This is something I get asked pretty often once people become more comfortable with me and feel like they can ask me more personal questions. I’m okay with it, as I’m not the most modest person when it comes to body image. “Do you have a lot of extra skin since you lost so much weight?” Fair question, and it was one of my major concerns when I started on this weight loss and fitness journey. The short answer is, “Not really.”
I have seen many photos and heard accounts of people who had lost 100+ lbs and they have flabs of skin hanging off of them. These people typically lost their weight very quickly, likely a result of either gastric bypass surgery or a lap band. These people will lose weight very quickly, and as a result, the skin doesn’t have time to shrink over the lost body mass.
Since I lost my weight naturally and without the aid of surgery or other outside sources, my loss was at a slower, albeit rather steady pace. I lost about 6-10 lbs/month on average which, while it seems very vast, in the grand scheme of things, is considered a healthy and safe rate of loss. As a result, my body has done a decent job of shrinking the skin around my reduced frame. Is it perfect? Of course not; I have lost over 140 lbs so far, and it’s hard for the body to shrink the skin that much within a year and a half. However, the amount of extra skin I have is pretty negligible, and I can see it continue to shrink monthly. I am not sure if my running is helping, or if it’s just a natural process taking place, but there is more and more of my muscles showing and less and less skin surrounding it.
WARNING: The following is a photo of me without clothing on. It is definitely not safe for work, and I recommend not opening it anyplace where nudity is frowned upon. I am covered from showing anything graphic, but I am otherwise not wearing any clothing. I am posting this photo only to demonstrate that you can lose 140 lbs in 18 months and not have a lot of skin hanging off your body.
You have been warned!
As you can see, I do have some spare skin along my waist line, but it’s not too bad. It seems to be shrinking very well, and as each month passes, there is less and less of it there. I expect it to be gone within another 18 months or so. Some people may see that as a long time, but honestly, I can’t believe I’m already 18 months into this, so what’s another 18 months? Besides, I’m not vain enough to justify surgery for extra skin.
One final thought: spare skin is a good problem to have. It means you lost a lot of weight and you are much healthier. The skin will shrink if you’ve lost 140 lbs or so. At least, that’s my experience.