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The skin I’m in

The skin is the largest organ of the human body. Many people think it’s the liver, if they gander a guess at all, but that’s only the largest internal organ. The skin reportedly has a surface area of 1.5-2.0 square meters, but I wonder how much space mine takes up.

People are more curious about the state of my skin than if I was the spokeswoman for Neutrogena. Yet it seems to be a taboo subject to bring up and if someone does ask they usually tack on the qualifier that I don’t have to talk about it if it’s too personal. I don’t consider it that personal of a question, any more so than if I were to come up and ask “How are your kidneys today? Still filtering waste products? Good to hear!” I’ve lost the weight more slowly than weight loss surgery patients do, so people are particularly interested to hear if I’m getting better results. Those patients usually end up getting plastic surgery to remove excess skin.

So yes, my skin is getting looser. Not as loose as a whore in Vegas, but about as loose as a drunken sorority girl who’s thinking of dancing on the coffee table because she totally loves that song the DJ is playing. Skin looseness is a weird phenomena that I suspect you have to see to understand. Go google some images if you want, because I’m not about to post any pictures of mine. I’m modest and have gone to great lengths never to have to shower in a group (hello, summer school gym class), so I’m not about to post pictures of my gut flab on the Internets for all eternity.

The analogy I’ve used in the past is to think of my body as its fattest as a ziplock bag filled with water. It’s squishy, but it’s firm. Now drain half the water without letting any air in. The bag is still squishy, but it flops around easily. That’s how the loose skin is. It’s not just skin either. Skin is only several millimeters thick at the most, like how it is on your eyelids or between your fingers. There is fat tissue attached beneath my extra skin.

The way the skin looks depends on how gravity is draping it. Standing up it all flows downward and doesn’t look that bad. My thighs are getting kind of saggy and that flab of gut known as the pannus is still there, though considerably smaller than it has ever been before. My upper arms look like someone cut the sleeve pattern for my skin about 4 sizes too big. I don’t really know if my breasts are saggy in comparison to other women’s. I have never had the opportunity to touch another woman’s boob and if presented with such an opportunity I would most likely turn it down. I think they look good, what remains of them.

The skin is most noticeable when I am in a plank position during my Pilates routine when I’m wearing only my sweat pants and a sports bra. The skin dangles down towards my mat like a hammock draped from my breastbone to my pubic bone. If I were actually able to do a full push up, I suspect it might touch the ground on the descent.

The weird thing is that so far the extra skin doesn’t bother me. Mostly I am just fascinated by it, not disgusted, as if I had developed a new ability like wiggling my earlobes. I’ve seen pictures of people who have much worse skin problems than I do. My skin is in incredibly good condition for someone who’s lost almost 200 pounds. I’m young, I’ve never smoked, and never tanned, so it’s retained a lot of elasticity. My doctor keeps telling me it will tighten up even more, but I don’t really believe her. I was never under any illusions that I would score the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition when this was all done. I had low expectations, so I’m not disappointed that I’m not going to be wearing a bikini to the pool with these wrinkly thighs.

I’m more concerned with function than form. My body can do so many cool things now. I can squat down and back up without grabbing wildly for the kitchen counter or the nearest coffee table to heave me back up. I can point my leg out straight from my body at a right angle. I can bend my knees up to my chest and wrap my arms around them easily. My body is awesome! I don’t mind the loose skin. I used to drive an Oldsmobile that had been dented by a dumb woman jabbering on her cell phone as she pulled out of a parking space. Her insurance company paid me $700 to get it repaired, but I just pocketed the money and kept driving the car. I thought the dent nicely distracted from the small rust stain developing near the gas tank. It still ran fine, so I didn’t see any need to spend the money on an aesthetic problem.

