Weight Loss
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Loose skin and stretch marks after massive weight loss


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Okay, So I am not a previously pregnant female. I am a guy who is at the end of his weight loss game. I lost so far 123 lbs and I and looking at the last struggle now. How to help speed the recovery of my body.

I have read article after article and gotten the opinions of many different people at this point but I would like to work out a wider variety of answers cause I feel like I want this the most.

I started losing weight about 19 months ago and lost quite a bit of weight. In October of 2010 I weighed 310 lbs. I decided to start losing weight by eating healthy. I lost over the course of the next year and 2 months 67 lbs. in december of 2011 I weighed 243 and I decided to amp up the lifestyle so I cut out all bad foods. No chocolate bars/chips/soda. and ate extremely healthy. I also started to work out. my workout is an hour a day 3 days a week of endurance weight training with 3 days a week of running 5 miles. From then to now I have lost 56 more lbs.

In the last month and a half I started to notice loose and sagging skin. I have a small sheath of skin/fat over my belly and anytime I am sitting or bent over it just hangs there. There is also a considerable amount of stretch marks on my stomach and I am writing a post here to figure out if anyone has any helpful tips that have gone through this issue themselves.

I eat very healthy, I exercise a lot and I drink upwards of 14 glasses of water a day and I know that those three things contribute to help skin elasticity but I am hoping to consult with people who have successfully gone through a large weight loss and bounced back body wise without surgery cause I am worried.

I have posted a picture or 2 in my gallery of my body type and my major problem area (stomach) and was truly hoping that anyone interest might take a gander and advise me of other things I could do.

Edited Sep 26 2014 10:05 by coach_k
Reason: locked to prevent unnecessary zombie and/or spam bumps
5 Replies (last)

I only lost 87 lbs and your stomach looks a lot better than mine! On the other hand I am female and gained a lot of weight while pregnant and had 4 c-sections ;)

I do think that you are doing well and should give it a few more months to really see what you are going to end up with.  Keep up the weight lifting, this will help as well.  Congrats on your weight loss, you are doing great!

The stretch marks are never totally going to go away. They are breakdowns of collagen in the skin, so are permanent. However, they do fade over time, and the only way you'll see them is that they will be slightly silvery.

A collagen cream may help with the fading process. You can find things for fading stretch marks at any cosmetics aisle in a drug store.

The skin will eventually rebound. You're lucky you're so young! Just keep exercising, drinking water, and make sure that some of your workout involves ab work. Other than that, all you do is wait.

Try to think of it as your mark of honour. It really IS you know!

I would also like to hear from some ppl. I hate the sound of my skin slapping when I jog.
Original Post by nicholas_shannon:

I would also like to hear from some ppl. I hate the sound of my skin slapping when I jog.

Then wear something more supportive, get yourself a really fiiiine headset so you can crank up the tunes nice and loud, and get over yourself!

It's so easy to get in to self loathing over bits of skin. And in the bigger picture? It reeeeeelly should not matter. Honest.

What really does matter? Being a contributor. A giver. A leader or coach to others. Find a child who is struggling with obesity and dying a thousand emotional deaths from being bullied on the playground because of his size. Help him to strap his fastest kicks on tight, and teach him to jog, and to develop a sound self nourishment plan. Your skin won't bug you anymore, I promise.

(If that sounds flip, let me put it a different way. The weight loss journey can become totally self absorbing, to the point where you lose perspective. By finding someone else to help, it can help to remove you from the giant miscroscope you have yourself under. Shift that self critical energy by turning it in to kindness - which will make for a lovely person! Eventually you may learn to be as kind to yourself as you can be to others.)

Just as a guideline; most cosmetic surgeons will not consider you for a tummy tuck (skin removal) until you have been maintaining your current (healthy) weight for at least a year. 

I repeat: most surgeons expect a year of maintaining your healthy weight before they give up on skin shrinking back any further and are willing to take surgical steps to correct it.

No one can give you absolute answers to this question of will your skin shrink or not, because everyone is different.

Some people have loose skin after losing much less weight than you.. some people have none. Just like some people have a few stretch marks while others are covered in them, regardless of how much weight they gained or lost or why they gained or lost it. I actually got more stretch marks from suddenly developing at age 15, than I ever got while pregnant three times and even when subsequently gaining 85 lbs.

Like I said, everyone is different and I think it is possible that our own bodies can react differently to similar circumstances at different ages. Maybe that has something to do with your hormone levels (I wouldn't be surprised). A male in his prime might more easily tighten up skin naturally than a man 25- 45 years older. In any case, genetics also plays a role in your skin elasticity and ability to repair. Again that means it is individual to you.

The stretch marks do fade with time, there is no doubt or argument on that; mine were red slashes at first and in about 18 months, had turned a pale silvery color that hardly shows at all. Most of the time I don't even notice or think about them. If applying creams helps you feel more positive or proactive about them, then have at it, there are a multitude of options available. Personally, I fail to see how a topical solution can affect the dermis layer of skin where the actual damage has occurred way below the surface that you are applying the cream to. Creams can't sink to the dermis layer to heal the deep scars. Actually it's a scary thought if they can. What else might we innocently apply that could potentially sink so deep? the cream might help with the itching though. I always found new/healing stretch marks to be very itchy. Weird.

You have worked very hard to become healthy and look better, so IMO it is not self absorbed to worry about these details. However, for the most part, I am sure that the aspects of your body you are not so pleased with at the moment can be easily hidden with clothes. Dressed, you look like a new you and that is all most people will see. I am certain this is about confidence in your self and your image. That matters and will keep you motivated to maintain your new appearance and healthy efforts.

Your age and exercise habits are in your favor. You lost weight at a respectable pace and you are just beginning with your maintenance phase, (or are you still losing - that was not so clear?) anyway, all hope is not lost. I believe you are doing everything you can. All you need now, is time, patience and consistent weight maintenance.

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