"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
    I have "saggy baggy"skin before I start ( I weigh 115 kilos and need to get down to at least 70) and the droopy inner thighs already so goodness knows what it will look like after....I'll probably be able to throw it over my shoulder,but hey.....I'm looking forward to it!! If I look half as good as you do I'll be VERRRRRY happy! emoticon
    3604 days ago
  • no profile photo CD9833537
    I want to THANK YOU FOR YOUR HONEST CANDOR! Yes, asking questions like you have gotten is rather a "private issue!" But you answered them, HONESTLY, AND MOST OF ALL, KNOWING THAT THE WEIGHT LOSS IS "SO MUCH BETTER, NO MATTER WHAT!"

    Thank you for sharing, you are beautiful, with a beautiful family, and you are able to enjoy EVERYTHING!!!!
    3611 days ago
  • no profile photo WINONA1975
    I think your great in all the aspects. It's like I can see hope for me, knowing that you di it all the way. I respect you for that.
    3642 days ago
  • MRS_GLAM44
    emoticon emoticon
    3722 days ago
    I read on poster that said "better thin and loose than fat and tight!", and that has been my mantra so far. I've been using a lotion with lots of vitamin E, which is suppose to help with skin regeneration. It may not work as well as plastic surgery, but it's suppose to tighten things up little by little over time. Good luck, and way to go!
    3776 days ago
  • no profile photo JENIKINZ17
    I worked hard for my loose skin, sure it my own fault for not taking care of myself in the first place but it is also a reminder of where I NEVER want to be again...I will take the loose skin any day! If we all walked around naked maybe it would bother me more but clothing covers everything and anyone who gets to see us naked and has an issue with it isn't worth our time anyway.
    Thanks for posting this!
    3776 days ago
    I am new here and been trying to figure everything out. I found your slideshow blog (which i love) I have been telling every one about it, " you have to see this...", I think I will end up watching it a few times during my journey to lose the weight! Thank you for talking about the sagging skin, it always seems like such a touchy subject, you did a great job!
    3779 days ago
    My uncle had gastric bypass due to health concerns, he has lost 160lbs and is almost 50 he states that he looks like a SharPei puppy. His new fiancé however says it's not that bad. So perhaps everyone that does have this excess skin sees more of it than there is.

    Plus no matter how much skin there is you look HOT with clothing on which most people wear out of the house!
    3809 days ago
  • no profile photo CD9232742
    You know, I thought about this today! My goal is 93 pounds, but actually it can be more. I do worry about the skin issue and I'm glad I came across your blog today. Thank you for your courage and speaking on this issue. Congrats!!
    3823 days ago
    I just want you to know that you are such and inspiration! I am always talking about Katie from Spark who has worked so hard and has become healthy. Seriously, my husband is like, " do you even know her? You talk about her like you are buds!" LOL I just find so much encouragement in your story. I have 2 children, a 9 yr old girl and a lil boy who just turned 2 and I feel like I am at that turning point. I believe that I am a food addict and have binge eating disorder and I do take comfort in knowing that you did it, as hard as it was. I am 3 wks in to healthier eating and working out and I am 15 lbs down. Thank you again for your encouragement and God bless you and your family! : ) emoticon
    3831 days ago
    Even though so many people have already posted this comment, I absolutely have to say it again. THANK YOU! Thank you so much because this is such an issue of mine and you've given me the "chin up" to keep moving forward! emoticon
    3840 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2921194
    Great attitude!
    3842 days ago
    You know, the thought of having saggy skin has stopped me from even wanting to lose weight in the past. I don't know what I was thinking because right now I'd love to have the saggy skin rather than the weight itself. I heard using lots of moisturizer helps but I have yet to find out. You have done a great job though and you are such an inspiration. I don't know how many times I'm going to say that. lol You give me hope! Thanks. emoticon
    3886 days ago
  • FLCC13
    Thank you so much for writing this blog. As someone who has lost nearly 100 pounds since February, I myself have the same issues. It's good to hear that I'm not the only one, and it's great to see someone so positive about it. You are absolutely right. I would much rather have my "saggy skin" than all that extra weight.
    3903 days ago

    ....this is exactly what i needed to hear!!
    3951 days ago
    I've lost almost 80lbs and have been *SO* self-conscious about my saggy stomach. The first time I was intimate with a guy post-weight loss, he asked me if I was sure I didn't have kids because my tummy looks like I do (yeah, I kicked him to the curb right quick). I've tried exfoliating and I moisturize daily, but what you said is so true - I WOULD rather have the saggy skin than the 80+ lbs. Thank you for posting this!
    3956 days ago
    God, you look wonderful...I would welcome saggy skin to hit the 130s....
    3957 days ago
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm sorry that people lacked tact and hurt your feelings. You seem like a really kind person.
    I must admit that I am feeling nervous about the skin thing. It actually makes me feel really discouraged. I am not far along yet in my journey to know how that will turn out for me, but it seems like I will probably have it too. I hope that by the time that happens, I will be able to adopt such a positive healthy attitude like you. Thanks

    p.s. By the way, your pictures are lovely
    3961 days ago
    Thank you for addressing this issue. I am sorry some people were insensitive. I thing it was brave of you to be so upfront about it and thank you for your comments. Congrats on the weight loss. You are beautiful.

