Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Don't Like My Melting Body

When people lose a lot of weight, everyone gushes. Everyone admires and applauds and expects us to talk about how great we feel and how much happier we are. And that's reasonable. I mean, losing a lot of weight really does improve your quality of life in most cases. It's easier to do simple things like walk, bend, tie my shoes. I can sit on the floor and get back up. I can go to events and not worry about breaking the lawn chairs they have out for us to sit in. I can vacuum the house and play with my kids. Life IS better.

But no one likes to hear the negative stuff. When you lose a lot of weight, you're not supposed to complain about it, or talk about the parts you don't like. It's almost like if you say something negative you are ungrateful for the chance you have to be thinner. Hey, I've felt that way before myself. When I weighed 250+ pounds and I'd see people blogging about how much they hated their hip fat at 175 pounds, I'd roll my eyes and think, "I would KILL to have your hip fat! Wanna trade?" But really, how we feel is how we feel. And *not liking* something about the process does not negate the huge relief, gratitude and happiness I have that I have lost this weight.

My body used to be way too large. I hated how I looked and felt. My knees were hurting ALL the time even up until about 10 pounds ago. When I weighed 278 pounds, my skin was tight. When I'd run my hands over my body it felt very curvy and soft yet firm. Every curve had density to it. I felt solid.

Now, my body is more than 90 pounds lighter. The flesh is deflated, and the curves, while still there, are no longer firm with tight skin. People talk about "loose skin" after weight loss, but I am finding it is more like the flesh that is there is really squishy and not at all firm. The skin IS different... not smooth on my thighs by any means. It's like you inflated a large balloon to capacity, left it that way for ten years, and then left half the air out. Can you picture the surface? Kind of wrinkly? Not "loose" but different. It still covers the air in the balloon, but it is not smooth and firm when you run your hands over it anymore.

I don't like it. When I get dressed in the morning I get a little disconcerted when I look at myself. I understand what's going on, here; my hips, for example, used to measure 58 inches around. That was 58" of skin covering that fat. If you cut a strip of skin off me where I was measuring and laid it flat, it would have been 58" long. That is almost five feet of skin. Last time I measured my hips they were 14 inches smaller. What happened to that extra skin... a foot and two inches of skin that is no longer stretched across my hips? Well, I guess it shrank some, because there isn't anything hanging. And in fact the skin in that area is not very wrinkly at all. I have done dry skin brushing and used lots of lotion; maybe that helps. My legs and arms have a much worse problem with the skin not shrinking up enough. And that skin is full of fat. It is not hanging SKIN as much as it is wobbly, mushy FAT.

The other day in the grocery store I reached for something on a shelf right in front of my daughter, who was sitting in the shopping cart. I saw her eyes fix onto my upper arm flab, which was hanging off my arm like a baboon swinging wildly on a branch. She stared. I knew what she was wondering. She reached out and touched the bat wing. I put my arm down and cheerily went about my shopping, talking about canned tomatoes and which kind of cereal to buy. She didn't say anything, but I knew she'd never seen an arm quite like that.

I don't like my melting body. I don't like the skin being wrinkly in places and the deflated feeling of my fat. I don't like that I can poke with my finger and it goes in two inches because the fat is so loose and mushy. I don't like that when I put on my underwear, which fit perfectly and are not tight at all, they dent into my fat a good inch or more because that fat is so soft and squishy. I don't like that my upper arm fat sways in the breeze if I reach for something, or that I have a patch of wrinkly skin appearing under my jawline. I absolutely do not like the sensation that I am melting, with my flesh dripping down like wax off a hot candle. My body is not the right shape anymore. It feels like someone should take a spatula and scrape up the oozing frosting and get rid of the drips. I do not like it at all.

It has been more noticeable with these last ten pounds. When I am 193, it's there but not too bothersome. And oddly, when I am 185 as I am today, the 'drippage' and 'melt effect' is astounding. It bothers me and I think that is part of why I have been having a hard time breaking below 185. I am afraid it is going to get worse. And when something mental is getting in the way of weight loss, I write about it, deal with it, and move forward. Thus, my post.

