In my time at the Weight Watchers message boards, I’ve learned a valuable lesson: the topic of loose skin after weight loss is very touchy, serious, and controversial. I almost didn’t want to write about it, because there’s no way to make this subject funny and lighthearted without seeming callous.
For those that may not know, one of the “side effects” of major weight loss can be loose skin that is semi-permanent. I didn’t even have thoughts of this in my head until watching a marathon of medical shows on Discovery Health about obese patients and the surgeries they required after to remove voluminous folds of extra skin.
I’ll be perfectly honest. Momentary panic overtook me after watching these shows. Would I work so hard not to resemble Babar only to trade off for his skin? As brutal as that sounds, it worried me and almost brought me to a halt.
So I did what I’d done previously: I went to my go-to people, the women (and men) of the forums. The answers I received to my fear of loose skin were shocking to me: while 50 percent were encouraging and supportive, the other 50 percent were downright hostile. I can understand that someone else may see their loose skin as a badge of honor, and support that, but I won’t see my own skin the same way.
The rational side of me knows that it’s much healthier to be at a smaller size with looser skin, than to be large with tight skin. But fear isn’t rational most of the time.
Despite some of the responses, I tried to take away the more positive replies. Some were kind enough to share their own personal experiences with me, which were greatly appreciated. Others shared helpful links, even photos.
One suggestion, however, I would not consider. Some replied to my post that what did it matter if I got loose skin, I could just have surgery to remove it! Maybe some people could, but I am a) not rich and b) terrified of being put to sleep because of the possibility of not waking up. While it would be wonderful if there were a “magic” surgical procedure to fix my problem, I’m not willing to put my life at stake for it. I support anyone that does choose surgery, however – everyone makes their own decisions based on what is best for them. Surgery is just not what is best for me.
So this is it for me: I’m doing all the things suggested to try to minimize loose skin, even though I know a great deal of it depends on age, genetics, etc. I’m just going to have to wait and see what happens, and pray that at the end of my journey, I am happy with the results.