Weight Loss Support - Obsessing and very depressed

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02-15-2006, 01:24 PM
Okay all...I've been maintaining my weight around 160 pounds for the past 6 months or so (wow, has it been that long?!!). I just don't feel like I'm thin enough yet.

I'm constantly obsessing about gaining weight. I'm always worried that I'm going to gain it all back. I'm really careful about what I eat. I could definately be exercising more, as I'm down to exercising only about twice a week now. That's definately not good. My husband worries constantly that I'm going to develop an eating disorder. I just feel that if I don't obsess, I'm going to become complacent and if I become complacent, I'm going to gain weight.

I look in the mirror and I still think that I look fat. I'm so nervous about spring and summer coming up and wearing less clothing. I have a decent amount of extra skin on my upper arms, stomach and upper thighs/butt. I know that I will never be able to afford plastic surgery to have it removed. I tried on this great skirt and top the other day at Walmart and almost cried because of how my stomach stuck out. All I can see are rolls of extra skin. I'm going to be embarrassed to wear sleaveless shirts because of, again, extra skin. How does this happen? How do I lose over 120 pounds and then be totally ashamed of what I'm left with?

I guess it's just me, but I feel like I've become very flabby over the past couple of months. I don't know if my stomach is all extra skin or if it's fat that I can lose. I don't know whether I should focus on cardio to lose more fat or on strength-training to tone everything. Not that it would matter if I toned my stomach because of all the flab that's over the muscle.

I am just so depressed and I'm totally unhappy with the way my body looks and I don't know how to change it. I want to lose more weight, but my husband and friends think that I would be pushing it if I did. People are starting to tell me that I shouldn't lose any more weight at all because I'm getting REALLY thin. But, I don't see it. All I can see is how horrible I look naked. I hate the fact that I can't wear the clothes that I want to wear because of the extra skin.

Now, I do eat healthily, so don't worry about me on that aspect. I'm just so down on myself right now. I need to talk about this with people who understand what I'm going through. I need advice because I'm really not sure what to do or where to go from here.

02-15-2006, 01:32 PM
Just wait right here. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's going to come along and say "you have done such amazing work!"

Just as it took you some time to learn how to lose, it'll take time for you to learn how to be slim. Go read lots in maintainers. It's an adjustment. You'll figure it out.

02-15-2006, 02:23 PM
Give your mind some time to catch up with your body. I've watched your progress and you lost the weight awfully fast. It's really not surprising that your mind is left trailing behind!

For exercise, maybe it's time to pick a new activity? Something you can have fun with and get excited about. Especially once Spring rolls around.

I lost weight a lot slower than you did, but I still have my days where I get down on myself about the droopy girls and my little wrinkly sharpei lower stomach area. I make myself laugh about it. My former self would certainly be laughing her *** off if she could hear me complaining about my stomach while wearing size six pants. :lol:

I'll probably never be able to convince myself to spend the money on plastic surgery, even if I could afford it. I'm also scared of not being able to exercise during the recovery time. I have fears about regaining too, but I find security in sticking to my routines.

02-15-2006, 02:38 PM
congratulations on all 3 of you who have lost so much weight. I hope one day I will be getting the same congrats from people.

I would definately recommend talking to your doctor about your situation. Personally, i think i would talk to my doctor if i lost over a100 pounds and was left with alot of lose skin about payment options to have it removed. But now that is just me. I don't have alot of money for that sort of stuff either, but if i am going to lose that much weight, i would definately want to look my best. i am not telling you to do this, but that is probably what i would do.

But i think you should really understand that you have come a long way. Put pictures up on your mirror of you then and you now. and make them big pictures so you can see yourself clearly. I think you will be very pleasantely surprized with what you have accomplished. And be PROUD of your self.

02-15-2006, 03:04 PM
:hug: I think that most of us who've lost a lot of weight go through this. There is a thread on the Maintainers Forum right now about this right here. (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=75489) OK, I see you cross posted, so you've probably read it already.

Some of us have opted for surgery, some have made peace with the skin. Some of us have done a combination. Whatever you do, I think you should get back to exercising. Doing some weight training will make your underlying muscles look better, feel better, and fill out some of the skin better. Plus, exercise just plain makes you feel better about yourself and makes maintenance without constant "dieting" a whole lot easier.

You can't become complacent, because that IS the path to regaining, but you don't need to be so hyper-vigilant that your lifestyle becomes a disorder. Try adding back the exercise- not endless slogging on a piece of cardio equipment, but something that you can feel good about doing.