Oh yes, there is a simple fix for this problem. If I hate it so much, I can just eat my way back to 278 pounds and have that lovely tight skin and firm fat again. That's our option: gain back the weight if we don't like the thinner body. But there is so much I do love about my new weight and even my new body... so much that I would never consider regaining just to get away from the sensation that I am melting. Ninety percent of my experience with being thinner is fantastic! The ability to mop the floors and go places and fit into nice clothes is great. My curves are still there and I like that. In clothes I actually look amazing! I smile and say "wow" every day when I get dressed and look in the mirror. But that ten percent, where I see myself naked and get a little anxious, has to be acknowledged and accepted. It is OKAY to have some negative feelings about weight loss. Denying those feelings, in my experience, leads to binge eating.

So, while there is something I don't like, I do like the overall package. I like the results of my work, and I will keep on working. Eventually this 'melt' will change to something else... not sure what, but I am excited to find out!

52 comments:

Cris said...

Its in our nature to seek out all the 'bad' when we look at our bodies. I wonder if you saw your beautiful hair? Your long legs? Hows your neckline look? What about that curve of your hip, when you are laying on your side? Theres a lovely bone there that I JUST uncovered the last 5 pounds or so.

Concentrate on the good. You are doing an awesome job!

30 by 30 said...

I know exactly how you feel. This post really hit home with me. After three children, breastfeeding all of them, and losing weight, I have lots of lose skin on my belly and my breasts. I am extremely self-conscious about it, especially in front of my husband. But he tells me it is no big deal and that I'm beautiful! I'm sure I blow it way out of proportion. I have been doing more strength training hoping to firm everything up under the skin so hopefully everything will appear firmer. I just started doing this last week so I haven't really noticed any big changes yet, but I hope to.
You are an inspiration. Losing weight is not easy. And you have faced times where you could have gotten discouraged and given up but you didn't. I think your pictures look great! :)

Moonkidsmomma said...

Yes , yes, yes! And I am right in the same camp with you. My upper arms look like a gastric bypass patient and all my hard work in my mind is often discounted by catching a glimpse of this in the side mirror of the car. It bothers me and it bothers me BAD. I have been asked alot if I had weight loss surgery and I QUICKLY answer NO just diet and exercise! When a plastic surgeon told me I had great arm muscles and removing the skin would take less that 30 minutes it was like a punch in the stomach. The $6,000 price tag for 30 minutes and no more hanging wings, Sigh! The way that skin bothers me it would be so worth it. But I don't have the means just yet so it's heartbreaking. For now I will just keep plugging along and honestly I am look forward to cooler days and long sleeves. I refuse to go back to obese so I have to focus on all the benefits instead. Your not alone on this.

L A U R A said...

Wow, I can really relate. I have loose skin, too...Even after losing 125 lbs. and at the weight I'm at now, sometimes when I sit down I still have a fold of loose skin that looks like belly fat, but isn't. It's sometimes embarassing...Especially wearing a nice dress that FITS, but then you can see the extra skin just floating around underneath. I wear Spanx, which I think helps me look a little better when I wear nice dresses, but I'm still a little self concious about it. You are doing such a great job with yourself, just remember that the good totally out weigh the negative :)

Princess Dieter said...

Lyn, I've only lost 42 pounds, but I was obese way longer than you were. Since my late twenties. Almost 25 years. And one of my major blocks--and why I stayed int he 270s so long, I'm convinced--is horror at the idea of what I will look like with all that hanging fat.

At only a 42 lb loss, I have sag in my belly, my thighs already are looking wrinkly, my upper arms are already getting that wrinkly-loose bit. Granted, I have a huge amount yet to lose, but if it's THIS noticeable already at 42 lost, what will it be like at 88 lost? SCARES THE SHIT OUTTA ME!!!!!!!!!!!

But, like you, I have to focus on the good that will come of losing, the ease on my bad knees and ankles, the better health, getting rid of blood pressure meds, lowering cholesterol, feeling greater flexibility and mobility, shopping in "normal" stores, being able to fit comfortably in any space/situation/event.

I have to focus on the positive or I will paralyze again. I'm fifty. I don't have the luxury of paralysis any longer. Must keep the eyes on what good will come....

I am a surgery-wuss, so I don't know how I could afford/let myself have the reconstruction (eventually). But, perhaps, that is incentive to save? :D

Keep looking at the good, girl, keep at it!

Life as a Caterpillar said...

