Skin – The Real Truth
I hope I got your attention. Sorry about that! We all remember that gruesome scene from the 1991 hit movie thriller, the “Silence of the Lambs” when Jame Gumb, aka Buffalo Bill, demanded that his victim rub the lotion on the skin. Shiver!
Any person that has lost a significant amount of weight (especially mid 30′s+) will find that they are born with a new problem: SKIN! Skin, and lots of it. This post may get a bit gruesome and real for most readers, so beware.
I have been asked, “how did you lose 100 pounds and NOT have loose and sagging skin?” When I answer that I do have it-all over, most of my clients don’t believe me. I would never lie and I applaud anyone that asks me to share my thoughts on what the next step is. Truthfully, it is hard to be overweight for years, finally lose it with hard work and dedication, and then find that you are “still covering up” because you hate the appearance of your skin, it is a bad joke. It is a reality that is no laughing matter and I feel that there is a silver lining for those that share my story.
Back to the lotion. Don’t rub it all over the skin. Don’t fall for the expensive hype. There is no real proven evidence that any lotion on the market that promises to tighten loose skin works. If you carried your extra weight for a lengthy period of time, and didn’t loose it until your mid thirties or after, your skin will have also lost collagen and elastin, with age. These natural substances that are produced in your body dictates your skin’s elasticity. When you are young, you have a lot, of both. Think about when you were a child and a teenager, your skin was smooth and supple. As you age, your body produces less and less and your skin does not have the resistance to bounce back. You earn wrinkles, crows feet, etc. So, these high priced products that contain elastin and collagen, hoping you will fall hook, line, and sinker-will hydrate your skin, but they won’t bring back the hands of time or tighten the space where your body once stored more fat. The skin can not absorb the chemicals in these lotions. They can not break the barrier, but they will sit on the surface, so why not buy a nice moisturizer and face reality-you have a different issue to face.
There are natural vitamins, minerals, and foods that help promote collagen and elastin, but again-don’t be fooled. You couldn’t bathe in them to fix sagging skin after weight loss. Red fruits, dark greens, avocado, fish oil, flax seed, coconut oil, turkey, vitamin E & C, and coenzyme Q10 are all great resources. They won’t hurt, but please don’t buy your grocer out of his stock and hope that those will work either.
There is some hope for you, if you are in the shoes I have walked in. When I was losing my weight, I trained specifically like a body builder to grow and expand my muscle fiber. I trained specifically (thanks to a great coach) to isolate muscle groups and hit them with a lot of volume. I also trained with an elevated heart rate, so I was always burning more calories, as well as burning more later. Strength training with a higher repetition range is very important. As I was losing weight, I gained athletic muscle that filled in some of the loose skin. But, YES-I have loose skin and how I choose to live with it, is with pride. I have come so far and feel great about myself, inside and out, as should all of you. When you accomplish your goals, never let anything diminish the results. Feeling as though you have something to hide is the battle to win over now. Shed it, be proud and move on. Maybe your next goal is surgery to remove the unwanted skin, but please-save the money you would be tempted to use on “snake oil lotions” and put it in a jar for what’s to come. Up to you.
As you see-I have some sagging, but I am proud as can be.