"Saggy baggy skin"

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I've been getting probably 1-2 private messages every day asking me if I have issues with excess skin now that I've lost over 100 pounds. Some of these messages are very tactful, and I'm more than happy to answer them. However, a few of them have been offensive and leave me feeling a little insulted, so I thought I would address it in a public blog. The most recent e-mail asked me, "Do you have all kinds of extra saggy baggy skin now? That's my biggest fear about losing weight!" and another, "I am so scared of getting gross saggy skin..."

Asking a question like that is like me saying to a redhead, "Red hair repulses me! I just think it's awful, and I would be horrified if I had red hair! By the way, do you have red hair?"

I understand that saggy skin a fear of anyone that is trying to lose weight. I've thought about it a lot over the past 11 months as I've lost. No, excess skin isn't pretty, but it's certainly not a reason to stay overweight!

To address my skin issue: OF COURSE my skin has not snapped back to how it looked when I was a teenager. The extra weight caused lots of stretch marks. Losing the weight has given me trouble areas as far as skin goes--my arms now have "wings", my stomach looks like a deflated balloon (thin skin, wrinkly, etc), my boobs are no longer perky, and my thighs don't look like your average 28-year old's thighs (the inner thighs sag).

I thought I would be HORRIFIED at all the excess skin from losing weight, but I'm really not that troubled by it. I would like to get a tummy tuck and a brachioplasty (to fix my arm skin), but my thighs and boobs are very easy to cover up with clothing and the right bra. If I don't end up getting the plastic surgery, I'd be okay with that, too.

And besides, I MUCH prefer the "saggy baggy" skin to the 100+ pounds of excess fat! My skin might tighten up over time, but even if it doesn't, the weight loss was still totally worth it. And I'm SO MUCH HEALTHIER than I was before.

I've gotten so many wonderfully nice comments that I'm completely overwhelmed! I thank you all so much for your support, cheers, and well wishes. I wish the best for each of you in your own journey!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You look great. Don't weary what people think just enjoy being small. emoticon emoticon
    3820 days ago
  • AMAZ16
    I would LOVE to trade my fat for some "saggy" skin...Its not like my stomack and arms oh yeah, and boobs dont "hang" with fat in them. You look amazing Katie...and I love the way you use your words in your blogs....I think you should write a book about your journey....something you will have forever. You are great with using your words. I actually just said to my sister(who is also stuggling with weight) " I want to start training to run 8 miles", she looked at me and said "yeah, ok". I am 210#, so it wont be anytime soon....but I am bound and determined to someday run 8 miles. I will start by just running parts of my 4 mile walk that I take each morning. You inspired me Katie. When I do this you will definitly be marked down as my inspiration. Thank You!!
    3820 days ago
    Great blog Katie!! I'm down 117# at age I worry about the extra!! I certainly have some, is it as bad as even I thought it would I love life at my new weight, baggy skin and all? You better believe it!!!!!!!!

    People stop obsessing and looking for reasons to NOT lose weight.....and join us on our goal to get healthy!!!!
    Loving Life!!!
    3821 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6687446
    Thanks for keeping it real!
    3822 days ago
    I agree with you I have lost a little over 60lbs and I have wings under my arms and my stomach is starting to hang a little but I feel 100 times better than when i was heavier....That is all cosmetic and if you feel good about yourself don't worry what others think.....Love yourself and keep the weight off.....I still have a long way to go but it will be worth it in the end...
    3822 days ago
    Who cares what they say or think . . I think you look WAY awesome!
    3822 days ago
    Thanks for the great blog! The skin is one of the issues I'm struggling most with right now. I feel like I look worse now that it's starting to sag and do strange things, than I did when it was filled with fat. Of course that wasn't healthy and I'd much rather deal with the skin than the fat, but it's also frustrating. Part of it might also be that I'm working so hard and that one day I'd like to wear a bikini... I don't know that I'm comfortable enough to do so with saggy, baggy skin. The funny thing? If I see someone else with skin like that I think "wow, they must have lost some weight, good for them!!" I don't find it repulsive or anything, but on myself the thoughts are much different. I found your blog to be helpful in staying positive about the skin. I'm going to have to learn to embrace it and use it has a reminder of where I've been and where I will never be again. It's kind of like a scar... That fat will be gone, but I'll always have a reminder of the pain and addiction that I've overcome. It'll be awesome to have a reminder of such an amazing accomplishment.

    So thank you for such a positive blog!! Oh, and also, I look at pictures of you and there are absolutely no indications of saggy, baggy skin! emoticon emoticon
    3822 days ago
  • MARGAR53
    Enjoyed reading your blog. I often wonder how my skin will response once the weight is gone but like you said the skin is not top priority, losing the weight is top priority, deal with the skin issue after the success of losing the excess pounds. emoticon
    3822 days ago
    Katie, thank you for sharing another wonderful blog entry. It is funny, the whole baggy skin deal never even crossed my mind as I am have been on my 120 lb weight loss journey. As they say, believing is half the battle and I do believe carrying less baggage overall is way healthy.

    I truly believe that when we get there the skin thing will self resolve. I'll let you know in 79 pounds.