The question is, which of your naked bodys did you dislike most? The 278 lb or the 'melted' one as you call it?

I'm very aware i will have this problem too. I've been over 230lbs for at least 5 years (down from 255 to 244 at the mo) and i know i have stretched this skin to it's max for years, so i expect i will have the same issues.
The one good thing i can tell you is my friends who have reached goal through exercise have found their skin firming up much more.

Perhaps exercise is the key?

Leslie said...

I know well of what you speak, Lyn. I think for those of us who've been substantially overweight for a long time, this is just going to be the case. Most of it gets hidden by clothing, but certain parts are evident and always will be.

I did a very rigid 12 step program 2 years ago and a woman came to speak who had lost over 200 pounds. She had on long pants and a shirt with sleeves almost to her elbows. But even on her visible forearms, there was literally a line/fold of wrinkled skin from her elbow to wrist from her weight loss. It looked pretty bad even though her weight was probably TOO low. She was older, probably late 50's which also contributed, but I think of it often...such an unlikely spot for loose skin. Scars from a hard fought battle, I guess.

I'm so glad you are so committed to total honesty in your writing. It helps so many of us.

Floriana said...

That's why I love strength training. It makes me firm. I used to be all flabby and now I can slide over my skin and feel the nice strong muscles underneath. Not that I won't have loose skin down the road, but there's always plastic surgery to help with that.

Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

It's sort of a cruel joke on you, isn't it? You work your butt off (literally) to get a "better body", but what few people talk about is that most times what you end up with is a smaller body. Not necessarily the "better" body you were expecting.

However, your body is HEALTHIER in countless ways. Although it's hard, try to celebrate how beautiful your body is on the inside now, too. Think of your heart, your arteries, your liver, your joints...all of you!

I also think of this...when you were at your max weight, your skin might have been smooth and tight, but in a constrictive/restrictive way. The looser skin means you can now move freely. That is something to celebrate!!!

Like I said, all that aside, it's cruel that you worked and worked to get the body you dreamed of, but the smaller body is still not exactly what you wanted. Even if you had all the surgeries to remove the excess skin, then you'd have scars. Cruel irony.

Yet, please, please try to remember the big picture...I try to view my saggy skin, stretch marks, and cellulite as battle scars. It may not be pretty for others to look at, but then again, a part of me thinks "Screw them!". It is a reminder of how far you've come and you're never going back.

Harry said...

Quoting Tom Venuto (http://www.tomvenuto.com/asktom/loose_skin_and_weight_loss.shtml)

Suppose for example, a man drops from 35% body fat all the way down to 20%. He should be congratulated, but I would tell him, "Don't complain about loose skin yet, your body fat is still high. Press onward and keep getting leaner and be sure to focus on strength training to increase lean body mass as well."

I really like this thinking - don't worry about loose skin until you're at the point where you're no longer losing weight / gaining muscle. Then have surgery ;).

Christine said...

I can SO related. I feel exactly the same way. And you're right, it's like melty squisky fat, but not fat that's taught on your body...it's hanging, watery, flabbery fat. My fat on my legs and lower belly are the most noticeable on me.

screwdestiny said...

Lyn, if you start incorporating weight lifting into your exercise routine, especially heavier lifting, not just body weight exercises, it's going to help a lot. It sucks that you aren't completely happy with how your body's looking right now, and it might not ever be perfect, but there are things you can do to make it a lot better.

Jenn said...

I have gone from 331 lbs. (April 2009) to 286 just before gastric bypass (November 2009) to 192.8 (today). The loose skin is the worst. I don't have it at my jawline, but I have the "stomach" apron (made worse by two pregnancies, one of which resulted in a c-section), loose skin around my breasts that makes finding well fitting/containing/supporting bras a real pain in the ass, and I have the dreaded bingo flaps, as well as loose, squishy, slightly golfball-textured skin around my hips and upper thighs. *sigh*

On a related note, I'm so happy that cooler weather is getting here -- I can tuck and hide and shove everything away in long sleeves!

aperfectversionofmyself said...

The melting thing is exactly what I think when I see myself in the mirror. I think the worst bits of me are my breasts and stomach.

I used to hate my arms, but the skin there has tightened up considerably. It's never going to be PERFECT, but with some yoga, some weights and TIME, I've seen real improvement.