Will I ever get plastic surgery to remove the extra skin? I don’t know. I have read accounts by other people about their tummy tucks and it sounds like it’d be less painful to book a three month stay with the Spanish Inquisition in their Iron Maiden bedroom suite. The term “tummy tuck” makes it sound like a very simple procedure. You can easily tuck in hospital corners when you make your bed or tuck your shirt into your pants. Do not be fooled. You evidently spend the first two weeks lying on the couch in pain, eating painkillers like M&M’s. It’s at least another month or two before you’re walking around like anything approaching normal or you’re able to pick objects up off the floor. It can be up to 6 months before all the swelling comes down. You can’t really exercise for awhile, so I would be bound to lose some of the fitness and flexibility that I so value.

I think it will depend on whatever my body ends up looking like and how much that bothers me. If it annoys me enough to submit myself to the horrors of voluntary plastic surgery, I might do it. The cost of surgery would be a factor too. Right now I am leaning towards no. The only people who see me naked are me, my doctor, and any potential suitors. The skin doesn’t bother me, my doctor doesn’t seem concerned about it, and anyone who gets in my bedroom and decides they don’t like what they see is an asshole and deserves to be kicked to the curb anyway.

The funny thing is, the loose skin is fun to play with. It’s warm like bread dough and can be rolled around. It feels nice. There’s a line from the film Pulp Fiction that seems very appropriate, “It’s unfortunate what we find pleasing to the touch and pleasing to the eye is seldom the same.”

ETA: I wrote an entry a year later updating the status of my skin.

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48 Comments

Andrea • March 20, 2007 at 10:53 am

I had a post with this same title and subject on my blog, and I am totally in your camp: I really don’t want to deal with plastic surgery, but until I get to goal, stay there for a while and see how things “firm” up, I won’t really know for sure how much of a hassle this loose skin will be. I know some people get skin removal surgery because of frequent skin infections under the pannus, or because their saggy upper arms are so out of proportion from the rest of their bodies that it’s difficult to buy shirts.

As for vanity reasons, the only person (other than myself) whose opinion really matters to me is my husband’s, and he has told me outright he’s perfectly happy with the way I look and would never suggest I go under the knife. So I don’t worry too much about that.

I’m glad to find out I’m not the only one who actually kind of enjoys playing with the loose skin. And it is definitely a fascination aspect more than disgust. Good to know there are others out there like me.

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BrightAngel • March 20, 2007 at 11:25 am

My high was 14 years ago at 271 (I’m 5’0″), and I’ve been holding onto my low weight of between 115 and 110 lbs for over 1 year now. In my past I gained and lost 100 lbs three separate times, and 30 -40 lbs many many times. Yes, I have loose skin, but none of it shows up when I’m fully clothed, and that means that for age 62 I look VERY GOOD.

My loose skin is acceptable to me, AND Years ago, when I was very fat, I decided to control the view. My decision was that only my husband gets to see most of my bare skin, and that is in dim light, partially clothed, when he’s turned on. Hey…it works well. His opinion is that I’m beautiful.

For years no one (except me) gets to see me in bright light unclothed, and that works really well for me. Actually, it is my opinion that 62 year old skin looks better covered….even if one has always been thin. Funny how loose and wrinkled skin because of age seems more acceptable to us all.

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dg • March 20, 2007 at 11:36 am

wow… an excellent answer to the most oft-asked question!

it’s amazing how resilient the ol’ skin is though. over time it does get better, especially when exercise is part of the equation! mine is firmer than i ever dared to hope.

(although part of me wonders if my expectations are just lower? i am totally happy with my body and amazed at how much it’s changed in a positive way… but wonder if someone else was occupying it would they be rushing to get things tucked or chopped off? hehe.)

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mal • March 20, 2007 at 11:47 am

I’m glad you picked up the request in yesterday’s comments, and I was pretty sure you wouldn’t consider it too personal. I’m like you — I can’t, at this point, see myself ever going the surgery route. What I have read is that the “loose skin” is mostly attributable to the final pockets of fat which reside farther from the internal organs and closer to the outer layers. The most reassuring article I have read stated that as you continue to lose, those fat pockets will also go away and you will eventually tighten up. It’s exciting to think that you have lost so much that you have to write an entry about your skin! Congratulations on all of that. At the rate I’m losing, I’ll probably accommodate all of mine plus the kitchen sink without even noticing!