    3824 days ago
    Saggy skin can be hid while 100 lbs is easy to spot. I have a lot of empty fat cells so I cannot go down as much as I would like but I feel so much better that it's worth a little empty fat cells. You are young and you may be surprised how your skin still has elasticity and eventually snap back. People don't mean anything when they comment and so when someone says something that offends you please realize it was not their intent to offend you. What offends you may not offend others. Who cares even, you're much healthier now~~Happy skinny days! emoticon
    3826 days ago
    Well said, Katie. Just as we are not defined by our weight, high or low, we are not defined by our skin. I agree with you 100%, some baggy skin is better than 100#! You are an inspiration to me a 100s more.
    Always thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful day!

    3826 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2510197
    Well said. Sagging skin (no matter where it is) is not going to shorten your life or negatively impact your quality of life like an extra 100 lbs. Congratulations on your success...keep up the good're an inspiration!! emoticon
    3827 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5466384
    Well said! Congrats on your weight loss!
    3828 days ago
    emoticon emoticon Fantastic blog. Thank you so much for sharing something that people can be so crass about. You did an excellent job! emoticon emoticon
    3828 days ago
    You're so true about this skin problem!You rather want to focuse on health and then you will deal with the skin.
    3830 days ago
    thank you for your blog. My husband is more worried about the skin than I am. He says he won't be able to be intimate with me if I lose all the weight I want to. But I look at it this way that's his loss not mine. I want to be healthier and more mobile. I also want to run 5k race. I am finally able to see my dreams may happen.
    3830 days ago
    It's good to hear that you are not focusing on the negative comments from others. Sometimes people don't realize how their comment will come across to another. I think that we put too much emphasis on our outer package that we forget that it's what's on the inside that counts. Choosing to be health should be the main focus, not the fear of saggy baggy skin. Good job girl!
    3830 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7601418
    People really do need to review what they say to others BEFORE they say it/hit send...
    3831 days ago
    Wow! Congrats on your success both on the scale and overcoming your addiction. Thanks for sharing about the saggy skin, too.
    I know it will be there when I get to goal....but I'd rather be healthy.

    PS A friend of mine had gastro intestinal bypass surgery and his insurance paid for a tummy tuck later...I'm going to check with my insurance! emoticon emoticon
    3832 days ago
    People can be ridiculous! Keep rocking!!
    3832 days ago
  • no profile photo TREKKSTER
    You look great and this was an excellent response to those questions. I would take baggy skin over being overweight any day. I lost the majority of my weight several years ago and yes with time and resistance training your body will recover well. It's amazing how well in fact. As for those people and their questions... they can stay on the fence with weight-loss and watch their lives go by while worrying about skin rather than health. You're an inspiration! Congratulations on your accomplishments!
    3833 days ago
  • BECCA103
    I too have had a very off putting private message.
    I’m 50, 5 ft, was 138 and a size 10-12. Now 125 and a size 6.
    In the email I was referred to as “SLOPPY FAT”.
    I’m not sure what sloppy fat is,
    But I do know that in the psyche world this is called “projection”.
    I did let the emailer know this and never got another one!
    I never made this public on my blog, so good for you for doing so!
    Becca ;~)

    3833 days ago
  • BRINA421
    I have not lost as much weight as you have but my breast sag. I nursed my son who is almost 11 and I lost 70 pounds since his birth. I'd much rather have the saggy breast than the 70 pounds.
    3833 days ago
  • JORDAN1019
    I know exactly what you mean. I don't love the saggy skin, but feeling healthy is what matters the most.
    3833 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5951909
    You always have such a great way to look at everything! You are absolutely amazing in every way!
    3835 days ago
    Great post. Good health is worth anything we have to do to get it. We're all the better for it.

    Tremendous journey!!
    3836 days ago
    Thank you for sharing!! You're an inspiration to so many of us so being able to know how you feel and how you are processing this, helps a lot. I was wondering about the whole tummy tuck & arm proceedure too.
    3837 days ago
  • MACFAN3966
    Thank you. Saggy skin has been a fear of mine and I let it get in the way of getting healthy. NO MORE!!! Thanks again.... emoticon
    3837 days ago
    Congratulations on your amazing weight loss! And thanks so much for your honesty - what an inspiration!
    3838 days ago
  • ABBEY92
    You are 100% right, people really do need to think about how they word their inquiries. I think that most people have good intentions and just want to know what it feels like to finally "be there". I would like to add that you don't look like you have an ounce of "saggy baggy skin" . Furthermore, I have to agree with you again, that having a little extra skin is a way better option health wise as well as image wise than 100 pounds of pure fat is. That's about what I have to lose by the way.... Also, I cannot wait to be able to sit and NOT have my stomach rest on my thighs. When you said that in your blog I laughed out loud, I know it sounds silly, but I thought that I was the only one who really noticed that "issue" and was sooo self-conscious about it that I never wrote it in a blog,only in my personal journal. It was refreshing to know others are able to relate. Thank you for being such a faithful blogger with each step of your journey, it really does inspire those of us trying to get started on the right foot and realize and believe that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel of weight loss, it's called maintenance. Through hard work (mental and physical),eating right, no tricks, no fads and no gimmicks it can be a reality for all of us.
    3838 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/21/2010 11:46:23 PM
  • KARVY09
    I get this question a lot too, and I agree that the skin is way preferable to the fat and it's really not as bad as some people think as I didn't lose it as fast as the people on the Biggest Loser, for example. A steady loss of 1-2 lbs a week is a good thing!

