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    Body Issues
    stillhangingin posted:
    Hi everyone---I'm looking for some help......I changed EVERYTHING in my life in January and have done better than I ever thought I would ....I'm now at 121 pounds lost. I'm wearing a size 16 for the first time in 20 years! My goal is very reasonable 150 pounds (I'm 5'4--5'5) The 150 is the top BMI for my height and I think I can maintain that weight. I walk every day ---3 miles. Now though I HATE my body.... The skin and how loose and gross I look---dressed I look fine,better than ever....But even then I can't adjust to my new size-- I still think I'm really big half the time. I don't know how to adjust.....HELP!!!
    pallzy responded:
    I can relate. I lost 115 pounds over two years. I still don't quite feel like I am not a fat girl. While I was losing my weight, I read an article by Dr. Peeke on here that basically said it can take up to a year for every 10 pounds you lose before your mind and your eyes see the same thing. In the mean time - rejoice in your accomplishments. It does get better. I've been maintaining for two years now, and I am getting there.
    5'11 SW 275/GW 160/CW 159
    Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to pallzy's response:
    pallzy - Thank you for reminding me of that great post by Dr. Peeke! And congratulations on your weight loss and continued work to be healthy and happy.

    My favorite line from the Dr. Peeke article is this: Now, take another look at yourself in the mirror and smile with compassion, kindness, and love. Read the entire Everyday Fitness blog post here: Rebel Against the One-Size-Fits-All Definition of Fit and Healthy

    stillhangingin - Welcome! I hope you can find something in that article that speaks to you and can help with your "new body" adjustment. Please continue to hang out here for support and to share your experiences with others.

    Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP responded:
    Hi and thanks so much for your posting. First, congratulations on your remarkable achievement. I hope you did it the old fashioned way by eating healthfully and exercising.

    Now, here are some of the rules I have created for folks just like you post any weight reduction, especially a significant one like yours.

    1. SKIN: The more rapid the weight reduction, the looser the skin. Lack of strength training during the weight loss process leads to looser skin. Any yo-yo'ing up and down loosens up skin over the course of a lifetime. The older you are (over 40 esp) the looser your skin tends to be. Finally, genetics do play a role as well. Given all of these factors, the grand majority of people who drop weight, esp a lot of weight, will have loose skin. If this extra skin really bothers you, esp if it poses a risk for infection (between the skin folds) or any dermatitis, you can consult a plastic surgeon and you may even have some or all of it paid for by insurance, depending upon your specific insurance.
    2. BODY: Your physical body--- I would highly recommend you begin to reshape your body with more strength training 2-3 x week. You can use personal trainer, great DVD's, guidance from our WebMD exercise archives, community center classes, traditional gym classes. The other reason why this is so important is that you'll build and maintain calorie burning muscles. This is essential to keep your new body composition optimized and sustainable.
    3. MIND: You are experiencing something I call "FAT HEAD". I have actually written about this in my blogs. My Peeke Rule is: it takes roughly 1 year for your mind to adapt to a 25 lb weight reduction. Yep, it takes a while to mentally wrap your head around weight reduction. So, for 100 pounds, it takes at least several years. During that time, you gradually become conditioned to a different body, size, and how to move through space differently. The longer you've been heavy, the longer it takes to adapt to your new self. My RX is to pop a patience pill and take every day 24 hours at a time. Your body will always change much faster than your mind. Most people do not know this.

    Finally, BE NICE TO YOURSELF. No more hating yourself and/or your body. It's been through a lot to get to this point. Be grateful you have achieved this health goal. Be happy your body is hanging in there. There is always a price to pay to achieve goals. The loose skin can be managed as I have noted. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Now, think about all that I have written. As you open your eyes, give yourself a mile-wide smile and say something like "I really love and appreciate my wonderful body." And don't waste one more second with toxic, negative thoughts. Stick with the positive. You'll wear it well!

    Good luck and let us know your thoughts.

    Dr. Peeke
    researcher69 responded:
    This is what dieticians forget to tell you. A tummy tuck, breast reduction, arm reduction, face lift, etc. is the stretched out body we have been living in and I dont think there is any other way to get ride of excess stretched out skin, unless you are very young.
    gr8catlady responded:
    I lost over 100 pounds a few years ago, I then had a tummy tuck and breast reduction 2 years ago. I still struggle with my body image every day. It sounds like you could benifit from some counseling to improve your body image, if you do not get help it would be so easy to backslide. Good luck.
    Lefty2121 replied to gr8catlady's response:
    If you don't mind me asking how long was recovery time for you? Also was it covered by insurance or out of pocket? I need to a total body lift but kinda scared of the process and cost! My starting weight was 382 lbs now currently 221 lbs I would love to get down to 180 to 170 lbs 5'4" or 5'5" still kinda high for that height but considering where I was at!
    trschmidt74 responded:
    I, too, have lost 121 lbs, as of this past weigh in at WW. Congrats to us both!!!

    While I don't really like the way the loose skin looks, I have changed the way I think about it. I now consider it a testament to the hard work that I have put in and how strong I have become. I am changing the way that I look at things... changing my mind not to conform to what society says is "beautiful". I AM beautiful and strong. I have scars that remind me of my journey and what I have accomplished along the way. I am proud to own these "bat wings".

    This brings me back to my favorite thought:

    Happiness is a state of mind.

    We can change the way we think about things. We can be happy with ourselves whether anybody else is or not. We have done great things and should be proud and happy at what we have accomplished. Losing weight is tough. But we have done it and are doing it and will be doing it (or maintaining it) for the rest of our lives. And our lives will be fuller because of it. So I guess my thought to you is stop thinking of it as "loose skin" and start thinking of it as beautiful strong scars. Many blessings to you on your journey.
    brunosbud replied to trschmidt74's response:
    Great post! People tend to forget that these discussions are really about addiction and how to stop it.

    The best posts are about embracing change and looking forward to the future...

    and, the worse posts are about wallowing in the past and not changing a damn thing. They just want to be left alone...
    Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to trschmidt74's response:
    CONGRATS trschmidt74!

    You're so positive and supportive - thank you for sharing your experience and views on happiness.

    I hope you continue to stick around here to offer encouragement for our members who might be struggling


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