Friday, January 18, 2013

Fat vs. Loose Skin

Everyone who loses a lot of weight has to deal with at least some loose skin.

Over time, some or all of that loose skin with tighten up, and go away.
I often see people complain online (usually with pictures) about their loose skin. One is a "internet famous" fitness blogger who is convinced he has loose skin, however, after seeing his constant stream of images (and videos), I'm convinced he still has a lot of body fat in his abdomen and is (perhaps) in some stage of denial about that.

Loose skin is very loose, very thin, and has little body to it. Probably the most common way that loose skin is described is that it's like the skin on the back of your hand. I really don't like this comparison, because that all depends on how fat your hand is. When I was at my peak weight, there wasn't anything thin about the skin on the back of my hand. I think the best description is the skin on the back of an older, slim person's hand. It's nearly paper thin. Perhaps, it would feel like the skin on your eyelid. Yeah, that could be a good analogy.

In any event, if you pinch the skin and the "pinch" is more than a couple of millimeters (or maybe [and this is a stretch] a centimeter) thick, than it's not just loose skin, there is still some fat hanging on for dear life under there.

I thought I had loose skin, until I started really focusing on diet, focusing less on cardio and more on weights. What I've discovered is that my "loose skin" was actually still abdominal fat, and as my BF% goes down so does that loose abdominal fat. I think a lot of folks think they are dealing with loose skin, because it does feel loose it's not tight like it was at your peak weight, that's because there are less fat cells there, but there are still some. once the fat is completely gone, I'll bet provided you have healthy skin, it'll really tighten up as you lose even more fat (notice I didn't say lose weight).

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm taking pictures of myself every night. It's 18-Jan-2013 today, and I just took my picture. I weight exactly one pound less than I did on 1-Jan-2013. That could be a normal fluctuation. There is, however a big difference in the pictures. Even after losing so much weight I still wasn't comfortable being seen without a shirt, but my abdominal region is slowly taking form.

I'm still not ready to share shirtless pictures online yet, but perhaps once I've reached my body-fat goal, I will :-)

Remember, no matter what, don't get discouraged. Anything is possible, if you work hard enough.


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  2. I think your attitude is a great one! You have done a great job expressing yourself and being confident! I have been researching how to tighten skin because I feel like I have the worst case of loose and/or saggy skin that is out there! I want to feel attractive again for my hubby...please help!