02-15-2006, 03:39 PM
I totally agree with Mel!! I've been having the same feelings about my body after HUGE drop in weight (160 pounds lost). I just hit my goal weight last week and I still see flab - everywhere. Things giggle more than they ought to - know what I mean *wink wink* I'm still learning, just like you are. Mel is right though, excercise does make you feel better. Alot better, in fact!

On top of making you feel better, I read well researched articles in some respectable publications (though I can't recall which ones right off hand) that excercise will help you rebuild *some*connective tissue. That includes the connective tissue between your skin and muscles - though I'm no doc, so I couldn't tell you how it all comes together. I've shifted my fear or re-gaining and my obsession with calorie intake into something much more constructive. I'm now focused on research, and finding out which excercises work best for the issues I am having.

I'm still looking for activities that I enjoy and fit my schedule. In the meantime, I'm happy enough to do endless slogging on a piece of cardio equipment - simply because I can and it feels great!. For the past 15 years I couldn't boast such a claim. I'm thrilled!

*hugs* Look how much you've accomplished!! It's amazing :)


02-15-2006, 03:56 PM
On top of making you feel better, I read well researched articles in some respectable publications (though I can't recall which ones right off hand) that excercise will help you rebuild *some*connective tissue. That includes the connective tissue between your skin and muscles - though I'm no doc, so I couldn't tell you how it all comes together. I've shifted my fear or re-gaining and my obsession with calorie intake into something much more constructive. I'm now focused on research, and finding out which excercises work best for the issues I am having.

This reminds me that I've read that you should give yourself a year of maintenance to see how much your skin will bounce back before losing all hope. :) I've definitely noticed some small improvements over the last couple months, at least in a couple of areas.

02-15-2006, 04:11 PM
I am not in your position yet, although I have to say I hope to be someday! I bet all the people above are right - exercise and time will probably help. But I wonder if in the meantime, maybe using some shaping type of undergarments - I hate to use the word "girdle" - would help to smooth out the areas you are worried about and at least make you feel better in clothes?

02-15-2006, 04:20 PM
Now, don't get me wrong, I am VERY proud of myself for losing so much weight. Most of the time I love the way I look. It's just at certain times and in certain situations where I feel horrible about myself.
It just really makes me feel so hopeless when I try on a shirt and it clings to my stomach. If any bit of my stomach bulge peaks through the material on a shirt, I won't buy it....even if my husband or friends say that it looks fine. I hate having to wear those underwear that come up to your bra and suck everything in, in order to wear a clingy dress. I hate having to pass up certain outfits because of the material that they're made of. It's just so frustrating!!! I don't want to have to wear a bigger size to compromise for my saggy belly.
I hate the fact that when I run or do jumping jacks, everything on my body "jumps" with me! I hate the way my stomach pulls on me when I bend over. Plus it's just damn uncomfortable.
BUT, I know that I will not be able to afford plastic surgery. I don't have that kind of money and my credit is so poor (because of medical debt from not having insurance, which I'm still paying on) I would never be able to get a loan.
Believe me, I am getting back into exercising again. I'm really watching what I'm eating now....no more peanut butter, no more nibbling on cashews at work, no more snacking on pretzels....and paying more attention to my portion sizes. Plus, I'm drinking a heck of a lot more water.
I love to walk/jog, but I HATE HATE HATE the cold. I've been doing exercise dvd's on and off all winter. For my birthday, my mother-in-law bought me a mini-step machine...it's cool...it tells you how many steps you've taken, how long you've been going, and how many calories you've burned. I really like doing that while watching Friends after work. I'm really not too big on the workout dvd thing.
Plus, the other thing that really bothers me is the fact that no matter what I do, I cannot stop thinking that I'm going to gain it all back. Those thoughts give me serious anxiety.
And then there's the fact that I'm planning on quitting smoking within the next month. I'm really worried that I'm going to gain weight with that venture as well.
I mean, am I ever going to be content with the way that I look?

02-15-2006, 04:26 PM
Don't skimp on nuts! Studies have shown that 5 servings of nuts a week can reduce the risk of heart disease by almost 30%. Nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats and protein, I eat at least one serving of nuts every day!!


The researcher's review of the existing published epidemiologic studies shows that consuming 1 ounce of nuts more than 5 times/week can result in a 25 to 39 percent reduction in coronary heart disease risk among people whose characteristics match those of the general adult U.S. population.

Fat is not evil!!!

02-15-2006, 04:58 PM
I'm not there yet with a large amount of weight lost (ok 63 pounds ain't nothing to be sneezed at) but your anxieties sound really normal to me, from what I have read in maintainers, and some of the dark thoughts that circle around the edge of my thinking from time to time.

I think your on the right track with everything that you are doing, and thinking, and your aware of some of your unhelpful thoughts and are trying to change them.

