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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sagging Skin During and after major weight loss

Why is Sagging, Loose skin such a big deal?

  • Uncomfortable during daily activities
  • Can be hard to keep clean and dry
  • Makes it difficult to dress stylishly
  • Is simply unappealing to oneself
  • Feel sexually unappealing
  • Unable to wear bikini's or specific clothing like tank tops in public
  • You want to mentally erase the past but the skin is a constant reminder of where you were

  • Loose skin occurs in a number of places including:
    • Under the arms
    • On your back
    • At your waist and belly
    • On your buttocks (around the hips)
    • On your thighs
    • Around your knees
    • Under the neck

    Let's First Ditch some Myth's.
    1. You can dry brush your skin back to great health- there is no science to back up this method
    2. The More Expensive the moisturizer the better the result- truth is doesnt' cost a lot of money to moisturize your skin.
    3. You can get rid of stretch marks- they don't go away (sorry) but you can reduce the appearance of stretch marks with lotion and sometimes with a tan.
    4. Is your excess skin actually skin or is still a thick layer of stubborn fat (stubborn deposits of subcutaneous fat) The best way to get rid of that fat is time and devotion to burn it off.

    Factors that can aide in Skin Retractability.  Loose skin and retractability has everything to do with elasticity. One factor that effects elasticity could be your age. The older we are the longer it takes for our body to regenerate healthy skin cells.  Vitamin C is important for collagen formation, which is vital for skin elasticity. Make sure to get enough vitamin C.
    What Can You Do?
    • If you have a choice (without weight loss surgery- they lose much faster than typical weight loss) lose your weight 1-2 lbs at a time. It gives time for your skin to retract. Skin replenishes itself about every 28 days.
    • Moisturize as often as possible. Healthy oils are best like Apricot oil. Truth be told I used an all natural moisturizer each day on my entire body that only costs 5 dollars. I have however have used natural oils (even Olive Oil *gasp* ) 
    • Start weight lifting if you are not already. By tightening up your muscles, the skin over your muscles will also look firmer. You can tone your abs, back, buttocks, hips and thighs to aide in the tighter appearance of your skin. You will have to trust that it will help because if you do it enough and maintain you will be much happier with your appearance!

    Changing Thought Patterns
    Acceptance. I know as a coach and woman that has gone through major weight loss and the maintaining phase it took me a while to accept my new body. What fears are attached to how you might appear after weight loss are multi-faceted on so many psychological levels. It really can become a thought trap for so many.  You want to overcome the mental issues that held onto you  in your obesity and the skin will remind of your past. This is very true and yes it can be a constant reminder of who you WERE! If there is one thing about the journey and acceptance it's that we bare in our hearts, soul and mind old scars from our past. It shapes who you are, who you will become. Old stretch marks and sagging skin can be a sign that you held onto issues that are no longer there. Celebrate the Victory in that notion that those issues are in your past. Sometimes the scars reflect the fact that you are a mother and your imperfect looking sagging belly once held one, two or more children in there! I have wide hips and I have a belly apron that is not going to go away. Not only was I morbidly obese but I had single and twin pregnancy. Do I want erase that sign from my body? Cosmetically sure it would be nice however on a psychological standpoint I really don't care because I am proud to be a Mom! 

    I would advise each of you losing now or in the journey to maintain to aim for simply being your best you  despite what your skin wants to do.

    I can train you to firm up the arms just as I have. I can coach you to lose a few more stubborn belly pounds. I can offer you even more training tips that can help you sculpt a 6 pack (that maybe no one will ever see) and tone up the inner and outer thighs that can help fill that skin in. However, I can't get you perfect. Not even a cosmetic doctor can get you perfect.  Surgery is a viable option for many. I too have met with surgeon for a tummy tuck and one day I may adventure there. However trust me when I say that there was this major light bulb moment for me when I met with my surgeon. The surgeon was touching my imperfect belly and in instantly while I'm gazing at myself in the mirror I had raging GREAT thoughts in mind. I was instantly proud of that I even made into that room. I was proud to lose the weight. I was there talking about stubborn belly fat and thick excess skin. I was proud of myself and then I started thinking  "You can fix my tummy but what about my hips?" You can fix my belly but what about my thighs? I am a walking full body contour patient. I will NEVER be perfect. I will never have a bikini body. Not only can I never afford all those procedure but I know for me that I live a life of great vitality and I could never mentally handle the time it would take to recover.

    I encourage you to adventure into your weight loss and maintaining with greater focus on the health of your body and not just the appearance. I want you to moisturize and lose at a healthy rate if you can and then begin to tone. Your body will keep changing, that I promise you.  Let your self esteem grow with each passing day with high quality thoughts about your great persistence, your growing strength. I want you to  mentally, spiritually and physically grow your acceptance of your ever changing body.  The love of yourself will fall right into place if you let it!

    Everyone wants to know how I look under my clothes with having lost half my old body weight. I'm 34 years old, lost on average 1.75lbs a week with NO strength training. When I met goal I started to build muscle and LOTS of it. I'm now very thick and solid woman. I had major sag on my arms to the point that I couldn't wear tank tops in public. I've since eliminated that problem. What once flapped when I ran is not a solid arm of muscle as I run and barely moves at all.  My stomach is a 6 pack though I still have subcutaneous belly fat that makes the appearance of my belly BETTER looking when I hold at this body weight. I got to 154-158 lbs and I was a wrinkly mess. I didn't like the appearance, I was bit flatter but I since put on both muscle weight and some extra cushion back into my abs that makes the appearance of my belly look that much better. I'll share pictures with you but what I'll share is that my skin sags on both sides as I lay down. My tummy is like a deflated balloon when I lay flat and the ocean of skin wrinkles is not appealing but at the same bothers me NONE.  I have inner thigh skin sag that will always prevent me from wearing a bikini at the beach and have come to fully accept the tankini~! It's really ok. I'd much rather take my imperfect fit body vs an obese sick body.

    1 comment:

    1. I love your blogs! You touch on areas that so many need help with. My issue is in my stomach area but it is better. I've lost a lot too but I am proud of it all!!!