns me because I am single again and I fear that I will look amazing in clothes, but like a nightmare without them and whoever I meet will run away from that. I know, if it is the right guy, he won't care....but it doesnt help the whole body image issue thing. I also have a fear of having to wear a girdle just to control the skin issue. Yeah, it really stresses me out. :-/ Valrock, You are wearing a swim suit in your profile pic! WOW! If you have loose skin, it doesnt show at all!

I do pretty good with portion size. I've never been one to eat a whole lot. I think my biggest thing was that I wasn't moving. I wasn't a very active child and not a very active adult aside from the constant standing and walking I do all day. As far as fitness goes, I want to get to the point that I can run without feeling like im dying and then keep going. I want the body of a runner. That is my goal.

ringmaster
05-08-2012, 11:41 PM
for the skin I like to believe good nutrition and taking vitamins that are known to help improve skin elasticity help- like vitamin c and silica. in the shower I exfoliate and some days do dry brushing to improve blood flow and apply lotions with cocoa butter (I read somewhere a long time ago keeping skin moist helps it snap back) - there's no guarantee you won't have any loose skin but I think these things help.

with exercise, it's just finding things you enjoy. I go through phases of getting into different exercise routines.

rachelina0526
05-09-2012, 12:40 AM
I have also been overweight all of my life. I am pretty sure that the first time I was put on a diet I was about 4 years old. Since then I have been yo-yo-ing. Oddly enough, I was pretty active playing sports in high school and college, but the weight just never went anywhere. I am hoping to change that this time. Good luck to everyone ^_^

chickadee32
05-09-2012, 03:13 AM
After 16 months of this I'm at the tail end of my weight loss, and so my skin hasn't had any time to recover yet. I have some loose skin in some places (primarily my thighs and stomach), and none or nothing noticeable in others. I'm happier with my naked body some days than others, but I feel great clothed and I definitely don't need a girdle to hold anything together. I, too, was worried about the loose skin when I started out... but I'll tell you, I feel a hundred times more confident with my body today (both clothed AND naked) than I did then. I wouldn't trade where I am today, physically and mentally, for anything.

On the exercise: I started out just walking, and after a few weeks I had a few sessions with a trainer at my gym to learn how to use some of the weight machines. Walking 3-4 days/week and using the weight machines 2 days/week was my routine for the first 8 months, and in that time I lost the first 100 lbs. Mid-September I started running and doing primarily body weight exercises at home, and that's still basically what I'm doing today; I run about 15 miles/week (usually 4 days/wk), and do strength exercises twice per week. I'll be changing things up again on the strength training front once I begin eating at maintenance calories.

Edit:
I want to get to the point that I can run without feeling like im dying and then keep going.
That's how I felt too. :) I just wanted to be ABLE to do it, to know that I could if I wanted to. I never imagined I'd end up loving it the way I do. I still don't have the body of a runner and never will (I'm just not built to be that lean and slim, especially my legs!), but I feel pretty capable these days despite not looking like a runner. :)

kaplods
05-09-2012, 03:26 AM
I've lost and gained weight most of my life (first diet in kindergarten).

I've lost large amounts of weight several times before (50 to 70 lbs) and didn't have problems with loose skin (but I was in my teens and twenties).

Now, I'm having a lot of loose skin, and the skin is thin and crepey.

I guess I'll either have to invest in a lot of spanx, or save for plastic surgery.

This is my slowest ever weight loss (only averaging a pound or two a month), so it's definitely not rapid weight loss causing the loose skin.

sontaikle
05-09-2012, 06:43 AM
Thanks! It only concerns me because I am single again and I fear that I will look amazing in clothes, but like a nightmare without them and whoever I meet will run away from that. I know, if it is the right guy, he won't care....but it doesnt help the whole body image issue thing. I also have a fear of having to wear a girdle just to control the skin issue. Yeah, it really stresses me out. :-/ Valrock, You are wearing a swim suit in your profile pic! WOW! If you have loose skin, it doesnt show at all!

I do pretty good with portion size. I've never been one to eat a whole lot. I think my biggest thing was that I wasn't moving. I wasn't a very active child and not a very active adult aside from the constant standing and walking I do all day. As far as fitness goes, I want to get to the point that I can run without feeling like im dying and then keep going. I want the body of a runner. That is my goal.


Don't let the loose skin stress you out. Anyone who got down to their goal weight and has loose skin will tell you that the loose skin is totally worth being down at their goal weight. I love being fit that I just don't care about the loose skin.

I think lots of heavy weight training helped me avoid getting loose skin in other areas (my arms, for one) and instead I have visible muscles.

The right guy WON'T care—trust me. I was in a relationship before I lost most of this weight and I'm still in one. My fiance doesn't care about the loose skin and finds me incredibly attractive. I know he did before I lost weight, but not he literally can't keep his hands off me, so much so that I have to yell at him sometimes because we're in public! Lol!!

toastedsmoke
05-09-2012, 07:06 AM
I was overweight/obese pretty much my entire life. I've always been a pretty sedentary type who loves nothing more than to curl up with a book and read plus I have a long-term love affair with food. By the time I was 12, I was about 200lbs and just gained and gained from there. I didn't really mind so I did nothing about it. It was only when my weight really started to bother me at about age 22, that I started this journey. So this has been my first serious attempt at weight loss. I haven't gained and lost several times.

