100 lb. Club - Extra Skin??




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HeeHawHoney
06-19-2014, 06:41 PM
Since I've just begun on my weight loss journey, I have to ask those of you who have dropped a significant amount of weight, what happens to the extra skin on your body? I have visions of a loose, floppy, slab of belly skin that I will have to tuck into the clothes that I will wear when I reach my goal. Seriously, will I have to buy clothes that can accommodate my flop?


ubergirl
06-19-2014, 07:09 PM
Hi Heehaw,

I lost 110 lbs in 2009 at age 49 and I was really surprised that I did not have big problems with loose skin. I did have a "belly flap" it was just much smaller than the same belly flap I had at my top weight. My arms and legs and face were fine. Boobs were fine too.

I can promise you that any loose skin is WAY less noticeable than stretched out skin filled up with fat. I have seen pictures of people with tons of drippy skin hanging all over the place and I didn't look anything like that.

Unfortunately, I gained a lot of the weight back and am working on losing it again. I'm hoping that this time I'll have the same result.

Frances123
06-19-2014, 08:03 PM
My starting weight was not much less than yours, and I've lost 75 pounds (roughly) so far in about 18 months...but from what I've read, there are 4 things that factor in with the skin:

1) Drinking lots of water
2) Exercise
3) Slow loss
4) Genetics

I can say that I've lost my weight slowly, and I don't have any droopy skin, just a bit on the upper arms. Losing slowly and drinking lots of water seems to help your skin's elasticity somehow (allows it to shrink with you!). That's what I heard, anyway!


HeeHawHoney
06-19-2014, 08:08 PM
Thanks, ubergirl. I am 45, and I know that the elasticity in my skin is shot due to the amount it has been stretched for so many years. I agree, a little sagging skin wouldn't be a problem, but I'm seriously worried that I will have a LOT. Nothing I have to worry about any time soon, though. I'm still a long, long way away from my goal. In the meantime, I can invest all the money I'll be saving on groceries and plan for a tummy tuck. :)

HeeHawHoney
06-20-2014, 10:00 AM
Thanks for all the good advice, Pattience. I know that I will be on my current plan until August 22. That's when I go back to the doctor. I do plan about asking him if I can increase the calories at that point, and will also make it a point to ask him about Atkins or low carb alternatives. I have a friend that is doing low carb and she has dropped about 25 lbs, but she is also exercising like a maniac. Good luck to you on being so close to your goal. I know you must be feeling like a new person. Congratulations!

berryblondeboys
06-20-2014, 10:11 AM
1) Drinking lots of water - myth
2) Exercise - myth
3) Slow loss - myth
4) Genetics - fact



The only thing that determines if you will have long term loose skin or not is genetics. Other things can come in to play as far as temporary loose skin - how you lost your weight - like was it fast and furious so it takes time for the skin to shrink up? Is your overall health compromised from smoking, etc?

Age can be a factor too - but again genetics play a big role in that. MORE younger people have skin that recovers than older people, BUT your genetics still have a say in that.

You need to drink enough water for health - doesn't change loose skin or not.
Fast weight loss or slow weight loss can result in loose skin. Fast weight loss might just mean more temporary loose skin as it needs more time to shrink up.

Exercise is good for overall health, but does nothing for making less loose skin (muscle is smaller than fat anyway, so the whole idea of "filling up" the loose skin is bunk).

Genetics... nearly 90% of it.

Of course, those who DIDN'T get loose skin will use themselves and what they did for anecdotal evidence, but it was genetics.

Frances123
06-20-2014, 01:46 PM
I would not agree that those are myths. I did a Google search and came up with a lot of information. I started to copy links but there were too many. If you're interested, here are a couple.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/116397-prevent-sagging-skin-during-weight/

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/weight-loss/6-advantages-of-slow-weight-loss.html

http://www.3fatchicks.com/how-to-avoid-loose-skin-from-weight-loss/

If you're still concerned about saggy skin, I'd recommend talking to your doctor about it. You'd probably get more accurate information too. Good luck!

berryblondeboys
06-20-2014, 02:02 PM
And not one of those articles had a source. Even the middle one said that slow weight loss just gives time for skin to shrink up - I said that too. Fast weight loss just might give temporary loose skin as the skin doesn't have as much time to tighten up. So, what's better? lose slow so that you don't notice the skin shrinking up?