I'd rather have the melting skin than the 173 extra pounds I used to carry and I guess that's the point, but I'm glad I'm not the only one who's lost the weight and still struggles to love the body I'm left with.

I'm working on it.

Lisa said...

I know EXACTLY how you feel Lyn.
I'm now 117lbs down and this last 10lbs for me as well has really caused me some anxiety. When I bend over the bat wing arm skin moves to the front and is all wrinkly. My stomach hangs down in an apron still and when I breathe in it all wrinkles. My inner and back thighs are wrinkly. My boobs are deflated and wrinkled. And that wrinkled skin under your jawline! I have kept catching sight of that in the mirror and thought at first I was seeing things, only to realise recently that no, it's definitely wrinkled...
I wouldn't go back to 274lbs for anything in the world, like you I LOVE what I see in the mirror when I'm dressed, but naked is miserable.
So I've booked 10 sessions with a personal trainer starting on Friday, one a week, with the specific aim of trying to improve some of these areas. He knows what I want and has told me he will do everything he can to help me. And I'm going to start moisturising as well I think, in the hope that that will help the appearance of the skin.
I really don't know what I expected when I started this journey. I knew about loose skin, but the wrinkles, no-one warned about that and it sucks.

NewMe said...

I don't have a lot of time to respond, but there's one thing I really want to say: think long and hard before jumping onto the surgery bandwagon (not that you've expressed that, but just in case...).

My neighbour across the street who was not even mildly overweight died from botched liposuction (she had a little tummy left over after having a baby). These things happen.

I would keep doing what's working for you in order to continue losing weight. I would also consult a good (I stress the word good) personal trainer and finally, I would just come to terms with my changing body. Whether we admit it or not, we are all obsessed with looking like those airbrushed women in the magazines.

Please keep working on loving yourself for the wonderful woman you are!

Erin said...

I have no answers, truly. But I will say this: I applaud you for talking about it all. The saggy, flabby skin is the very real result over losing so much excess weight and dealing with it is part of the journey. I often wonder when i read about people who regain all the weight they lost if part of the problem is their unrealistic expectations for their post-weight loss body. A) Even surgery is still imperfect - scars, anyone? and B) How many people will actually be able to have said surgery? Learning to love yourself along the way is, I believe, the key to success and happiness. You're doing so well, but I love that you're keeping it real. You weren't perfect before and you won't be perfect after...that is just the human condition.

Christina said...

I do know exactly how you feel. I lost all my weight at one time in my life going from 290 lbs to 142 lbs and what I was left with was not a pretty sight. Oh you love yourself when you are dressed but when you are naked it is a sight noone wants to see. Its just something we have to come to terms with, its the damage we did to our bodies over years of being overweight. I'm not going to let that stop me from being skinny and healthy. I'm glad you have found a way to accept it and move past it by blogging about it because after all your hardwork you deserve to celebrate your weight loss.

Lisa said...

yep yep. I've lost over 80 lbs and I had a baby years ago... you can imagine what my tummy and boobs look like. Some days I've hated my boobs, the one part of me that I used to like. I've decided I'm going to look at them as a badge of honor and quit hating them. I have achieved a huge weight loss and created a whole entire other person - this is what your body looks like when you do that. The thing that has really helped me a lot is jogging. I started just walking, but now I incorporate jogging as much as possible. I have lost over 10" on my abs and they are flatter and tighter (not including the droopy mommy bits) than they have ever been. I rarely do any weight training or crunches or anything. Just jogging/walking. I don't know if this works for everyone but I highly reccomend it for tightening everything up.. including your arms!!.

internationalloser said...

I'm glad you addressed the issue openly and honestly. There is some unspoken idea that if we lose weight we should be happy with our lose skin and stretch marks. I hate my lose skin. But I wouldn't go back to weighing my highest, nope not a chance but that doesn't mean I have to be happy about it. It also isn't going to stop me from reaching a healthy goal weight. You are not alone on this issue!

fitby42 said...

I have had two very close friends who have lost a lot of weight:

1) went to Weight Watchers and followed the program to the letter. Did not exercise except to walk (a lot).

2) Took a long time to lose it. Hired a personal trainer and lifts 5 days a week (hard). Does cardio on a couple of days. Main focus is lifting.