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Ty • March 20, 2007 at 12:38 pm

Thank you for this post. I’m in the process of losing 100 pounds and I have sagging skin on my stomach. I don’t like it but in a way it’s a reminder of where I’ve been. I also had 3 children and haved stretch marks from under my boobs clear down so my bikini days are long over. I doubt I would have surgery, mainly because I’m a big sissy.

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Stephanie • March 20, 2007 at 1:45 pm

I have been enjoying your site and look forward to the day when I can celebrate my success in getting down to a normal size.

I have heard that dry skin brushing is an excellent way to help firm up the skin naturally. Something about it helping in the production of collagen (sp?) and improving lymphatic drainage. I’ve also heard that taking alfala helps. Just some things to look into that don’t require going under the knife. I found out about this stuff at http://www.t-tapp.com in case you are interested.

Keep up the great work. You are an inspiration.

Stephanie in Atlanta GA

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hopefulloser • March 20, 2007 at 3:01 pm

I love the way my excess skin feels too! I only have it in my belly (but my boobs are shot too). If I were ever to be single again (could happen) I might consider plastic surgery. Being too much of a chicken is the number one reason I wouldn’t. I can’t see putting myself at risk soley to look better.

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Bree • March 20, 2007 at 3:03 pm

Once again you amaze me. I have the yucky hanging low belly with a huge roll of skin and it is MY WORST nightmare. It’s a huge issue for me. I can’t even stand for the hubby to see it. That’s just how insecure I feel about my stomach. I so wish I could have your viewpoint and attitude about it. If I had the $$$ and was at a weight I felt good about I’d have the surgery no questions asked. I have watched dr 90210, however, and it’s not minor what they have to do.

I’m just glad to see that you can have that attitude. It’s great!

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Chris H • March 20, 2007 at 3:48 pm

You are a scream! Fancy enjoying playing with your skin….. I DID NOT, but then, I had given birth to 6 babies and then gained over 60 kilos, my belly was ruined! I had a full circumferential tummy tuck, cos if I relaxed my belly it hung down so low you couldn’t tell if I was a girl or a boy down there! You depiction of the pain etc was spot on, but totally worth it for a body one can bear to look at. It will be interesting to follow your progress to the end and see how you feel then, though if you are planning on having babies one day I’d recommend leaving any possible surgery till after that!

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luisa • March 20, 2007 at 5:31 pm

Thank you for such a thorough response to my question. I really appreciate hearing your perspective.

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JEM • March 20, 2007 at 6:04 pm

So funny, so honest. Thanks for the insight.

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Fig • March 20, 2007 at 6:44 pm

Hi there. Happened to be here catching up with you when I read this post. For what is it worth, there is a real difference between a “tummy tuck” and having loose skin removed. A tummy tuck involves surgery to tighten the fascia running upward in the abdomen area that has been stretched out of shape. That is major surgery, and includes the removal of loose skin. The surgery I had was simply the removal of the loose skin. They cut off the excess skin, pull down what is above, recenter your belly button and stitch it up. No surgery was done on the fascia, so recovery was nothing like what you have heard, at least for me. I was in bed for two days before I was up moving around and off prescription pain pills in one week. The actual recovery took about 4weeks total, for the draining to stop and all to heal and the stitches removed, but I was back at work the very next week after surgery. Very little pain involved actually. My cut was from hip bone to hip bone, but the scar ended up tiny and I lost my c-section scar and my stretch marks- which were many. My girlfriend had the “tummy tuck” and her recovery was much like you have heard. Just wanted to share my experience.