    Thanks again!
    3838 days ago
  • ELSCO55
    emoticon Keep up the great work and you are an inspiration.
    3838 days ago
    I also wonder about skin sagging, but at your age, you look fantastic! Your skin has a really good chance of bouncing back. You are going to live about 30 years longer than you would have at your previous weight. You are certainly better off and healthier than being 100 lbs overweight! I am so jealous! You have accomplished the dream! Live it proud! emoticon
    3838 days ago
  • OLSEN9310
    this one hit home for me! I have lost 30 lbs and got all sorts of baggy skin and some very nice stretch marks. does it stop me from wearing a 2 piece swimsuit - HECK NO! I also had two c-sections, so I am certain only plastic surgery would correct my tummy sags...but not an option right now....soooo, I rejoice in the fact that I have lost that weight and I am being much kinder to my body and myself - that is KEY! you are an inspiration!!!
    3838 days ago
  • NCOX25
    Very nicely put, congrats on the weight loss and too hope to be follow suit soon. Keep up the awesome work!
    3838 days ago
  • IN_IT_2_WIN_IT
    Congratulations on your weight loss. I too was concerned about the saggy skin issue, and after losing 56 lbs to date, I do have sagging in my abdomen, inner thigh, and arms. I totally agree I would rather have the saggy skin than be carrying around those 56 lbs. I have another 60 lbs to reach my goal and I know there is going to be more sagging. My comments to those to critize it, "if you don't like it, don't look". Maybe I will consider plastic surgery, but that won't be until at least a year after I reach my goal to give my skin as much time as possible to shink.

    3838 days ago
    I totaly agree! You look Gorgeous. Your insides now match your outsides. Thank you for this blog. It is just how I feel. Some people do say stupid stuff.
    Ignore them. You are powerful now! Those are your battle scars. Embrace them. And I will do the same.

    3838 days ago
  • YESICAN123
    People say stupid sh**! They just do. Hopefully some of them will read your blog and think. Ignore them. You look fantastic.
    3838 days ago
    This is a wonderfully honest blog. Thanks :)
    3838 days ago
    Great job on your weight loss and thanks for inspiring us!
    3839 days ago
    Thanks for this BLOG!!! You have helped a lot of people I'm sure! I think my tummy is humorous now!!!:)) I was only 25-30 lbs form my goal when I started and still have about 10 to go so it's different for me but still an issue. I giggle at my tummy cuz it makes me happy to know that where the fat was and if it's gone from there how much better are my insides where it counts?

    Your great for helpin' out with this topic! Thanks! You've done fabulous things for yourself!
    3839 days ago
    Awesome...I wear my baggy skin proudly. I know it took hard work, but I think the changes on the inside are the important ones.
    3839 days ago
    Don't listen to the yucky ones! You go girl...thanks for posting... I am on the road to loose just as much! You are an inspiration! Be happy...enjoy your success! emoticon
    3839 days ago
    thanks for your openness and sharing this info. It doesn't pertain to me since in my eyes I've only been 10 lbs overweight.... but I still hate my pudgy tummy and hope to "just do what it takes" to work it off and tighten my muscles. : )

    •*´¨) †
    ¸.• ¸.•*´¨)¸.•*¨) †
    (¸.• ♥ Kathy ♥

    3839 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5863426
    Well said! You look fantastic... congratulations on all your success!
    3839 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3569992
    Youre awesome!! ... just thought you should know... and Im sorry for the offensive emails... You lost so much weight, you should be proud!!!! emoticon
    3839 days ago
    Thanks for sharing!
    3839 days ago
    Thank you for your candid approach. Yes, as many I have wondered, but then I thought, I can fold it up in clothes and move forward, not backward. I am just waiting to get there. Congratulations on one of the most wonderful accomplishments in your life!
    3840 days ago
    I loved your response! And, as I mentioned to a friend when we were at the beach yesterday, if you really look around, there are plenty of people with all different 'levels' of sagging skin. It doesn't stop them from having fun, spending time with the people they love, being active, wearing whatever swimwear they're most comfortable in (I live in a conservative area, so I saw everything from bikinis to t-shirts and shorts), and quite honestly, it was hard to 'notice' who had the saggy skin and who didn't. When people are having a good time and aren't focussed solely on their image, they look good. Period. And, as a woman who hasn't had kids (yet) I've got to say, I think the people with post-baby bellies are among the most beautiful...

    Ok, I've blabbed on too much, just one more thing: after watching TopChef, I googled Padma Lakshmi and read the story of her scar. It's inspiring, to say the least!
    3840 days ago
    great response! Thanks for your honesty and inspiration! emoticon
    3840 days ago
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