Loose Skin and the Body After Weight Loss

**This is a very honest post with photos of what losing a large amount of weight does to the body.  If you don’t want to see me that up close and personal, it is best for you to skip over this post**

Also, I took all these photos by myself so not as easy as I thought.

Okay then…

Have you ever noticed that about half way through the season when The Biggest Loser starts airing that the female contestants no longer do their weigh-in in their sports bras and the male contestants no longer shirtless?  Instead, this is the time when the men wear sleeveless tee shirts and the women tank tops.  I think I now know why this happens.  When a person loses a large amount of weight, the impact on the body isn’t pretty.  The fact of the matter is that excess skin remains in place of excess fat while proving a daily reminder of how unhealthy a body once was.

I have seen contestants of The Biggest Loser, as well as other weight loss type shows, provide interviews about their excess skin and why surgery is a realistic option for them.  For some, excess skin can have an effect on daily life and even hinder exercise and other types of activity where the skin gets in the way.  Some have chafing and other uncomfortable pleasantries.  For me, it is not that bad nor is it that uncomfortable.

I have also had to work hard to learn acceptance of this new body I am living in.  Some days I don’t even notice it.  I wear a compression tank everyday (except at work) to help my muffin top fit better into my jeans.  I feel like I look fine with my clothes on.  My husband loves me with my clothes off.  So, I have learned to accept this new body.

Sure, I wish I could wear the size of jeans I actually worked hard to earn.  If it wasn’t for my excess skin around the middle, I probably could really be wearing a size 12 pant instead of a size 14.  I also wish I had less excess skin under my arms, also known as “wings”.  Some people will tell you that with time your skin shrinks a bit or that extra weight lifting can help.  I really don’t believe that.  Surgery is the only guaranteed way to get rid of it.  Just the cost alone makes surgery something I am not interested in.  Well, that and the healing time and risk of infection.  It just isn’t for me.

So, I am guessing you want to see photos now?  I have tried to take these photos to show my excess skin in its true form.  Although I have lost 130 lbs, I know some of my excess is still fat.  I really could stand to lose another 20 pounds but that isn’t really ever going to happen.

Here is my stomach area.  It is the largest part of excess skin I have.  The bottom dents into this little dimple type shape.  Just like other types of skin, it does float when submerged under water….hahaha.

Here is what my compression tank top looks like.  You have to try out different types to find the one that works best for you and is comfortable enough to wear all day.  I am a firm believer in smoothing and shaping!

The excess under my arms can make wearing sleeveless shirts/tank tops a tough option and I really don’t.  I also found out when searching for new workout tops that the arm sleeves seem to be getting smaller and smaller and my poor underarms looks like Chris Farley’s impression of “fat man in a little coat.”  I also noticed them more when I am lifting weight in front of the mirror at the YMCA.  I wonder if other people notice.  If they do, nobody has said anything.  My brother joked once that I just need to not lift my arms when I see somebody I know and wave to them.


My inner thighs also have some excess skin and are quite jiggley (spell check seems to not know how to spell this word and neither do I).

My boobs, which you won’t be seeing a photo of, also look slightly deflated but are looking okay.  I appreciate my Victoria Secret bras and will always strive to have cleavage that looks like it is sitting on a shelf.

I am not intending this to be a huge downer post where I feel all sorry for myself.  I also don’t want you reading this to feel sorry for yourself or struggle with body image.  Bottom line: I would still lose the weight even knowing this is what my body would look like.  It is a constant reminder of where I have been and why I will not be going back.

There are many things I do love about myself.  I love seeing my collar bones, feeling my hip bones, and most of all being able to cross my legs again.  My body is healthy and I am active and I couldn’t ask for anything more!


melissa said...

I think you look great and I am so proud of you. You are a healthy and cheerful person who is a great role model to others

Anonymous said...

I think you are fantastic! Way to go!!! After a while, with lots of water and good nutrition, your skin will regain some elasticity and some of this will reduce on its own. And your shapewear can help with "redistribution". (If you don't believe me, research corsets and before and after shots of women who use them to reshape themselves -- it's fascinating)

Keep in mind that your body is an amazing machine and it will be what you want given time. You are absolutely incredible and I am glad google dropped your post on my search results. Thank you!