You know where I am going with this. #2 girl looks absolutely amazing. No flab at all. She also had 5 kids prior to losing all the weight.

I am trying to follow #2 girl. I am taking a while to lose the weight, but from day 1 I have been lifting. I am down about 45 pounds right now. I have about 55 to go. I hope my hard work will pay off in the end.

p.s. Can't do anything about the flabby boobs I am sure I will have. May have to "lift" those puppies at a later date.

Thank you for your post!!!

Anonymous said...

Twenty people have posted that they have had similar experiences, so I think it's clear that the weight loss is not entirely to blame for excess skin.

I surprised myself by being even MORE critical of my body as I lost 100+ pounds, and it was frustrating that my expectations didn't match the results.

But I'm older and never had snap-back skin, and having children is another cause for the flab. So, a lifetime of increasing obesity and genetics ensured that I wouldn't look like I worked as hard as I did. It DID feel like a "cruel joke."

But I also used to be shaped like a Christmas tree until I started diligently working out using weights (in addition to cardio). I designed my own program and was astonished at how I changed my overall shape. I'll always have flabby arms and fat knees and a saggy butt, but they're not only smaller with the fat loss, but they're better proportioned with the muscle. And feeling stronger through weight training is INCREDIBLE -- it can be a new gift from a new goal.

Please, everyone: Give yourselves a break from the self-criticism. It's human nature to look at how much work is left to do even after so much work has been done, but, honestly, ARE YOU ALL NOT AWESOME???

Shelley said...

I've worked out a lot during my 110 pound weight loss, and I still have loose, saggy skin - "deflation" is a very apt description. But most of the time I'm dressed and don't see it, and I'm learning what clothes help to hid the issues that do bother me. You know what I've found, though? Most people who didn't know me before see me as a thin person. They don't even notice the loose skin. Amazing! So I'm trying to see myself like others do. Hang in there with this - eventually things will catch up and won't be quite so wobbly.

Anonymous said...

Strength training will solve about 90% of those issues-- seriously, give it a try! -- Jane

Deb Willbefree said...

The "melt" changes to crinkles. sigh. Lots of swinging, jiggling, deflated balloon-skin crinkles. :(

My granddaughter lifts her little hand and brushes her fingers back and forth across the skin where my double chin used to be. She swings my upper arm as well when I'm reaching my arms up to fix her hair. sigh.

As ugly and crinkly and floppy as it is--so much better than the weight of all that fat! I must admit, tho, I didn't qaite expect it.

I plan on getting some "work done" a year after I hit goal weight. I have about 40pounds to go. (I'm at 175--down from 252)

Deb

Just Me said...

I'm with Deb. I'm thinking I'll be getting a little work done too. I totally understand how you feel and the only way I'm going to get over those bad thoughts is by thinking that at least I'll be healthier. A melted candle, perhaps, but healthier.

You are doing such a good job though. Try not to be discouraged. You are a real inspiration to me.

Polar's Mom said...

I feel your pain.

I was watching too fat for 15 and one set of parents said that when their daughter reaches and maintains her goal, that they will pay to have her extra skin removed if she prefers-so that she would not ever have to associate herself with that person again and can succeed without ties to obesity.

I liked this rationlization, even though mine is far less noble. I don't want to look like a raisin naked. So I don't want to remember this fat chick, so sue me.

Losing weight already makes me feel better inside, and when I reach goal I want to match the outside to my inside and feel fantastic all the way around. But that's just me. I understand the flip side of leaving it be as a reminder, too.

Polar's Mom
www.polarspage.blogspot.com

Desperate Diva said...

I agree with the comment about girl #1 on WW and not exercising Vs girl #2 with a PT at the gym. I think the best way to address stretchy skin is to workout as if you were being chased by a serial killer! Well, best way without surgery of course :-p

icannotweight said...

I'm with everyone else. I have a ton of loose "flab" and had even more when I was lower in weight. I did not spend a million years being obese, and the first time I lost weight I was 22, so it's not just an age thing. I don't however do a lot of strength training, so perhaps that is something I need to seriously start looking into. But I think honestly to get my body fat low enough to get rid of that excess flab is a bit high of a goal for a woman really. At least for me. The worst for me is my boobs because they went from being something nice (though saggy since the day they arrived) and round to being deflated and I could pinch SKIN (not flab) and pull it away from my boobs and it would just stay there. I will need surgery if I ever want to have a "normal" body. I hate that I do all this work and then naked it looks worse than it did when I was heavier.