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thrilled • March 20, 2007 at 7:45 pm

This has been an interesting read since ideally I should lose about 90 pounds. I don’t pretend that this’ll be a problem like it might be for someone who loses much more than that, but I still wonder what my belly will look like after all is said and done. It’s definitely already stretched beyond its limits since I’ve got the marks. Does that mean it’s bound to just hang there?

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remmie • March 20, 2007 at 8:17 pm

:) you are awesome. that is all.

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Jen • March 20, 2007 at 8:39 pm

You ROCK. Thanks for addressing this sticky topic. I’m 44lbs down in a long journey and I often worry what my body will look like once I reach my goal. Your perspective is so helpful.

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sarahsunshine • March 20, 2007 at 9:00 pm

your attitude is unbelievable. I am in awe of you. I wish I could be 1/10 as confident and self assured as you are. I have read your blog forever, and your attitude has not ceased to inspire.

good luck

sarah

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Cindy • March 20, 2007 at 9:45 pm

I laughed ’til I cried…this was great! I am dealing with much loose skin (but not as positively as you). I have felt so sad and depressed— and I find my skin disgusting! But, I am also not the type to consider surgery. I try to view my skin as a reminder of what can happen if I do not remain vigilant. I’ve lost 128 pounds, so far, with another 30-40 to go. Because I am older (nearly 46), my skin is not as resilient as yours, so there will be little tightening, naturally. So, thanks for the laugh and the sensible attitude. I needed the boost!

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Lose Weight With Me • March 20, 2007 at 11:14 pm

Awesome post…simply awesome.

Thank you so much for sharing.

Brian

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Vic • March 21, 2007 at 3:25 am

I admire your attitute for being cool about it. Others don’t like it and would certainly pay for a surgery. I guess it’s how you like yourself for being confident.

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Marla • March 21, 2007 at 9:46 am

I guess there’s quite a range of skin elasticity, depending on all sorts of factors. I like your post, I think the important thing to remember is that loose skin is always better than large amounts of fat! Even disregarding the obvious benefits like improved physical ability and health, you can always hide loose skin; you can’t really hide fat. And since 99.9% of the world will see you with your clothes ON, not off, I’d always opt for the lose-weight-loose-skin route.

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Debbie • March 21, 2007 at 10:17 am

I’m glad you’re okay in your skin in so many ways, Jennette. I think you’re wise to avoid surgery if your skin doesn’t bother you.

Although I’ve never had surgery for that reason, I’ve had a lot of abdominal surgery for other reasons, including a misdiagnosed case of appendicitis.

For those who think surgery is only pain pills, please be aware of the risks. I almost died (literally stopped breathing) from an anesthesia problem. I was young, so no one expected that.

There were problems with the incision healing correctly. I had problems from blood loss. Then complications occurred because I was so weak after surgery. Seventeen years later, I’m still dealing with those.

Eight years after the initial surgery and many ongoing problems that I was told were all in my head, I ended up in an ER with another life-threatening complication. Turns out it wasn’t in my head, it was in my gut. Complications from scar tissue that could have cost me my life. I was told at that time that scar tissue complications are pretty common. Interestingly, no one told me that after the initial surgery even though I asked about possible complications.

I had to have yet another surgery and I was in no shape for it because of all the problems from the initial surgery and complications. I dropped into the high 80s in terms of weight… and on it went.

I have a scar that a few doctors have advised me to have plastic surgery to completely “fix.” But I can tell you, there’s no way I’m going under the knife for that type of cosmetic procedure.

So think carefully. Sometimes, all goes well. Sometimes, it doesn’t. Surgery is not always as easy as people believe.

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Heather • March 21, 2007 at 1:27 pm

“it sounds like it’d be less painful to book a three month stay with the Spanish Inquisition in their Iron Maiden bedroom suite.”

You might just be one of the most quotable people I have ever read.

