Archive for the ‘Weight loss’ Category

Tips for How to Tighten Loose Skin

December 2, 2022

Skin is typically stretched due to significant weight gain and pregnancy. Skin expansion during pregnancy occurs over a few months’ time and will typically retract within several months of delivery. During significant weight gain skin often loses its ability to retract after weight loss due to damage to collagen, elastin, and other components responsible for elasticity making retraction of the skin more difficult.

Loose skin can be frustrating and have an impact on self-esteem. While there are many ways you can develop loose skin, once you have it, it can be difficult to reverse.

While surgery is one way of removing excess skin, there are multiple ways that the skin can retract naturally. It’s these area I’ll be focusing on, but will touch on cosmetic procedures & prevention tips at the end.

Exercise

Long term excess fat will distend the skin which can cause it to lose some of its ability to shrink with weight loss. Replacing that lost fat with muscle mass can lessen the *appearance* of loose skin.

Massage

Increasing the blood flow to areas of the body can help stimulate an anti-aging response causing come contraction of the skin. Now massage definitely reduces dead skin cells and helps with slight retraction. Unfortunately, with large amounts of skin, my RMT sources can’t see it working with a significant amount of skin

I haven’t done any massage on my problems area, but I have gotten regular therapeutic massages on my back currently & during the later half of my weight-loss journey. It is possible that the skin on my back is not a big problem area for me due to this.

Firming Creams.

Firming cream is one that contains retinoid Retinoids are chemical derivatives of vitamin A and include: retinoinretinoic acid adapalene. They increase the proliferation, maturation, and turnover of skin cells. Creams that contain hyaluronic acid, which attracts and holds onto water molecules. Hyaluronic helps :reduce the depth of wrinkles, increase skin firmness, diminish skin roughness. Collagen and elastin molecules are too large to be absorbed through your skin. In general, collagen must be created from the inside out.

Supplements.

There’s no magic pill to fix loose skin, but some supplements can help

Collagen, which makes up 80% of your skin’s structure, provides firmness and strength. Elastin provides elasticity and helps your skin stay tight.

Certain nutrients are important for the production of collagen and other components of healthy skin:

Protein. Adequate protein is vital for healthy skin. The amino acids lysine and proline play a direct role in collagen production.

Vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed for collagen synthesis and also helps protect skin from sun damage

Omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish may help increase skin elasticity and have anti-aging effect

Water. Staying well hydrated may improve the skin’s appearance. One study found that women who increased their daily water intake had significant improvements in skin hydration and function.

Hyaluronic Acid & Collegen Hyaluronic acid attracts and holds onto water molecules and helps :reduce the depth of wrinkles, increase skin firmness, diminish skin roughness The innermost layer of your skin consists of proteins, including collagen and elastin. Collagen, which makes up 80% of your skin’s structure, provides firmness and strength. Elastin provides elasticity and helps your skin stay tight.

What I’ve Done:

1. When I got my tats last year to keep the skin moisturized & healthy, I used a product called Udderly Smooth® Extra Care 20 , Urea penetrates and hydrates extra dry skin by holding onto water moisturization and giving skin the replenishment it needs. After applying the moisturizer to my shoulder & upper arm, I always had extra on my hands. So twice a day I was applying the extra to my abdomen. This resulted in an increase in firmness as the skin appeared to retract on my stomach. I started having fewer infections at the folds of skin.

I receive no compensation for my endorsement of this product.

2. In the last month, I have started taking the supplement shown below. It contains Verisol Bioactive Collagen Peptides, phytoceramides, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and biotin. Scientific research has shown that these incredible ingredients help maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails, and significantly improves skin hydration, elasticity, and smoothness by reducing wrinkles and promoting healthy collagen production.

For best results, the recommended dosage for adults is 2 tablets 2 times daily. That would make the 120tabley supply for 30 days. Being on a limited budget, I take one tablet twice a day.

I have recently started to notice that it seems to be helping. The skin across my adbomen seems to be tightening up. The skin on my arms, my “bat wings” seem to be less noticeable and wobble less.