That said, I do have a few loose skin issues. I wouldn't consider them major at all though. I don't love my stomach but it's not awful. I don't wear control top underwear but I'm also not rushing about town in my itsy, bitsy, yellow polka-dot bikini. My thighs are a little jiggly if my legs are bent in certain positions but they're fine when I'm standing, sitting or lying down. My arms are fine. Ooohh my chest could be less saggy and wrinkly, but I'll take everything as it is. I have absolutely NO regrets about the weightloss. Besides I know the skin gets better from experience. (I hung out in the 180s for nearly a year, I saw how things tightened and firmed up in even just that short time).

What has helped with loose skin issues? I think not losing weight too fast. I'm not one of life's super fast losers. The skin needs a little time to catch up. Other than running and the elliptical at the gym, I'm a huge fan of workout videos. I don't lift because it's not a challenge I enjoy, but most of my videos have body weight exercises of some sort. If you can get into lifting, great! People seem to have great success with that. I think any exercise you can do is great. Exercise is good for circulation and good for your organs including the skin. Also moisturizing! I'm a shameless moisturizer. I always slather moisturizer on everyday and NOTHING will induce me not to do so. I find that it helps with skin elasticity and makes my skin feel and look firmer and better.

As for exercises I did at the beginning, I started off with Leslie Sansone's Walk Away The Pounds series at my highest weight. In the 250s, I did 30 Day Shred and incline-type walking on the treadmill, and also did the elliptical. In the 230s-220s, I started C25K which is a jog-walk programme. In the 210s, I started to do longer jogs/runs (40-45minutes). I also discovered kickboxing DVDs which I LOVE to this day. All this was supplemented with workouts on my Wii. I would watch tv and do Wii Free step. I bought the Wii boosted step thing to make it a bit more challenging. Exercise should be something you don't hate and that you'll actually do. It's good to push yourself a little so your fitness improves, but not so much that you hurt yourself.

ShrinkingPrettyGirl
05-10-2012, 11:23 PM
Wow! You guys are amazing!!!! I knew I joined this site for a reason, and this thread is it! Y'all are so supportive and so willing to share your stories! Thank you!!!!

I have been overweight most of my life, but not horribly overweight. I was a chubby kid starting around 1st grade and it just went from there. I probably tipped the scales around 200 when I graduated high school and then at my heaviest, about 3 months ago, I was 290. I'm down to 269 now and really looking forward to the 250 mark! I'm not stopping there though! Everyone here has had such an amazing journey or they are about to embark on one! I have been keeping a journal and trying to take pictures of myself and I have told myself I will start a blog about my journey when I get to 200lbs.

linJber
05-10-2012, 11:58 PM
I'll chime in here, too, and say that it's silly to worry about the loose skin issues you may or may not have. and that you have no real control over. I'm 61 and had been over 250 pounds for the past 25 years. I was average size / BMI in my teens and young adult life. I yoyo'd between 145 and 210 a couple times in my 20s, got pregnant at 31, and after that pretty much slowly gained until I was over 250 and stayed there for lots of years. So, I was over 250 for just about your whole life - though not for all of mine!

I lost pretty steadily last year while counting calories and reducing carbs and fat and sugar and going to a gym and mostly doing group fitness classes in cardio, strength, and body sculpting. I originally planned to lose 100 pounds, but felt pretty great at 90 and stopped - at least for a time - because my skin just started to get loose looking at about 80 pounds. My reasons for stopping at 90 pounds were 100% vanity. At this weight (about 160 - 165) I look better than I did in 25 years and I wanted to be able to wear shorts and tee shirts without being self conscious of the loose skin. Of course, being over 60 makes for a little looseness all on its own. I have friends who were never heavy who have loose skin, too, because of our age.

I think you'll do fine. Your age is in your favor. And I agree wholeheartedly with everyone who says the weight loss is so much greater than a little baggy skin - if you even have any. I have noticed, even at my age, that my face is less drawn looking now than it was 6 months ago. I can't say my thighs, tummy, or upper arms are any better, but they look fine in normal clothes - even shorts and tees are good. Naked in front of others doesn't even figure into my equation, so I'm sorry I can't be totally objective there, but I'll tell you this - I'd rather have a stranger see me naked now at 162 pounds than a year or so ago at 252 pounds. Baggy skin or not. It all comes into very clear perspective as you really get down toward your goal weight.

Good luck and welcome aboard. This is a great place to get support.

Lin

ShrinkingPrettyGirl
05-11-2012, 10:58 PM
Thanks, Lin! Your post was great! This has really got me thinking more about it all. I know I want to lose the weight, loose skin or not, but having read what you guys have said makes me feel a little more comfortable and prepared for what the future may hold for me.