Julie said...

Heavy weight training. It's a shame you haven't been able to exercise much during this part of your "journey", as I understand it. Now is the time to get that exercise room set up and get in there!

Pubsgal said...

Yep, it was a rude awakening, realizing that my 13-years-ago body wasn't coming back. (Oh, for that dewy skin!) But I have to say that fitness, especially strength training, helps quite a lot. I started doing it when I started losing weight, and it was encouraging to see the muscle developing in my arms and legs even when other parts (inner thighs, breasts, neck) were looking deflated. It did help tighten up the loose skin on my back.

Lyn said...

Julie~

Oh, I could have been exercising more. Medifast recommends 45 minutes of vigorous exercise per day, and if you do more than that you just drop one Medifast meal and add more veggies and protein. My reason for not strength training are basically not wanting to! I have lifted weights on and off for 3 years but get so bored I always quit. So the last few months I have focused on the eating and just walking every day. But I am putting together an exercise room right now with my weight machine in there, and then at some point (I honestly am not exactly excited about it) I will add back in the strength training.

Anonymous said...

I think you really need to step up the exercising. Gaining more muscle can only help with this situation. Obviously it can't get rid of all the skin but it will look different. From everything I have read, doesn't everybody seem to say it takes at least a full year for the skin to retract, well as much as it is going to? I think you just have to be patient.

PaulaM

Sarah (Fat Little Legs) said...

This really really describes exactly how I am feeling right now. I've lost 107 pounds and I feel deflated... and often shockingly uglier than I was when I was 107 lbs heavier. Your description about the balloon is perfect. That is exactly what I look like too. I agree... it is better than the alternative though.

motivatedmama said...

I think it's admirable and a sign of good mental health that you allow yourself to feel your emotions as they surface, and examine/deal with them as they come. With weight loss, some days might bring a sense of inner peace, and other days, not so much. But you already know that.

Having lost 150 lbs. in the past, I've been there. The transformation is mostly such an amazing experience that words can hardly do it justice, but it's not all sunshine and roses. I'm sure that doesn't make you or anyone else any less thankful. :0)

moderate-mama.blogspot.com

M said...

I just want to say I completely sympathize with you. When I lost 60lbs, I HATED the way I looked. I HATED the extra skin, I HATED the propotions of my body, I HATED everything. I turned to people loosing weight and all I got was "keep going" or "you'll like it eventually". I felt sexy 60lbs heavier. I felt disfigured 60 lbs lighter. No one understood, and I eventually gained weight back again. I just want to let you know that you are NOT alone. That we need to do this journey not because we are sexy, but so we can live. Live for ourselves and our families. Living is sexy. Thank you always for your thoughts and motivations!

Christine said...

Les Mills' Body Pump. Weght training that is fun! It's a class setting, set to music, and I've been doing it at least once a week (sometimes twice) since July 2. I can't believe how much better I look and feel! I'm down about 40 pounds and still have 50-60 to go. Even at this weight I'm digging the arms. See if anyone in your area offers it - it's worth a shot!

MargieAnne said...

loose skin and extra wrinkles can cause a mental block which is very difficult to overcome. I hit this spot a few years ago, freaked out and regained lost weight.

Truth - loose skin and wrinkles are nothing when compared to improved health.

Truth - when you are older and fat it's not pretty. The younger you are when you lose weight the better chance of your skin settling to your new body. Even some loose skin looks better than fat deposits on an old body ... just not pretty.

I have this mental hurdle whenever I look at myself. My fat body is not pretty, it may be even worse as I lose weight but I will never feel healthy unless I lose weight.

What is more precious, health or looks?

I keep telling myself I'm too old to worry about how I look but I do worry.

Mental hurdle ... my health is more important than how I look and anyway my body is shot as it is.

Moral.

Lose weight now. Don't wait another day to begin making the necessary changes to how you live.

The older you are the worse your skin is going to look. I have to choose health over looks.

It's worth it.

Deniz said...

Oooh you take the words right out of my mouth.

