This being the last week in January 2020, those resolutions are in full swing now. I wrote several posts about weight loss resolutions this month. The 10am post today focused on my life improvements after losing weight. With this post I’m going to focus on a part of losing weight some don’t like to talk about: Sagging skin. I have quite of bit of it actually. This is the realities about sagging skin, what I’m doing to control it, and my thoughts about skin reduction surgery.
Sagging Skin: What Causes It?
There are several reason why you may or may not get sagging skin after a major weight loss:
- The longer you have been overweight, the less likely your skin will retract after weight loss.
- Genetics play a part with sagging skin. Some people will not have it while others will.
- If you lose weight rapidly (usually seen with those having bariatric surgery).
I have been fat since I was about 9 or 10. While skin stretches due to puberty, my stretched more due to that and weight gain. And I never lost weight until I was well into adulthood. That’s why I have sagging skin. I am lifting weights, and that’s helping somewhat, but that can’t repair the damage done for nearly 3 decades.
When it comes to genetics, most of the people in my people are fat so I don’t know if they would or wouldn’t have sagging skin.
Finally, I didn’t lose my weight rapidly. I lost about 90 pounds over a two year period by improving my eating habits and exercising. If I had some type of weight loss surgery, I think my sagging skin would be worse now.
Sagging Skin: Where Do I Have It?
I have sagging skin at the following areas:
- Upper Arms (also known as “Bat Wings”)
- Lower Torso / Stomach
- Upper Thighs
My upper arm sagging skin is most prominent when I lift my arms. The extra skin hangs down and swings. I’m currently doing arm weight-lighting exercises like bicep and triceps curls, but there’s just too much skin there. However I can see my developed biceps when I flex, not so much the triceps.
My lower torso and stomach is where I have the most sagging skin. I can actually pull it away from my body there’s so much! When I do, my curves become more defined, and I can see the results of my weight loss. I’m doing some core exercises but since there is too much skin there, I’m not going to see the results I want.
As for my upper thighs, the sagging skin isn’t too bad there. It collects more so at the inner thigh. I’m currently doing squats and dead-lifts to tighten the muscles there.
How Do I Deal With It?
When it comes to dealing with sagging skin, there’s not too much you can do to control or hide it depending on the area.
For my upper arms, I don’t wear any compression sleeves or shirts. The hanging skin doesn’t bother me and I wear my short-sleeve shirts with ease. If people see my swinging skin, oh well.
But my lower torso / stomach, I do wear a shapewear tank top. Why? Because I had a bad case of muffin top. It got so bad I was afraid someone was going to ask me if I was pregnant because my stomach poked out so far. But the shapewear tank top I invested in works wonders. It slims my lower torso / stomach and makes putting on my jeans easier.
Finally, I don’t do anything for my upper thighs as I don’t see the need for it currently.
Will I Get Skin Removal Surgery?
A big question I’ve been asked by people who seen my weight loss is will I get skin reduction surgery? I even asked myself it. And my answer is…I don’t know.
My major hangup about the surgery is the cost. I would need several due to the various places where the sagging skin is. A “tummy tuck” would cost at a minimum $3000 but could go higher due to 1) location and 2) the amount of work needed.
But upon doing more research, I would probably need a Full Body Lift, where a plastic surgeon removes extra skin from the entire body and performs a breast lift. That costs from $10,000 to $17,000 but could go higher!
My other concern is being sedated for a long period. A Full Body Lift takes hours, sometimes up to twelve. That’s a long time to be under sedation. And then the recovery period is also very long: Anywhere from two to four weeks. If I were to have any complications, the recovery time could extend.
All of this is why I don’t know if I would have the surgery. I’m leaning more towards “no” but my mind could change in the future.
Don’t let this post scare you from losing weight. I know you may not want sagging skin at all, so you decide to stay fat. But the improvements I’ve seen from dropping 90 pounds outweighs having extra skin here and there.
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