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It's not just my clothes that are getting loose

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Don't know about you, but there are bits of me that I avoid looking at in the mirror. Most of it, to be honest in my case. However sometimes you just have to grin and bear it. So yesterday evening I was having a good squint.

It's interesting, what you notice changing. Now I am a woman of a certain age (when I refer to myself as a girl, this is mere wishful thinking). So I've got wrinkles starting in all kinds of places. Since I began sparking, they have been joined by a few dents where I used to have bulges, and some new dimples.

Hm. Makes you very thoughtful, this sort of stuff.

Exercise has tightened up some bits, leaving others looser, if you know what I mean. I could crack nuts with my calf muscles, but my gut is seriously out of condition, and before you all dash to chip in and start suggesting loads of exercises, may I say I have to be very very careful not to upset my back. Swimming might be a good idea, but not till I'm thinner. There's a circular argument going there, huh? Bits of me don't really need to lose any flab at all. Others are nothing but.

And the zillion dollar question: if I shrink 10 sizes, how much will my skin shrink by? Six maybe, if I'm lucky, given my age? And what do I do with a skin four sizes too big?

I'm not going to give up SP because of this, no way, but it's a bit painful.

So, sparklers: loads of you must be going through this one - how are you dealing with it?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    To be honest, I've just had to resign myself to the loose skin thing. My belly is droopier than a bloodhound's face. No amount of ab work and toning is going to tighten up loose skin, so I just have to keep reminding myself that it's better to have all that loose skin than to go back to having all the fat that used to be under there! So it's carefully fitted clothes and Spanx under fancy dresses for me! I'm still working on not being a bit sad about it, but it's gotten better with time and I'm sure I'll continue to feel better as time goes on. So I don't have washboard abs - my calves are DYNAMITE and my shoulders/biceps are ROCKIN'. And those are the parts of me people are most likely to see! :) So you may or may not find that you get some saggy bits here and there, but just try to remember - it looks worse to you than it does to anyone else, and wouldn't you rather have the loose skin than the padding under it? :)
    2063 days ago
    I'm in my mid-20s and I've lost almost 100 lbs and I have A LOT more to lose and I'm already there with the flabby, saggy skin. Ew. According to a google search I recently did, weight training will help. The skin is saggy because you still have extra fat on your body so keep working out. And keep your skin hydrated -- slather on lotions, drink water, etc. :-) Surgery is a super final last resort. Your skin is a living organ and will get to where it fits your new body eventually.
    2066 days ago
    I even have a little sagging skin on top of my toes! emoticon
    ST has tightened up my hanging gardens emoticon by 2 inches. But, I sure don't like the thought of the excess skin hanging there after I lose the rest of my weight. But, it is better to be thinner and healthier, than fat with tighter skin! I don't like my gut either, but I am hoping it won't be that bad as time goes on. But if it is, oh well....will learn to accept it the best I can. I sure wouldn't do surgery to remove the loose skin, but then again, if it becomes a problem, hopefully insurance will cover it. You are doing a lot of walking and they say that is the best way to remove belly visceral fat! And that has helped my lose 9 inches off mine!!! I have to watch my back and knees too, limited in what I can do.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2067 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/20/2012 8:48:00 PM
    Knowing that you're changing is good. Knowing that you will have dents and bumps and creases and lines that make your face and body look like the road-map-to-somewhere-you-wouldn't-
    want-to-go is ok.

    I don't have an answer to to your questions other than saying time is your best bet. Time to see if your body will shrink-wrap itself. I have noticed that I am standing straighter and when that happens I tend to pull my stomach in more. It's a small thing but it works. Better than nothing.
    2067 days ago
  • DALID414
    I'm with ya! I tried on some pants the other day that looked pretty great, except they didn't close. Sad we can't spot train to get rid of what we want and keep the already great looking parts.
    2067 days ago
    I've been smearing on firming lotion like nobody's business! I don't know if it works but, just in case it does...
    2067 days ago
    WOW :O I hear you loud and clear :O looking in the mirror is hard SO I herd strength training with weights will help us "at a certain age" girls with firming and getting the metabolize fired up : ) if is does not make me look 30 again that is ok I am getting healthy :D
    2068 days ago
    Like most of the responses I found myself wondering about loose skin. I wrote a blog about it at the time, declaring my skin to be "classified" with only very special people having viewing rights. However, during the early part of the year my weight loss was very slow and my body seemed to catch up a bit. The only place it's not sorted is under my chin but as I was very fatfaced that might never come right.
    Take one day at a time, moisturise like there is no tomorrow and it WILL improve.
    best wishes, Sandra
    2068 days ago
    I recently wrote a blog called mirror, mirror on the same topic. Most advice I got was to work out with weights...this will take a long time, I'm afraid! The Shar Pei puppy analogy made me laugh!


