I usually lurk and post occasionally. I’ve appreciated the community the 100 lb club really has and the support you give everyone who participates, even those of us who just kind of wander by. I hope that you might help with a little motivation issue that I have that keeps recurring but it is a fairly personal question. I hope I word this well.
I’ve been working off and on at the weight loss for nearly two years now. I have a pattern of getting really gung ho for a couple of weeks or a month or two but at some point, I crash and burn. Then it takes another month or two to get back to being serious about the effort. The “crash and burn” stage almost always starts with thoughts about how, no matter how hard I work at this, how much success I have with this, in the end, I’m still not going to be “normal.” Because of the choices I’ve made and the choices I’m making now, I will lose ~230 lbs. That’s going to translate into a lot of loose skin. It gets to feel like it’s not worth even trying, because I can’t really succeed – I’ll never be normal or right or even okay looking. I’ve never thought of myself as vain, but there it is. (I’ve seen way too many of those plastic surgery shows – “Bucket Full of Skin” was not helpful.) I know I’ll continue to try – I’d like to live to see my daughters have daughters and staying this way doesn’t make that likely. I know there are so many more reasons to lose the weight. I want to shift my perception to stop the “crash and burn” cycle.
So the question is – do you think about the end result not being exactly what you’d hoped for? What your thoughts and feelings on loose skin (and the other “after effects” of being overweight and losing it)?
With many thanks,
02-01-2005, 05:51 PM
How do I feel? Sad, regretful, frustrated, praying for a lottery win so I can afford reconstructive surgery. :D
However, I can't say I've ever felt that my efforts were not worth it because of the skin issue. YES, absolutely, I would give ANYTHING to be completely normal, no question. I am not taking this gracefully. But, I am taking it, because no matter how bad, it's better than the alternative. I am so grateful for not only having an almost-healthy weight body for the first time in my life, with all the practical advantages that brings, but I'm also grateful for not being a prisoner of food and sloth. My life is better because of my new lifestyle, and only partially due to the fact that I'm smaller.
So, yeah, the skin issue bugs me, and trust me, it shows up EVERYWHERE on me, including my face. Yet ... I'll still take it over my past life.
02-01-2005, 06:19 PM
I struggle with this one a lot myself. It is very hard to come to terms with the damage I've done to my body. I accept that the skin is here to stay unless funniegrrl wants to share some of her lottery winnings with me.;) Hey, whaddya say, we got a deal or what?? :D But the point is, no matter how you look at it, the positives absolutely outnumber the negatives on this one. So, how do you learn to just "be" in the skin you're in? I don't have any words of wisdom to share because I haven't got it figured out yet myself. But I'm working on it, and that's the best I can do for right now. My advice to you is try your best to accept the things that you cannot change and to focus your time and energy on the things you can change. I promise, no matter what I feel about my excess skin, the hard work has been worth it, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
02-01-2005, 06:51 PM
I know when I tried losing weight in the past, I did have the delusion that I would look normal, not have any sagging skin and be a self-confident, gorgeous 135-pounder. A few more pounds packed on, I popped out a couple of children and my delusions were shattered. I know that my body will not look as I had pictured it looking. Yes there are times when I question whether or not it would be worth it in the end if I'm still not happy with my body and the answer is YES, YES, YES!!!!! I'm doing this to become healthy and be able to play with my children and not be winded doing it. If that means that I get to be 150 pounds with a ton of extra skin so be it. It beats me being 300 pounds with all that fat underneath the skin and not able to move around much.
here is the link to the loose skin FAQs in the maintainer's forum.
02-01-2005, 06:56 PM
I guess I look at it just like the rest of you. It bums me out that it's there. The rest of the results are fantasic. I still feel better about myself. Plus I can hide the skin from others more than I could the fat and therefore feel somewhat normal.
02-01-2005, 08:20 PM
I never knew about the whole loose skin thing until I came here. I was under the impression that I would look like I did in high school after I lost the weight.
I wish someone would have told me that when I was skinny. I always thought if I got fat I could just lose the weight. I think that if I would have known about the loose skin thing I wouldn't have gotten quite this bad at all.
02-01-2005, 09:58 PM
I've always known about loose skin as I was told when I was 16 that my insurance at the time would remove any loose skin that I had after I lost weight. Since I was 300 lbs at the time, I think that was the incentive that my doctor was trying to give me.
Now that I've lost around 70 lbs or so, I can feel the loose skin and see it and it does bother me just because it feels weird. I think I look so much better than I did before so it doesn't bother me in the looks sense. I am prepared to accept whatever may come as a result of my weight loss because no matter how bad it is, it will be better than not losing the weight. I do plan to get plastic surgery and after watching plastic surgery shows, I know it'll cost around 20k but that is something I'll deal with when I get there.
As far as the show "Bucket full of skin", you have to realize that the woman there had weighed 600 lbs which of course is going to create a lot of excess skin.