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Patty • March 21, 2007 at 2:18 pm

I’ve thought about this topic a lot, the loose skin. Way to go on being comfortable with the excess skin. After having a baby and c-section and losing some, the tummy skin is bothering me. I’ll see how I feel when I get to goal. It’s got to be better than now and I’m hoping I won’t feel the need to get the skin removed but it’s an option I will keep open.

Thanks for sharing!

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Cris • March 21, 2007 at 2:46 pm

My sister found your blog a few months ago and I cannot adequately express what an inspiration you are to the both of us.Sharing your experiences is so important and such an act of bravery and kindness! You are courageous, hilarious and extremely intelligent. I hope your journey continues to go supremely well for you. Everything you write makes me want to yell “Right on!” I’m wishing you all the best!

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Mia • March 21, 2007 at 4:19 pm

I have a friend that had gastric bypass and has loads of extra skin. It does feel odd, I was curious….I had to. She’s already had a tummy tuck and needs several other tucks, so I think you were right to lose weight slowly through diet and exercise.

And I have to thank you for your recommendations section. I ordered the 15 minute cookbook and another one by the same author. I just started pilates and I see that I bought the same DVD that you suggested, so I feel better about the choice. I did the teaser just fine, but the one I couldn’t do was the seal. Maybe because it was at the end of the workout? But oh I’m feeling it today!

You really are an inspiration!! And so very close to your goal! :)

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Sue • March 21, 2007 at 10:34 pm

Please anyone, enlighten me; At how much weight loss do you get loose skin flab? Do you still get loose skin after losing 20 lbs? Or does this depend on the person?…

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Janice Bridge • March 21, 2007 at 10:49 pm

Next question. . . Do you plan to take this body in this skin to your 10 year high school reunion this summer?

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PastaQueen • March 21, 2007 at 11:26 pm

Mia – Glad you liked the cookbook and DVDs!

Sue – I seriously doubt you would get loose skin after losing only 20 pounds. The loose skin only starts to show up if you lose a LOT of weight, typically at least 100 pounds.

Janice – I haven’t gotten an invite for my reunion, but I will probably go whenever I find out when it is. It’ll be next year though since I graduated in 1998. Go, Rams!

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Pat • March 21, 2007 at 11:44 pm

You certainly are a good inspiration. Others are probably disgusted about their loose skin, but you show great confidence on how to deal with such problems. I admire your courage.

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Mrs. Damian Garcia • March 21, 2007 at 11:49 pm

Great post. I have a lot of weight to lose myself and think about the skin issue. I am pregnant with my 6th child and know that that expanding of my tummy with each pregnancy doesn’t help my extra 100 pounds of weight. And regarding a tummy tuck, if it is ANYTHING like having a c-section, I would never, never, never do it. I can deal with having the c-sections because I get a baby right afterwards. I can’t deal with being cut up, laid up, and then puffy like I am still pregnant for weeks at a time just so I can have a cute stomach. No, I will do all the exercises I can and chalk up any leftover skin to childbearing and stupidity of not caring for my body by eating well to begin with. No more cutting on me. Well, at least after I am done having babies :-)

So happy for your weight loss to. Great job!

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Climbing Candy Mountain • March 22, 2007 at 11:56 am

I have lost 150lbs. and while the skin is not very loose yet, I am concerned about it. I saw a special on the Discovery Channel and the guy who had all his extra skin removed ended up with a big scar down the middle of his body and around his torso (but he was tighter than a sausage when it was done).

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Cris • March 22, 2007 at 12:10 pm

Hello there…I’ve been meaning to ask…Have you ever felt trepidation or fear involving people’s reaction(s)to your thin body? I’m in the process of losing a significant amount of weight and sometimes I find myself dreading that moment when I’m suddenly embraced because of my different, slim, “socially acceptable” body. I don’t want to get thin and be filled with resentment and pain because people didn’t accept me in my large body.Do you happen to have any insights or suggestions? Thank you.

