Getting fit without losing too much facial volume? How?
August 2, 2019 10:27 AM   Subscribe

I lost about 60 pounds of baby weight and lost a lot of volume on my face... so much that one of my eyes started to sag! Horrified- I went to a top harley street eye doctor and she did some filler that lifted my eye. She advised me not to do extreme exercise or to lose too much weight to prevent much further loss of facial volume. I would like to lose maybe 4 more pounds and get fitter. At the moment I am active with the kids but not exercising. Where to go from here?

My pre kids exercise regime was lots of regular walking around town. And then doing about 20 minutes of squats and lunges etc. 3 times a week. That really worked for me. I am curious if any exercise experts here have any knowledge about face friendly exercise, or if my old routine (which I would like to do again) sounds good. Any ideas? I am about 4 pounds heavier than I was before kids but being out of shape means I feel thicker I guess. Thank you everyone in advance!
posted by catspajammies to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Can you clarify what you mean by "your eye started to sag"? Do you mean you had a more noticeable bag under your eye, or what? At first I read this as "my whole eye started to migrate down my face"!

I wouldn't think losing 4 pounds would fall under "losing too much weight" unless you are already minuscule. When you had this done, you had lost WAY more than that - it's a very different situation. Don't let this fear keep you from exercising! Worst case scenario, it sounds like another minor cosmetic fix is all it would take if you're not happy with your face afterwards.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:43 AM on August 2, 2019 [6 favorites]

One study found that facial exercises may help facial appearance. (Study, press release, NY Times article.) However, it was based on 30 minutes (!) a day of facial exercises.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 10:45 AM on August 2, 2019 [4 favorites]

Intermittent fasting (for example, eating only during an eight-hour window each day) has been associated with autophagy, which hypothetically might result in the body consuming extra skin rather than leaving it all saggy. I have yet to encounter a real study showing that specifically, but it's a popular theory.
posted by teremala at 10:54 AM on August 2, 2019 [4 favorites]

Hi! It was like a ptosis- the lid was drooping over my left eye- quite signifigantly... I thought it was going to need a surgery so I was happy with the filler.

Thank you everyone that is encouraging me to exercise again!
posted by catspajammies at 10:56 AM on August 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

One thing that is talked about a lot in weight-loss forums is the minor re-distribution of remaining fat and firming up of loose skin post-loss. This is something that I have personally experienced, but of course it happens to a different degree for everyone depending on individual circumstances like age, natural skin elasticity, amount of weight loss, genetic predisposition, etc.

Essentially the idea is that it can take over a year of maintaining at your new, lower, stable weight for your skin and fat to finish settling into their 'new normal'. Sometimes this will involve bumps of remaining fat smoothing out a little, or saggy/stretched skin slightly tightening back up. So once you hit maintenance you're not really 'done' changing yet - you've completed the work of losing the weight, but you still might end up with a little bit of a different appearance.

How true this is across the board I really can't say, and I certainly couldn't point to any actual science. I can say that I have personal experience with loosing a little over 60 pounds in about a year, and seeing the skin on the back of my hands get super loose and baggy at first and then take up the slack and tighten up again. Ditto the skin on my neck and upper thighs. I might be super lucky and I'm only a sample size of one, but it does happen.

So even if you do end up with a bit of loose/sagging skin at first, that doesn't mean that it will still look as extreme forever.
posted by DSime at 11:11 AM on August 2, 2019 [10 favorites]

Oh, and also make sure you are crazy well hydrated, I get a real 'sunken eye' look when I don't drink enough water.
posted by DSime at 11:16 AM on August 2, 2019 [3 favorites]

I don’t think that your exercise routine sounds at all extreme.

Also, since it sounds like your kid(s?) are pretty young... how sleep deprived are you? Because that can also cause droop - like, real ptosis, not just, “oh, I’m so tired my eyelids feel heavy,” and that honestly sounds like a more plausible culprit than 60 lb weight loss especially if that is counting from immediately post partum.
posted by Kriesa at 11:55 AM on August 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

Is it possible you mistook the doctor's recommendation against exercise for losing weight when she might have meant that exercise can cause filler to dissipate? That's what I've had doctors tell me after filler - not that exercise will make the presenting condition worse, but that exercise causes blood flow that may move the filler.
posted by cocoagirl at 1:02 PM on August 2, 2019 [3 favorites]

Wait, why do you think the eyelid droop was related to the weight loss?

Presumably the small pads of fat in your eyelids are pretty much identical on both eyes, so losing weight should have affected them both equally.

Losing weight can make people's cheeks a bit empty / jowly, and I guess having less cheek fat could cause both LOWER eyelids to droop down slightly as the cheeks droop lower... but I really don't see how weight loss could make just one upper eyelid start to droop (as far as I know that's what ptosis means- upper lid droop- so apologies if I'm misunderstanding your description).

Any chance the sag was caused by something else, like bell's palsy or a nerve issue?
posted by pseudostrabismus at 1:39 PM on August 3, 2019

I see two answers questioning the reason of the eyelid droop. No, I am not tired. Yes, volume loss can cause a drooping lid.

Here is an article that explains it better than I can:!po=1.66667

Weight loss (among other things) can cause lost volume... i lost 1/3 of my body weight and definitely believe it’s connected. But I went to an ocular surgeon so she definitely understood the anatomy of a face and eye and I have no reason to believe it’s anything else.
posted by catspajammies at 2:33 PM on August 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

I think the main thing to avoid would be excessive cardio. For cardio I tend to do sprints for 20 mins or spin for 30 mins, rather than running for an hour for example.

I don't think squats/lunges/moderate weight lifting will make you lose volume in your face.
posted by thereader at 3:01 PM on August 3, 2019

I would focus on weights/body weight exercises that let you incorporate mild levels of cardio. Circuit training with weights could work - eg squats, push ups, overhead press.
posted by chronic sublime at 6:38 PM on August 7, 2019

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