I have done EVERYTHING right with losing weight and I have loose skin. I drink TONS of water. I exercise - cardio and strength training. I eat a very well balanced diet. I have lost slowly in the past and quickly more recently. I still have loose skin. Why? GENETICS. it's also why I got stretch marks during pregnancy - genetics.


Besides genetics - age plays a factor for some women and overall health, but 90% is genetics. I stand by that and will stand by that unless someone can source out REPUTABLE studies that refute that.

berryblondeboys
06-20-2014, 02:03 PM
Oh, and doctor's won't know any more about loose skin than the average joe unless the specialize in loose skin issues. That is not something covered in medical school.

Gingerjv
06-20-2014, 02:13 PM
I suppose to avoid problems with skin you need to lose weight slowly, need to do sport, use maybe some creams. There are many factors that may effect on your skin: skin type, age, genetics. But still don't think about the worst so soon!

ubergirl
06-20-2014, 02:13 PM
And not one of those articles had a source. Even the middle one said that slow weight loss just gives time for skin to shrink up - I said that too. Fast weight loss just might give temporary loose skin as the skin doesn't have as much time to tighten up. So, what's better? lose slow so that you don't notice the skin shrinking up?

I have done EVERYTHING right with losing weight and I have loose skin. I drink TONS of water. I exercise - cardio and strength training. I eat a very well balanced diet. I have lost slowly in the past and quickly more recently. I still have loose skin. Why? GENETICS. it's also why I got stretch marks during pregnancy - genetics.


Besides genetics - age plays a factor for some women and overall health, but 90% is genetics. I stand by that and will stand by that unless someone can source out REPUTABLE studies that refute that.

I agree with everything you said here except that I got HORRIBLE stretch marks in pregnancy. So I don't know why I won the loose skin lottery. :)

berryblondeboys
06-20-2014, 02:19 PM
I agree with everything you said here except that I got HORRIBLE stretch marks in pregnancy. So I don't know why I won the loose skin lottery. :)

Different kind of elasticity perhaps? My mom had HORRIBLE stretch marks. I was worried I would get them. My sister and I were pregnant at the same time. I started out pregnancy overweight. I gained NOTHING until the last week of pregnancy (water weight gain). I was still LOSING weight when I started to get stretch marks. I have so many stretch marks on my stomach you can't even count them. I ate perfectly (I was growing a baby!) I was exercising, etc. I used creams (mostly for itching). TONS of stretch marks.

My sister? She was normal weight when she started. She didn't exercise. She ate crap and she gained 80 pounds. NO creams either. She didn't get a single stretch mark.

So, imagine how I feel when people come in and tout creams and diets and "ways" to prevent... people... it had NOTHING to do with what you did or didn't do - just your genetic lottery.

Same with loose skin. It's a slap in the face when people say, "if you do this and this you won't get loose skin." REALLY?

HeeHawHoney
06-20-2014, 02:30 PM
If stretch marks are any indication of what I have to look forward to with saggy skin, I'm in trouble! I have so many stretch marks on my stomach, boobs, butt that they run together. YIKES!

ubergirl
06-20-2014, 02:39 PM
The part of my belly that got destroyed by stretch marks definitely never stretched back. That's for sure!

sparky09
06-20-2014, 02:57 PM
This is quite honestly my biggest worry about weightloss. While I completely agree with berryblondeboys that it is 90% genetics I will still do what I can to prevent it. I will use slow weight loss to give skin a chance to bounce back as much as it is going to. I eat skin healthy foods and vitamins and drink water and move my body to give my skin the best chance it is can get to bounce back as much as genetics has planned.