I feel dead guilty to be feeling negative about any aspect of having lost weight... but I HATE my belly apron!

I'll never go back though, cos I LOVE not being obese.

Support undies help when I'm dressed but naked? Aaaaargh!

Sure, strength training helps. But, the real bitch for me is that there is firm muscle under the remaining flappy bits and the only person to know it is me.

Such is life - sigh.

Vickie said...

http://escapefromobesity.blogspot.com/2008/06/loose-skin-diiemma.html

I don't know if you remember, but you wrote another piece on loose skin quite a while back. thought you might like to see it again, if you had forgotten it was there.

Vickie said...

I have a whole collection on my side bar (yours included, that is how I remembered the previous piece from 2008) if you want to read what other people have said about the skin topic:

Another Lyn's Loose Skin Dilemma 6/4/2008

Lyn again, more thoughts on lose skin 9/15/2010

Pasta Queen a year later on 'my skin is still loose but I have lots of high quality products'

PastaQueen: The Skin I'm In

Lynn closer to accepting the flabby bits

Lynn: new and 'improved'

Shauna: Loose Skin topic by request

Roni's topic: Would you get plastic surgery?

Roni: more plastic surgery (2008)

Roni's Tummy Tuck Pictures/Post2006)

Vickie on excess skin

Hanlie on cellulite

Hope said...

I feel you lady. I lost the weight super-slowly, and I still have loose skin that hangs down off my stomach when I'm doing pushups, and my thighs that I can see when I'm laying down. Unfortunatly it's a part of weight loss that we can't change.

Instead of concentrating on the things that I don't like about my body, I like to concentrate on the things I do like. For example: I have a small waist that I love, and my shape is more noticeable now. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, Lyn, I can sympathize about how you are feeling, but please don't let it derail your weight loss. You've done so amazingly well, I'm so proud and inspired by you!

Let me tell you a story. My mom is very obese (has weighed over 300 pounds, and is only 5'2.) She has always made fun of people behind their backs who have lost weight and are all wrinkly and have loose skin. She always said that her face looked very young b/c it was so full.

While she has made half-hearted attempts to lose weight, she's never succeeded. She started having knee pain/arthritis in her thirties. By her forties, she had to retire from working retail on disability.

Today, she is in a nursing home/rehab center at age 69. It is her second long-term stay in 5 years. She has severe diabetes, and was in a car accident where a small wound refused to heal, became severely infected, and she lost part of her leg.

She is in such severe pain that not even morphine shots help. Her knees are so destroyed that she can't walk, even with a walker, and no doctor will attempt a knee replacement b/c of her propensity to get severe infections (MRSA and VRE.)

Her quality of life is so deteriorated. She can't even walk to the bathroom. It's so sad.

I know you are proud of yourself, but realize that you are doing this for many more reasons. I am so scared when I see her -- I see myself in 20 years, sadly (even though I've only had minor knee problems and no diabetes, I'm worried about the future.)

At this point, you are doing this for your HEALTH. Think of it that way. Your skin will firm up to some degree, plus strength training will help, but no matter what, you'll never be my mother in a nursing home far before her time, with your little girl needing to care for you and make difficult decisions for you that will break her heart.

I am wishing you all the best always, and hope that I can follow in your inspiring footsteps.

Hugs, Maria

Anonymous said...

I think your skin will firm up a bit as time goes on on it's own. I have also heard that tunafish or seafood in general is good for tightning up. And of course all the weight loss guru's are touting that strength training is the magic bullet for firming up.
It's funny how I don't even know you but I just want to give you a big hug & tell you that I am so proud of you! You've done so well & I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog throughout your journey.
Stacey
Southwestern, PA

Lori said...

I can so relate to this. I have lost 68 lbs and have 32 to go until I reach goal. I look at my body now and wonder how much worse it will get with these last 32 lbs. I hate to complain and I have no one to blame except myself, but I still don't like it. I guess I'll have to try and look at like a badge of honor.

Lori @ All About Me

NewMe said...

