Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss - The Loose Skin Threshold & Anxiety

03-12-2014, 10:06 PM
So I'm sure some of you can relate, but one of my biggest fears is "loose skin". I've never successfully lost a significant amount of weight before so I'm unsure how it's going to work for me. In my family, stretch marks are hereditary (and that's sans pregnancy), so at this point i'm used to it and it's pretty much a non-issue (can't be upset with something you can't change) BUT i'm pretty freaked out about the prospect of loose skin everywhere.

I have a huge problem with anxiety and i over analyze and over think EVERYTHING. I worry about stupid crap until it makes me sick, and this is one of those things. I have about 65lbs to loose (that's my goal, but if I want a healthy BMI i'm going to have to lose 80lbs...), and I carry most of my weight around my middle (while arms are chunky at the moment I don't think there wil l be too much of a bat-wing going on after weight loss). I'm so scared that I will go through all the effort to lose the fat and i will still feel uncomfortable because I'll have a sheet of loose skin hanging around my tummy forever like some left over scar that I'll never get rid of that will always remind me of bad lifestyle choices...

So my question to you, is - have you had experiences with being left with a lot of loose skin? At what point in your weight loss journey did you start to notice it? Was there anything you did while losing that help prevent the loose-skin factor?

I've heard that lifting weights helps with this, and I go to the gym (cardio for about 35-40 min followed by weights for about 30 min) anywhere from 3-5 times a week depending on the week.

Or is this loose skin factor just something i'm going to have to accept and live with?

Any advise is greatly appreciated!

side note, how do you get those cute little weight loss tracker/graphs everyone has at the bottom of their messages?

03-12-2014, 10:21 PM
I think you are over-analyzing/worrying.

I have none. OK, I may have a little on my upper inside thighs if I bend over.

But it was not an issue for me at all.

That being said, I am young-ish (39) and I work out. And I eat a lot of fish.

03-12-2014, 10:27 PM
Lol, thanks Ian - I know i'm over analyzing, that's what I do! but the fear is real, very real...

03-12-2014, 10:30 PM
To be honest, my take is that the main determinants are age and genetics, in that order.

You look young (younger than me) so your skin is elastic.

Easy peasy.

03-12-2014, 10:34 PM
At your weight I don't think you have anything to worry about. I've lost weight twice in my life and I'm now 53. I just have a tad of loose skin on my thighs (which is the biggest thing on me) but I'm probably being over critical about it. Everything will be fine.

03-13-2014, 12:05 AM
Not really addressing your question, but... if that's your photo, you have such a gorgeous face! Even if you have loose skin, you'll still be gorgeous. I know it's easier said than done, but try to put it into perspective. If and when the loose skin arrives, you'll find ways to deal with it.

...and it may never arrive at all. I'm 57, I've had two kids and I've lost 30-50 pounds several times, and have no loose skin.


03-13-2014, 02:13 AM
There's not much you can do about loose skin, other than not losing weight too fast. People who do end up with gobs of loose skin usually lost weight extremely quickly. Their skin didn't have time to adjust to the changes.
Losing 1-2lbs a week is safe and should minimize loose skin. I don't have any, but I'm very young at 23 years old so my skin is still elastic.
Still, if you do end up with some skin, there's a good chance it will tighten up over time.

The main goal should be to lose the weight. The longer you are heavy, the longer that skin is going to stay stretched, and the less likely it will snap back into place.

side note, how do you get those cute little weight loss tracker/graphs everyone has at the bottom of their messages? is what I intend to use in my signature. I just haven't been a member for long enough yet to post it in my sig. You have to wait a month before they let you use your sig, due to spammers.

03-13-2014, 04:01 AM
I think it is one of those things that you can't predict in advance. When I lost weight in my 30s (about 50 pounds) I didn't have any loose skin. A few stretch marks, but not bad.

Now, I have more weight to lose and I'm older and I probably will end up with some loose skin (and I have given birth since I first lost weight so that is a factor as well).

Here is the way I see it. I would prefer to not have loose skin. On the other hand, I would prefer to be thin and have loose skin under my clothes than be obese with all the skin filled with fat.

03-13-2014, 06:30 AM
I've been heavy most of my life so loose skin was almost a given. You have to seriously ask I want to remain heavy, with my body covered with an extra layer of fat to fill my skin, and be unhealthy OR do I want to lose weight, possibly have some loose skin, an be healthy?''