I receive no compensation for my endorsement of this product.

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Cosmetic Procedures

While medical or surgical treatments can help improve loose skin, they are more invasive options for tighten loose skin after major weight loss.

Body Contouring Surgery

People who have lost a significant amount of weight via bariatric surgery or other weight loss methods often request surgery to remove excess skin.

In body-contouring surgery, a surgeon makes a large incision and removes excess skin and fat. They then suture the incision with fine stitches to minimize scarring. These surgeries usually require a hospital stay followed by recovery time at home.

Specific body-contouring surgeries include:

  • abdominoplasty (tummy tuck): removal of skin from the abdomen
  • lower-body lift: removal of skin from the belly, buttocks, hips, and thighs
  • upper-body lift: removal of skin from the breasts and back
  • medial thigh lift: removal of skin from the inner and outer thighs
  • brachioplasty (arm lift): removal of skin from the upper arms

Multiple surgeries are usually performed on different body parts over the span of 1 to 2 years after major weight loss.

Body-contouring surgery may improve quality of life after significant weight loss. However, if complications arrise, some quality of life scores decreased in people who had the procedure.

Alternative Medical Procedures

Although body-contouring surgery is by far the most common procedure to remove loose skin, less invasive options with a lower risk of complications include:

  • Radiofrequency treatment. Such treatments may use a combination of infrared light, radiofrequency, and massage to reduce loose skin. While this treatment doesn’t induce weight loss, it may help reduce small areas of fat cells.
  • Ultrasound. A controlled study of ultrasound treatment in people who had bariatric surgery found no objective improvement in loose skin. However, people did report relief of pain and other symptoms following treatment.

It appears that although there are fewer risks with these alternative procedures, the results may not be as dramatic as with body-contouring surgery.

Prevention

There are a few ways you can prevent loose skin.

  1. If you smoke, quit. Make your home a smoke-free zone, so you’re not exposed to it. Consult your healthcare professional about quitting.
  2. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 15 to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, even if it’s cloudy outside. Apply 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours.
  3. Moisture. Using the firming creams above will help elasticity anfer pregnancy and as you are loosing weight. You don’t need to wait until you get loose skin to help prevent it.

Tattoos with Fibro

July 5, 2022

I’ve not had any tattoos prior to this year, so I don’t know what it’s like to have any ink done with a body that does not have pain. Honestly because I’ve been dealing with chronic pain issues since adolescent, I don’t think I could have even had the opportunity to do so.

I have 2 pieces done thus far. They are both rewards for my weight loss.

On my upper left arm, a little bigger than I was expecting, is my Scouter Koolaid tattoo I was given the name Koolaid by a patrol of scouts in my early 20s. So, basically is the scouting fleur-de-lis with the Koolaid guy super imposed on top. With the cub sign shown in his right hand.

This tattoo was actually quite painful. I had a hard time tolerating the pain. I was gritting my teeth the entire time but I persisted because I knew it was temporary pain and would eventually stop

On the top of the backside of my right shoulder, I have a butterfly. This butterfly is similar in style to a monarch butterfly but instead of the orange, black and white, mine is coloured inshades of purple and white. It is unique & really cool in that it is almost 3D in nature and you can see the shadow of it behind the butterfly. The text surrounding the butterfly reads “Fibromyalgia Awareness”.

This tattoo was significantly easier despite having more chronic pain issues in the area. For the majority of the work I was able to just sit and relax as he drew on the back of my shoulder. In fact, the upper lettering where I says “Fibromyalgia”, that actually tickled. Go figure There was one spot however that was a problem. Near the end of the work, the artist was adding white for highlights, he hit a flat mole on my back That sent a single big sharp jolt of pain through me. But that was the only pain I had from that one.

The artist, given that these two were my very first two and done right one after the other, he was not only surprised but suitably impressed that I only jumped that one single time. Apparently that is not the norm.

I do have one final one planned as my final reward for reaching & maintaining my goal weight. That one is going to be a collection of roses on my bum/ hip/ lower back in shades of bright pink & purple, maybe blue. The text to accompany that tat is “Neon Rose”, the online alias I have used since I was 16, so long long time ago.

