After extreme weight loss, excess skin photos and a plan!

Hey guys

Well, after talking last week about the various ways that I can deal with excess skin, I’ve been thinking SO much about where to go from here. Whilst there’s a place near to me that offers skin tightening through radio frequency and I’ve been on the verge of arranging a consultation there, I’ve come to a conclusion having looked at the before and after photos on the website. They really don’t appear to show a massive difference, even though the ‘before’ photos seem to be of people with less excess skin than me.

Before I share my plan, here’re some photos of just some of my excess skin….. this feels a bit scary but, hey, this is me after losing more than half my body weight!

letting it hang

Literally holding it all in… well, as much as possible with one hand!
I could feel low about this…..
… but this shows me how far I’ve come

Realistically, I think surgery would be the way forward to get as close to a dream body and whilst we could afford it, I guess I don’t want it badly enough to brave going under the knife! I’m lucky in that it doesn’t really cause me too many physical problems… certainly nothing I can’t deal with.

So, I’ve decided that my plan going forwards is going to consist of two things. First, weights! Yes, I’m going to lift weights to minimise my bingo wings and perhaps get some definition in my body. I’ll start with weights at home but might find a personal trainer too. Second, I’m going to wear clothes creatively. I shared this photo recently revealing the skin on my arms but also the corrugated-card effect on my legs. Whilst I was a bit proud that I could share this photo, I also had an overwhelming feeling that I’d need to live in jeans and maxi dresses……

…but I’ve bought a tea dress and, with dark tights and boots, it’s really given me a lift that I could perhaps get creative with clothes. Yes, I guess I’m still covering up but in a way that wearing something like a tea dress is actually liberating. So far, as you can probably guess from some recent posts, I’ve worn it only in my bedroom so my family hasn’t seen this but I’m going to set myself a challenge to wear this in front of my family by the end of next weekend… before aiming to wear it out of the house…. possibly?? At least in the dark first!!!

I’ve suspected for some time that I may have lipoedema or something similar as my legs became large when I hit puberty. My mum delightfully referred to them as ‘tree trunk’ legs….. mmmmm!! And I guess it’s no wonder why I feel conscious about them. It’s been interesting to see if my lower legs have reduced in size as I’ve lost weight but they still feel disproportionate….. but dark tights and a smile on my face will hopefully not lead to people glancing twice!

I’ll be back on Monday with my latest weigh-in after a VERY exciting day planned for this Sunday when I tick off something else from my weight loss bucket list.

Have a good weekend everyone

love Erika xx

Excess skin from weight loss. What are my options?

Hey folks

Losing weight is amazing. Goodness, the high you can get from seeing the number on the scales go down and the feeling of the clothes starting to hang off your body… they’re just priceless. I’ll be doing a weight update for you on Monday as it’s been a while since I’ve weighed myself but the last time I did jump on the scales showed me that I’d lost more than 160 lbs.

But a huge weight loss can come with excess skin, especially bearing in mind that I’m in my late 40s and I’ve spent much of my adult like bigger than I would have liked to be. At the end of the day, I’d prefer to be carrying this excess skin than be carrying the excess weight but I’m lucky that it’s not causing me any health problems because excess skin can cause all manner of difficulties including infections and sores. The only two problems it is causing are a) sitting down on a reasonably hard surface which isn’t very comfortable and b) the psychological impact of not feeling comfortable in my skin – though that can be worked on.

So, what are my options?

a. Creams, lotions and all manner of things to put on my skin

You’ve only got to look at the beauty aisles in pharmacies to see products promising to tighten up your skin. I want to say that no amount of product is going to make a difference for me but perhaps I’ll give something a go… even if it’s for just one part of my body that would make a bit of a difference. But even if it does, I need to look into other options too!

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b. Eat more protein, lift weights and build up muscle mass

So, I’ve read that building up muscle mass can at least help make the body appear more defined and try to flatten some of the corrugated-card-type appearance to my upper legs… and perhaps reduce the effect of my bingo wings. My specialist dietitian said that as we get older, it’s important to eat more protein which is something I’m focusing on right now. This seems doable – perhaps booking a few sessions with a personal trainer first to get me on track.

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c. Non-surgical treatments

There are a few things out there but, goodness, it’s so important to choose someone who’s qualified! I saw a programme recently about how some people offering a variety of cosmetic treatments (like fillers, etc.) may have attended just a weekend course with barely any input about health and safety! But the main thing I’m currently looking into is radio frequency skin tightening as there’s a hospital near me offering this, a hospital with a good reputation, My plan is to contact them next week, book an appointment and take it from there.

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d. Surgery

Now, I am a realist and I feel that a body lift is the only way to get my body 100% toned. But from what I’ve read, it would involve at least two separate surgeries, each taking 4-6 weeks of recovery time. Whilst that sounds like a long time, I guess it’s a mere fraction of time bearing in mind how I could then have my toned body for some time to come. But I’m scared! The thought of going under the knife in any circumstance just terrifies me so whilst I could look at this, nah! I’d prefer to do one of the above options.

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I’ll be back on Monday to update you about my weight but also tell you about the most amazing adventure I’m about to go on this weekend. I’m ticking off another thing from my weight loss bucket list and this is a BIG one!!!

Have a great weekend, everyone

Love Erika xx

Over 160 lbs lost: my bravest photos yet!

Hey guys

I’m currently not weighing myself because I was forever getting on and off the scales, probably about 10-15 times a day. But I’ve decided that today’s a good day to be brave and share some photos with you. Part of me feels really nervous, especially as one of them shows just some of my excess skin (oh, there’s a lot more, trust me!) but a bigger part of me is celebrating! I’ve had so many clothes in my ‘can’t get into that yet‘ pile but I can now get into everything I own – all US size 8 (size 12 UK). Right, Erika…. deep breath, girl! Here we go…..

Okay, I’m still here! I survived after sharing these! My next step is to look into how to deal with the excess skin because it’s stopping me from getting into the next size down but I just want to feel comfortable in my own skin. The main areas are all round my thighs (including saddle bags), my upper arms, my knees, my butt (woah, TMI there!!!!!) and my upper and lower abdomen. I found somewhere last night that does non-surgical treatment that I’ll be booking an appointment with. But I’m a realist and I know there’s only so much skin that can be dealt with but it’s about balance, I guess. Let’s see what I can change and what I can’t, and take it from there 🙂

Wishing you a lovely weekend everyone and I’ll be back on Monday

Love Erika xx