Honest Loose Skin Thoughts & Pics

This thread has been brewing in my head for a little while. People ask regularly what to expect when they lose weight. People give opinions regularly that make me insane as well. Other people have already lost weight, seen the damage, and still wonder if there are more options beyond surgery. Honestly, I also just needed to do this for me - it's a cathartic thread.

If you find it gross or boring, well, that's fine. GTFO. If you believe that in order to have "real" loose skin someone must have no excess fat left to lose or that losing enough fat magically heals excess skin, GTFO....or maybe read on and see if you change your mind. If you don't, no skin off my back. Ha, I made a funny.

First up, me with clothes. The shorts and sleeves are a little shorter than I am comfortable with, but this is a real outfit I wear in the real world. Nothing out of the ordinary visible at first glance. No girly underwear or shapewear magic beyond a padded push-up bra. I'm not the thinnest of girls, but it's pretty obvious that I've come a long way from weighing nearly 400 pounds.


I'm 5'10". I'm between 190 and 195 pounds. Yup, overweight still. Here are some pics of my leaner areas.


^ Stole from my profile photos. Flexed, obviously.


^ Flexed again.


^ WTF is up with this. Seriously. Flexed, yes, but why do I have a dude's chest? Yes, my breasts have fallen, and maybe that's part of it, but I see pecs, and I did not work for them. I have eaten protein along the way, but I don't average more than 20% of my calories coming from it, and I have done the bare minimum of strength work - meaning the occasional yoga/pilates DVD or bodyweight workout without great consistency. I currently use 20 pound dumbbells. Not setting any records here.

Muscles and clothes out of the way, here we go. Let's get one thing straight. I absolutely believe I have some belly fat to lose. I also absolutely believe that there is excess skin coexisting quite obviously with that fat. Pics are worth 1,000 words, right?


Panniculus. For those who don't know, and again, I said I believe I have belly fat to lose, a panniculus is made up of more than just paper-thin skin. It grows as your belly grows with weight gain. It has underlying support tissue and blood vessels. Mine could be worse for sure, but that's what I have. It's not going away. I believe I will continue to decrease in my overall circumference, but I didn't start out as someone with, say, less than 100 pounds to lose. It's not going to shrink up into a little wrinkly ridge. Good for those who do have that outcome, though.

Front shot. One that I find to be pretty bothersome. Someone mentioned a melted candle look in a different thread the other day. It applies pretty well. I also think I may have that separated abdominal muscle thing despite no pregnancies.


It can be a source of entertainment as well. Fun with silly putty!


More fun swirling around some pizza dough! Can you do this??? Well, can you?????


In my flexed arm shot, the skin is obviously thin and hanging. In the pizza dough shot, you can see the skin hanging out of the sides of my bra. I just tuck it in. In clothes, all is well. Here's a shot from the side of some HAWT side boob and skin.


That's obviously the wrinkly, lax, no-fat, excess skin look. There's not fat there. That type of skin is in my armpits, the sides of my upper arms, and also my upper thighs. I love my legs until mid-thigh level. That same texture exists on my belly despite not being able to pinch paper-thin amounts. I wish more weight loss would fix it. It won't.

Here's a shot I like because it makes my belly look flat and skinny. Look at that ribcage! Look at those hipbones! Where did the pizza dough go???


Found it. It all slid off to the side. Just a partial pic. The full shot was too much for me to post. So much for honesty. Looks like my body is lying on a pool of melted fat and skin.


That's it for me being semi-naked all over the world wide web. Some points I would like to make:

For those of you who are starting out where I was: yes, this is what happens, though everyone is different. Could be worse or better. It's still worth it. In my case, I don't need any special shapewear to look like I have a decent figure with curves. It all tucks away. I wear mid-rise bottoms vs. low rise, and I do not wear short-shorts. I go with standard 5" inseams and just wander around a bit paranoid about them riding up. As for shirts, I just don't go sleeveless, but I have been used to that for a long time. I still look good and feel good. I'm not dissuaded from taking off a few more pounds. I would do it again. I'm not crying myself to sleep at night over it. I still buy pretty lingerie and still hang out naked with my husband.

Things that aren't directed at me but make me nuts when I read them even though I know they don't apply and are meant to have a somewhat healthy message: Sayings like, "Thin girls look good in clothes. Strong girls look good naked." That one won't work for me. I can do all the strength training in the world, and my naked body is still going to be different from the norm.

Or reading about how down people get on themselves because their excess skin reminds them of what they did to themselves. They view it as damning evidence against them. That is not my mindset. I don't feel guilt or blame. I'm not looking for sympathy, but neither do I feel like this is a problem I created out of my failings. I've been fat my whole life. Yes, at a certain point I was at an age to make my own decisions regarding food, but so what? I simply don't look at it that way at all.

Which brings me to something else. Some of my pics, very faintly, you may notice scars. I have never posted these particular pics on the internet before, but since I'm already so exposed here, here they come.


Those are scars that are all at least 10 years old now. They are the results of self-injury. I do not feel guilt or shame when I look at them. I see them daily. I do not flaunt them (one of the reasons I am already used to wearing sleeves and modest shorts is because they're mostly on my upper thighs and arms), and I don't talk about them, and other than my very immediate family, people in the real world don't know about them. Unless they're strangers and I have shorter sleeves than normal on. That doesn't bother me because strangers don't ask questions. Understandably, people a bit closer have questions. It's such an old subject. I don't identify with it anymore. I prefer to avoid it, so while my husband obviously knows, my in-laws, for example, have never seen these scars. If they happen upon them due to MFP, oh, well. I'm 30 now. Probably time to move on.

Why post this? Because after 10 years, despite the fact that I still like to keep them covered, I don't have any more of an emotional reaction to them than freckles - they're just part of my body's topography. If I had an arm lift, I would probably wear tank tops and say eff it at this point. The batwings bother me more.

Mainly because, like excess skin, they are the result of something that could be argued to be 100% within my control. Something I chose to do to my body. I caused that damage. Yet I don't think people would expect me to feel shame for it. Self-injury is not a proper diagnosis. It's not a mental illness by itself. It's not the same as being suicidal. It can be a symptom of an actual underlying disorder, but it's not always. Sometimes, it's just the best (worst?) coping mechanism someone has at the time. There are potentially some parallels there.

So, that's it. Not my most well-written post. A bit rushed, but I finally got it out of my head, and I think the pictures do a lot of the talking. Those of you starting or who have started in the higher weight categories, this is for you, and it's also for me. Keep in mind, I have lost 190+ pounds, and I do have a history of weight cycling in the past. Your results may vary. It's still SO WORTH IT.