When Lilly passes, I will be getting her paw print on me aswell in commemoration.

Treatment – Fat vs Thin

June 7, 2022

Walking with my sister last week she asked me if I had noticed if I get treated differently now, with shrinking. I thought about it for a minute and in some ways, yes, some ways no..

I no longer get dirty looks from people because of my weight.. People tend to be friendlier and less judgemental.. People are more likely to smile back when I smile. I don’t get dirty looks when I treat myself to an edible treat or I go through drive thru for dinner. I haven’t heard a rude comment spoken behind my back but in earshot for a long time. In general there seems to be less discrimination..

That being said, I have gotten dirty looks from some plus size women. I don’t know if they notice the extra skin and ate jealous or my weight-loss success. I don’t know if they recognize the BBW attitude I still have even tho I now wear a size large. I don’t know if it’s the self confidence I have in myself.

One area I’ve noticed that hasn’t changed much is guys. I still catch get the attention of guys who are ‘into’ BBWs.. I now do get the attention of guys who like ‘regular’ sized girls as well .. Either way tho, they still, for the most part, are all still looking for the same thing. Casual is not on my radar, never really has been. Maybe it was my size before & my age now. I don’t know why they think I am easy pickin’s.

This is the last of my weight-loss victories series

Non-Scale Victories!

May 24, 2022

This is part of a series of various Non-Scale Victories. They are things I’ve noticed over the last few years as I’ve lost weight.

My Shape

I mean, obviously my shape had changed cuz there’s less of me, but specifically, my abdomen… I was laying on my back the other day & looked down. For the first time I can remember, I saw my ribcage, but nothing below that. I’m used to seeing a mound of tummy sitting there, but no more. In fact, the abdominal area is actually concave!

Bones

Yes, I have them! I can feel them!

As you get bigger there’s more & more fat in the way so it gets difficult, feeling your bones. In fact, at my biggest, the nurses had problems, because the pelvic bones were difficult to make out, it was difficult for them to mark out my body to give me any any shots in my bum.

Most people can easily and definitively find there basic bones hip & pelvis, clavical (breastbone), clavical &:rubs and to a lesser extent, knee caps. For the longest time, for me they weren’t defined & easy to find.. As I’ve lost weight they’ve been easier to distinguish. I can now actually feel my kneecaps and find where the patella sits so I can adjust it to where they should be! And I can get my fingers under my sternum, enough to hold it from both sides. I don’t remember ever able to do that before, but I guess it’s possible now cuz of the loose skin

I dont know how that helps anything except marking my tush for shots there, but it is something that has changed as I’ve lost weight .

Non-Scale Victories

May 17, 2022

This is part of a series of various Non-Scale Victories. They are things I’ve noticed over the last few years as I’ve lost weight. I will be closing this off this series in two weeks with an overlapping topic of a similar vein.

I’m Itchy.

This kinda goes back to the flexibility thing, but on the weekend I was in the hot tubs, and I have no clue why, but my back got itchy, like really itchy Not the kind you can ignore. And with its positioning it’s on of those spots where I’ve always had to grab the back scratcher & if I’m lucky, reach it

I know I’m a little smaller than the last time I had this itch so I reached around behind hoping that maybe I could get the bottom of the itchy spot with my thumb just hoping to take a little of the edge off. Well, I was able to do that & then some. I also to turn my hand onto my back & scratch the whole area!

So I reached the other arm Inver my arm & tried to grab the other hand . And guess what!!! I couldn’t do it.. lol. But I think that when I push the bottom arm up & push the top arm down, I might be able to touch my fingers. Since both my arms would be behind my back I have not arms to push on my arms.. hehe.. so it’s just my theory.. 🙂

Non-Scale Victories!

May 3, 2022

This is part of a series of various Non-Scale Victories. They are things I’ve noticed over the last few years as I’ve lost weight.