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Josie • March 22, 2007 at 9:40 pm

I’ve lost about 60 pounds and have found that the skin tends to tighten months after the weight is lost. I.e. – if I lose ten pounds, I might not lose the skin for another 4-6 months after that. So my advice is, as long as you’re continuing to lose, don’t make any decisions until months afterwards!

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Brenda • March 25, 2007 at 8:58 pm

It’s a bit late, but…

I lost well over 200 pounds (it’s been about 5 years and I did it via the eat less/move more plan, and I’m in my mid-30′s now) and still have the loose skin. Weight lifting will help firm everything up, but in my case, it’s never been, like, Swimsuit Illustrated material.

Yes, people react to the new body is ways that make me sick. Men want to buy the body drinks and people want the new body to come to parties. I get the feeling that they don’t want to know me, they just want to know the body. It’s sad, really.

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CJ • May 11, 2008 at 8:11 pm

I am so proud of you. I am weighing in now at about 289. I am so afraid. I get depressed looking at myself. I have a friend who is a fitness queen at 60 and I look at her and wonder if I can be as fit when I am that age. I am 42. My friend always talks about the ugliness of being fat and when I hear that I cannot help but take it personally. I joined weight watchers and did not go because I feel as if I will fail and the embaressment of this would make me feel more badly. I don’t know what to do. I quit smoking and have been smoke free for over six months now. This was hard, but losing the weight, I tried exercsing and pulled my back. My legs ache and I am pitful. I am ashamed to go to a gymn. It took a lot of courage for you to do what you did. I hope that one day, I can grow up to be like you :)

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Art • May 12, 2008 at 12:31 am

My wife lost a hundred pounds and I want her to have the surgery. How much does it cost and how do you find a good doctor. Her wait lose affect the way her close fit and the way other look at her. I love her mor than anything but I want the best for her. Do you thing insurance will cover some of the cost.

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PastaQueen • May 12, 2008 at 3:54 pm

Art, I have not had weight-loss surgery, so I don’t have any information for you. Try consulting with your doctor and local hospitals for the answers for your questions.

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Teresa Schultz • May 20, 2008 at 5:41 pm

I must say, I am almost done with your book and am truly inspired. I have been a dieting yo-yo for most of my life. Now, here I am 60 years old and have gained over 100 lbs. after getting down to 150 back in ’98. (I’m 5’5″, 287#) My blood pressure has been off the charts and I’m taking meds. Part of the weight gain can be blamed on “food day” at work. On the 3rd Thursday of the month we celebrate all the employee birthdays that occur in that month. “Bring your favorite snack to share” is the invitation. I sat for a long time on the 5th floor within 24″ inches of the goodies. I could roll my chair to the counter and not even tug on my headset. This is the inspiration I have needed for so long. Thank you PastaQueen- oh, have you tried the high fibr pasta that is out now??? Yum…T

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Lee • May 31, 2008 at 2:23 pm

I’m sorry, but my loose skin is one of the reasons I stress about dieting and losing all of my extra weight. I HATE MY BODY AND THE WAY IT LOOKS! I would have that surgery in a heartbeat! And probably will one day. My size/shape is probably what has affected my marriage the most (even though I married when I was about 250 lbs.)-my husband tells me when I lose weight I look great…”in clothes”. F*** Him…and…the porn he looks at. Try competing with THOSE illusions-I can’t and never will. That’s why after 18 years I got a bf who loves me for ME! I could (and do) walk around naked in front of him and don’t feel ashamed, ignored, scorned, or UGLY. But that’s only when I’m with him (he always tells me he’s “no Adonis” himself, but I want HIM, not Adonis, LOL), when I’m by myself I see “the other me”-the UNATTRACTIVE, SAGGING, LARGE ASSED woman who has always been made fun of, ostracized, excluded, depressed, etc., etc., etc. I’ve lost 30 lbs since March (getting a knee relacement soon) and NEED to lose much more, but I have more motivation now and Jennette’s book is a HUGE factor in regards to my motivation-glad I found it and…BTW-I LOVE HER BOOK!

