Flabby McFlabberston
June 3, 2008 1:33 AM   Subscribe

I've been (somewhat successfully) losing weight. Plus, I'm getting older, so things on my body are...shifting. Any suggestions for what to do about excessive flesh? My particular problem areas are my upper thighs. It's not fat. It's the excess skin that used to be stretched over fat. Help?!?!?
posted by CitizenD to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I've only ever watched those extreme makeover type shows (late night insomnia... not something I would normally do, I swear)..... so not much evidence based stuff really.... just anecdote.... and the surgeons on those shows say that nothing other than surgery will get rid of the skin. But they have a vested interest in performing the surgery so that may not be correct.

Good on you for losing the weight though. Sorry I couldn't relay happier news. Hope someone else comes along and soundly drubs me with a good contradiction!
posted by taff at 1:39 AM on June 3, 2008

Depending on your age, how long you were at your heavier weight, and how heavy you were (and also a good bit of genetics), it may not be possible. Of course, it's all a personal preference thing, but a good number of people opt for all-over surgery to get rid of the excess skin. I spent some time shadowing a plastic surgeon a few years ago, and one of the men in her group worked almost exclusively with that kind of procedure.

Vitamins A and E should improve skin elasticity, though. A trip to a dermatologist or plastic surgeon might be able to give you good advice as far as those kind of options go.
posted by phunniemee at 1:42 AM on June 3, 2008

By "those kind of options" I mean non-invasive external or drug/nutrition-type solutions.
posted by phunniemee at 1:43 AM on June 3, 2008

[yeah, i've been hoping someone will have some fabulous non-surgical suggestion that doesn't involve clothes pins...]
posted by CitizenD at 1:47 AM on June 3, 2008

Back in the day when I used to read misc.fitness.weights on Usenet, this came up surprisingly often.

The consensus was that if anything helped, Vitamin E cream/oil did, but that it was largely a matter of luck - some old bastard who'd lost 200 lbs sprang back into shape while a spring chicken who'd lost 50 ended up with stretchmarks and a saggy tummy. I also saw a suggestion that gaining what muscle bulk you can will compensate. If your weight loss has all been through diet and aerobic exercise, try pumping iron.

Based on that reading, it sounds like your non-surgical options are massage, vitamin cream, resistance training and modest clothing.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:12 AM on June 3, 2008

I was never exceptionally obese, but have lost ~25 pounds since the first of the year through running, riding, and swimming. My butt bulge is now higher on my back; consequently, the crease of my butt to my leg was kinda saggy when the weight started to fall. Time has improved this.

Other times I've lost a lot of weight (similar to this time, but ostly with free weights), the lifting/bulk-up of excess muscle mass helped "redirect" the skin.
posted by notsnot at 3:08 AM on June 3, 2008

I have lost over 200 pounds and my upper thighs and my upper arms are where my extra flesh hang. I don't know of any non-surgical method for firming up that skin. Sorry.
posted by govtdrone at 4:32 AM on June 3, 2008

posted by flabdablet at 4:35 AM on June 3, 2008

What about Body Thermage? Not to Pepsi ... Green this, but that seems to be precisely what you're looking for.
posted by adipocere at 5:04 AM on June 3, 2008

I've read that a lot of what people call excess skin is actually excess body fat under the skin, which you can still get rid of by getting really toned. But surgery is probably a good idea. It isn't that expensive (depending on how rich you are, I guess)
posted by delmoi at 5:56 AM on June 3, 2008

I'm down 65lbs so far and seeing some skin starting to firm up with toning exercise (belly, breast area) and other bits stay loose (arms, thighs and ass). My hope is that my arm flaps stay flappy so I can start gliding from tree to tree.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:48 AM on June 3, 2008 [7 favorites]

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