Ok – this is not exactly a victory, but still made feel good .😃

At the Gym – Part II

On my second or third visit back to the YMCA, I had one of the fitness trainers stopped me as I was walking out the door. Now he’s been there for a long time, well before covid. I believe he was there when I had returned to the gym almost 6 years ago.

My mind had floated off thinking other things, likely what I was going to have for dinner.. He saw me and stopped dead in his tracks and exclaimed “Look at you!” With such admiration in his voice. I turned to look around behind me to see who he was talking to. It was me. I’m like.. “Uh.. Ok.. Thanks?”

Not alot of people, especially very casual acquaintances said anything, so it took me a moment to figure out what he was talking about. He started to talk about how good I looked & what a great job I’ve done.. He suggested I submit my weight-loss journey to the Y for their success stories.. I was flattered.. I might do it.

Click image for YMCA Success Stories

Non-Scale Victories!

April 26, 2022

This is part of a series of various Non-Scale Victories. They are things I’ve noticed over the last few years as I’ve lost weight.

At The Gym – Part I

i have recently returned to the Durham YMCA fitness center. Mom & I going two years ago due to COVID and are going back I’m not doing the same activities as I used to for a few reasons.

The schedule and availability of classes is different and limited, a casualty of COVID. My own personal schedule activities has changed – the times I can go and the timing of what is available rarely mesh.

Arriba– The only organized activity is the Arriba class, the one where I step the the music because my coordination sucks. I do some of the step movements with ease cuz they are steps I used to do in my dance classes all those years ago. I rarely do the arm movements cuz I’m usually too focused on the stepping to get it right or even can’t been bothered to figure them out for the most part.

But here’s the thing, I’m able to do the class and not be completely exhausted afterwards. Yes I will feel sore afterwards, but it’s a good sore. Unfortunately, last week even tho I was taking it super easy, I inflamed my fibro even worse. But generally it’s an in improvement.

Swimmimg – Because I’m still waiting for Koolaid to finish healing again, I’m not allow to get him wet with chlorinated water, I can’t go into the pool. But for the one week I was able to go into the pool for a week, I did and was able to walk the lengths of the pool, back and forth. Yes taking breaks at each end, but I am slowly able to do it When I first started doing water, I would only treat water in the deep end of the pool. Given the high amount of fat in my body then, it wasn’t difficult, cuz fat floats. So a definite improvement.

Unfortunately, there is no Aquafit (bouncing to music in the water) that currently fit in my schedule. I hope it opens up soon..

Towels – I am a plus member at the Y and one of the perks is the towel service. When covid shut us down, I was unable to get the larger gym towels fully around my body, to say nothing about the smaller towels. When I returned I found that I could not only wrap the large towels around me with fabric to spare, I was able to do the same with the smaller bath towels! Wow!!

Stairs – To make it to the workout rooms and the upper studio for the yoga classes, I would have to climb a double height staircase. Sometimes, on bad days, I would take the elevator up. On really bad days, I wouldn’t even both going. Those days I could make it up the stairs, it was a massive struggle. I’d commonly stop at the landing and take a breath.

Now, to stop part way up at the landing means I’m having a bad day. But I can now climb the stairs all the way up. I didn’t notice I had done this until several visits in..

Non-Scale Victories!

April 19, 2022

This is part of a series of various Non-Scale Victories. They are things I’ve noticed over the last few years as I’ve lost weight

Flexibility – Now, part of this may have to do with exercise as well as not having as much chubb (fat tissue) blocking me from movement.

Squating – I have noticed improvement in this area as my weight has dropped. But I was at the rifle range late last month with the Boy Scouts. (Let me know if you want more info on this) When I went to post my target, with is pinned on a board right at floor level, I squatted down. Not just partly, and then bent over. I was able to squat all the way down where my tush was just off the floor. Even more impressive, I was able to stand back up from said squat with no help whatsoever. Last summer, I’d been able to get almost that low, but had trouble getting back up. That day at the rifle range, absolutely not! The freedom of movement is wonderful even if it hurts.