Just like when eating out at a restaurant, I pick a food that will give me the best chance of staying on plan. I will do anything I can to give my skin the best chance to shrink up. And even if I may need it someday, I loathe the idea of skin removal surgery because I hate having surgery and scars and healing are so painful. BUT! If I end up needing it I won't rule it out. If I can lose that much weight I surely can power through surgery and healing!!

Candidcamster
06-20-2014, 06:43 PM
My mom is 25 years older than me, and is also overweight and hasn't undergone a weight loss transformation, so I can't figure out my genetic predisposition to loose skin. I debated with a poor guy on another site who has severe loose skin and shows up in every thread on the topic like a ghost of skin's future with dour news. It can happen to anyone, especially those of us who have let our skin be stretched over a 250 lb. plus frame, but it is ok, and if it bothers us that much, thankfully it can be removed. Our health has to take precedence over vanity, that is what it comes down to. Whether we are left with battle wounds after our journeys, at least we survived. I know if I stay this size I won't live to see my grandchildren grow (heck or even have kids, childless & pcos here) so I'll take a droopy belly & batwing arms. Not to mention those features however tough they may be to accept are more attractive than me staying 5'5 and nearly 300 lbs. Just my 2 cents.

Also adding I appreciate the advice of Frances123 , as I've read similar things, and right now for those in transition it is all we have.

sparky09
06-23-2014, 10:44 AM
Pattience, I wish I could click "like" on that reply! :) Worry and stress are the biggest contributors to my weight gain and stress eating. I need to just put my mind somewhere else, like somewhere positive as you said. My positive is walking in the sunshine with my music playing :)

berryblondeboys
06-23-2014, 10:55 AM
I also want to add that extra skin does NOT need to be a nightmare situation. I think that is what we all worry about - that we will end up with tons of loose drippy skin. While, yes, that CAN happen (especially to men who have less fat layers under their skin), it's not as bad for most people as they fear.

I DEFINITELY have bat wings and I definitely have wiggly inner thighs and a stomach fold/flap, but they basically look like a deflated version of the bigger me and not noticeable when I'm dressed. My husband is not put off by it and is WAY more attracted to me when I'm at a healthy weight - loose skin and all.

Trazey34
06-23-2014, 02:05 PM
I lucked out with good genes, and I think losing is so slowly helped a bit. Also, I think it may have helped that I was one size for a long time, I wasn't a yo-yo'er who gained/lost 100 lbs., only ever 25 or so.... but mostly genetics is the answer

regardless, I'd take hanging skin over being fat any day

Novus
06-23-2014, 02:25 PM
I don't know anything about the "why" but I do know I'm lucky to not have hardly any loose skin. My start stats were about the same as OP (5'6", 273) so to her I say...there is hope.

I lost about 50 pounds over the course of two years, yoyo-ed between the same 30ish pounds for 6 years, and over the last year and a half have lost nearly 60 pounds. I have a teensy bit of flappy skin on my inner thighs and barely obvious "bat wings" but with exercise I'm seeing a noticeable change in those. My belly is firming right up (and it was definitely the hugest part of me when obese).

One factor that may matter in my case is that even at my highest weight (273) my fat wasn't all jiggly and dangly. I was pretty solid and "carried my weight well." Also, I've never been pregnant or had a baby.

So, OP, do what you need to do to lose the weight and get healthier and hope for the very best as far appearance goes. :D

HeeHawHoney
06-23-2014, 07:54 PM
Thanks, Novus. I am doing exactly what you suggested. I'm losing the weight no matter what, and if I have jiggly skin left over, I'll worry about that then. I did look at a couple of videos and saw people that had lots of extra skin and watched their journey with a total body lift surgery. I'm going to start saving for surgery. If it turns out that it's not necessary, I'll have a great time spending that money on a new wardrobe!

