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Loose Skin After 100+ Pound Weight Loss


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I know this may end up turning some of your stomachs, so please overlook if you're like that.

I started out with 112 pounds I needed to lose to get to a healthy weight. Right now, I've lost 8 of those pounds. I'm worried that after losing all of this weight, I'll end up with gross looking loose skin.

My question is, is it possible to tighten up that skin through exercise? I currently exercise regularly and plan to continue to do that. Are there particular exercises that will tighten loosened skin? Will Circuit Training help with that? What about walking?

I'm losing weight in a healthy way. I average about 2 pounds a week and I've been at this for about a month now.

Thanks.

Edited Dec 11 2007 19:15 by hkellick
Reason: 12/11/07: Unstickied
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There are a lot of things to consider. A lot depends on your height. I was 100 lbs over my "ideal weight", but I'm 6'2"+, so I am not having significant issues with skin.

 

But for a smaller woman, there may be SOME. However, it is important to remember that skin is fairly thin and resilient.  (I lot of the excess 'skin' you see on formerly huge bariatric patients, etc is mostly fat.  Skin is not an inch or two thick.)  If your weight loss is done with a good diet and exercise and not in a too-fast crash diet, the excess skin should be minimized somewhat. There are some people who find that they need surgery after a huge weight loss, but you are in a range where it is more like a possibility than a certainty.

Once you are at the weight you are happy with, you may notice some loose skin, but it may just be flabbiness. I would wait for at least a year or maybe two of maintaining and exercise before thinking about surgery for any excess skin, because over time, it may shrink to the point where it's not so noticeable and not worth the risk.

But it's not exactly that exercise "tightens" the skin the skin should have some capacity to tighten itself naturally. But the exercise will help you in burning off whatever fat remains in any excess skin, and having more lean muscle mass behind the skin areas will make them look smoother and firmer.

 

Again, it may turn out to be much less of a problem than you're worried about. But exercise is worthwhile regardless of the skin situation.

I'm tall for a woman. I'm 6'1", so maybe I won't have a lot of the excess skin that I see on some people who lose quite a bit of weight. As of now, surgery is out of the question for me. I know there's no way I'd be able to afford it. So, I'm trying to come up with an alternative.

Hopefully, it won't be a big issue once the weight is actually gone.

I don't know if this is the same but I have a tattoo on my hip/ side of my stomach and made sure to ask if it would become stretched out and disfigured when I became pregnant later in life.  The tattoo artist reassured me that skin has a lot of stretch and elasticity and I should no have any problems but make sure I used shea butter &/or coco butter to keep the skin health and hydrated so it would have no problems returning to normal size ans therefore keep the tattoo from looking stretched out.  Also she said to make sure I keep hydrated by drink all of my daily water intake.  (8 8oz glasses per day).

Also please remember that you are losing weight gradually- so your skin is slowly going back to the original size before the weight gain.  The reason most people end up with the excess skin is bc of RAPID weight loss and bc with baratric surgery your body is less able to absorb some of the essential vitamins as complete sections of the digestive tract have been bypassed and certain sections of the small and large intestine are more capable of absorbing certain vitamins.  Also bc the stomach is so much smaller and the person feels full so much faster they tend to skip alot of their daily water intake.

As long as you are doing this slowly and paying attention to your essential daily health guidlines (water/ healthy oil intake) you are giving your body the tools to loose the weight and revert more to your original size. 

Hope this helps!!

I have just lost 100lbs and as a guy and only 31 years old I don't have a lot of excess skin but I do have some stretch marks and some loose skin but I have read in two different places that it can take up to 6 months for your skin to regain it's elasticity. I lost my weight so fast that my skin has not had a chance to "catch up" so to speak. If you lose it over the course of a year or more you may not notice it at all... I am waiting to see if eating right, my size and age help tighten up some lose skin. Luckily for me it's not widespread and unless I show it to someone it's not noticible but I see now why women who have had kids get tummy tucks to remove it. lol...
I've lost 117 pounds over 14 months, and have just the tiniest area of loose skin on the outside of my thighs just under the saddlebag area.  Some of this may also be age-related - I'm 51 so gravity may be working a little harder on me.  I think since you are going about your weight loss the healthy way, probably it won't be too much of a problem for you either.
Well, I've lost 110 lb so far and I have no loose skin. Other people in the 100 lb plus Weight loss roll call http://www.calorie-count.com/forums/post/4959 9.html have had problems with loose skin following major weight loss.