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Kate • June 9, 2008 at 6:36 am

In the past year, I have gone from 340 to about 295 thanks in large part to the South Beach Diet and Iyengar yoga. I’ve dropped five sizes in clothes, mostly because I work out 2-3 hours several days a week on the ellyptical and treadmill machines. Occasionally I manage to jog a half mile and do the circuit weights lifting at about 60-90 pounsd. I also love Turbo Jam dvds.

I’ve lost weight slowly and am very much hoping to avoid the loose skin, although I am 47.

This weekend I came home to find I have finally dropped back down to 24W, mostly thanks to intensive exercise, but that I have stayed the same weight throughout the recent size drops. I never am really sure if I am doing the right thing, but I really need the exercise as a release and am becoming a fitness nut. I don’t want to lose weight through a restrictive, starvation diet minus exercise. Walking is not enough for me either.

This weekend I had to face the fact that not only can morbidly obese women face a lot of hatred and negativity when they brave going out and about, but that our own family members can make us feel like we are getting the death of a thousand cuts.

Yesterday I called a close female family member on the way back from a trip and was sickened to hear her refer to a female teen relative as “a fat pig” and worse. She raged about this fat pig thinking she could go live with another relative for the summer, lose 16 pounds, dye her hair, get all beautiful, and drive back in a fancy new car. I told the relative once again how wrong I thought it was to refer to anyone like that, but it is a constant pattern. I finally faced the fact that this female relative is actually directing all that hatred toward me, point black hatred. She says all these things to me knowing that I am even heavier than this relative she supposedly is referring to, and I realize how threatened she must feel at all the potential changes going on. I have had to really face just how tough and hostile it could be to grow up female in that environment and how that has affected how I feel about being female, beautiful, successful, and so on.

I also am bracing to apply for jobs and find work when I know there are still a lot of people out there who don’t want to hire obese people who apply for the jobs. One thing that has kept me working out so hard on the ellyptical machine is knowing that I have to build up endurance so that I can walk or stand for three hours or more, just in case. I figure if I can stand level 9 for three hours, I’ll make it in the workplace that much better or be able to hike 10-11 miles on a trail.

My recent peak experience, literally, was to make it to the top of an Appalachian trail. This “fat pig” did 2 Turbo Jam ab exercises, jogged and walked for an hour in the high mountains, than hiked more than 6 miles up and down a mountain range. Standing there looking at the mountain tops I had longed to see closer as I jogged, I could only imagine all the wondrous possibilities that await each and everyone of us. I had an entirely different view of the universe. I hiked down through hail, rain, mud, and didn’t care, because, I knew I had entered a whole new era in my life.

This blog site has been such a help to me. Thank you!

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NeeChee • June 25, 2008 at 12:33 pm

I gained 100lbs., lost and gained 30-60lbs. over the years, but a few years ago, with no change in diet or exercise, I started to lose weight (I weighed 250 at the time, weighed 145 in high school). The first 25 came off in a few months, then got down to 190 a few months later…then in the next three months, I dropped to 130. I developed neurological problems at the same time, and we all thought it was diabetes. But I have been tested thoroughly and that is not it. The weight has been off for almost 2 years now, and no doctor has been able to figure it out. I eat more calories than I should, but if I were to eat normally, I would still be losing.

It does look like I have Lyme, but my Lyme specialists have said that this is not a symptom of Lyme or one of its coinfections. And I haven’t found other Lyme sufferers who have this.

My problem with loose skin is not just that it’s ugly. Hard surfaces hurt my rear and spine because there is no fat for cushion. The loose skin bunches up under my tailbone and pushes in, and that REALLY hurts.