Just read this and thought you might like it too:
http://www.eatingjourney.com/2010/09/dear-body/

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel. I was never really obese, but I was still very overweight the majority of my childhood. I was the chubby/fat girl for years amongst my slim and athletic peers. But then I lost 40 lb (two separate occassions) and now am left with the "battle scars." I can work out like a maniac, but I will always look flabby, even though I'm not really. It's all the skin that's been stretched out since I was a kid. My belly will always be mushy, even though it's not fat. My arms can do 20 "man" pushups but will always have the "wings." My backside looks like a tub of cottage cheese. The only parts of me that look in shape are my legs, which my boyfriend calls "man legs" because of all the running. Sigh. I can't win. But, you've done such an amazing job losing all the weight you lost! I heard some people say that all the flabby, melty skin is their badge of honor for all the hard work and sacrifice they made to get thinner and healthier. People who have never had a weight problem will never understand how hard this never-ending journey is and the scars we acquire along the way.

Anonymous said...

You smile and say, "wow" every day when you get dressed. You're feeling your feelings, a good thing. You will eventually come to a place of acceptance; could it be the mind catching up with the body? Nonetheless, you say, "wow" every day when you get dressed! How cool is that?

clickmom said...

I often ask myself "What have I done!?!?" when regarding the damage that is already visible on this journey. I'm half way to my goal and have swinging arm skin and a droopy belly. I already lift, and have huge biceps and well toned arms, so muscles aren't going to take up all of that space. I also re-assure myself with promises of future surgeries, but the truth is that I'm kind of afraid to go under the knife, so unless I could combine that surgery with something life saving, it's unlikely that I'm going down that road. But, never say never, I don't have that choice to make for a while.

Sarah said...

Lyn, Something I haven't read here...And maybe others feel the same way but I did notice that on my way down it bothered me more at some weights that others. The 180s was a similar place for me. Going from 345 to 160 after growing up fat my skin never snapped back. It doesn't. If you have stretch marks the collagen is broken, end of story. Strength training will firm you up underneath but it will still sag.

I've had a couple of plastic surgery procedures. Took me a long time to work up to them. I'll never get back the body I could have had. That's okay. BUt even surgery has it's limitations... Currently wih no more fat?skin around middle and thighs, my arms show off any little gain. Nothing is perfect.

I'd say find clothes you like and pay attention to fit. Putting on a happy face and feeling confident about how you present yourself goes a long way I think towards keeping yourself on right path.

chris m said...

Lyn, reading your blog inspired me to restart my own weight/fat loss efforts. I think you are a really good writer.

Regarding your "loose fat" (sorry for this impolite term): I experienced this during my previous weight loss efforts (when I went down from 190 to about 160) and I read about it as well... this is normal and an encouraging sign!! It normally goes from "full", solid fat, to soft "wobbly", "loose" fat to no fat at all. So, that your fat feels loose now is a sign that it is on the way out! There is still some fat left but it is in the process of being metabolized. Once most of it is truly gone, you will feel firm and tight again. Keep going!!!!

Randy Thompson said...

Omg...I dont know how to tell you how much this means to me to read all of your comments and I dont feel so alone...I am 37 yrs old have had weight issues my whole life...I am diabetic...I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. ..I am depressed all the time...recently divorced a yr ago...have four beautiful children...my infant son passed.away six yrs ago and my youngest living son iis autistic...I turned to food for comfort because thats the only thing to make me feel better...I have alw ays been told I was a beautiful woman just too fat...therefore nobody wanted to be with me...yrs of redicule from class mates..teachers...family takes a toll on a persons self worth...I decided to make the change for me ..it has taken me 5 yrs to lose from my biggest of 315 lbs to 180..I still have more I want to lose...I know I feel so much better but I look at the extra skin and I feel like rhe Pillsbury dough boy...it looks horrible naked...and that brings me to how will I ever look good in a bathing suit and intimacy with my boyfriend well thats gonna turn him off..and surgery well thats a hoot because I will never be able to afford it..I am single parent with no insurance... I am doing a 90 day workout that has helped but not like I need ir to....aeems so slow going ...I.am on the 3 rd month now...sometimes it feels like this is all I am gonna get...and to all of u that said they wish for cooler weather so u can hide it well I totally agree and I dont wait for it I will not wear anything that shows my upper arms or inner thighs ...I wish there were an easy answer ...but I do wish each and eve ryone of you all the best and luck with uour goals and weight loss...I hope that maybe someday I will be happy with mine...God Bless All!