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

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Old 06-24-2014, 01:33 AM   #1
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Default Excess skin, and crepey skin

Hey everyone,

I'm here on behalf of my wife (who does not know I'm here). This seemed like a wonderful community, so I was hoping I could get some advice for her. She recently lost a lot of weight very quickly, and as a result she has a lot of excess flabby skin, which has also gotten somewhat crepey in many areas. She's developed all kinds of body issues over it and she's been afraid to get online and ask for advice for tightening it back up. She keeps telling me that she wants to fix it, but that she's afraid she's just going to find out that it can't be fixed. Personally, I'm just happy that she's lost all this weight. She keeps saying that she feels so much better after losing it, but now she's so self-conscious about these skin issues that I almost wish she hadn't lost it! (just kidding).

What are some things to look into for her? She's using raw organic shea butter, and raw organic cocoa butter. I've done a little bit of research and I've seen mention of various whipped butters people make that have both of these in them. Is this something worth looking into?

She's been using a dermaroller. She's using it on stretch marks and on all of the loose skin. I'm still kind of skeptical about that functionality of this. It seems like a plausible idea in principle though. There does seem to be some benefit to it so far.

She is also using this high frequency facial thing on a lot of the skin. Again, I'm somewhat skeptical about this, but as with the dermaroller, there are tons of positive reviews on them.

Someone help! I just want her to get back to where she can be comfortable with herself again. She's been getting really down on herself about all of this. Any input would be very much appreciated.
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:57 PM   #2
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Hi and Welcome,

How old is your wife and how much weight did she lose? These can be determining factors, especially age

Excess skin *can* tighten up after a year in maintenance, it did for me somewhat but i will always have issues with loose and crepey skin and there's not much you can do about it. Topicals and lotions will help the skins appearance but will do nothing to help "tighten" it, it's just something she will have to overcome mentally and accept. NO ONE is perfect and just try to help her focus on the positive and don't let the negatives swallow up the successes, tell her to live in the NOW and not let anything steal the joy she should have in what she's accomplished!

There's also the surgical option that she may want to explore
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:58 PM   #3
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Thank you for the responses!

She's 36. She started out at just under 300. She's now down to 230, and it was lost over a period of about 6 months. She's still losing, though not as quickly as she was.

I've been trying to hard to get her to overcome this. I'm not bothered by it (though she has herself convinced that I am), I'm just glad that she's starting to feel healthier. She's talked about surgical options, but I must admit that I have some misgivings in going that route.

It is getting better little by little. I've done a fair amount of research on this and from what I've seen everywhere, it's something that improves on its own in time, with exercise and good diet. She's definitely got the good diet part down. She eats like a bird most of the time.

I think we may start looking into some different clinical options soon, at least tentatively. I can't make the choice for her, but I'm going to continue strongly encouraging against the surgical option at least for the time being.

Thanks for the input, and any other advice would be much appreciated.
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:28 AM   #4
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Thank you for the replies, and thank you for confirming some of the dietary things I've been trying to explain to her.

She's convinced that she needs to eat around 1200-1400 calories per day to keep losing weight, and I keep telling her that that's not enough. Calories are not all equal, and they are not the sole factor at work here. I've tried explaining that and she's being rather stubbornly resistant to it.

I'll look into some of the diet programs you suggested.

I guess my misgivings about the surgery really come from reading stories about botched surgeries and such. I know they're safe, and well established procedures, but I can't help but think that it's better to resort to alternatives. I'm starting to see that there really may not be an alternative though.

She's planning on losing more. She wants to get down to 150, so she still has a way to go. I think she's looking for the 'miracle cure.' I keep subtly trying to tell her that there probably isn't one, but she's insisting on trying all of these things that I am very skeptical of.

One thing she keeps mentioning is bodywraps. I've read quite a bit about how these things essentially accomplish nothing in the long run. Any thoughts on them?
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:02 AM   #5
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QuantumCurt - 1200-1400 calories is fine. Don't take one person's opinion as gold standard. And quite honestly, leave your wife's dietary choices ALONE. I think it's great that you want to help her with self image, that's wonderful. But yes, all the creams, etc WILL NOT HELP. Time and genetics will make the call.

When it comes to eating and diets everyone has an opinion. Doctor's use opnions (as they DO NOT STUDY DIETS IN MED SCHOOL!) except for perhaps the American Standard diet which is being refuted left and right.

Reality is, we are ALLLLLLL different and how our bodies react to foods is all different. My husband and I hungrier at different times of the day and our bodies react very differently to different foods. For my husband to eat my diet would be disasterous to him and for me to eat his preferred way would be disasterous to me. We've both come to accept that. So, trust your wife. If she has managed to eat as she has for 6 months, she can manage for longer.

The ONLY thing that she will need to deal with - no matter HOW you lose the weight - is how to maintain weight loss. She might keep eating 1200-1400 calories her whole life and be fine. She might fast 1-2 days a week and eat a bit more on the other days. She might restrict during the week and have free days on weekends or whatever. SHE WILL find what diet/way of eating works for her. The ONLY thing she cannot do to keep the weight off is go back to old eating habits.

There is NOTHING that says or proves that one way of dieting is better than the other for long term maintenance. Slow and steady 'might' prepare some people better for maintaining as they have less to change in their diet to maintain, but that is a big if.

But what she does need to come to terms with is that perhaps the loose skin is here to stay - or at least a lot of it (some can shrink up over the span of about 3 years), BUT... as you are noticing (and my husband notices) loose skin is no big deal and a healthy body and a healthy partner is WAY more attractive. Surgery isn't an option for me either as well, my skin issues are not interfering with my life and health and we could never afford to pay for it out of pocket as it would almost surely never be covered by insurance.

Restart 5/18/15 began at 263.9. All time high was 275 in 7/03. Low in Summer 2012 of 169.
A for the first 50 pounds lost, plus a for every additional 5 pounds lost on the weight loss reboot:

My journey to a healthier lifestyle blog http://melissaslife42.blogspot.com/
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