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  1. #1
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    Unintended consequences of weight loss

    Generally, folks tout the benefits of weight loss. Rarely do we hear about the negative consequences.

    In the last week I have encountered two such consequences.

    1. While trying to board a plane I was selected for additional screening after succumbing to the new scanners. The agent asked me, "Sir, you have items in your back pockets." I told him, "No I don't. In fact these pants don't have back pockets."

    Well he didn't believe me so I had to succumb to a cavity search. Afterwards I realized that the skin flaps probably looked like pockets on the scanner...

    2. Dallas had a bad ice storm this week. So yesterday, I awoke and decided to walk to the fitness center to use the treadmill. Problem was I slipped on the ice. In years past when I fell on the ice, my well padded derrier was always the first thing to hit the ground. Well yesterday morning I literally fell flat on my back. Hurts a lot, but is better today.

    So does anyone else want to share some of the negatives? Its always nice to know where the reefs are located. Good news is my A1C is down to 4.5!

  2. #2
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    No negatives to share, but congrats on your weight loss!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by myrridin View Post
    Generally, folks tout the benefits of weight loss. Rarely do we hear about the negative consequences.

    In the last week I have encountered two such consequences.

    1. While trying to board a plane I was selected for additional screening after succumbing to the new scanners. The agent asked me, "Sir, you have items in your back pockets." I told him, "No I don't. In fact these pants don't have back pockets."

    Well he didn't believe me so I had to succumb to a cavity search. Afterwards I realized that the skin flaps probably looked like pockets on the scanner...

    2. Dallas had a bad ice storm this week. So yesterday, I awoke and decided to walk to the fitness center to use the treadmill. Problem was I slipped on the ice. In years past when I fell on the ice, my well padded derrier was always the first thing to hit the ground. Well yesterday morning I literally fell flat on my back. Hurts a lot, but is better today.

    So does anyone else want to share some of the negatives? Its always nice to know where the reefs are located. Good news is my A1C is down to 4.5!
    This leads to a question that I have intended to ask for some time...

    Were you aware that your stretched skin might not shrink back when you lost weight? If you were aware, did it influence your outlook on weight loss -- that is, did it have a negative impact on your progress because inevitably, you would end up with skin pockets that aren't particularly attractive? And, are you considering any sort of surgery to remove the skin?

    It's a sensitive area, I know, and that reason is why I have held back on asking. But it seems to be a very releveant set of questions when it comes to maintaing the motivation to keep the weight loss going. And I don't recall reading about the issue much in this forum. It seems to be a negative consequence, and one that can be hidden. But for example, when starting a new relationship, the revelation will need to be made at some point or another.

    Fortunately, I have never progressed from just being overweight to mordibly obese, although I suspect I am now at an age where the elasticity of the skin around my stomach means I am less likely to show off well defined abs into the future. So I can sort of identify with the issue...
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  4. #4
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Buying clothes all the time. I have no fashion sense.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kabong30's Avatar
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    I read the title and somehow knew extra skin would be involved. I can't WAIT to have extra skin! I'm gonna be a veritable flying squirrel! Congrats on your weight loss buddy.
    We're gonna ride our bicycles, We're gonna go and have some fun, We're gonna fill our hearts with love, When we ride our bicycles.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    This leads to a question that I have intended to ask for some time...

    Were you aware that your stretched skin might not shrink back when you lost weight? If you were aware, did it influence your outlook on weight loss -- that is, did it have a negative impact on your progress because inevitably, you would end up with skin pockets that aren't particularly attractive? And, are you considering any sort of surgery to remove the skin?

    It's a sensitive area, I know, and that reason is why I have held back on asking. But it seems to be a very releveant set of questions when it comes to maintaing the motivation to keep the weight loss going. And I don't recall reading about the issue much in this forum. It seems to be a negative consequence, and one that can be hidden. But for example, when starting a new relationship, the revelation will need to be made at some point or another.

    Fortunately, I have never progressed from just being overweight to mordibly obese, although I suspect I am now at an age where the elasticity of the skin around my stomach means I am less likely to show off well defined abs into the future. So I can sort of identify with the issue...
    I fully expect the skin to recover. From what I have read it can take several years post weight loss for that to happen. The key is your percent body fat. Even after a lot of weight loss, your body may be storing fat in the skin areas, which prevent it from shrinking. Given time and further weight loss, the issue should correct itself.