Congratulations to those of you who have lost so much weight! I believe I'll just take it as it comes for the loose skin issue.

I was thinking of those who lose large amounts of weight in short amounts of time (as with weight loss surgery and such).

Original Post by momof2kt:

Congratulations to those of you who have lost so much weight! I believe I'll just take it as it comes for the loose skin issue.

I was thinking of those who lose large amounts of weight in short amounts of time (as with weight loss surgery and such).

Well I lost 100lbs in 5 1/2 months, I don't know how long is typical after surgery but I lost it pretty quick and I have SOME loose skin but not much. But I just hit 100lbs today, it can take 6 months for skin to get it's full elasticity back so I don't know long term how much skin i'll have but I don't have any folds or anything like that, it's just more stretchy it then it used to be.

 

Are you planning on loosing it really fast?

I'm a bit worried about loose skin too... If I lose as much weight as I really need to it'll be 100 pounds,  and I've been fat for a very long time (since I was a teenager!) But if you lose the weight slowly and steadily and keep up the exercise and healthy eating, your skin is supposed to do a pretty good job of shrinking with you - WLS patients have so much saggy skin because they're losing 10-15-20 pounds in a week and not absorbing any of the nutrients that they need to regenerate it.
I lost 92 lbs in one year and still loosing. About 6 months into my weight loss I hired a personal trainer and I made sure I excersised regularly since the begining also drinks lots of water and protein. This really helped me and I have no loose skin at all.
Original Post by archer531:

Original Post by momof2kt:

Congratulations to those of you who have lost so much weight! I believe I'll just take it as it comes for the loose skin issue.

I was thinking of those who lose large amounts of weight in short amounts of time (as with weight loss surgery and such).

Well I lost 100lbs in 5 1/2 months, I don't know how long is typical after surgery but I lost it pretty quick and I have SOME loose skin but not much. But I just hit 100lbs today, it can take 6 months for skin to get it's full elasticity back so I don't know long term how much skin i'll have but I don't have any folds or anything like that, it's just more stretchy it then it used to be.

 

Are you planning on loosing it really fast?

No, I think I'm losing it at a fairly slow rate. I've only been working on it for a month now and average around 2.9 pounds per week. Of course, I know that will slow down a bit as I get further into it. I still think it's slightly slow though. I should be at the high end of my healthy weight by December of 2009. That's what CC says anyways.

I'm somewhat like Kajikit. Only, I've always been overweight. I can't remember a time when I wasn't aside from maybe being a small child. I've never been a dieter. So, I never really had the huge ups and downs of dieting. I remember losing 45 pounds one summer as a teen. Aside from that, I've done nothing but gone up in weight or maintained my weight. In the past 3 years, I've gone from being lightly active to being sedentary. Which is when I really put on the weight. I probably gained around 40 - 50 pounds in that time span. After reaching nearly 300 pounds, I figured I'd better do something about it.

When I first got serious about losing, I finally did some research online. Which was when I found the calorie counting thing and tons of fitness information. Believe it or not, I had never really heard about calorie counting before. Weight loss if finally starting to make a little sense to me and I'm hoping I can get to a healthy weight and maintain it. I don't think I'll have issues with maintaining because after losing all this weight, I know I'll never want to be where I am now again. I'm tired of being the "fat girl". Not to mention the fact that with sites like this, it should be much easier to keep track of what I eat and the calories I need. The information I've learned in the past couple months has been invaluable. So, a quick thanks to everyone who has helped and to the site admins.

mop
Nov 28 2007 01:47
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#12  
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All the things mentioned may definitely lessen the chances of you having a lot of loose skin, and you may not have any, no matter how you lose, BUT, it is important to realize that a lot of this is genetic, and you might be young, exercise, drink a lot of water, eat sensibly, lose slowly, moisturize like crazy, and still have loose skin -- maybe a lot of it.