You're success has been awe inspiring, and I know that your posts have often spurred me on, and I had wondered if you were doing ok since I hadn't seen you around.

Any major life change is going to take some adjustment and getting used to. Your whole life has changed completely in such a short period of time, your bound to be anxious.

I'm another who won't be doing surgery. Even if I could find the money, which is extremely unlikely (we can't even get a mortgage) the scarring worries me (I scar easily and more importantly painfully). I am quite prepared that my slim self isn't going to be what I had originally envisioned.

02-15-2006, 05:05 PM
I'm doing pretty damn good, for the most part. Feels so wonderful to be at a normal weight again.
I remember when I first joined this website, I used to look at the other users and just think, "Wow, I could never lose THAT much weight!!" I actually only ever expected to take off maybe 25 pounds. I never imagined that I would be able to lose this much. See, now here I go again...I should be listening to MYSELF when I get in these moods! LOL
My big worry with plastic surgery is the pain and the possibility of life-threatening infection from a surgery that wasn't medically necessary. I know that I would be so mad at myself if that happened. I'd be too worried that I would be saying "If only I would have...."

02-19-2006, 05:49 PM
Count me as another who was inspired by your loss (and concern when you disappeared!) I joined here just as you were finishing, and yours was about the first big weight loss story I read! Very inspiring!

Like you, I'm worried about gaining back everything I've lost so far -- after all, with all my previous attempts I gained back all the weight and then some! I am comforting myself with a couple of thoughts. First, I know I have to do things I think I can do forever, and I think I am doing those things. Second, I know if I DO start to gain back that I KNOW what I need to do to bring myself back. There are no guarantees in this world, so I am trying to enjoy already being 65 pounds lighter than when I started and look on the bright side... though I can already see some of the issues you are talking about wrt being unhappy with my body... nonetheless, I am also proud of the work I'm putting in.

Thanks for writing this post, it helps those of us on the path see some of the minefields ahead! After all, you're apparently not the only one to have these feelings!

02-19-2006, 06:03 PM
I just wanna put in another vote for exercise and patience...I can't say I've made it to goal yet...but working out has done a lot of good for the saggy skin. (I've been working out pretty consistently now for 7 months) I lost most of my weight in 2003 - so my skin has had some time to shrink back as well. I think it might have gone faster if I had been working out all along. (I was walking daily - but that's it.)
Being afraid of gaining the weight back is normal - but now you are armed with the knowledge of how to be successful in losing it. This, in theory means you can go back to the plan you were on to lose if it starts creeping back on you.

02-19-2006, 06:24 PM
How tall are you? and how old are you? It could be that 160 isn't a good weight for you, but without knowing those other factors it is hard to know. Definitely you should quit smoking! Smoking causes your skin to dry out and causes premature aging. Perhaps your skin could repair itself and become more elastic on its own without surgury if you wen't smoking and damaging it.

You have done fantastic! No one can take that away from you. I hope to do as well some day myself, but where you are at is one of my big fears. To lose so much and do so well and still not be happy with my body.

I belong to a site that is for weight lifters. They seem to indicate that to get that rolly poochy thing gone, you have to clear out all the last little bit of fat under the skin. Well obviously not all of it, women are supposed to have about 20 to 23 percent body fat. But that last little compact tummy is from removing the excess fat under there. Maybe you just aren't there yet? Have you checked your body fat percentages? (And I don't mean with one of those scales, they are pretty inaccurate). Here is an online body fat calculator. Fat calipers are pretty accurate tool : http://www.healthcentral.com/cooltools/nutrition/homebodyfattest.aspx

02-19-2006, 06:54 PM
I don't have any photos on this computer, or I'd post some. One is after I'd lost 75 lbs. A second is 6 months later, and a third is 5 years later... all at the same weight. I personally think I look a lot thinner in the 5-year photo, even though I know I weighed the same. The fact is, it took a while to stretch that skin out, and it's going to take a while for it to tighten up again.

In the first two, I still had a double-chin, albeit it wasn't nearly as pronounced as when I was 75 lbs heavier. But it eventually went away. In all the major flab-areas, it all shrank and went away eventually (enough that I got a second set of stretch-marks when I eventually put weight back on again...)

This time around the block, I'm trying some of that nivia body-makeover skin-tightening stuff. We'll see if it helps, but I'm already seeing signs of losing weight faster than the skin stretches back. I've got horizontal lines across my belly and my hips, and now a big dimple in each butt. While it makes me happy that I can visibly see signs that I'm losing, it kinda grosses me out and makes me pause and sigh.

But today, I was able to wear pants that I haven't worn in over a year. So that's something! The skin will eventually stretch back - you just be patient, and keep doing what you're doing. :hug: