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Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss Including discussions about excess skin and reconstructive surgery

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Old 12-22-2013, 02:15 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Unhappy Sagging 'Turkey' Neck At 21

Iím a 21 year old male and about six weeks ago, I developed what I think is a ďturkey neckĒ look pretty much overnight, and itís ruining my life because Iím too self conscious to leave the house. I would attach images but haven't posted enough.

Some background info:

I got chubby when I was around 15-17 years old by eating junk food all day every day, and when I was 18, I decided to get fit and lost 25kg over about four months. Itís been two years since I got to my goal weight, and my face has been thinning out and tightening up slowly since then (I had a lot of fat in my face and neck when I was overweight).

I try to be healthy most of the time (eating the right foods, drinking fresh juices, exercising), but I also know that thereíve been many periods over the past couple of years where I donít eat much at all, maybe like 500 calories a day. There have also been many periods where Iíve binge eaten for a while, not too badly, but enough that Iíll gain a couple of kilos. My face and neck also seem to gain weight easily when I binge eat. Whenever I get to the stage where I feel too bad for binge eating, Iíll pretty much stop eating for a few days to get back to my goal weight.

For the last six months Iíd been eating pretty regularly day-in, day-out, and was looking really good, the skin on my face and neck seemed to be tighter than it had ever been and I had a nice neckline. Before I noticed the ďturkey neckĒ, I got into a depressed state and was binge eating junk food pretty badly for about two weeks (maybe 4000 calories per day). This made my face and neck swell up a bit, not too badly, but it was noticeable. When I finally decided to stop the binge eating and subsequently didnít eat for a few days, my filled-out neck shrunk back and turned into the ďturkey neckĒ I have now overnight.

Iíve done research and know itís my platysmal bands bunching together and sagging. Iíve noticed the platysmal bands in the mirror in certain lighting before, but they werenít sagging until now, they just followed the line of my neck. Iíve also thought I had a ďturkey neckĒ appearance many times over the last couple of years, but it was always when I was binge eating and the whole neck would sag together, rather than just the platysmal bands, and once I ate less my neck went back to normal.

I know the lifestyle Iím leading at the moment isnít ideal for my skins health. I smoke marijuana quite a bit (about two joints a day), and am worried that the smoke is contributing to my damaged skin. I also usually smoke before bed (every night), so I thought I might never be getting quality sleep and therefore not letting my body rejuvenate itself. Iím worried nutritional deficiency is another contributing factor due to not eating much as time. I also donít drink much water a lot of the time but know that I should (I just forget). I wear concealer on my face and a lot of the time I go to bed without washing my face. I donít have the best genes for my face and neck, I look just like my mother, and although she has nice skin tone and texture, she has lots of excess skin on her neck and has had the turkey neck look for as long as I can remember.

The fact that Iím only 21 and dealing with this makes me feel like I canít socialise at all. People refer to people my age as the epitome of youth, and ageing women say, ďIíll never look 21 againĒ, yet Iím 21 and dealing with this. Another thing is that I know Iím considered quite attractive: good jaw line, nice cheekbones, nice blue eyes, so I feel like the turkey neck contrasts with the rest of my appearance SO MUCH, people might look at me and think Iím gorgeous, but as soon as they notice the turkey neck, theyíll think the total opposite.

When I pull the neck skin up towards my jaw line, my neck goes back to how it looked beforehand. What are some things I can do to try and tighten up my skin and get my neck back to the way it looked before? After New Years Iím going to go crazy with diet, eating as many superfoods and fresh juices as I can, taking supplements, drinking as much water as I can, and obviously stopping the smoking completely. I also thought of going to a dermatologist to get a prescription for Retin-A. I already moisturise my face and neck and slather on sunscreen everyday, which is one plus.

Any advice on what I could do to improve this, or what could be the main factor causing it, would be INCREDIBLY APPRECIATED as it is literally making me go crazy and ruining my life.
296091lwj is offline  
Old 12-22-2013, 06:10 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Finland
Posts: 165

Height: 5'8"


Definitely drop the smoking habit and start to drink more water. You could also massage the skin with oils (like olive or avocado oil), but don't tug or pull. I was actually also just reading a book on facial exercises. Haven't done them yet, but I know that some people swear by them.

You're still at an age where your body produces collagen sufficiently, so not all is lost. Vitamin C is needed to produce collagen, so start taking that, if you're not already. It's water soluble and only stays in the body for 12 hours, so it's good to take it twice per day. Also, definitely use sunscreen especially if you start to use Retin-A.

Honestly though, you're probably paying more attention to it than other people ever would. Such small details kind of become "background noise" after you start talking with a person and get to know them. Some superficial "flaws" have bothered me in men, but only when they were constantly pointing them out to me. I never would've really paid attention to it, but I was forced to. Or perhaps it was the lack of self-esteem that was annoying me :-) So please be mindful of that. Don't make an issue out of it and others won't do that either. What you focus on will grow (literally or figuratively), so focus on your lovely self. You're much more magnetic and attractive than you think, but you can reverse that and start to push people away if you walk around thinking that your neck would turn people off. It doesn't, but your attitude might, so be careful.
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