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Bringing Your Body Into Balance

My 100+ pound weight loss is what grabs people's attention. However, my weight loss was merely a side effect of finally taking my health and happiness into my own hands and finding that perfect balance. Body, mind, spirit. It all matters.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

To Answer the Question of "Do You Have Loose Skin?"


After losing almost half of my body weight, I have received a ton of questions. Too many to answer a lot of times so I'm sorry if you've asked a question and never received an answer. However, I've tried to answer all the ones that I can. Perhaps the most frequent question I receive is if I have any loose skin and, if not, how did I manage that when I was so heavy for so long. Well, this is a complicated answer so here's my "loose skin" story....


When I hit the 75/85 pound loss area, I had a loooot of loose skin starting to appear. It was actually really disheartening in the beginning. However, I did some research that changed my mentality. I read up on all the loose skin theories and looked at lots of surgeries to remove this "loose skin". I found plenty of people telling me it was hopeless that surgery was the one and only answer. However, in the middle of pages and pages of hopelessness I found this guy www.bodyfatguide.com/LooseSkin.htm . Now, let me say, I don't know this dude from Adam. He could be a flaming idiot for all I know. BUT, when I read this, it made perfect sense to me and those are the things in life that I tend to believe. So maybe I believed it because I wanted to believe it?....maybe....but every day my results support the validity of it.


Basically, he says that people have loose skin after weight loss because they, often, don't lose enough. My previous research in "skin removal" surgery supported this notion. I noticed (before finding this dude's page) that all the people getting the surgery were still overweight!!! And their "after" pictures shown without a shadow of a doubt that they were having more than skin removed. It made perfect sense to me! There's still enough fat when you lose down from obese to overweight that it weighs down the skin and prevents it from tightening back up. As he points out, skin is paper thin, not big thick folds...that's skin with fat under it. I know this because I could (and still can) grab the bottom of my stomach and feel the lumpy fat still luking inside of there.


So I kept on losing. And I'm still losing. The closer I get to my ideal body fat percent the less loose skin I have. Notice I said ideal body fat percent and not ideal weight. This is because you can't depend on the number on the scale when you get close to your goal. I am 151 and fairly firm. I know other women who are my same body type & height and mushy at 151. Muscle is everything at this point. And the more you have, the better you will look. Not only because it reshapes your body & boosts your metabolism but also because it helps fill in that loose skin.


My skin now is not perfect but it's looking better and better with every pound I lose. However, when I FIRST lose a little more, my skin will be a little saggy for a few days but then it will start tightening up a bit.



Here's some other things I do that have helped firm up my skin:
  • Stay hydrated!
  • Eat healthy fats 
  • Eat fruits and veggies!!! Let me just say that, more and more as time goes on, the biggest difference I see in the elasticity of my skin is when I don't eat enough fresh fruits and veggies.
  • Moisturize with a seed oil based moisturizer (because I've read that's the best absorbed by your skin)
  • EXFOLIATE! Every day!!
  • If you love to be tan (like I do), use more self-tanner and tan less because tanning makes your skin lose elasticity BIG TIME!


Is my skin perfect? No. Will it ever be? No. I've been obese most of my life and was pregnant at 30 (and topped out at 299 pounds before giving birth). I have stretch marks, cellulite and not the tighest skin ever. BUT, with every pound I lose, I am shocked with just how much better my skin looks! My stretch marks are fading (and shrinking!), my cellulite is slowly disappearing and my skin is already tighter than I thought it would ever be and I know it will just keep getting better from here. So now the not so happy news....the one area where my improvement is extremely slow and still very disheartening is in my breasts. I guess for the exact reason that guy gave. There is still something (although not much these days, lol) weighing the skin down and not allowing it to pull back up. I'm hopeful that they will catch up (pun intended) with the rest of my skin but, even if they don't, they aren't horrible or anything even now. Everything else I feel I can (and will) fix naturally with a little more weight loss.


So, as you can see, the answer to the question of "did/do you have loose skin after so much weight loss" is "yes and no....but more 'no' everday!"

Update: I am now 145 pounds and have added more muscle mass. The girls are lookin good ya'll! They definitely aren't those of a hard bodied 20 year old but I am happy enough with them that I don't think I'll get surgery after all...probably not, I'll keep ya posted...

My tummy has also came a LONG WAY! Its a litle not-so-firm around the belly button and at the very bottom still but its so slight at this point that it doesn't even bother me at all, I feel pretty confident (well, most days anyway). I can even pull off a two piece if I'm well hydrated, moisturized and brown! And I'm not even done yet!!! I have all but decided that my previous theory (not that it was just mine) was correct. I am pretty positive that in the very near future my belly will be smooth and taute! And, when that day comes, I'll post pics to prove it!!!

1st Image Provided by http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2664
2nd image provided by http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=879

11 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Thank you for answering a question I had before I had it. It was something I was worried about with losing weight.

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  3. This has been my problem since losing 37 pounds. I will probably lose a little more, but not much. But the loose skin is bothering me so very much that I would never wear anything with short sleeves again in public. And my legs look GREAT in opaques - but so not without them. I've been told nothing can be done - or that "bulking up" helps. I know I will NEVER be able to afford surgery - I can't even manage office visit co-pays! - but I am trying to bulk and tone. I want ME back.

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  4. Thanks! This is a very interesting and helpful perspective, and the first I've ever heard of it. I'm going to give it a try

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  5. This is interesting. Thanks for the info.

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  6. Great motivation! You may be saving multiple live by sharing your story....keep it up!

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  7. Thank you so much for giving me hope! :)

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  8. Wonderful and I agree also. 99% of the tummy tuck photos are of people with lots of belly fat. I keep reading sin, but I see a lot of fat under the skin as well. I'm going for the gusto to loose the weight and see how my skin responds. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  9. This is pretty cool, because I am just now starting my new healthy lifestyle, and to be honest, part of the reason I've been reluctant to lose weight is because of the loose skin. So thank you for posting this!

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  10. I weigh 250lbs before, been on a dramatic diet, loss 120lbs in 5months. that was three years ago, I still maintain my weight at 120 lbs today. Been on the gym 6x a week to maintain my weight, i avoid eating carbs, but I'm more on protein like egg whites, and my bones are pretty obvious, and i'm under weight, my arms are skinny together with my legs and butt, but i still have an excess skin at my tummy, obviously seen when i sit down, do i need to loss more weight?

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    1. I really have no idea without seeing you (and I don't know that I would even feel comfortable making that judgement if I did see you). My only, extremely general, suggestions to you are to make sure you're always adding muscle and that you are eating as nutritiously as possible as a healthy, anti-oxidant rich diet will improve your skin elasticity. Keep in mind, I never claimed that my skin has the tightness of a teenager or that anyone else would have the same results as me. The best thing you can do is love your body into the best body IT can be. Good luck to you!

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