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Old 06-27-09, 08:05 PM   #1
MrCrassic 
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Body image.

I think I'm on the onset of a body image problem.

Now, my body looks pretty good overall; my arms are well-toned as are my legs, and there is some definition in my abdominal and chest region. However, the crux of this problem resides in that area. Every time I sit down, I see little rolls of something that bother me like crazy. From my reference point they look concerning, but from an external reference point (say, a mirror or another person), they're nothing.

What bothers me even further is the something that these rolls consist of. I have no idea whether it's body fat or loose skin that's causing them, but whatever it is is driving me nuts. I haven't gained weight; in fact, when I stepped on a scale last (two weeks ago), I weighed in at 160 lb with clothes on, which is well in my range (155 - 160). My waist size has not changed; it has remained at about 30" since last year. (It used to be 34" several years ago.) Finally, I know that my diet is nothing crazy; I do have some foods that might be better removed, particularly cereal and bread, but they aren't drastic.

Has anyone come across this problem after they lost the desired weight? If so, how was it resolved?

I appreciate everyone's advice! Thanks for reading.
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Old 06-27-09, 08:09 PM   #2
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Honestly, I have the same issue.
I still see the 210 lbs guy when I look in the mirror not the current 150-155lb guy.
I have read that when one looses weight and gets fit your self image lags behind reality for some time.
However, I have always had self image issues.
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Old 06-27-09, 08:15 PM   #3
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I had the same problem back when I was 185 and "chubby." I looked at myself in the mirror before I took a shower practically every day and was pretty bothered by my appearance. That didn't motivate me directly to take on cycling, but even after the bonus weight loss, it bothered me for quite some time. It gets a bit bad if I don't ride for a few days (like 3 or so).
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Old 06-27-09, 08:35 PM   #4
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Same thing here, too. I'm at ~135-140, 5'7.5, and get those same rolls you're talking about. I'm going to work on losing body fat by gaining muscle and staying the same weight. It's pretty disconcerting to me, though. I'm always told that I look lean, cut, whatever. Still doesn't help me realize, for some reason, and I remain unhappy with my body image.

Oh well.
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Old 06-28-09, 12:48 AM   #5
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there was once this guy called chopper who used to have this real good quote. "harden the f*ck up!"
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Old 06-28-09, 05:10 AM   #6
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That silly comment contributes nothing to the discussion.
Honestly, after spending so much time in the road cycling forum where that term is bantered about by every little newbie it gets tiring.
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Old 06-28-09, 02:50 PM   #7
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Trust the mirror and other people... the brain plays tricks on you when you look at yourself.
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Old 06-28-09, 03:00 PM   #8
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Realize that when you are sitting down that folds of skin over the abs are normal, especially if you are over age 35 I would think. A waist of 30" is obviously way below average and carries no health risk implications, not to mention problems with appearance. The good thing about bike jerseys is they seem to conceal this area when you are in the riding posture. I too have experienced body image distortion, which is weird once you realize it. Like I'm 6'1" and don't realize how tall I am and am surprised when I see pictures of myself with my wife.
Body image distortion could range from a minor annoyance to a major disturbance. Take hope: I think I've paid less attention to my body image distortion when I realize that my overall appearance does not depend on one body part, and that only I am noticing it really. It's how I interact with people, how self confidently I project myself, things like that. Those are the things that are worthy of effort to try to improve because they really matter. Good luck.
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Old 06-29-09, 10:30 AM   #9
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Body image distortion could range from a minor annoyance to a major disturbance. Take hope: I think I've paid less attention to my body image distortion when I realize that my overall appearance does not depend on one body part, and that only I am noticing it really. It's how I interact with people, how self confidently I project myself, things like that. Those are the things that are worthy of effort to try to improve because they really matter. Good luck.
Well put. I agree with that. I too lost about 20 pounds a number of years back and occasionally I'll still look at myself in the mirror and think that my legs look too large or my stomach isn't flat enough. Then I remember that my eyes and mind are just playing a game on me. There definitely are other things to improve that do matter more.
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Old 06-30-09, 01:42 AM   #10
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That silly comment contributes nothing to the discussion.
Welcome to the internet, enjoy your stay and htfu sally.
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Old 06-30-09, 07:06 AM   #11
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I'm trying to get used to the idea/concept/new reality that I'm skinny. I've lost just shy of 65 pounds from 210 to 146. Waist is now at 28.25. Was at 40 a year ago. That said...

I also notice those same rolls or bulges when I sit down or get on the bike. In my case, I'm pretty sure it's excess skin resulting from the weight loss. I don't know if it will ever go away. About the only thing that can be done is exercises that specifically target my abs and really tone up the muscles there. I don't think I'm going to do that for a number of excuses
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Old 06-30-09, 07:10 AM   #12
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Aren't those little rolls just skin? Most of my gym-freak friends get them too and they're pretty ''ripped''.
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Old 06-30-09, 10:44 AM   #13
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is it related to your posture? I probably have bad posture and get that too. That said, your skin is going to stretch and/or fold as needed, depending on if you're arching your back or curling forward.
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Old 07-01-09, 05:10 PM   #14
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If your abs are visible at all you're prolly near single digit body fat and just need to get over it or just don't sit down ever.
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Old 07-01-09, 05:49 PM   #15
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Don't know your age, but as you get older your skin loses its elasticity and tends to hang more "loosely". I'm 54 and in the single digits for body fat, my ribs are visible almost all the way around to my backbone, but a few loose folds have gradually accumulated around my stomach in spite of no weight gain. I wouldn't be concerned in your situation.