02-01-2005, 10:14 PM
I waiver on the plastic surgery. I just don't know if I could take the risk of death to get rid of the skin. I'm undecided on this. Sometimes I think I would but then when I really think about it I just don't know
02-02-2005, 04:24 AM
I think its a very good, and honest, question. For me, well my reasons for shedding the pounds are health and lifestyle related - and although I am also enjoying the 'look-related' benefits, in the end they are not the most important ones. Actually, now I think about it, it has never occurred to me that even when I lose more weight, I would have a 'perfect body'....whatever that is....and I don't think that is terribly important to me anyway. I quite like my body the way it is now - even with the excess pounds - and I like it a lot more than I did 40 or so pounds ago - I guess I think that the loose skin is just a part of me, and the journey I have travelled.....
I do think its interesting that we imagine that when we have lost a lot of weight, we will somehow go back in time, to have the body that maybe we had before we put on a lot of weight.....even if its 20 years ago! A good friend of mine has lost 80lbs over the last year or so......she says she couldn't understand why she doesn't look like a photo that was taken 10 years ago, before she put the weight on......and then she realised, that of course, the photo was taken 10 years ago, and a small amount of aging has occurred in between! (Not that she isn't ecstatic about losing weight - she is having a great time!)
02-02-2005, 01:15 PM
I think it's good you know that this issue effects your attacking the weight loss the way you want to.
To be honest, I've been heavy since I was young, maybe 11 or so. I lost 100 lbs in highschool, then gained it all back and more so over the years. Now I'm losing it again. To be honest, I may think now and again about it, but maybe because I don't have a previous "skinny self" to compare myself to, I don't have a real "dream self" that I've pictured, and the skin problem doesn't come much into play with my thinking.
My health and activity levels are my main motivation and goals. I figure I'm a few years away from being at my ideal weight, who knows how I'll feel then. Maybe they'll have better, safer procedures by then too (and even cheaper :p ).
I hear you, Howie, about wondering about the risks v. the benefits.
If I were in my 20 and 30s and shopping around for a guy, I would be considering the surgery much more seriously most likely.
02-03-2005, 07:21 PM
Who cares about extra skin when you've lost so much weight? Better to have a few loose flaps than a bunch of big rolls! I, too, have been overweight my whole life, so I have no skinny version of me to wish to return to. I am PRAYING that since I am only 22, my skin might have enough elasticity left in it to at least make up for some of the damage once I lose some fat. Even if my skin does not shrink at all, if I have all the skin of a 310-pound 22-year old when I am a 150-pound 25-year old, I know it will have been worth it for my health, for my lifestyle, and for my family.
02-03-2005, 10:37 PM
I'm not real happy about the prospect of a lot of loose skin, but at the same time, I can deal with it. It's a heck of a lot better than painful joints, being out of breath, etc. I don't think I could take the pain of skin removal, anyway.
02-04-2005, 12:29 AM
I tend to lurk too but this is also an issue I worry about. I think Gardenwife states it so well - which is better loose skin or heart failure? Loose skin or a total hip replacement from weight induced arthritis? Loose skin or obesity induced cancer? Loose skin or a droopy left side of your body from a stroke resulting from hypertension attributed to obesity? I guess it is all perspective and believe you me I make these comparisons to remind myself of the reasons for losing weight. For now, lets put our energy into getting healthy - we can focus on the rest when we get there.
PS Barbara - wonderful weight loss, keep going!!
02-04-2005, 01:01 PM
Off the topic of loose skin (which I haven't seen yet but that I KNOW I'm going to have to contend with in the near future) but still on the topic of weight loss side-effects, did any of you big losers notice that you looked a little TIRED when you were losing weight? I don't feel tired (in fact, I have WAY more energy than I've had in years), but my face looks a little, well, droopy and I have some pretty dark circles under my eyes. i don't care so much from a looks perspective, but I am slightly concerned that I'm just not healthy or something. I've definitely read that rapid weight loss (not that mine is particularly rapid! :lol: ) can cause dark eye circles. Did anyone else have this happen?
02-04-2005, 01:52 PM
I can't say I've had dark eye circles, but my face often looks "tired" due to loose skin because my eyes and cheeks droop somewhat. Now age could have a lot to do with it in my case because I realize once we reach a certain age sagging is going to happen, but when you've lost so much weight from other parts of your body it only makes sense that you'll lose it from the neck up too! In fact, I have quite the little "waddle" under my chin where my old second chin used to be!
As for the "big" loose skin...sigh, yep I have the "shar pei" belly and no amount of exercise will tighten that up, so bye-bye bikini and the baggy skin at the top of my thighs means I won't be wearing short shorts anytime soon and my "bat wings" at the top of my arms means I won't be going sleeveless and my rather deflated breasts are destined to be held up with very strong underwire for the rest of my days, but you know what? All that can be camouflaged with clothes and the only ones who see me nekked are myself and the one who loves me regardless of the amount of extra skin I have. The way I look at it, I've probably added at least 10 years to my life by losing this weight and I'm not going to use my retirement fund or mortgage my house to get rid of skin, I'm going to enjoy those years with my family and travelling the world, saggy skin and all! :D
02-04-2005, 09:01 PM
That's what I figure. I can hide a lot with clothes. So I will most likely just live with it.