    Frankly, I don't really care about the skin. I just found the scanner issue funny. The falling flat on my back, instead of a well padded derrier was less funny. Though that may change in the future when the pain eases...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
    Buying clothes all the time. I have no fashion sense.
    Yeh, I maintained the same size for 20+ years... Hate buying clothes. And really hate needing new clothes every couple of months. Goodwill has come to love me.

  8. #8
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    The best I can say is that my tighty whiteys fall down. Don't have enough butt and waist to hold them up. New belts and whitey for Christmas?
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

  9. #9
    Riding twobadfish's Avatar
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    I don't think I have ever been big enough to have extra skin but that's totally awesome that you've lost that much weight!

  10. #10
    Senior Member JimF22003's Avatar
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    I lost about 300 pounds and had massive amounts of excess skin. It was a serious problem. I actually could not ride the bike in regular short, not because of vanity, but because the skin on my legs would actually flap against the top tube. The folded-over "apron" skin on my abdomen led to serious skin breakdowns and constant irritation.

    I ended up having close to $15K worth of plastic surgery to deal with this -- circumferential body lift, double brachioplasty (hanging skin under arms), and thigh-plasties. If anybody who has serious questions about this, send me a PM. I can send you a link to the doctor I used. He actually has anonymous pics of me on his site I just noticed. (I did give permission, so it's cool.)
    2009 Cervelo R3SL TdF Edition, Ultegra Di2
    2011 Cervelo R5, DA Di2

  11. #11
    Allez means go. bengreen79's Avatar
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    I was fortunate not to have any loose skin after losing 65 lbs. I think the biggest inconvenience for me was probably replacing my clothes. I am cheap and have no fashion sense so I have to depend on my wife to tell me whether something looks ok.

    The thing I'm growing most tired of is people telling me I look too thin, 5'11" 172 lbs is not too thin (too fat for this sport ). I think people were just used to me being fat.

  12. #12
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    JimF22003,

    "2009 Cervelo R3SL tdf Edition" .....nice!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by myrridin View Post
    1. While trying to board a plane I was selected for additional screening after succumbing to the new scanners. The agent asked me, "Sir, you have items in your back pockets." I told him, "No I don't. In fact these pants don't have back pockets."

    Well he didn't believe me so I had to succumb to a cavity search. Afterwards I realized that the skin flaps probably looked like pockets on the scanner...
    Wait....what? You could be the next poster child for the anti-body scanner crowd! Somebody gets upset because of a pat-down? Holy snickeys, imagine the outcry over a cavity search!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by myrridin View Post
    I fully expect the skin to recover.
    Not going to happen, consider it a reminder of what once was.
    Chuck

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  15. #15
    Bulky Bullet Sayre Kulp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    This leads to a question that I have intended to ask for some time...

    Were you aware that your stretched skin might not shrink back when you lost weight? If you were aware, did it influence your outlook on weight loss -- that is, did it have a negative impact on your progress because inevitably, you would end up with skin pockets that aren't particularly attractive? And, are you considering any sort of surgery to remove the skin?

    It's a sensitive area, I know, and that reason is why I have held back on asking. But it seems to be a very releveant set of questions when it comes to maintaing the motivation to keep the weight loss going. And I don't recall reading about the issue much in this forum. It seems to be a negative consequence, and one that can be hidden. But for example, when starting a new relationship, the revelation will need to be made at some point or another.

    Fortunately, I have never progressed from just being overweight to mordibly obese, although I suspect I am now at an age where the elasticity of the skin around my stomach means I am less likely to show off well defined abs into the future. So I can sort of identify with the issue...
    I've considered waiting a designated amount of time after I reach my weight goal and if the skin hasn't caught up, I'm considering a surgical procedure to remove he excess skin.
    "Obstacles don't like me very much. I make them look bad."

  16. #16
    Bulky Bullet Sayre Kulp's Avatar
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    Oh - and my other gripe is that this is my first "under-300" winter and I'm F-ing cold ALL THE TIME!!!
    "Obstacles don't like me very much. I make them look bad."

