Loose skin is something that many fear when it comes to losing weight, especially if one has been overweight for many years. The longer your skin has been stretched, the harder it will be for your skin to bounce back, but it is not impossible. I feel that I need open up a bit about my recent struggles with it. Lately, I have been having numerous conversations with my followers, family and friends about my loose skin. I get asked all the time...
"Do you have loose skin?"
"If you have loose skin, what did you do about it? What are you going to do with the skin that doesn't bounce back - live with it, remove it?"
"How are you feeling about your loose skin?"
Those are some of the most popular questions I get asked about related to my experience with the issue. To be honest, I don't do anything specific when it comes to my skin. There really isn't anything you can do to avoid loose skin, so you should just try to understand that during the weight loss period our skin is going to do what it is going to do and much of it is out of our control. You can lose weight more slowly to give your skin time to catch up, but even then it depends on many factors such as; how overweight are you, your age, your height, how long have you been overweight etc... Up until a few months ago, my loose skin was something I really wasn't too concerned with. I wear my loose skin as a badge of honor, but to be completely honest... recently, I have been struggling a bit - both mentally and physically as I am starting to feel uncomfortable with the loose skin that I have. My worst areas are my thighs, groin area, and buttocks. As time goes on I have begun to deal with issues of not only body image but also physical discomfort.
I recently had a conversation with my husband about the newest issues and changes I am experiencing and trying to deal with as my body is constantly changing. I told him I was starting to get a little depressed because my loose skin is starting to become very bothersome and tough to live with. He gave me a few good suggestions to try until I can get it fixed with surgery if that is what I choose to do. He mentioned that I am still deep into my journey and while I am losing a ton of weight I will soon be focusing on shaping my body for competitions. As my body continues to change shape, some of the loose skin will be less noticeable. Whatever skin is still bothersome and hasn't been dealt with through working out or just giving it time to bounce back, then we'll discuss means such as surgery. In the meantime compression clothing works, but it doesn't take away all of the issues I experience physically and mentally.
Looking to the future makes me think things will be brighter, but my present situation is starting to take a toll on me. When I sit, my skin tugs and pulls in the groin and buttock area and it's becoming uncomfortable to workout most days. With that said I will in no way be derailed from my path. Nothing will keep me from doing what I love and most importantly for my health. Two weeks ago my family and I went to the zoo and I had to use the bathroom. When I sat down, the toilet seat started to move and the skin on my thigh got caught and ripped open. Now can you imagine.... getting your skin ripped open on a public toilet seat and exposed! As soon as I got home from the zoo I applied rubbing alcohol to the area and hoped no infections or other issues arose. I didn't have a first aid kit in the car, otherwise I would have immediately went to the car to apply an alcohol wipe with ointment. About a year and a half ago I developed a skin infection in my belly button after the birth of my daughter from the extra skin in my abdominal area. Even though my abdominal area isn't the worst, I still have a lot of extra skin that closes off the belly button and can cause more issues now and later on down the road if I am not careful.
I am considering skin removal surgery and an upper and lower body lift to fix what I am left with if I can find a way to pay for it. Regardless of my issues, I don't think my healthcare will cover any portions of it because they might not deem it medically necessary. A tummy tuck is possible because the extra skin can lead to infections, but the rest is deemed cosmetic not reconstructive. Once my weight stabilizes, hopefully later this year, I plan to give my skin a year to see what it will do and how much of it will bounce back and what I am left with. Throughout that year I plan to do consultations with doctors to learn options for me and make an informed decision. The more time I give my skin to possibly fix itself, the less the doctor will have to fix, hopefully.
#MotivationMonday You have to learn to love yourself throughout this journey or you will never be happy with your appearance no matter how much weight you lose. Being overweight and weight loss does a number on your skin. Yes, I have stretch marks and loose skin. Lots of it! It's very noticeable when I am sitting. Would I like to have the excess skin removed one day? Absolutely! But why am I more comfortable and confident in my skin now than I was when I was overweight with firm skin? Well, weight loss also does a number on you mentally as well. . My body tells a story. My body shows how hard I have been busting my ass to become healthy inside and out after being unhealthy for so long. Even with my 10+ lbs of excess skin, I am more confident and comfortable in my own skin than I have ever been because I know that I am finally healthy, I feel great and I learned to love myself throughout this journey from the very beginning when I first decided that I needed to do something for my health, physically and mentally, before it was too late. I have created that second chance at life for myself and I am going to love every minute of it. I believe that EVERYBODY deserves that second chance at life and feeling confident and comfortable in their own skin. Make this Monday count you guys! 😘
In the meantime, I am trying to remain positive and know that I lost this weight for my health. I don't regret it because the health and weight loss results and living with loose skin no matter how problematic it may be far outweighs living with obesity and being unhealthy. You should never use the fear of loose skin as an excuse to live a potentially harmful lifestyle. I just want to look as good as I feel, but I will continue to stay strong and proud of my efforts despite the loose skin. Even with the loose skin, I still feel more comfortable in my skin than I have ever felt. I will forever be proud of this awesome body. Treat it well and it will treat you well regardless of the years of abuse you may have put it through.