03-13-2014, 02:24 PM
I think you're worrying about something that you have no control over but I totally understand, I had the same fears as you did. As I progressed along, I realized it isn't anything to worry about anymore, at least for me.

Either you will or you won't. Too many variables to say, really. Perhaps this thread ( will give you peace of mind...

I've been overweight since I was a kid, and obese since adulthood until 26-27, finally back to overweight now. I have very little bit of loose skin on my lower stomach (it's worse whenever I bend over) and a little bit on my thighs but it is totally better than I thought it would be and I still have 20-30lbs to go. I'd say I started to notice a little bit when I hit 50lbs lost (230-180lbs.)

Working out may help but only for the muscles underneath, not the skin itself. Some people say skin brushing may work but I don't know for sure.

Arctic Mama
03-13-2014, 02:54 PM
It's amazing how loose skin is minimized when the fat that's in it is emaciated ;)

Seriously, most folks who complain of loose skin are actually bothered by the jiggle remaining in the skin. When you lose enough it becomes thin and crepey, like the skin around your eyes or neck - and is barely noticeable for most folks who get it. And that's assuming you'll get it at all - many folks never do. I have some loose skin, but not much. And I'm the owner of inelastic skin genetically, where I have tons of stretchmarks from pregnancies and scar very easily, heal slowly, etc. So my battle scars from weight loss are worse than most people's, and it still isn't something that a little shapewear can't fix.

If you know you're robe to anxiety and fear, that may be what needs working on. This particular issue is a symptom, not the cause, you know?


03-13-2014, 03:30 PM
I'm like Arctic Mama, genetically inelastic skin, scar easily ,etc etc., and i'm 52 and lost the weight a couple years ago so i'm much older than you.

I lost 100 lbs and DO have loose skin although it has slowly tightened up a bit after a year of maintenance. I have a bit on my upper arms, upper thighs and knees and especially my tummy which i don't like but it's a far site better than when i was 100 lbs overweight!

You have youth on your side, don't invite trouble, enjoy the journey NOW

Can you see any loose skin on me? This is after over a 100 lb weight loss.
I am betting your experience will be better than mine, i hope this encourages you (

03-13-2014, 03:53 PM
I have very similar stats as you except I am 5'2" at 27 years. I also worried about loose skin but after losing an initial 80 pounds (gained a little back right now but that's OK) my "loose skin" was really non-existent.
I will always have stretch marks on my lower belly, hips, and boobs :) but they actually got pretty taut and loose goosy flappy skin didn't happen for me.
Don't get me wrong, it won't ever look perfect for me, but, speaking as someone coming from your approximate starting point, I don't think you need worry as long as you are losing at a slow and steady pace.
I averaged about 2.25 pounds a week and then slowly tapered after about 50 pounds lost to about 1.5 pounds a week.

03-14-2014, 01:16 AM
Wow, thanks everyone. You've all given me a lot of encouragement and lot to think about. I sincerely appreciate your caring and the information you've shared. Calmed me down a bit, that's for sure! Thanks again :)

03-14-2014, 08:54 AM
Just think - if you hate the loose skin you can always decide to gain all the weight back. ;)

03-14-2014, 12:55 PM
I can completely relate to your worrying as I have the same fears! I want to lose over 100kbs and am scared of the squishy, flappy, wiggling leftovers of where I "used" to be....

I am sure with toning it will be no issue but it definitely is a scary thing to think about!

03-14-2014, 01:04 PM
I was obese my whole life. I had a tremendous about of loose skin. And I still looked a MILLION times better then being fat!

03-20-2014, 02:27 AM
I lost 110 lbs over 18 months from age 27-29. I had been been obese since adolescence. I had a lot of loose skin - it was the worst on my stomach and the skin fold would cause problems when I was active.

I was still a million times happier being an average size with the loose skin than I was when I was fat. For the most part, people couldn't even tell I had loose skin because I would tuck it in to all of my pants.

In the end I got the tummy tuck and am now a trillion times happier than when I was fat. I was lucky and my insurance paid for about two-thirds of the cost (and I picked an expensive surgeon - if I had gone somewhere cheaper I could probably avoided paying out of pocket.) I know this wouldn't be a choice for everyone, but know that once you get to goal, you can wait and see if you have a skin problem, and if so, there are options.

Now I'm just left with the extra skin on my breasts, arms, and thighs, but I'm not seriously considering any more surgery. I'll never be perfect, but I'm perfectly happy being healthy :)