There are two questions I get asked over and over again whenever someone new learns that I’ve lost a pretty large amount of weight:
- What can you even eat?
- Do you have loose skin?
- Whatever I want — in moderation.
- To put it simply, yes. But there’s more to it than that …
When you lose a significant amount of weight, there are some things that are most likely going to happen. One of those is loose skin. I’ve written about it time and again, and I’ll probably write about it again. But it’s an important topic because it truly weighs heavily on people’s minds as they start down the path to lose weight.
Let’s start it out by saying: Loose skin ain’t pretty.
And I won’t sugar coat it. Loose skin can suck. It is, at times, inconvenient, frustrating and stubborn. It hangs over my pants, no matter what size they are — even in the pants I’m wearing today that actually fall down if I’m not wearing a belt.
It prohibits me from comfortably wearing some shirt styles. It causes me to wear shirts that hang at my shoulders in order to fit around my stomach. It smacks around when I’m mid-intense workout. It can make yoga somewhat interesting. It chafes on my hydration belt when I’m running.
But it never, ever makes me uncomfortable. It never, ever makes me feel ashamed. It never, ever stops me from doing anything I want to do. And it never, ever leads me to believe I am anything other than strong, beautiful, capable and healthy.
Loose skin sucks. But it doesn’t suck nearly as much as living your life on the sidelines because you’re too obese to participate.
Loose skin is inconvenient. But it’s not nearly as inconvenient as having to choose restaurants based on if you can sit comfortably in a booth.
Loose skin is frustrating. But it’s not nearly as frustrating as crying in a dressing room because nothing fits and your friends want to see you model the prom dresses you’re supposed to be trying on.
Loose skin is no fun. But it’s way more fun than having to say no to your friends when they ask if you want to go to the amusement park — not because you hate roller coasters, but because you can’t fit on the rides.
Loose skin is embarrassing (sometimes). But it’s not nearly as embarrassing as having your mom take the seams out of your elementary school basketball uniform and sewing in off-colored side panels to make it fit.
Here’s some other stuff loose skin is:
- Empowerment: It shows me that I have the power to make my quality of life what I want it to be. And I want it to be active, healthy and confident. And a little jiggly saggly waggly skin ain’t gonna change how I feel about myself.
- Strength: It’s part of my life story, and every stretch mark shows a hurdle I overcame, a step I took and a fear I conquered to get to this point.
- Beauty: I am human. I am flawed. I am beautiful. And so is my skin.
I also know that loose skin is mostly out of my control. I don’t have those “miracle” genetics that gave me the gift of super elasticity. Sure, there are surgeries I could have to get my loose skin removed. And, who knows, one day I may want to do that. But right now, I’m just getting to know this skin. I’m comfortable in this skin. I like this skin.
Besides, there are some things that are somewhat within my control (and yours, too) that I think are much more important than loose skin:
- Heart disease
- Joint pain
And if I have to have loose skin in order to help reduce my risk of some of these things? I welcome it.
So, no, loose skin ain’t pretty. But it sure as heck is beautiful.