  17. #17
    Allez means go. bengreen79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sayre Kulp View Post
    Oh - and my other gripe is that this is my first "under-300" winter and I'm F-ing cold ALL THE TIME!!!
    Me too...my first under 200 winter for 10 years.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sayre Kulp View Post
    Oh - and my other gripe is that this is my first "under-300" winter and I'm F-ing cold ALL THE TIME!!!
    +1

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinclac View Post
    Not going to happen, consider it a reminder of what once was.
    From the research I've done, there is plenty of evidence that the skin will shrink, but it can take a couple of years. The key is to get one's percent body fat down to the 10%-15% range. Anything above that and fat can remain in the skin flaps, keeping them from going away.

    If it doesn't, I don't really care. I didn't loose the weight for aesthetic reasons.

  20. #20
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sayre Kulp View Post
    Oh - and my other gripe is that this is my first "under-300" winter and I'm F-ing cold ALL THE TIME!!!
    +1

  21. #21
    Riding twobadfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimF22003 View Post
    I lost about 300 pounds and had massive amounts of excess skin. It was a serious problem. I actually could not ride the bike in regular short, not because of vanity, but because the skin on my legs would actually flap against the top tube. The folded-over "apron" skin on my abdomen led to serious skin breakdowns and constant irritation.

    I ended up having close to $15K worth of plastic surgery to deal with this -- circumferential body lift, double brachioplasty (hanging skin under arms), and thigh-plasties. If anybody who has serious questions about this, send me a PM. I can send you a link to the doctor I used. He actually has anonymous pics of me on his site I just noticed. (I did give permission, so it's cool.)
    Just curious... what happens if you regain that weight after those procedures? Is your skin back in regular condition or is it stretched/thinner?

  22. #22
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    An acquaintance of mine lost a lot of weight after a gastric bypass. She was so upset with the loose skin and sagging that she decided her appearance was better when she was obese. She was not motivated to follow instructions and keep the weight off, despite diabetes and other health problems. Last I checked she had regained to her pre-surgery weight plus a few more pounds. Her insurance covered the bariatric surgery but not any cosmetic surgery.

    The surgery to remove loose skin is NOT trivial. It's expensive, leaves scars, has risks and a long recovery time. So many people assume it's no big deal -- as if it's similar to getting a haircut.

    Loose skin won't always shrink back on its own, even after a few years, especially in aging or sun-damaged skin. Hopefully medical science is improving what they can do. The market for this type of intervention is growing.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Maxxxie's Avatar
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    A few years back, I lost around 28Kg from cycling and eating better. There are things they don't tell you in the weight loss brochure. The biggest one for me was having to replace my entire wardrobe. I'm still in denial about it. I've replaced one pair of pants and five shirts - enough to see me through a working week. But everything else is still on hold. It's an expensive thing to have to do. The worst part is if your weight loss is still a work in progress, because you're going to have to buy many sets of clothes until you reach your goal weight. In the end, my pants were falling off me (even with a belt) before I had to bite the bullet and replace them. I still wear my "fat" shirts from time to time, because I'm such a cheapskate!

    And yes, I'm now cold in winter. Thanks very much, weight loss! Now my clothes are too big AND I'm cold!!!

    Max
    One of the best things about bicycle commuting is that it can mitigate the displeasure of having to go to work. - BikeSnobNYC
    Best BikeForums.net quote ever: "Holy Moley - talk about having some pressure to ride in on the cold and rainy days. YOUR SOUL IS AT STAKE!" ~hubcap

  24. #24
    Allez means go. bengreen79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxxxie View Post
    I still wear my "fat" shirts from time to time, because I'm such a cheapskate!
    Same here. I couldn't bare to get rid of all my old clothes. I have a lot of stuff that was still in good shape that I put away in case I need them in the future. I did throw out/donate a lot of stuff that I probably should have stopped wearing anyway because it was so worn out.

  25. #25
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    I've had the same wardrobe issues. And since I'm not at my final goal weight yet, I can't bring myself to buy things that fit me now, unless they're absolute necessities, or they're just incredibly cheap, like one pair of Costco jeans each time I drop a size.

    And like the others who complain about the cold, I'm right there, too. I was surprised just how cold I am (that's discounting last night's coldness, which was due to my 101-degree fever).
    Craig in Indy

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