OK. I think it’s time to talk about skin. Not just any skin. Loose skin. Saggy skin. Jiggly skin. Anyone who’s been significantly overweight/obese and has lost weight probably knows what I’m talking about. As you gain weight and get bigger … and bigger … and bigger … your skin eventually runs out of room to grow and starts stretching. In some cases, a lot. And, in some places more than others. So, once you start losing weight, that skin doesn’t really have anything left underneath it to keep it all stretched out. The result? Saggy, loose skin.
You can do exercises to build up the muscles underneath the skin. But, depending on how long you were overweight, your genetics, your age, etc., your loose skin may stay, well, loose. There are lots of articles out there on the subject, many with varying opinions. A quick Google search for “loose skin and weight loss” brings up hundreds of thousands of pages.
I’m really noticing my loose skin sagging and wagging more and more (especially during last night’s Zumba class), but I take it as a positive sign — one that means my weight-loss efforts are working. In fact, I’m somewhat proud of my “soup coolers” (the waggly bits on the tops of my arms). You know, the chicken wings? I’m not proud of the fact that I let myself get so big that I stretched out my skin that much. But, I am proud that I’m losing the weight, and my loose skin is a reminder of what used to be there: At this point, 70 extra pounds of me. Better to have loose wiggly, jiggly parts than to be filled with all the extra fat that was under there.
And I’m not shy about letting that skin be seen in public. I wear tank tops to the gym, and I’ll wear sundresses in the summer. I’ll wear a bathing suit to the beach, knowing that my thighs and butt and arms and boobs will sag like it’s their job. I’m not embarrassed by my saggy skin. Every week I step on the scale I am, essentially, hoping for my efforts to pay off and for my skin to be saggier than the week before.
Who knows? Maybe after I’ve lost all my weight, I’ll be one of the lucky ones whose skin starts to retreat and go back (close) to normal. Doubtful, but you can’t really take a test to see how your skin’s going to look after you lose 120 pounds. Or, maybe I’ll decide that plastic surgery’s worth it for me. I don’t know — cuz I’m not there yet. But for now, I’m not gonna worry about it. I’m gonna stick with my routine and keep doing what I’m doing, knowing in the end that I’ve worked hard for this body and I will be proud of it, no matter what. Plus, in the meantime, I’ll never burn my tongue on my soup.