This is coming from a person who lost about 80 lbs at age 13, then gained/lost 20 or so pounds until I hit my 30s, and have lost some more. My highest recorded weight was 226. As of this morning, I'm 111. So, that's 115 lbs. I have always had loose skin. I didn't realize that's what it was for a long time, because this wasn't really talked about when I was a kid. I'm 5'6", and small framed. 111 lbs. It's not fat -- it's skin.

What I'm saying is, there is no sure-fire way to avoid loose skin, and if you do everything right and still have it, please don't feel like you screwed up.


#13  
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I've lost 108lbs in 12 mos.  I worked out after dieting for a month so it's been a year now of vigorous training.  I did not hire a personal trainer, I've been doing it myself, initially concentrating on cardio and then adding weight training later.  I do have sagging skin in my inner thighs, but I've had thunder thighs all my life, also have it on the inner parts of my knee and my stomach yeah well that's another story.  I can't really afford a tummy tuck but guess what I'm getting one, after setting my goal and meeting it in the timeframe that I allowed myself I deserve it.
I've lost almost 100lbs since January of this year and i'm the opposite of most on here.  I have way too much loose skin, everywhere!  The ugliest is the skin hanging on my upper arms, my arms where always huge and now boy I paid for that.  I hope in the next few years to treat myself to a full body tuck, but gotta save the pennies first :)
mop
Nov 29 2007 00:41
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Any of you talking about having a tummy tuck, or other surgery to "fix" your loose skin -- aren't you at all all worried or freaked out about surgery? The pain, the possible complications, the "more important" things you could do with the money? That's pretty  much what's been keeping me from doing it -- especially the pain. I just don't deal with it well. And I've seen enough plastic surgery reality TV to know what *could* happen. I really don't want to die, or almost die, for vanity's sake.

That said, I've been so unhappy about how I look for so long...

I don't know what I'm waiting for, but I'm waiting for something. And then I'll do it. Unless, of course, I find someone who loves me IN SPITE OF the horror that is my body.

(I know, I know, talking like that isn't any good, feeling like that is even worse, again, I know, I know, but still...)
I think the key, really, is to lose the weight slowly.  Some people drop 150 pounds in a year...and, well, it's possible, even possible to do it the healthy way, but me?  Nah.  I'll take 2-3 years to lose my 130-150 pounds.  This way my body has time to bounce back naturally along the way.
Hey All,

Well, I have taken off about 200 pounds since last jan., and I must admit the skin problem worries me the most. I have about another 125 pounds to lose, and we will just have to see what happens!!
Momof2kt, I am also 6 feet tall and have lost about 80 lbs since April, wanting to lose over 100 lbs.  I have had stretch marks for years so that was nothing new but I do have loose skin now. I've never worn shorts or anything so the most noticeable part is definitely my upper arms when I wear short sleeves. I've heard that weight lifting can help you focus on certain areas to minimize this. My daily activity is usually walking and that alone has not fixed my loose skin.
I only lost 70 lbs, but as I'm also only 5'3", I had/have some serious skin sag.  I was overweight most of my growing up years, but dropped the weight in about 9 months in college.  However, that was a couple years ago, and I'm still really saggy-baggy.  I mean, it's not great--I can't wear super-tight clothing, as my skin bulges unattractively--but I'm so much healthier.  Be warned about your breasts, though.  I have quite a bit of droopiness, equal to that of a woman twice my age. 
I took a year long break after losing about 110 lb. I  still have 40 to go and too much saggy belly skin. I plan on getting it removed when I hit 200lb.
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