    3973 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7660668
    I read somewhere that Rob Huizenga, MD (the doctor on Biggest Loser) said to wait at least 2 years, after reaching your goal weight, before getting skin removal surgery, because the skin may shrink back some. For the life of me, I can't find his statement anywhere on the internet. Maybe he restated it in his book, "Where Did All the Fat Go: The WOW! Prescription" (on pages 264-266), but I'm not willing to pay $18 + S&H to find out it isn't there.
    3980 days ago
    Way to go, I too would rather have the saggy skin than the filled in version! Given enough time things even out and don't seem so saggy, but again I would rather be deflated than fill in
    3988 days ago
    great post. I have lost about 80 lbs and need to lose like 30 more to be in a healthy BMI range. I am worried about the saggy skin too and hoping that if it doesn't tighten up maybe a couple of procedures could be covered through medical insurance, I'm not sure though... I really think insurance companies should start covering tummy tucks and such for people who have lost 100+ pounds because we've just done something incredible for our health and this should reduce the cost of our medical care in the future, so it seems they could provide coverage for some procedures to prevent skin bacterias and other problems that would come along with the sagging skin. Hope so anyhow!
    3988 days ago
    Thanks for this post. I never thought about saggy skin but you are right i rather have that then be a butteball

    keep it up mamma

    3989 days ago
    You have the right positive attitude about the saggy skin and the cruel things people have said. You are doing the right things and that is what is important and you started making great progess while you are still young.
    3990 days ago
    very honest and totally true!!!...
    3990 days ago
    Congratulations on your success! emoticon

    I just joined this SparkPeople. I'm concerned about saggy skin also, though it seems less likely for me, considering my weight. It's just that I'm middle-aged, so I don't expect things to "snap back" quite so easily either.

    One idea that I'm trying to help keep my skin toned are two Ayurvedic practices, abhyanga (self-massage with oil) and garshan (dry skin brushing). I have no idea if they will help skin tone, but I don't see how they wouldn't. You can look up instructions on how to do both online or in books on Ayurveda.

    I recommend Dr. Helen Thomas as an online resource. She gives you a free e-book that describes how to do abhyanga and garshan, along with other Ayurvedic health info, when you subscribe to her email list. Deepak Chopra also discusses it in his book, Your Perfect Weight.

    Ayurvedic skin brushing uses a raw silk glove, but I imagine you can get similar results using a natural bristle bath brush, found in most health food stores. Good luck with your last 18 pounds!
    3990 days ago
    You look great!
    3990 days ago
    A can Kudos to you. Keep strenght training and it will help with the skin.
    3991 days ago
  • TRONAN158
    This is one of my concerns too! I am trying to do targeted resistance band workouts to help!
    3991 days ago
  • SHAY72
    u have to over look some peoples comments, cause we all are human & some people can't give a compliment without 7 insult to boot, but u look great & i whole heartedly agree i would much rather have extra skin then a extra 100 lbs.
    3991 days ago
    Thanks for telling it like it is!! emoticon emoticon
    3991 days ago
    Thanks for sharing this blog. That's to bad about bad comments about saggy skin. I am on my down, and do fear that, but you have helped me see other wise. I will try to not fear and think of your great attitude about that. Yes It is better to have that saggy skin and have lost weight. The positive about that is feeling better and feeling better. It is more important to have your health and a positive attitude.

