let’s firm it up!

29 Apr

I can see that I’m getting lots of hits from people who are looking for information about losing weight and loose skin.  As you know it’s something very close to my heart!

As well as eating well and doing a lot of strength exercise I embarked on something else this week to see what effect it might have – thanks to Champneys day spa in Bath for a great experience!

I spent an hour and a half having ‘Bikini Bootcamp’ – now firstly my objective isn’t to wear a bikini this summer but rather to have more body confidence when certain bits of me come out for the summer and also to feel better naked!

The product is Mama Mio, popular with the american market and especially targeted at new mums for obvious reasons, it’s a multi stage process using essential oils, lots of exfoliation to detoxify and stimulate, improving skin tone and firming everything (hopefully!)  I have to say it presented some of the weirdest sensations I’ve ever experienced, one stage like having hundreds of tiny pinpricks and the stage of being wrapped in  polythene whist my seaweed wrap set was peculiar to say the least – on the whole though I could feel my nerve endings reacting for hours afterwards and it was good fun!

My skin does feel great especially my upper arms, we’re concentrating efforts on the bits that need the most work, that’s the great thing about this treatment, it is flexible, you can either have the whole body treatment or shorter amounts of time on specific areas. We’ve adapted mine to concentrate on my inner thighs which are quite damaged. It was good to have some professional feedback too on what my body looks like and what can be achieved. It was also good to hear that some areas are in quite good shape, the backs of my legs are good, there isn’t as much cellulite as I’d feared, my torso is also springing back quite well and my boobs aren’t any more saggy that other women my age!

My skin layers in some areas are damaged, there is only so much that can be achieved however we can improve the appearance and importantly my confidence.  That is the reality of stretching your skin for an extended amount of time and then losing the weight.  It’s not like being pregnant, that’s relatively short amount of time and the elastin in your skin will retract back to an extent, however stretch marks are another story – time is though a great ‘healer’!

My therapist has seen a whole host of women’s bodies, her experience is that everyone is very different, some with just ‘pop’ back, other won’t.  However obesity is a prolonged attack on your skin and recovery will be slow and require effort and present limitations. I’ve now gone from a size 24 to a size 12, that doesn’t happen without some effect however you can help things along.

The main things to remember are:

1. The faster you shrink the more work your skin has to do, lose it in a slow, sustained way, this will allow not only your skin but your muscles and organs to adapt.  You also stand a far better chance of keeping it off long term, I always think now of the process as being one for life now, I have no intention of doing all this again!

2. The bigger you become and the longer you stay there, the more potential damage to your skin in the long term, there are no miracle cures, even though surgery will reduce the loose skin,  it will leave you with scarring, that isn’t as easy to live with on the bits that are out more – like upper arms or legs. So the moral is to do something about your weight sooner than later, I always tell women in their 20s that it’s easier in so many ways for them to do something about their weight and to not then have to deal with some of the things years of obesity lead to.

3. Exercise and eat well – exercise does help, you need to lose body fat and build muscle to fill the space left, that way everything looks firmer, even if the skin doesn’t actually shrink back. My arms are certainly beginning to do this!  It doesn’t happen overnight though, it does take work and some professional advice on the best exercise to do, I’ve had totally change my exercise programme and to keep at it, I’m hopeful it is now paying dividends.

4. EVERYONE IS UNIQUE!  I hear all the time about women who shrink back, have no stretch marks etc etc etc, that’s great but not everyone will have the same experience.  However the advantages of being smaller far outweigh being big. Don’t be so hard on yourself, don’t set your goals as being someone elses, celebrate what you do achieve and don’t over focus on what may not be humanly possible. Don’t look at celebrities or women in the gym and think I want a body like that and I won’t be happy until I do, you may get someway there (and yes some people are very lucky in being able to do it) but the vast majority won’t, but what is wrong with that, if you get fit, healthy, happy and love your body what more could you possibly want!

5. Treat yourself to some treatments, it won’t necessarily perform a miracle but you will come away feeling great and loving your body. This is vital, I do love my new body, with its lumps, bumps and memories of where it’s come from, it deserves some pampering and some things do help!

6. And finally the aging process. There are a lot of ladies who use my gym of more advanced years, it’s interesting to see how their bodies have stood up to the passing years, one lady is in her late 60s, she’s been swimming almost ever day of her life, he skin though is now very sagging and she tells me it’s been like that for some years. It really does come down to genetics and how your very unique body ages. It could well have been that my body today wouldn’t look that different had I not had the obesity years, looking at the other women in my family, our body shapes are similar, especially our hips, so to think that I can substantially reduce this area may just not be possible!  What is important is that I give my body the best chance, to eat well, exercise and remain healthy!

I’m now methodically rubbing in lots of firming treatment stuff into my skin, I’m giving it my best shot on all fronts now – let’s see what happens!


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