Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss - Loose skin/stretch marks after weight loss




Rocky26
01-02-2013, 02:45 AM
I'm wondering what your experience has been with stretch marks and loose skin after you lost a significant amount of weight?
I'm 27 years old and planning on losing around 30-34kg/67-75 pounds, and I'm freaking out about potential loose skin, and my current stretch marks looking even worse after the weight is gone. I haven't been overweight my whole life, I started gaining it about 5 years ago, I gained 10kg/23lbs just since February 2012, so it hasn't been a very long time, so hopefully my skin isn't doomed just yet as I've heard it depends on how old you are and how long you've been overweight.
I've started taking Vitamin E capsules and using cocoa butter as a pro-active thing, to ensure my skin is as moisturised and elastic as I can make it, but I'm still scared I'll end up with loose skin and saggy stretch marks, I already have them on my arms, hips, boobs and thighs, they're not red or purple, they're all white but I still hate them and always cover them up, meaning, no t-shirts in public which is a pain in the hoop in the summer :/
I do intend to build muscle, and not simply do cardio, but a lot of strength training as well, hopefully that will help fill out the lost flab, and maybe make the skin more tight by tightening the muscle it's attached to.


baker23
01-02-2013, 03:04 AM
Worse case senario, you do end up with loose skin. But its far from the worse thing in the world...I honestly wouldn't worry about it. It'll happen if its gonna, and won't if a bunch of factors tip in your favor...

Stretchmarks never go away. I've had them since I hit puberty. I have a bunch of loose skin, under my arms, thighs, and especially my stomache, which unfortunally hangs. Nothing is noticable in clothes and I can live with it. its annoying...but being heavier and carrying around that extra weight was far worse then the skin left behind...

sontaikle
01-02-2013, 08:03 AM
I'm 24 and I lost some of the weight I gained over the course of 5 years and the majority of it I lost in 2011. I have loose skin on my stomach and thighs.

It's annoying, but as baker23 said, it's not the worst thing in the world. I'd much rather be fit with loose skin than out of shape without it. I feel so much better than I did before that it's worth the trade off.

Weight training will probably help reduce it—I'm surprised I have so little on my arms, for example—but the only way to tell is to lose the weight.

Also, don't worry about it so much :)


bargoo
01-02-2013, 08:28 AM
baker and sontaikle have said it all,I have it , too I don't expect it to go away but I prefer it to all that extra weight I was packing around.

linJber
01-02-2013, 08:45 AM
The bottom line is you won't know until you lose the weight. At that point in time you will probably realize that stretch marks and a bit of loose skin are far better than 75 pounds of unhealthy fat (which is unattractive in its own way.)

Good luck.

Lin

emurph
01-02-2013, 08:47 AM
I gained 40lbs with my son because I ate everything in sight. I've since lost all of those 40lbs and my nakedness is not a pretty picture. I'm sure my belly will ever go back to it's natural not saggy state after I lose more weight, have another baby, and then lose that weight. I was never thin to begin with, but things did not sag like they do now.

I have been told the only way to "fix it" is a tummy tuck. Which is probably why at least one cosmetic surgeon near me offers a "mommy package."

Rocky26
01-02-2013, 04:56 PM
It's great to hear that you all feel better being at a healthy weight but with some loose skin.
I am so damn freaked out about it. I really really really don't want it, I'm even thinking I might be more comfortable a bit heavier without the loose skin, which is insane I know. I know there's surgery, but I think I'm too scared to have that done if I end up with loose skin. So unfair that people who worked so hard to lose that weight end up with another problem instead.
I'm hoping that losing the weight slowly will prevent any skin issues, I'm thinking 1-2 pounds a week maximum, that way it would take me about 8 months, which actually sounds a bit too quick :/

BreathingSpace
01-02-2013, 05:01 PM
I think you'll be fine. You probably won't have loose skin, but the stretch marks will stay, you may even discover more as you lose weight, but they will fade in time. Trust me, I have them, have always had them, I got more with my first weight loss but they have faded and now I'm on to worrying about other things lol!

Don't put any energy into what "could be" as you don't know what it's going to be like. Instead, focus on losing the weight as that's more of a sure thing!

sometimes I think worrying about loose skin and stretch marks is just a distraction from how one really feels emotionally/mentally about losing a huge amount of weight... just a thought I have come up with recently...

Rocky26
01-02-2013, 05:44 PM
I hope you're right Breathing.
I think part of the problem for me, why I'm obsessing so much over the possibility of having skin issues, is that in my mind I'm still the slim 19 year old I once was, and when I look in the mirror I don't recognize myself. I obviously haven't accepted my weight gain yet.
I've had stretch marks since I was about 15, when I was very very thin, from growing I suppose, got them on my legs then. Luckily, every stretch mark I've ever gotten, be it from growth or weight gain, has shown up slightly purple but faded very, very quickly. The ones on my arms were from weight gain and they were almost white when they first appeared, so at least that's one upside. And stretch marks suck, but at least I can cover them up with make-up or fake tan or something.

