How to Deal with Loose Skin After Extreme Weight Loss

20160211_Loose-SkinToday I want to have a real discussion. One of the things that I hear a lot of people worry about when they know they have half their body weight to lose is loose skin.

If you look through my Facebook page, you’ll see pictures I’ve posted of my loose skin. I’m not sharing this so you’ll think I’m brave. I’m sharing this because I’ve actually found body acceptance and body love. It’s taken me a while to do that, but I’ve gotten there. Even more, I’m sharing this because I want to help you get mentally psyched up for the whole process and to have some honest information.

The first thing I want to clarify is that I’ve never had a tummy tuck and I’ve never had any augmentation. The only thing that I’ve ever had done was in 2012 when I had a double hernia operation, they removed the pannus that hung down because it wouldn’t have healed properly otherwise. But aside from that, I’ve had nothing done.

I’ve shown pictures of the loose skin that I have through my stomach, and I do have it even through my trunk. I also have it on my arms. I went from 313 pounds to where I am today, which is 155. I have minimal loose skin compared to how much weight I had to lose. It didn’t happen by accident; it happened because I was really diligent about weight lifting.

Here’s the hard thing about weight lifting: You’re going to be in there pumping it, you’re going to be doing a lot, but if you have a lot of excess body fat, you won’t see the muscle. It can be discouraging. I had to know, I had to believe it was growing underneath, and it was. The more fat I lost, the more visible the muscle became. The good thing about the muscle is it fills up the loose skin.

A lot of people end up with a lot of loose skin, especially through their torso, their upper body, their arms, and they get concerned about that. I have some on my lower body, as well. If you lift weights, you can minimize the amount of loose skin you have.

It’s a slow process. You have to stick with it. If you love running and doing cardio, I’m not discouraging you from doing that. I’m just saying, if you know you have a lot of weight to lose and you’re concerned about the loose skin, maybe implement some type of resistance and weight training into your program.

For  women, the game changer is that you have to consistently increase the weight. If you stay at the really light weights the entire time, you won’t get the results. You have to put the muscle under strain in order to get it to change. There are so many benefits to weight training, not just the physical. You get an extra metabolic advantage with muscle tissue, and overall it will help you with burning fat. There’s a lot of good that comes with it.

I just want to come to you today, as a friend again, and let you know if concerns about loose skin and how you’ll look are cycling around in your head, first off, you can work on body acceptance and body love once you hit maintenance; that’s one of the things that I’ve had to really focus on. The other thing is to be proactive and to be eating well, of course.

And if you are doing any type of exercise, try to prioritize some strength training. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy; I’m talking about a basic StrongLifts 5×5 program or Body Pump. It can be anything where you’re hitting the major muscle groups a couple of times a week, and it can make a huge difference.

I hope this helped you today if you were struggling with the loose skin idea. You can fill it with muscle and it will look completely different. Kudos to you for being on your journey, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Posted in Blog

209 – Half Size Me: 7 Tips for Sticking With Your Calorie Deficit

ACH03In this session of Ask Coach Heather, Heather gives you her 7 tips for sticking with your calorie deficit.

Plus, she answers a listener’s question about the difference between “net calories” and “normal calories”.

To support The Half Size Me™ Show, go here:
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Posted in Ask Coach Heather Sessions, Podcast

Do You Punish Yourself with Exercise?

20160204_Exercise-RantSo, this is my exercise rant. I just finished my long walk. I tend to go on long walks on the days I don’t go to the gym. I want to talk to you today about exercise.

One of the community members shared today that she was doing a boot-camp-style class and she was hating looking at herself in the mirror. She was in pain, and she just wants to get this weight off. I’m going to ask you, please don’t do that. I have a coaching client who asked me after being sedentary for a while, “Should I go back to my boot camp class?” My answer was, “No. Let’s condition you to get you back to where you can do your boot camp class.”

I hate burpees; I’m not doing burpees. I don’t enjoy them. I don’t do them for pleasure. I do weight training and I walk. When I started my weight-loss journey, I was walking. That’s what I was doing at 280 pounds; I was walking.

I quickly realized that when I went to the gym, I wasn’t doing high-intensity stuff because it hurt my back and my knees so badly. You have to ask yourself this question: Is this something I can sustain? Is this something I’m going to be able to put my body through, week in and week out, to get to my goals?

I wrote a blog post called “If you can lift a fork, you can lose weight.” So many people, including me, have always believed that we have to exercise in an intense way to lose weight. Really, if you have your food under control, the exercise is great if you can do it; it has many health benefits. But if you make food your focus, you can get results.

