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

Worried about skin/baggage after big weight loss

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Old 01-01-2015, 07:14 PM   #1
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Default Worried about skin/baggage after big weight loss

Im really worried about the loose skin issue that comes with a big weight loss ESPECIALLY after Ive also had it stretched out from a singleton and a twin pregnancy in less than 20 months! Is it possible to shrink extra skin without having surgery? If so how? Anything supplement wise like vitamin e or anything to take while working on weight loss? I feel like I will look just as bad but for just a different reason if I lose the weight I need to (100+).

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Old 01-01-2015, 08:05 PM   #2
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From what I understand, HM, is that skin elasticity simply cannot keep up with significant weight loss (such as the 100+ pounds you mentioned) in a short amount of time, as when people have weight-loss surgery. Many who do have surgery to lose weight remain unhappy with the "skin suit" they are left with and thus require body contouring surgery to feel better about themselves. That isn't great news, but the basic problem is that if you lose weight too fast, it may not be possible for your skin to go back to exactly the way it was before the weight gain.

When weight loss is much less dramatically fast, however, skin elasticity usually has time to catch up. So the better choice is to lose weight slowly, exercise (to create a layer of muscle under the skin), use moisturizer (collagen and vitamin E to promote elasticity and promote new skin-cell growth), and drink lots of water to keep the skin hydrated and elastic.

Good luck!
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:56 PM   #3
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Hi there Happiest Mom,

As you can imagine, this question gets asked a lot around here, and the answers given to it vary pretty wildly. IMO, there are too many factors at play such as your age, genetics, overall health, years spent overweight, etc. to predict your results. Here on 3FC, I've heard people say that they've lost slowly, done everything the previous poster suggested, and still had loose skin. I've heard people say they've lost their weight rapidly and had no issues with loose skin.

To my knowledge, there haven't been any significant number of studies done to say whether the phenomenon of loose skin is affected by anything within our control, or even how often it occurs and to whom. Lacking in any hard, scientific data to provide you, I would say ultimately you do the best you can to lose the weight while maintaining a healthful diet and hope for the best. Certainly everything the previous poster suggested could do no harm to try.

When you get down to it, what's the alternative? There really isn't one except for staying overweight.
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:33 PM   #4
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I am well on my way to losing 100. For a while it seemed that I would have a loose skin problem but getting that dang fat off was first priority and I sure as heck didn't look so hot with all that weight on me.

I am now over 70 lbs off and no skin problems. It started shrinking and has done a splendid job.

It does not hurt to make sure you have all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to maintain health while doing the weight loss.

And fear of loose skin is about the flimsiest excuse there is to not lose. The benefits of better health outweigh any and all reasons to not lose. And helps insure the children will have a mother later on in life.

Best to you and yours

And happy New Years to you

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Old 01-02-2015, 02:41 AM   #5
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I'm starting to see the loose skin. Clothed, I look good... unclothed, well, let's just say I'm getting a swim shirt for the pool. Maybe skin will catch up, maybe not. I still think it's worth it. There are so many other benefits to being smaller.
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:43 AM   #6
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I'll never be able to wear a swimsuit or shorts...didn't before anyway at over 300 pounds. I'll take the loose skin...nobody can see it under clothes.
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Old 01-02-2015, 09:54 AM   #7
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My goodness! You are not *that* big! (At least I don't think so)

Look at my siggy, I have lost weight after 3 pregnancies. I am about your height and the weights listed are my weights about 2 weeks after delivery, when baby is out and all the fluid retention was gone. My last pregnancy I was 234 at delivery, but 215 when I started my loss journey a couple weeks later.

When I got close to goal, especially into the 140s, I didn't have any loose skin except the same you would find on a women that has been pregnant at any weight! And I lost that weight over the course of about a year each time.

I will say, it is important to exercise to tone! I ran and also did weight training. And I will say there were times during all those years if I slacked off, my arms especially would start to get bat wings, but weight training regularly and consistently helped that tremendously.

If you just diet to lose weight you may notice more loose skin than if you exercise. Its not that toning tightens skin, but gaining / toning muscle under the skin greatly improves the appearance.

As for the belly, I know plenty of ladies that were never fat but have loose skin from pregnancy. I carry very big, I'm all belly, so I expect it. There's only so much you can do there without surgery. But don't worry your entire body is going to be sagging skin. And I'm in my 30s btw, if you are younger you would have youth on your side.