The nerves are no longer protected by fat so I developed a nerve pinch under my left leg that for more than a year now, my leg and foot feel like they are asleep. I had the same problem in my left arm, then one day, I fell asleep for an hour, leaning on that side. I woke up with compression neuropathy. I lost the use of my left arm and hand for two months. I am just starting to get it back.

I have not heard of others who have lost 100+ lbs. having trouble with nerves – but my neurologist says that it is common because the nerves don’t protect themselves well, and if the fat isn’t there, they are vulnerable.

Despite all of this, I am thrilled about the weight loss. It is easier for my arthritis-riddled knees, my bunions, my back, my joints that have been attacked by the disesae. I never thought of myself as fat because I am tall and was very active, and considered 180 my ideal weight. But there is a huge difference. I love the feeling of being lighter. Shopping is unreal..I’ve been size 17-24 most of my adult life, and now I am a size 4. Just a couple of years ago, I was having trouble finding clothes my size that I liked. Now I am having the same trouble.

Luckily, my husband loves me any way I am. The worst of the hanging skin is on my rear and thighs, but my husband treats my body as if everything is still there, and beautiful.

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Barb • August 1, 2008 at 7:30 pm

Just wondering if things have “tightened up” since you wrote this entry? I am in the process of losing weight (down 77.4 lbs so far with another 50 – 70 to go) and I hate the flab under my arms. Did you end up doing different exercises specifically for your problem areas?

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The Baroness • August 1, 2008 at 11:43 pm

I am DEEPLY DISTURBED by my loose skin on my tummy after losing 80 pounds over 2 years, so I’ve thought a lot about surgery, but I’ve been advised to wait about a year to see if it firms up. It’s ridiculous! I mean, bikini season only lasts 2 or 3 months (and I don’t even swim very often), and how often does anyone see that area of my body? It really shouldn’t matter. Reading your post I feel a bit better. :-)

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Kristin • August 20, 2008 at 12:42 pm

WOW… I am impressed and excited.. I cant wait to go and read your book. I am 29 5’10″ 269lbs (was 277) started my Journey agust 4th.. .Just now starting a blog… I would love for you or anyone to give me suggestion, comments, and or motivation… I will be turning 30 on June 27th 2009… would love to be able to be healthy, happy, confident, and sexy…. THANKS….

KRISTIN… please just remember just starting on my blog and my lifestyle/weightloss change… :)

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Christine • October 17, 2008 at 2:02 am

This has been a weighty issue with me. I have 174 lbs to lose. I am 34 yo, female and 5’2″. This has helped. I am currently working on reading your book. It’s a scream. I can totally relate to all of it.

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cyndi • December 20, 2008 at 12:03 pm

I heard you can have extra skin removed at

OSU hospital in Columbus,OH the burn unit.

They need the extra skin for burn victims.

Cyndi

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MissMandy • July 24, 2009 at 10:43 am

Just a suggestion, I would wait on a tummy tuck for sure until you were done having babies…I had to resort to gastric bypass because of a bad car accident I was house-bound/ bed-bound and got over 600lbs then I lost most of it and was left with enough leftover skin to make a whole

‘nother person…then I had the tummy tuck done and oops at an embarrassingly old age I turned up just a lil bit preggers ( twice ) and I’ve lost even more now running after two rugrats and for vanity sakes I will probably have to have the tummy tuck again since the babes kinda stretched it back out…worth it tho. MissMandyMom

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Susan • May 18, 2011 at 10:29 am

What kind of surgery did you ask for? I have a lot of loose wrinkled skin on my stomach after smart lipo. They say to give it 3-6 months, but I have my doubts about this much wrinkled skin to be able to tighten up. The nurse told me my skin has not retracted as much as they had hoped after a month. They are doing thermage on me this friday. I think it looked better before the smart lipo. I am not looking for wash board abs, I just want something that does not disgust me when I look in the mirror at myself. I do not need my muscle pulled, I just want the wrinkling gone.

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog JenFul.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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