    Thanks so much!
    3991 days ago
    I'm so sorry to hear that you would get insulting or offensive messages here, of all places.
    Doesn't every single person here know what it means to be conscious of, and uncomfortable with the way they look?
    What a great, inspiration message you posted on dealing with one of the few downsides of losing a lot of weight. Sure, saggy skin is a lot better than having it filled with fat, but it's still saggy skin.
    Thank you for your honesty. And may I add how FANTASTIC you look in your photographs.
    3991 days ago
    Thanks for your honest answer to questions alot of us have.
    3991 days ago
  • HELENA260
    I know its hard to ignore dumb people but evidently when they were passing out brains they didnt get in line.You are to be commended for your accomplishment!! I have lost close to 100 pounds myself and I know exactly what you are talking about!! I would also like to have plastic surgery but it is very expensive!! Keep up the good work!!! emoticon
    3991 days ago
    You look fantastic! Thanks for your honesty and sharing your beautiful story of success! You look FANTASTIC!!! emoticon
    3991 days ago
    Thanks for an honest take on this. Honestly, I know that there will be saggy skin waiting for me when I get further down this road... but I'll deal with it when the time comes.
    3991 days ago
    i had to post one more thing, my fingers, i was amazed when i started losing, how much fat i had managed to tuck into my fingers! what the heck? i guess really, it is more of a testiment to how amazing the body is, that it can find places to store more and more fat. even in the tiny places like the fingers. I ended up having to resize all my rings back down to my new normal size. it was rather nice... but still, skinny fingers is odd. and i have some loose skin there, i think my hands look older due to that ...
    3991 days ago
    The truth is, i can wear whatever i want to cover my skin, and there is nothing you can wear to hide the fact that at my heaviest, my slacks were a size 22. I have excess skin on my inner thighs. i have the saggy rear end that looks like (to me) a melted candle with wax running down the candle. (i was a true pear shaped gal). I had to have my boobs done, as the girls lost all their fat and i grew tired of having them fall out of my fav push up bras everytime i leaned over. plus, i wanted to wear strappy dresses without fear. I think that while lots of people are really amazing at being rude, others are just afraid of failure and they have probably failed at weight loss so many times in the past, that they cling to whatever excuse allows them to feel they are in control of the whole process. it is too bad, cause losing weight is within the grasp of everyone who wants it. so, when i get those rude queries, i usually say a prayer for the poor trapped soul inside there and try to move onwards and upwards! in skinny jeans... hehe
    3991 days ago
    I'm like you, I will take saggy skin anyday over being overweight. You Go Girl!!
    3991 days ago
    I do not understand how people can be so rude and offensive. They are probably just making excuses for their lack of self control. You have done it! And as for those rude people - forgedaboutit.
    3991 days ago
    Your healthy, honest attitude is wonderfully refreshing. The heck with the haters. The people who contribute positive energy to your journey are the ones worthy of your time and consideration.

    I think you are simply amazing! God bless.
    3992 days ago
    Great information I am on my journey to weight loss and I do not care if the skin sags I would much rather be healthy, you look great I think it is all in the way we view ourselves that really matters.
    3992 days ago
    Wonderful ! You are so positive..You are so beautiful ..I see nothing but a lovely happy young woman...

    Thank you for sharing
    3992 days ago
  • KPRATT38
    I love this! I've been dealing with this issue for a long time too. People's blatant rudeness never ceases to amaze me.
    I have all of the same problem areas you described...well, I did save up and have had the tummy tuck so far and hope to do the arm correction in the not-so-distant future but funds are an issue. Another thing that kills me are the people that make comments to me about others losing a ton and not having skin issues at all. "wow, how come the people on biggest loser don't have that skin like you do?" How rude is that? First of all, they probably DO have it, it is just covered up...grrr.

    Even with all of these comments, I wouldn't trade my loss for anything. If I were still big, they'd just be insensitive about something else. People are people ;)

    Congrats to you and keep inspiring people!!
    3996 days ago
    Thnx for your honesty. I have worried about this as well and now that I have lost 65lbs, I see the excess skin as well. But when I cover up and wear that smaller size and get those comments on how I look, I totally forget about the sagginess under the clothes.
    4000 days ago
    Great blog! Yep, I'm there too. Considering brachioplasty once I reach goal but will finalize that decision once I take a good honest look at myself in the end. Might not be too bad or not bad enough for the big 'ol scar. For now, attempting to love myself just as I am everyday.
    BTW. You look great and I am so impressed with the running. I have never tried it and not so sure my knees would let me but I sure envy you for being able to do it. 8 MILES OMG!
    4001 days ago
    Thanks for sharing this blog. I am in the same place as you. I always wonder why people's minds think of that first when they're starting to lose weight. Saggy skin is NOTHING compared to the health risks of being severely overweight! It's only really an issue when it is time for a swimsuit. But who really cares, because swimsuits still look better on us now than they did back then! :)
    4001 days ago
    Thank you for the blog entry, I wonder about that all the time. I already notice lumps and bumps in my skin after losing 50 lbs and still having 80 to go it makes me wonder what i will look like when thats gone too!
    4001 days ago
  • MOMKAT4310
    Love your blog answer. Some people ask such offensive questions in person, but many more ask when they are anonymous. Extra skin vs extra pounds of fat. Hands down winner is skin.
    4002 days ago
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