I would say you #1 way to decrease the appearance of any loose skin is dedication to exercise & weight training. And really weight train the whole body! Don't just do some bicep curls and call it a day. You can look up inform on google, or if you have the resources, join a gym and get some personal trainer time. Really learn how to work each body part thoroughly.

Good luck!!
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:20 AM   #8
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thanks everyone...oh Im 28 btw so kinda have youth on my side lol...but I have been overweight pretty much since I started my periods and stuff..around 8 yrs old I started getting pudgy...and it just went down..or..uphill I guess I should say lol..from there... Oh Im definitely losing the weight not saying I want to be fat forever to just not have the skin issue haha but just saying I dread possibly doing all this hard work and then STILL not being happy with my appearance...Im going to be walking with twins in stroller and also going to the gym and then of course watching what I eat so getting healthier on all fronts...
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Old 01-03-2015, 02:26 AM   #9
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I don't think you have much to worry about.. Your info says you only want to lose 40 lbs, I haven't seen many people with that loss and noticeable loose skin.
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:31 AM   #10
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I agree with that ReeseJimi.

And I hate outright disagreeing with another posters post, but I totally disagree with your Mossy, sorry, but I find it not factual. I clicked the link and disagree with that guy also.

I posted above that I have lost 73 lbs and I have. 35 lbs of it in the past 5 months. I am 74. I am supposed to have flabby loose sagging skin anyway. But I don't. At first my gut sagged and looked horrible, but no worse than looking pregnant with triplets and a month overdue. And I am a guy not a gal. But it has tightened up and the skin is staying up with my weight loss, especially since I have started losing other places than my beer-belly paunch, which is 95% gone and you can bet anything you want to that was all fat, not muscle loss. Hard exercise burns a lot of fat. The body does not use up muscle to burn for energy if it has fat reserves. I found it very difficult the guy could claim such. The body will burn muscle if you go into very strict dieting and do not exercise, the body will get rid of that it sees it does not need. If one is not exercising then muscle would be burned. But if one is doing hard exercise and on a very calorie restrictive diet they will both burn fat AND build muscle.

At your weight and age I would not worry about it at all. At my age and weight I sure am not worrying about it, and like I said, I am 74. Experience talking here.

Take vitamins and supplements, and you probably do not need it at your age, but you can put on a quality skin cream to help the skin also.

Nothing to do with your problem here Happiest Mom, but in the link from above which I clicked a woman was saying she weighed 105 lbs when she got pregnant and gained 87 lbs. WOW !! My wife had six children and only gained about 20 lbs each time and returned to normal in about 3 months. Some women use being pregnant as an excuse to eat like a cow and they suffer for it afterwards. I completely discounted her story for one because it is so atypical and second everyones skin does not tighten up at the same speed. And I know there are some unfortunates whose skin does not shrink, or not near what is needed. You will not know until you have lost the weight and given it some time to shrink.

Best of luck to you and yours.

Sorry Mossy, but I could not let that post stand. And I would suggest you do some more research on that issue.

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Old 01-03-2015, 11:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Fat Rooster View Post
I agree with that ReeseJimi.

And I hate outright disagreeing with another posters post, but I totally disagree with your Mossy, sorry, but I find it not factual. I clicked the link and disagree with that guy also.

I posted above that I have lost 73 lbs and I have. 35 lbs of it in the past 5 months. I am 74. I am supposed to have flabby loose sagging skin anyway. But I don't. At first my gut sagged and looked horrible, but no worse than looking pregnant with triplets and a month overdue. And I am a guy not a gal. But it has tightened up and the skin is staying up with my weight loss, especially since I have started losing other places than my beer-belly paunch, which is 95% gone and you can bet anything you want to that was all fat, not muscle loss. Hard exercise burns a lot of fat. The body does not use up muscle to burn for energy if it has fat reserves. I found it very difficult the guy could claim such. The body will burn muscle if you go into very strict dieting and do not exercise, the body will get rid of that it sees it does not need. If one is not exercising then muscle would be burned. But if one is doing hard exercise and on a very calorie restrictive diet they will both burn fat AND build muscle.

At your weight and age I would not worry about it at all. At my age and weight I sure am not worrying about it, and like I said, I am 74. Experience talking here.

Take vitamins and supplements, and you probably do not need it at your age, but you can put on a quality skin cream to help the skin also.