Falls – I am reminded of another situation. I was at Long Sault Conservation area shortly before COVID hit & shut down the world. I was still pretty heavy then. I was there with my friend Jen & her son as well as my sister & her kids. It was March and the ground was still icey. My balance bites at the best of times, so of course despite my good winter boots, I slipped and fell. Firstly, instead of a gasp & a moan and hurting myself, I started to laugh. My sister, so used to me being so big, uncoordinated and non- functional, she unconsciously rushed over to help me. Two years prior, I probably would have needed the help, but I told her I was ok, and I was already halfway back up by the time she got to me. She was surprised I was able to move well enough on my own and to be honest so was I. But I was, because I was lighter and could move more easily than I had.

Did I hurt myself? Good God, yes. I have fibro, so that was not unexpected, but I didn’t feel it until later after I got home.

Touching my toes – Can I touch my toes? No, I still can not bend that far and don’t know if I ever will.. I can however, because there alot less tummy in the way, reach significantly further than before. With straight legs, I can touch my shins about 3 inches above my ankles. At maximum weight I’m not sure I could have bent over and touched my knees.

Non-Scale Victories!

April 12, 2022

This is part of a series of various Non-Scale Victories. They are things I’ve noticed over the last few years as I’ve lost weight

Crossing My Legs

Crossing ones legs – I know this is something most people take for granted, but when you are bigger, it becomes more & more difficult to cross your legs at the knee. Now, I may have been able to do this for a while, but late last year, I’d sat down to talk with my mom. We had been speaking for a while before I noticed I had crossed my right leg over my left, at the knee. Not only that, but I had been sitting there, in that position, comfortably, for quite a while. Possibly up to a half hour.

I had looked down & just stopped talking. My mom asked what was wrong. I just looked over at her, grinning & said “I’m crossing my legs.” It took her a minute to understand the significance, but when she did, she was so happy for me. You see, I had not been able to do that at all at my larger weight. All I’d been able to do, in a long time, over 20 years, was to cross my legs at my ankles only. Even the last time I lost weight down to about 220, I still could not do that, crossing my legs at the knee.

Additionally, something I’ve not been able to do is to sit on my couch with my legs crossed below me. I don’t even remember when I’d ever been able to do that. I’d been envious of people who have been able to snuggle up like that.

I recently upgraded to a proper sized love seat, as the previous one I’d inherited was not as deep and not as wide so I hadn’t even bothered to try. With my new love seat, the first time I sat in it while talking to someone on my computer, I cuddled up, without thinking, bringing my legs up onto the couch, crossing my legs underneath me and sat there chatting. I only realized maybe 10 or 15 minutes into the conversation how I was sitting and sitting very comfortably.

Non-Scale Victories!

April 5, 2022

So, this is the start of my series of Non-Scale Victories. Every week I’ll be posting some of the things I have noticed that have changed in a good way.

Clothing

I finally bought brand new clothing a few weeks ago.. I was wearing my size 16 pants & I knew they were too big. Since I didn’t know my size anymore I went to Walmart. I grabbed a bunch of 14’s. Tried on the first pair… & TOO BIG!! I grabbed a bunch of 12s & they fit, except the Sophia boyfriend cut pants – SIZE 10!!!!

Pictures of me from the change room.. All size 13, except the one pair of size 10 light blue boyfriend pants.

I am.now a size 12 – the small side of Large. My bathing suits that I’m going to have to buy will likely be a size 10!

I also can fit into clothing from high school. While I don’t have alot of stuff from back then, I do have memorabilia clothing. I have swag from my field hockey trip to England, my Manchester United t-shirt that I got from my dad and most of my swag from competing in the Canada Games in 1991. In the images below, the girl on the left is me, age 17 in March of 1991 shortly before I left for PEI. I was only able to wear the jacket, and the rest for that matter for the rest of the winter. The chick on the right, it’s me, less than a month ago in the exact same jacket. It fits me better now than it did then!

Thanks again to my friend David for replacing the exact same jacket in the exact same size for me..

Canada Games, Team Ontario 1991. Left: March 1991. Right: March 2021.