I’m just coming to you as a friend. I don’t want to see you abusing your body. I don’t want to see you going at this from a place of self loathing. I’m a realist. I know that in a couple of months, if you’ve been torturing yourself, you’re not going to want to stick with it. I was at the gym the other day and I saw one of those boot camp classes going on.

I saw a bunch of people I’ve never seen before, many of them at least 50 pounds overweight, doing burpees and crazy things because the trainer was telling them to. I kept thinking, all they have to do is go for a walk. That’s all they have to do — go for a walk. Get outside, put in 20 minutes this week, maybe bump it up to 30 minutes next week. Build.

If you go directly from sitting on the couch to doing these high-intensity workouts, there is no conditioning time for you. I care about you. I want you in this for the long haul. I want you to lose the weight and keep it off. I realize that being injured or in so much pain you don’t want to do this anymore is not the way to do that.

My exercise rant for today is to walk away from things that make you feel bad about yourself. Walk away from the torture exercises. Focus on something that feels as good as it can for you right now. Know that you have your whole life ahead of you to take on boot camp classes and do burpees if you really want to, and be kind to yourself, first and foremost. You didn’t put this weight on overnight; it’s not going to come off overnight. And you’re sure not going to beat it off with burpees. It’s going to take time.

Please, please, please, take care of yourself.

Posted in Blog

208 – Why Getting Stronger Is The Only Way To Change Your Body With Lou Schuler

Lou Schuler - Half Size Me Ep. 208In this episode of The Half Size Me™ Show, Heather talks to best-selling author Lou Schuler about
— what would happen if women stopped worrying about losing the last 10 pounds
— why getting stronger is the only way to change your body
— why you must focus on maintaining your weight over your life
— and much more!

Read more ›

Posted in Podcast

207 – Half Size Me: How You Can Find Peace With The Process With Holly

Holly Ep. 207In this episode of The Half Size Me™ Show, Heather talks to Holly about
— how she focused on her binge eating to get control and lose weight


— why she started eating more and found peace with the process


— how she learned to let go of external situations to gain control over her eating

— and much more!

Read more ›

Posted in Podcast

206 – Half Size Me: Why Age Is Not A Factor When You’re Getting Healthy With Diane

Over Weight PhotosIn this episode of The Half Size Me™ Show, Heather talks to Diane about
  • why weight loss after menopause is possible
  • how to not listen to those who say you can’t do it
  • why age is not a factor when getting healthy
  • and much more!

Read more ›

Posted in Podcast

205 – Half Size Me: Ask Coach Heather Session 02

ACH02Need some help with how to not clean your plate, dealing with compliments about your weight loss, or a spouse that is not on board with your weight loss journey?

Then listen to this week’s show for a special Ask Coach Heather edition!
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Posted in Ask Coach Heather Sessions, Podcast

10 Things I’ve Learned Maintaining My Weight Loss for Four Years

4 year goalI have certain days I will cherish forever.

Days like my boys’ birthdays, my wedding anniversary, and my Second Life Anniversary, also known as the day I hit my goal weight. That day is today, January 7, 2016.

I started losing weight after I had my first son in 2006. I went from 313 pounds and reached my goal weight of 150 pounds on January 7th 2012. I’ve learned so much since losing the weight. And now I’ve done the statistically “impossible”.

I’ve kept the weight off.

I chose not to be a statistic. And I wanted to share with you what I’ve learned over the years to help you not become one either. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Weight Loss Inspiration, Weight Loss Journey, Weight Loss Tips

204 – Half Size Me: How to Approach Weight Loss To Get Results with Bestselling Author Alan Aragon

alan aragon mugIn this episode of The Half Size Me™ Show, Heather talks to Alan about
  • why maintenance breaks are important and how to look at platues differently
  • how weight loss comes down to one important factor
  • how to approach weight loss to get results without micromanaging your numbers
  • and much more!

Read more ›

Posted in Ask Coach Heather Sessions, Podcast

Heather’s POV: Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale and Other Tools You Can Use in Your Weight Loss Journey

shutterstock_207758425My Point of View 

I was coaching one of my weight loss clients today, and she said she really liked the sound of the new Weight Watchers program Beyond the Scale. She asked me what my thoughts were on the new program and if I supported her using it.

Without reading even one piece of Weight Watchers literature on the new program, I could have gambled my entire year’s earnings that there would be three concrete truths about the program. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Weight Loss Inspiration, Weight Loss Journey, Weight Loss Tips
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