TooWicky
06-24-2014, 04:36 AM
HeeHawHoney, we have very similar stats plus I'm just a few years older than you :) At one point I had lost about 85 lbs, but I'm back to 3FC after a regain of about 15 lbs. I figured my loose skin situation was going to be horrific, but it has not been the nightmare I expected. I have a lower abdomen uh "situation" but it's easily hidden under clothing with shapewear. My batwings look like I'm cleared for takeoff, but aren't that noticeable as I don't wear sleeveless shirts or walk around with my arms held out horizontally :D Although far from perfect, nothing is anywhere near bad enough to consider cosmetic surgery, at least to me. Besides the lower abdomen and batwings, everything else retracted just fine so far, or at least acceptably. There really is no way to predict. Try not to worry!

At one point, I think around the 50ish lbs lost mark, I swear I looked like a melting candle!! I was very distressed! However I kept at it, and the melted candle stage passed and I just looked smaller. If this happens to you, just push on through :) It's really crazy how different fat deposits go away before others, and not in the most attractive order either, lol.

sparky09
06-24-2014, 11:36 AM
I have dealt with this before as well. At one point my heaviest weight was 250 ( My current all time heavy weight is 315) and I did zumba and super healthy smoothies and real food eating and was super strict.

I hated it but I lost 50lbs and can remember how crazy it was to have the belly flap and dimply thighs! I was terrified of getting naked and seeing myself in a mirror let alone let my boyfriend see me! But it was a heck of a lot better than being fat. It certainly felt rewarding to see physically the effects of my efforts. I am beginning zumba again but I will be a little more lenient on the dieting so I don't crash after I reach goal (like I did after I hit 200 and then zoomed up to 315 in about 3yrs).

nonameslob
06-24-2014, 11:54 AM
Candidcamster I just wanted to say I loved your post! :yay: So positive and so true.

Tai
06-24-2014, 01:32 PM
Just wanted to add my support to not let the issue of loose skin discourage you. Everyone is different and it may not even be much of an issue for you.

I ended up with what I think is quite a bit of loose skin, but I'm still really happy with my results. As others have mentioned, it doesn't show at all in clothes. I've never regretted losing the weight because of it.

scarletmeshell
06-26-2014, 06:44 PM
I have lost 85lbs so far. I have some loose skin. I do not know if some of that will tighten up. However I would rather have extra skin than fat. My plan is when I am done loosing weight I will just fold up the skin and stuff it in a spanx!

Candidcamster
07-01-2014, 07:17 PM
I am late, but thank you @ Nonameslob. I've been viewing before and after pictures and videos of tons of women (and some men) who have gone through a dramatic weight loss journey (100+ lbs. or more) some have the loose skin and some don't. Your guess is as good as mine as to how the OP or I, or anyone else with a significant amount of weight to lose will turn out. So all we can do, is what we can do. I am going to use any lotion that I think will help w/stretch marks & firmness, exercise (eventually ;) :p ) eat right, try not to lose too fast (I aim for around 1.5 lbs. a week, and at my size sometimes I beat that number, sometimes I don't, the body is a funny thing and kind of does what it wants) and just hope & pray for the best.

It took many years to appreciate my fat body, and I am so thankful I do now, and it is this fat body that will carry me on the journey to a smaller & healthier one. If I am to have loose skin as a result of being heavy most of my life so be it, as mentioned most people have an easier time w/extra skin than a lot of extra adipose filling it. I wish us all of the best, let's keep losing until we reach our healthy goals, and just do the best that we can. *lots of hugs* I am so thankful to be a part of this awesome community!

MissKoo
07-06-2014, 03:54 PM
At one point, I think around the 50ish lbs lost mark, I swear I looked like a melting candle!! I was very distressed! However I kept at it, and the melted candle stage passed and I just looked smaller.

The melting candle is a great metaphor. Love it!

I notice that as I lose weight/fat I go through stages where the rest of my body has to catch up.

OP: Just keep on doing what is best for your health. Anything cosmetic you can take on later but being healthy has a beauty all its own.:D