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Old 07-02-09, 07:52 AM   #16
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How old are you OP?

As others have noted age + gravity = saggy skin. Unfortunately, at some point it becomes unavoidable no matter what your level of fitness/body fat
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Old 07-02-09, 08:14 AM   #17
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I have the same problem. I started out around 360 and have now dropped down to 175. My body fat is hovering around 9% yet I still hate the way I look with my shirt off. My dietitian basically told me that losing so much weight the skin probably won't snap back and surgery is an option.

I have actually heard that certain places now take the excess skin and use at as grafts for burn victims etc. etc. I am considering looking into it in the future when I stabilize my weight where I want it to be. Of course then again I might be an extreme case.
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Old 07-02-09, 08:17 AM   #18
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how old are you op?

As others have noted age + gravity = saggy skin. Unfortunately, at some point it becomes unavoidable no matter what your level of fitness/body fat
21
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Old 07-02-09, 08:21 AM   #19
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Well!

As far as the 'rolls' issue goes, its just how skin works. Go ahead and google 6pack aps, abercrombie model, whatever you want and you will notice 1 recurring them. They are all standing, typically leaning back some. Why? It stretches the stomach skin more. 6pack abs are actually pretty weird... they don't occur naturally for most people. You typically have to be a nearly-dangerous body fat level to have those amazing abs. Most people know this and you will see that most people with the abs are only in that shape for a few weeks. Think about it, even Olympic level athletes can only keep up there peak for a few weeks at a time. Go look at Michael Phelps when he got the golds and then right after. He immediately started gaining some body fat back.

Those rolls are just the skin doing what it does.. I know its hard to accept it, but it is true. That is how I deal with it, I just keep in mind that realistically I can't be at that level for long.

EDIT:

OH! You're 21! I'm 22, that adds something to this

Ya, our generation has been raised with this BS image of 6 packs, 4% body fat, etc etc.. go look at any movie made before 1980 and notice you don't see that. Why? Because its total BS. Hell, go watch UFC. Those guys rarely even have 6 packs. Girls LOVE 6 pack abs and stuff... I am assuming thats why you are REALLY doing it. That being said, if your body fat is under 15% you are WAY ahead of the pack.. the rest of the guys are age are out being drunk all night and eating a ton.

Last edited by DanMach; 07-02-09 at 08:30 AM. Reason: Adding this in once I found he is 21 :)
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Old 07-02-09, 09:28 AM   #20
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body transformation is a slow process. losing weight doesn't mean you are building muscle mass. to fully realize your potential you need to also build muscle through weight training. the increase in muscle mass will help burn more fat, further improving your body image. you must be patient and diligent. measure things in months and years, for example, this time next year you will have an even better form. I think people who lose a lot of weight have to deal with the extra skin, yes, but I think it gets, absorbed over time. skin is also stretchy like balloon rubber. change your diet even further and get some weight training in. crank it all up a notch, but be careful to protect yourself from injury ... rule #1 - do no harm! :-)
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Old 07-02-09, 12:19 PM   #21
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After losing more than 300 pounds, I've had 20k+ worth of surgery to remove excess skin on the abdomen, inner thighs, and arms. There was no way that stuff was going away on its own. I couldn't even bike in the summer time without wearing long winter tights because the stuff on my legs would flap against the top bars. Just one of those things you have to expect.

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I have actually heard that certain places now take the excess skin and use at as grafts for burn victims etc.
Sorry, not true. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...=1006052228382
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Old 07-02-09, 01:13 PM   #22
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After losing more than 300 pounds, I've had 20k+ worth of surgery to remove excess skin on the abdomen, inner thighs, and arms. There was no way that stuff was going away on its own. I couldn't even bike in the summer time without wearing long winter tights because the stuff on my legs would flap against the top bars. Just one of those things you have to expect.



Sorry, not true. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...=1006052228382
See what I have read has been quite the opposite.

http://www.mtf.org/donor/living_skin.html

Then again I guess it depends on who you believe, a nonprofit group who supposedly does the skin grafts, or someone on yahoo answers linking to someones personal web page.
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Old 07-02-09, 02:42 PM   #23
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I think it is helpful to refocus your attention on performance factors. There will always be some flaw you can be unhappy with if physical perfection is your focus. Instead look at how much improvement you've made in your athletic skills (however you choose to measure them). Your lipid profile, blood pressure and pulse have probably improved too. Don't think in the long run the scale or measuring tape tell you much useful from a health or performance perspective. Relax and enjoy your new athleticism and try to stop critiquing and weighing yourself.
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Old 07-02-09, 05:47 PM   #24
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JimF22003 and mtclifford, congrats to you both for your amazing weight loss.
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Old 07-02-09, 06:23 PM   #25
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I still mentally see myself as the Fat Guy. I see my reflection in a door or something and look behind me to see who's walking up behind me. I'm not kidding!
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