Question about the most asked issue of all: saggy skin.
Hi guys! I know that you've all discussed this on many different parts of the forum, but I can't help but ask personally for myself everyone's thoughts on a specific question I want to ask. I've been reading up a bit about saggy skin, and I know that if you have had weight on you for a good amount of time, it increases your chances of having saggy skin. If you've only been overweight for a "few" years, chances are higher that you won't be dealing with loose skin, or very little, if any. My question is...what are a "few" years? I've been fat for 5 years now, my highest weight being 228, but usually my weights been a solid 226 through that duration of time. Before that, I've pretty much been skinny all my life, but I did deal with getting chubby at 16 then losing 50 pounds in 3 months at 17 1/2. Unfortunately, it was because of medicine, and once I got off that medicine, I blew up way worse, and that's when the 5 years of fatness began. Because I gained the weight back so quickly, my stretch marks appeared. Anyways, would 5 years constitute as a few years? My boobs already (regardless of losing 15 pounds so far) have loose skin, and I know that's going to be affected, but man...I'm worried. I was feeling my fat under my arms and I can slightly stretch the skin away from my arms. Could that be just from it being fat? Or is it already the beginning of what we all fear? I'll post photos so you folks have a good idea of what I'm talking about. Also, my weight has been pretty evenly distributed over the years, but my stomach and breast have gotten the most of it, it seems. Has anyone ever had a big stomach but lose it with little to no loose skin? If so, could you share some photos? I need some inspiration! LAST question. I'm sure all of us have had our stretch mark problems, but I have a lot of stretch marks on my stomach. I already know they are there for life, and may look better as I lose weight, but do stretch marks on the stomach = loose skin? Does it affect the skin in such a way? Oh, btw, I'm 23, will be 24 in October~!
The only way to know is to lose the weight. It's hard to say. I've seen people in different circumstances wind up with loose skin while others didn't. Some even get lucky enough that they don't look as if they were overweight at all.
I'm 24 and lost the majority of my weight last year and I have loose skin on my stomach and inner thighs and a slight amount on my upper arms. You'd never actually notice the upper arm skin though, but you'd probably see the stretchmarks.
I was also overweight/obese since childhood. Probably since 1st grade or so.
My strechmarks always looked the same to me. I haven't seen any changes except for the fact that they look closer together now..
The loose skin is a bit annoying, because it can make me look like I have a bit of a gut when I really don't unless I wear the right clothes, but that just takes a little more searching. I still wore a bikini this summer, short shorts, tank tops, etc. loose skin, strechmarks and all.
You're young and you're not that big at your start weight, so it's unlikely that you can expect any major issue with loose or saggy skin. If you were coming from 400 pounds or were 20 years older, it would be much more likely. In the past, I lost over 120lbs and didn't have a terrible problem with skin issues. It wasn't as firm as possible, but it wasn't an obvious issue to anyone but me.
Don't fret about it- it probably won't be a big problem for you. If you're concerned, it never hurts to make sure you're taking care of your body (getting plenty of nutrients and drinking enough water); these things might help your body (and skin) to be able to react better to the changes.
Your skin probably won't be as taut as it would be if you hadn't lost weight but you are quite young. Wait a year after you lose the weight and my guess is that you will probably be reasonably happy with the result. You will certainly be happier with how you look in your new wardrobe and more importantly you will be on track for a healthier life style.
But I do "get it": it totally stinks to work hard to lose weight then maintain the loss and still have issues with your appearance. I lost 50 pounds (working on re-re-losing the last 5), but I am twice your age, so I had an issue with the pouchiness on my tummy after losing weight. I paid for non-surgical skin tightening. The results were modest but noticeable, and I am now pretty happy with where I am.
So, I guess I would say you should lose the weight, maintain the loss for at least a year, then assess whether you are happy or not and what your options are.
Deborah: Hoping to earn the user name NoYoyoMa (maintenance start: 6/30/2014)
The only true answer is...you won't know til you get there, and by the time you've lost all that weight, you'll be so happy to weigh that much less, it won't be a gigantic issue that keeps you up at night, if you have any. I got plenty - at least 2 sizes worth around my midsection, and so what? It's not that big of a deal. Plastic surgery would be nice, but life is pretty wonderful without it.
I just want to give everyone who worries about loose skin a big hug and say, QUIT WORRYING!!! EVEN WHEN IT'S PRETTY BAD, IT'S NOT THAT BAD!!
Looking at your skin I really don't think you will have an issue. If you smoke quite asap, drink a lot of water, use a loofa to remove dead skin, and lotion with palmers coco butter and take collagen supplements and omega 3 but Dr. Oz suggested a few weeks ago that works even better then omega 3 but I cannot find the episode. Also toning with heavy weights helps also. I wish you the best of luck, I am in the same boat.
More than anything I think these two factors come into play - age and heredity.
I probably have the world's worst kind of skin. I get stretch marks extremely easily (when my boobs grew as a teen, they were one HUGE red streaked stretch mark). During pregnancy, I was still LOSING weight, but getting stretch marks. Look up the worst pictures of pregnancy stretch marks, that's what I have.
Yes, they have faded, but they are forever there and it's 100% heredity as my mom is/was exactly the same.
Now that I've lost about 100 pounds from my top weight, I have loose skin and I always will have loose skin and I know it. I'm 42 years old... that's not young as far as skin goes.
Now, in the last 8 months, my weight has mostly stabilized, but the loose skin on my tummy and arms has gotten better, but it will never go away completely. I know that. The only thing it seems to affect is my comfort in a bikini and in what "I" see in a mirror and photos. My husband could care less. He just sees a much healthier and prettier wife. The loose skin is 100% MY issue, not anything he or anyone else is concerned about.
And it is true... loose skin is a much better problem to have than obesity for so many reasons.
I'm in my 50s, so my loose skin isn't going anywhere anytime soon. My flabby arms prevent me from wearing sleeveless dresses in public but, other than that, it's not so bad. And, as others have said, it is MUCH MUCH BETTER than being obese.
I want to free myself from the burden of inaction. I want to raise myself to any plane I can imagine. ---Crowded House
Thanks for all the feedback everyone! I guess I just fear what anyone fears with weightloss. I'm still being OCD about being able to SLIGHTLY (and when I say slighty, I mean very slightly) pull my back my skin from my fat on my stomach and such. Gah! I'll just have to wait for the results!
Love yourself, no matter what.
A cheer for every 5 pounds lost!
(I gained 41 pounds back from falling of the band wagon back in the mid of October 2012. This is my new tracker. I don't have the heart to take down my old one as I'm so sad about it... )
I agree with other posters saying that age and genes have a large part in how someone looks after weight loss. I looked about the same as you near my highest weight and I have been overweight my whole life. I lost the majority of my weight over one year and I am just working on the last 20 or so now. I do not have any loose skin yet and
I attribute that to genes, my age, and the fact that I've lifted weights during the entire process.
I agree with Sontaikle that you can't possibly know until you've lost the weight. You are young and your skin has a good chance of bouncing back. Good luck to you!
oh my gosh lose the weight I will highly bet on you will notttt have loose skin do not let this stop you. Lose the weight go by body fat percentage tighten up your body with weight training and you will barely notice those stretch marks on your stomach it's really not that bad at least for an outsider who's looking. I would almost guarantee you will tone up and be fine just DO NOT PUT IT OFF you will regret it.
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