    2068 days ago
  • EABL81
    I know what you mean about the swimming dilemma. For decades, I just didn't do it. Then a few years ago, I decided that I'm old enough not to really care. Even so, I wear swim shorts and a water tee-shirt. I know, but hey, it's been while I'm snorkeling, so I use sunburn prevention as my excuse. Of course, the fact that all of this has been taking place a couple thousand miles from where I live doesn't hurt either. The only unfortunate part is that my wallet just can't afford many of these "swimming trips".

    As far as the jiggly bits... Well, parts of me have been jigglying for years. So I guess I prefer loose jiggly bits to those of a more jelly-like consistency. In my next life I just plan to come back tall and willowy. Till then, well, I have my swim shorts.
    2068 days ago
    Testify, sister!!! Spanx does wonders--at least while you're dressed!! We may not end up tight and lump free , but we will have more health, self assurance, and the inner glow that comes from achieving a really daunting goal!!
    2068 days ago
    To join in on sagging body parts, my knees have begun to sag. Now, REALLY! Is this necessary?
    I am 56 and gained 50# during my oh so fun (NOT) menopause. I have lost 11 pounds in 3 months so it is safe to say I am on the slow plan. I do notice that the solidity of fat gets loose then kinda shrinks. I credit faithful ST for this process.
    Being a middle aged woman is filled with surprises I never thought about before. No one tells you this stuff!
    Slow but sure is my plan of attack.
    2068 days ago
  • STHAX10
    Personally, my mind feels better just losing the weight. I (and my hubby) know that it is part of what will happen. We are ok with it. If I ever get rich....LOL, I will take care of it then... But I am happy with having a figure beginning to emerge, even if it is only in clothes... I am really targeting the abs in my strength training. It will be the worst part. But building muscle is part of my plan, and it is starting to pay off. I will never be perfect, but I will be healthy. emoticon
    2068 days ago
  • L1ZB3TH354
    Losing weight has left me saggy and baggy. But at 58 I am concentrating on my health. So far, so good. I don't have any medical conditions, and don't need to take any medication at all. I agree with everyone else, slow and steady is better than fast and furious. emoticon
    2068 days ago
    I just wrote a blog about similar feelings. It is hard not to feel yucky about the jiggly bits that likely will not fully tighten up. I try to focus on all that is good and better and just avoid the rest, but there is no complete denial of it. Congrats on all you changed! Be proud and keep moving forward. And thank you for sharing your honest feelings about this. It helps to know there a others dealing with the same challenges!
    2068 days ago
  • LINDAK25
    I know exactly what you mean! What's with the dents anyway? I don't think I've ever lost weight like this before! I used to lose weight around my waist. Not anymore. (Other than the dents on either side.)
    My legs look great, though! I have lower back problems so I do ST for lower back, but I, too, have to be very careful. My husband is trying to get me to do planks or modified planks. I'll have to see if I can do that. Will it help? Who knows. This has become uncharted territory for me, too. I guess only time will tell! I know I look better now than I did before, so that's good. And no, I'm not putting on a bathing suit right now, either! I'm just not ready for that (and I may never be).
    2068 days ago
    The only place I really have the saggy baggy skin is my belly .. which is where I carry my weight anyway -- and where the "bra bulge" used to be. (Now it is just bra flap) I guess I still prefer loose skin to solid fat...........
    2068 days ago
    That's great you're shrinking. All I've read on the subject of loose skin sounds like if you incorporate some weights (they don't have to be at a gym or large weights)- it helps your skin shrink with the rest of you. Interesting for sure. Nice too!
    2068 days ago
    I can completely understand about the loose skin! I am starting to look like a Shar Pei puppy...not a good look! My doctor did warn me that no matter what exercise program or diet that I follow can prevent it. emoticon
    2068 days ago
  • JULIA1154
    I lost 1/4 of my body weight during the year that I went from 55 1/2 - 57 1/2. Now, it was not a ton of weight but for me it was a significant amount. I did cardio and some ST as I went along. I did not see any major issues develop with loose skin. Sure, there are some areas I'm not ready to see on the cover of Self magazine but on the whole I'm a lot happier with my body than I was! I now do a lot more ST and would highly recommend it to any woman for a huge variety of reasons.

