How to Deal With Loose Skin After Weight Loss
Extra skin. You have it. You don’t want it. Me either!
After losing 150 plus pounds, I relate. Believe me.
Extra skin is not only bothersome, its unsightly. It's frustrating, and it is an inevitability after shedding a good amount of poundage. But there are things you can do to combat it.
Not hocus pocus type stuff, either.
Real science-y stuff - and by science-y I mean I've used it and experimented on myself. So to me, it's real world science at its best.
Here is my experience.
After losing my weight by eating a low calorie diet and running my face off, I found I had a TON of extra skin. I remember going to the doctor during that time, and him kneading my stomach like a cat stating, “Wow, you could make a lampshade out of this.”
His words, not mine.
My abdomen could be stretched well away from my body by about 6-8 inches. The inside of my thighs looked like elephant thighs with sagging folds of skin. My bra fat made my back look lumpy and don’t even get me started on my butt... Which, by the way, was found behind my legs.
It was so frustrating to lose that amount of weight and have so much skin. I looked up everything on the internet. Loose skin - if it could go away without surgery.
Loose Skin Without Surgery
Odds were not looking good from all of my searches.
I was even more determined to find a way and not have surgery. Why? For these reasons:
- I could not afford it.
- I don’t like pain.
- I am super cheap.
Yup, those were my reasons. I stopped looking at the internet. I stopped talking about it to my friends who were all gung ho that I should have surgical intervention.
Tip #1 - Build Muscle
I put on my thinking cap on and this is what has made all the difference: Muscle. Yup, pure and simple. I started weight training in a big way.
I didn’t like it at first. I was scared that I would look all manly. I even had one of the physicians that I worked with tell me to stop.
They thought I was going to “get bulky.” This was their concern after seeing me in the gym squat 155 pounds, which by the way, isn’t that much.
I went with my gut, and continued on, knowing that I needed to make more muscle to fill in my extra skin.
Tip #2 - Drink More Water
Water. I don’t like to drink water, but it does wonders for tissues, keeping you hydrated. This one still eludes me, because I hate drinking water - but benefits abound with hydrating correctly.
My excuse is I hate to take time out to pee, so I still have to work on this one.
Tip #3 - Eat Better
Watch what you put in your mouth. Eating cleaner (by “cleaner” I mean more whole foods) has seemed to help the look of my extra skin and cellulite. I even feel “tighter” when I eat closer to the earth.
No, I don’t eat all my meals sitting on the ground, I just mean I eat things that really only come from the earth.
Tip #4 - Don't Rule Out Surgery
Surgery. You may need surgery. After I had kept my weight off for 5 years and had done one competition without surgery, I felt I needed to get a tummy tuck.
My stomach looked like someone ran over it. Twice. I hated to part with that money, but I did because I felt there was nothing I could do to build enough muscle to get rid of my small but stretchy panus.
Be aware, surgical intervention, in my humble opinion, should be a last resort. I waited 5 years, and after I got it done. I became depressed and missed my panus. I know, weird, right?
I felt like I had lost a body part, and if I had to do it all over again, I would not have done it.
Tip #5 - Be Patient
The last and most important part of dealing with extra skin - give yourself time to recomp.
After losing weight, I looked gaunt, had tons of extra skin and basically became too thin. I was exercising in the wrong way for me (cardio 10-12 hours a week) with no building muscle.
Almost 3 years after I lost my weight I decided to build muscle. It's a slow process and you have to give yourself some grace.
The wraps, the creams and the lotions wont give you lasting results - I should know, because I tried it all.
In closing, you're the only one that knows whats right for you. You live in your skin, and you want to feel good in your own skin.
Don’t listen to others, listen to yourself. Research and do what is right for you.