Nothing to do with your problem here Happiest Mom, but in the link from above which I clicked a woman was saying she weighed 105 lbs when she got pregnant and gained 87 lbs. WOW !! My wife had six children and only gained about 20 lbs each time and returned to normal in about 3 months. Some women use being pregnant as an excuse to eat like a cow and they suffer for it afterwards. I completely discounted her story for one because it is so atypical and second everyones skin does not tighten up at the same speed. And I know there are some unfortunates whose skin does not shrink, or not near what is needed. You will not know until you have lost the weight and given it some time to shrink.

Best of luck to you and yours.

Sorry Mossy, but I could not let that post stand. And I would suggest you do some more research on that issue.

B F R
Where did you form this opinion from? I'm curious because it sounds anecdotal.

Studies exist to support what Mossy is saying. I'm over simplifying this, but decreased caloric intake does cause a decrease in muscle mass. Now I'm not going to give exact numbers because I don't know them. Also the kind of calories matter too, such as protein vs carbs in terms of muscle preservation.

People that have a decreased intake due to just decreased appetite are at risk for muscle wasting. Under your idea, if those people has some fat to lose, they'd lose that first, and that is simple not true. While they will lose fat, they will also lose muscle mass.

Those that go on "diets" and decrease their over all caloric intake are absolutely at risk for muscle wasting as well. Regardless of how much fat they have to lose.

You said the hard exercise burns fat, but do you not realize that while exercising you are also working to maintain and even build muscle mass?

Patients in the hospital that are immobile and have a decreased intake are a great risk for losing muscle mass, because their inactivity compounds their decreased caloric intake.

http://advances.nutrition.org/content/3/2/119.full

There is one journal article but I'm sure if you looked you would find many more.

I'm not saying a healthy, young adult is going to waste away if on a diet, but there will absolutely be a loss of muscle mass.

I'm sorry but saying the body doesn't have muscle loss during weight loss based on your assumption of your own situation is not really a good place to base an opinion. I can't say to Mossy's link or not, but I don't need to read it. There are plenty of scientific papers supporting that muscle loss occurs. I'm not going to say those exact numbers are correct, but the overall theory is.
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2007- 230 lbs to 160 lbs after baby #1 Boy
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~ 5K at 26 weeks~Ran until 31 weeks~ (Stopped due to doctor's orders)
~Now cycling, walking and strength training for a healthy pregnancy and hopefully faster delivery~

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Old 01-03-2015, 11:35 AM   #12
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I'll have to disagree with a LOT of the above, particularly the link that says Marian Carey is 107lbs, lmao.

Hey, my highest was only about 163 at 41 weeks pregnant. My stomach as lots of loose skin. I'm a size 4-6! Weight trained 12 years now. Sucks, but what can you do? Our bodies suffer scars of pregnancy, injury, and excess weight.

Acceptance comes with time. Remember health is the #1 goal, even if we use the mirror as #1 motivation
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Old 01-03-2015, 02:08 PM   #13
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I've heard Omega-3 can help with skin elasticity (fish oil).. but I don't think there's a whole lot of scientific evidence to back that up. It is still good for you, so it's not a bad thing to take a supplement of if you're worried. There are other benefits to it As with anything, just don't take more than recommended and all. I take the supplement because I hate the taste of fish in general (or at least any fish I've tried, they all seem to have an underlying fishy taste), so getting them into my diet is difficult.

You're still fairly young, and I agree with GlamourGirl in that you really don't have that much to lose, so I don't think skin elasticity is going to be a problem for you. Weight training is also suppose to help, as others have mentioned. Losing slower helps as mentioned by others too, it gives your skin time to adjust.

Even if you end up with some loose skin initially, it can shrink over time too as your body adjusts to your new weight.
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Old 01-03-2015, 04:06 PM   #14
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thanks everyone..I guess I will just have to see what happen lol lol...40lbs is my first goal I should add...putting 140 there just seemed like so far off and so discouraging lol....but to be 200lbs would be a great start...cant remember the last time I was under 220 so..yeah...Im not going to do anything to encourage rapid weight loss ..like no extreme dieting etc...so dont think I'll be dropping my 40lbs in a month or two lol..but yeah...just have to see what happens..... thanks for all the replies!
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Old 01-03-2015, 06:18 PM   #15
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Try not to let the thought of loose skin discourage you. I have quite a bit but am still thrilled with my weight loss.

Good luck to you!
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