    I would also second the notion of a consult with a good physical therapist and would suggest you re-think the "no swimming until thinner" mindset. I see LOTS of people in pools who are not slender and the only judgement I have is "good for them!" Swimming's not only great for your back, arms and legs - it's good for the spirit, in my opinion.

    Still, do what works for YOU. That's what counts.
    2068 days ago
  • DNRAE1
    I'm 67 and yup, that is one of my concerns! Saggy, baggy skin! But I decided that the alternative of remaining fat to fill out the sags just wasn't acceptable. Also, losing slowly, much slower than I'd like helps some, but I am going for it....sags and bags vs. fat.......whatever....I'd rather have the sags and bags emoticon and my health is more important.
    2068 days ago
    I am 57 soon to be 58 and not ashamed of it. I have had 2 major surgeries and my tummy looks like a road map. There is jiggly skin on my thighs and arms that I try like crazy to firm but so far it hasn't happened. I just deal with it. Can't afford plastic surgery. I look at it this way I am healthy and thinner. I am almost at my goal weight. I am happy. Amen
    2068 days ago
    I agree with everyone. Slow and steady.

    yes cardio is great but strength training will help lose skin

    I am in my 30's and have had stretch since I was 11 years old, there are a lot of creams to use mostly they just make my skin SMOOTHER.

    2068 days ago
    I just figure that if the weight goes off slowly, the rest (loose flappy skin) should eventually catch up - especially with a little bit of toning. I didn't get this way overnight and I'm sure not going to get rid of it overnight either.

    2068 days ago
    I think doing things slowly and surely are one way to help - anything that happens drastically has less time to "bounce back" if you will... and strength training should help a bit!
    2068 days ago
    i had 34 pounds to lose and did it the space of 3 months and got into ST straight away so toned as I went.
    Yes I have wrinkles were I don't want them and cellulite that is not about to leave home anytime soon (mores the pity) but I don't think I look too bad for an ole gel of 54 soon to be 55.
    At least I'm fit, healthy, active and eat well and enjoy life.
    If you're seriously worried about loose skin on a major scale talk to -POOKIE- here on SP.
    She is an inspiration and went through skin removal operations not long ago and looks A-MAZ-ING!
    2068 days ago
  • KIPPER15
    Strength training has helped me. I still have areas like you describe, but they are slowly getting better. emoticon emoticon
    2069 days ago
    Creams will help your skin snap back. Shea butter is recommended for ladies who are pregnant for that reason (and to prevent stretch marks). Well-moisturised skin is more elastic skin :)

    Slow weight loss also helps a lot, because it gives your skin time to snap back too :)

    I wonder if you've seen a physiotherapist -- just for one session -- to have her suggest exercises that shouldn't exacerbate and may even improve your back injury? A consultation with a physio will give you exercises to strengthen your abs and back, AND she'll show you how to do them so you don't hurt yourself doing them wrong :)

    2069 days ago
  • JACKIE542
    You must do strength training and not lose too quickly. Your skin may be loose for awhile but in time it will go back a bit. It took me a year to see firm up, not like I was 20, but I am ok with it. emoticon
    2069 days ago
    Well ~ yes, I've wondered about this ~ but for me ~ it is a secondary issue. Right now I have my focus on the first part of the journey, and figure I will tackle whatever odd remnants remain, in a later time. I just don't want to divert my attention. And the focus I have right now is really working well for me.

    Love that you're back with us!!
    emoticon emoticon
    2069 days ago
  • KAREN608
    I can't answer your questions. But want to see the answers of people of our age group. My upper arms are now bat wings. I make jokes about them slapping me in my face when I clean upper shelves. Still, to be more fit, I'll put up with loose skin, as I sure do not want the massive bulges instead.
    2069 days ago
    I tell myself I'd rather have loose skin than skin stretched over a lot of lethal fat.

    I try to imagine how much easier it will be to move and get around in my (rapidly advancing) senior years.

    I tell remind myself that I am 61 years old, not 23, and entitled to a few battle scars, and that loose skin is a reminder of this battle I've been waging off and on for so long.

    I take off my glasses!
    2069 days ago
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