Skinny Daily Post

Invincible.

When I was in my main weight loss phase a few years back, I heard a so-called expert telling someone that he would just have to ‘deal with the fact that when you lose weight you’ll be more wrinkled.’ The person offering the wisdom was someone who’d lost weight and gained it all back, and the person receiving this information was a middle aged guy who had just lost about 40 pounds. At the time I remember thinking that this was really not something I wanted to hear!

As it happened, when I reached my goal weight, my skin did indeed have more folds and wrinkles than before. Instead of my cherubic, rounded cheeks, I suddenly had a jaw line and some crow’s feet. Around my middle there was also plenty of extra skin where there had previously been my protuding belly.

The most remarkable thing was the extent to which I suddenly began to resemble my Father! This was brand new territory!

I accepted this state of affairs because I was simply happy at having achieved the weight loss I had set out to, and I began to jokingly refer to myself as ‘sharpei guy.’ I also know that, as unfair as it is, society has almost nothing against a middle-aged man with wrinkles, whereas for women it’s a whole different story.

A funny thing happened, though. As I continued to eat healthy, to drink plenty of water, and to exercise regularly, my body adapted. I don’t recall exactly how long it took, but eventually things began to firm up. I can say that comparing beach photos from my first year to beach photos from my second, there’s a great deal of improvement. It was just so gradual that I didn’t notice. And now, several years later, I seem to be just about as wrinkled as anyone else my age, but not more.

Since I don’t have experience with the kind of losses that my co-authors at the Skinny have had, I’m not sure to what extent this resilience is true. And I know that for major weight changes, excess skin can be a thorny issue. I just want to hold out a note of hope for those who are dealing with a moderate weight loss. It gets better, it really does.

jonathan.SDP@gmail.com

12 thoughts on “Wrinkles in Time

  1. h says:

    I can attest to this as well. When I lost 40 pounds, let’s just say that my chest deflated but the skin didn’t shrink to match. I was disappointed, but it seemed like a fair enough tradeoff.

    Then slowly over the next two years the skin in that area, and others, did indeed firm up and shrink, and now it’s almost normal. I didn’t notice, my SO did, because it was so gradual.

    I’ll never be mistaken for 16 again, of course. 😉

  2. stretchy says:

    Jonathan,

    My waistline & chin sags slowly went away too, well great enough for my age anyway, …it took time and toning exercises. Eating healthy drinking water…that helps the skin a lot.

    I have a question. How can my husband bring his GOOD cholesterol number up? It is a bit low. I tried to research this, but only found info on how to bring the “so called Bad” number down.

    can anyone help with this?

  3. Deirdre says:

    I have a question. How can my husband bring his GOOD cholesterol number up? It is a bit low. I tried to research this, but only found info on how to bring the “so called Bad” number down.

    My doctor has me on Niacin (which also lowers triglycerides) and fish oil to raise the HDL. There are also fibrates that are supposed to raise HDL.

  4. Amy K. says:

    Stretchy,

    Google “Raise HDL” and you’ll find some good info. The top pieces of advice seem to be

    1. Aerobic exercise
    2. Maintain a healthy weight
    3. Shift toward monounsaturated fats

  5. Nikhila says:

    Gradual weight loss helps too. I have gradually lost a net of 75 pounds over 4 years. I have a lot more stretch marks than I use to, but most have concentrated around my under arms–so they’re not as noticeable, but they are purple and ugly. The wrinkles and sags weren’t as drammatic as I’m young (early 30s) but also because I wasn’t losing more than 2-3 pounds a month. For the amount of extra fat I had covering me, a few stretch marks seem like a small price. I am still 30 pounds away from a ‘normal’ weight for my height, so I still have a layer of fat plumping up my skin. The wrinkles may come in a year or two once the weight is completely off.

  6. Cyn says:

    Thanks for the great news! I have lost 90 lbs over the last year and the ‘saggy, baggy’ skin is becoming more and more noticeable. I agree that it is definately better than the fat that was once there, and in reality I look better than I thought I would, but still, tighter skin would be nice. I do not think I would consider cosmetic surgery – mostly because of the cost. I will happily wait a couple of years and see if ‘things’ firm up.
    Thanks for the encouragement!!!

  7. jackie says:

    this is GREAT news! my friend sam and i were talking about this just the other day, wondering if we would be left with a whole new set of issues to deal with once our goals are reached. it’s great to hear from someone with experience that time helps!

    i stumbled across this blog a few weeks ago, and jonathan, i have really been enjoying your posts to it! thanks for the insights!!!

  8. Irene says:

    I have lost about 60 pounds in the past 14 months and have some sagging skin. It’s good to know that it may get a little firmer with time. While I am mostly happy with my body now, the sagging skin was a little disappointing. Now I have hope that it will improve. Thank you for this info.

  9. cOOkie says:

    This very issue came up recently about me. A “concerned” relative informed me that she would prefer to see me overweight than down to a healthy weight because she says my face changes. In her view it takes on a more “skeleton” appearance. This hurt because when I’m down to 125-130 I FEEL more alive and ready to take on life and here she is saying that my appearance is hideous. I’ve never had an issue with weightloss in my face until she pointed it out as a flaw of some sort (I’m 5’2″ by the way).

    After reading your entry I have two takes on this so-called dilemma now facing me (I’ve been losing some weight for a month thus far). With time my appearance might “readjust” to a more appealing look OR those who have issue with my change will eventually get used to it. I once heard that those around us might try to challenge or sabotage our weightloss efforts but in the end I must do what’s best for me. It does have me second guessing my appearance now that someone has voiced a negative opinion about it. In the end, though, being healthy far outweighs the negative feedback.

  10. Tracy says:

    cOOkie, your relative is someone you need to ignore.

  11. cOOkie says:

    Tracy ..

    Couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear when I read your response. Simple advice, yet it’s the only advice that makes sense.

    Thanks 😉

  12. JC says:

    I’ve got about 80 to 100 lbs to lose, and admit that the thought of sagging excess skin has felt discouraging. Not that I can’t find other “mental” excuses to put off getting serious about weight loss, but…as I’m 46, I’m afraid there won’t be much resilience there.

    Any suggestions from those of you who have lost large amounts about how to minimize this problem while losing weight? Or speed up the process of shrinkage and firming? Particular exercises? Supplements or special foods [I know this sounds weird but somewhere I think I read that soy products might help skin stay firmer during weight loss]? Just encouragement to not let this bugaboo be a deterrent?

    Thanks for any ideas or support!

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