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.