I’ve received a lot of questions concerning what happens to your skin physically when you lose a lot of weight. It’s funny, because when I lost my weight, this wasn’t even a concern of mine. I just knew that I wanted to get away from the 300 pound mark on the scale, get out of the plus size departments and get on with living my life. Skin didn’t come into play. These days, with the abundance of weight loss shows, plastic surgery shows and tell all books, the issues of excess skin after weight loss is well publicized and often discussed.
I know I write candidly about a variety of topics, but I am a bit reticent to write in detail about my physical appearance. How about I share what I feel comfortable in sharing, and give you some resources to further explore on your own. I put this picture up on this post so you could see what I looked like along the road to 300 pounds. I was unfit, fat, felt unattractive and had poor self-esteem. As my weight ballooned, the bad feelings I had about my physical appearance increased.
When I got serious about my weight loss and finally saw the scale moving in the right direction I was just so estatic to see numerical results that at first I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the physical details of weight loss. The first 50 pounds didn’t make a lot of difference in my physical appearance, but by 100 pounds everyone could see that something good was happening. By the time I had lost all my weight and could wear a size 6 in most clothes the change was dramatic.
I felt great both physically and emotionally for the first time in years. I also realized there were some unflattering physical consequences to large weight loss. Where my stomach had previously been distended with fat there was now excess stomach skin. My legs had the same problem, as did my arms. Over a period of time, some of this firmed up with concentrated cardio and weight training but only to a certain point. After twelve years and four more babies, my skin is as good as its going to get.
Does it bother me? Yes. Would I not have lost the weight had I known about the excess skin? No. It doesn’t bother me that much, and the benefits of not weighing almost 300 pounds certainly outweigh any cosmetic issues. The issues I have are minor compared with the issues I had as a fat person. For the most part, clothing hides the problem areas and that’s what is important to me. People ask me if I will have plastic surgery to correct these issues. Even if I could afford it, I’m not sure what I would do. The risk of plastic surgery is real, and the skin issues for me really are just cosmetic. There are people who have had gastric bypass surgery and lost tons of weight so quickly that their skin doesn’t rebound at all, in those cases plastic surgery may be a necessity, not just an option.
The skin is not attractive externally, but in some ways it serves as an internal reminder of where I was and where I never want to go again. Don’t be frightened by the prospect of excess skin if you have a large amount of weight to lose. If the skin bothers you cosmetic surgery is an option that although pricey offers very nice results. Here are a few articles I found that you might find interesting if this topic is one you have been worried about.
Remember that along our journey to health there are bound to be hills and valleys. As you travel your road, don’t concentrate on what may be a valley, but rather concentrate on how you will feel when you stand on top of the mountain, tall and proud of what you have accomplished. Diane