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Muscle and Loose Skin.

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Old 01-02-2009, 08:44 PM   #1
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Default Muscle and Loose Skin.

Do you think there is a relationship between weight training and skin that bounces back easier? In other words, do you think that it is more likely for people who lose only fat to end up with loose and flabby skin as opposed to people who lose fat while also gaining muscle?

Just wondering. My plan includes cardio and plenty of weight training (traditional and kettlebells), but I am paranoid of loose and sagging skin. I mean, that is not stopping me, but I still think about it .
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:50 PM   #2
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No one can predict what your skin will look like at goal, and there is no "method" that makes loose skin more or less likely. I did everything "right" according to all of the advice out there (lifting and exercise, eating healthfully, losing fairly slowly) and still have some loose skin.

Strength training can give you some muscle bulk to "fill out" the loose skin, making it appear firmer. But this doesn't fix the problem so much as fill the areas previously filled with fat with something else (muscle) that looks a little better.

I will say, though, that paranoia over this is misplaced. Loose skin is a LOT easier to hide than fat. It disappears under clothes. And if you're really unhappy with your skin at goal, you have multiple options, including surgery, or hey, if you're really that unhappy, gaining the weight back.

We have a great sticky thread on Skin and Weight Loss:
Weight Loss And Skin FAQs
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:53 PM   #3
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Sign my name to Manda's post because she pretty much said it all.

Also ... keep in mind that your skin will continue to change long after you lose weight. So where you are when you hit your goal might not be where you are in 6 months. It's happened to me, and I know others on the board have experienced the same thing.

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Old 01-02-2009, 08:58 PM   #4
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Exactly right. I did everything "right" too, including lifting heavy weights and adding muscle while I lost fat, but ended up with a lot of excess skin.

Skin is the largest organ in our bodies and can't just magically shrink up and disappear any more than our noses or pancreas can. Once we've forced our bodies to grow excess skin to cover our excess fat, it's not going away -- though its appearance can definitely improve over time.

Unfortunately, nothing we do to our muscles is going to affect the skin that lies on top of the muscle. But building muscle can certainly fill in some loose areas and this is especially true for women's arms. Building some shapely bi's and tri's can really help the appearance of batwings etc. But endless crunches won't do a darn thing for excess skin on the belly. And most of us don't want to build up our waistlines to fill in that skin!

The funny thing is ... of all the dozens of maintainers we have here at 3FC, not a one would trade their excess skin for having the fat back.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoChick View Post
Sign my name to Manda's post because she pretty much said it all.

Also ... keep in mind that your skin will continue to change long after you lose weight. So where you are when you hit your goal might not be where you are in 6 months. It's happened to me, and I know others on the board have experienced the same thing.

.
PC, do you mean you think you look better now than when you initially lost weight? I would love this to be the case for me.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
PC, do you mean you think you look better now than when you initially lost weight? I would love this to be the case for me.
Yes. I lost my initial weight pretty quickly and then slowed down a lot. I've found that some of the worst of the loose skin, especially around my thighs and arms has continued to .. I dunno .. readjust? For want of a better word.

I still have loose skin around my tummy and I always will until I get surgery to remove it (which I plan to do). But my tummy was where I carried the most of my weight and so that isn't unexepcted to me.

But the rest of it has continued to evolve, as it were. Even other people have noticed it. A few months ago my esthetician pointed out during a waxing session that the skin on my thighs was tighter than it used to be. She said she could see a big difference over the last 6-8 month period.

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Old 01-02-2009, 09:19 PM   #7
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Regarding the lose skin... some insurance companies cover cosmetic surgery after significant weight loss. For example, I know Tricare does.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:30 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. As I said, my paranoia is not stopping me, nor would I wish to have more fat instead of skin (excess skin does not lead to heart disease, lol)... But it is a concern none-the-less.

I also carry most of my excess weight in my belly... Apple shaped for sure, but I also have lots of stretch marks from pregnancies in my belly too. I guess I should just expect saggy tummy skin instead of being paranoid about it.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:39 PM   #9
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PC, what great news that is to read. Maybe mine will do some "readjusting" too. My thighs aren't loose at all--just big so I'm still stuck there. My butt seems flat and a bit flabby and my lower abdomen too. I am w/you on the surgery. I had two babies in two years and my lower abdomen and belly button are demolished. My boobs are loose but a wonderbra does--well, WONDERS!
Thanks for the post.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:40 PM   #10
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Oh, also wanted to add--I so agree with the poster above saying that loose skin is SOOOOO much easier to hide than fat. That pretty well sums it up.
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