I know that being healthy with some extra skin is far better than being overweight, I just can't help stressing about it unfortunately.

chubbiegurl
01-02-2013, 05:47 PM
When I lost about 60 lbs at 27 after two kids I managed to get everything right into place, so much so my stretch marks didn't bother me. Maybe the younger u r the more elasticity your skin has. Don't quote me. But now at 34ish I seem to be worried about the same thing. I know my stretch marks r permanent they do fade with time, though. I am having a hard time with lose skin on my lower stomach, arms and legs. Maybe weight training will help us out. Too bad I can't afford a gym membership. But the hubby just made me an adjustable kettle bell so I just added that to my excersizes routine. My friend had a tummy tuck and looks great but I think I would rather have used that money to go on vacation! Best of luck.

sontaikle
01-02-2013, 05:51 PM
breathingspace might be onto something. Are you afraid of the loose skin, or being thin? Losing weight can take a big mental toll on oneself for a variety of reasons and it can be scary!

My circumstances were different from yours--I was fat since childhood--but losing weight was scary! I had several freak outs on the way down as people commented, men began to notice, etc. after a while I became more in tune with my body, but even now I still face some serious mental challenges.

It's worth examining as to WHY you're so afraid of loose skin and stretchmarks and whether or not it's a cover for something else. :)

Rocky26
01-02-2013, 06:05 PM
I know what you both mean there, but I don't think there is any hidden worry there. I'm really looking forward to losing the weight, people noticing, and being able to fit in to my old clothes slowly but surely. I think since I haven't been overweight for a terribly long time, the mental adjustment won't be a shocker to me.

One reason to the obsession is probably that I've always been concerned about looking "perfect". Where I grew up it's very superficial and being fat is just not an option. Even a size 8 here is considered fat, so that definitely makes one obsess about ones looks. I know that's not healthy at all, and there is no such thing as the "perfect body". Loose skin has been one of my biggest concerns since I started realising I need to lose weight. I doubt I'd feel comfortable in my own body if that happened. Stretch marks I can accept since I've had them for a long time though. But since I haven't lost the weight yet, I don't know how I would really feel when that time comes.

BTW, all you people on 3FC are a huge inspiration, I'm so impressed with the weight loss you've all managed to achieve!

BreathingSpace
01-02-2013, 06:07 PM
I hope you're right Breathing.
I think part of the problem for me, why I'm obsessing so much over the possibility of having skin issues, is that in my mind I'm still the slim 19 year old I once was, and when I look in the mirror I don't recognize myself. I obviously haven't accepted my weight gain yet.


I totally understand. When I was in my early 30s I was absolutely obsessed with stretch marks. I would visit stretch marks forums, I had emu oil and acid peels that I did every day, I would completely obsess about it (not saying you are, just saying I know that feel). I would cry and think I would go into debt $100,000 if only someone would come up with a way to get rid of stretch marks. I was so despondant, remembering my 19 year old body and how that would never be ever again.

That lasted a few years, but I'm happy to report as you get older (I'm now 38) I'm kinda over it. Your priorities shift as you get older and you get way more of a "who gives a sh*t" attitude.

I haven't given up on the idea that I could look amazing in a bikini, but I've given up on worrying about how my stretch marks will look in a bikini. I would just be so happy to actually WEAR a bikini I would be like "whatever" about my stretch marks now.

I think yoga helps too because I realize how well I can shape my body with it, so I'm pretty confident that once I lose all my weight and if I continue with my hot yoga, my body is going to look great.

Loose skin has been one of my biggest concerns since I started realising I need to lose weight. I doubt I'd feel comfortable in my own body if that happened. Stretch marks I can accept since I've had them for a long time though. But since I haven't lost the weight yet, I don't know how I would really feel when that time comes.


Edited to add: You're quite young and haven't been overweight for too long. I honestly think you probably won't have loose skin. As long as you don't lose like 40 pounds in 2 weeks, your skin should catch up to your weight loss and it will be all good!

Rocky26
01-02-2013, 10:50 PM
I felt the same way about my stretch marks until recently when I started accepting them more, I do hate the ones on my arms and hips still, but the ones on my legs I can easily hide and they aren't that big of a problem now. I still exfoliate everytime I shower, and moisturise with cocoa butter, so I haven't given up on reducing their appearance just yet.
I've also realised that most women, and a lot of men, have stretch marks. Even my very fit ex-boyfriend had them from when he was growing as a teenager, not even fit men are spared =)

I have thought a lot about yoga or pilates, not so much for the skin but for the overall toning it provides. I have had back and knee problems since I was a teenager so I think it might even help some with that.

Yeah I definitely don't plan on losing weight above the recommended speed. I don't want to be a size 0 or 2 either so hopefully my skin won't be too shocked by the downsizing =)

I do feel a bit better now than I did earlier today so thank you all for that =)