dieting questions


Crazy Cat Lady
Hi all. I am in the process of losing about 70lbs. So far, I've lost about 23lbs. I'm already noticing loose skin on my lower abdomen and stretch marks on my breasts.

Are there any exercises one can do that will tighten up loose skin (I know I'm likely stuck with the stretch marks). I have a feeling I'm gonna have a flap of empty flab hanging off my belly once I get rid of the rest of the weight.

I don't want to contemplate plastic surgery, but I'm diabetic and prone to yeast infections. I can see getting infections under this loose skin in the fold. I'm already washing and powdering daily and being careful to keep that area clean and dry to prevent yeast.

This isn't about vanity. I'll never look good in a bikini. Hell, I looked awful in a bikini t my one-time fighting weight of 128lbs of solid muscle. I've got enough scars and stuff and am so sun-sensitive between my coloring and the medications I have to take, that it's tank-kinis or one-piece suits for me anyways.

This is more of a health concern to me.

Ick! I remember when things didn't sag all over the place. I swear I fell apart once I hit menopause.


Well-Known Member
I lost fifty pounds recently and have that loose skin. I work out hard at the gym five days a week. Unfortunately, the skin is still loose on my arms and stomach. I'm glad the weight is off, but I wish I did know how to tighten the skin. I can't see it being a health concern, however. The doctors seem pleased with my weight loss...they don't mention the skin.


Well-Known Member
As someone who had weight loss surgery I can tell you that there is no way to tighten that skin. You can work out and it will help some but nothing gets rid of it. Sorry

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Roll With It
NOTHING will work on that skin. Exercises simply won't fix it.

I completely sympathize over the health risks of the folds. In addition to powdering the area, there are some things that help with the infections and irritations in those areas. After showering, use a blow dryer on your body after you towel off. It makes sure things are very dry. Take a probiotic like acidophilus and be sure it has active cultures, usually this means you must store it in the fridge after opening. Or that a health food store will have it in the fridge. Some probiotic supplements work better than yogurt because they dissolve farther through the digestive tract rather than being exposed to the stomach acids. Or so I have been told and have experienced.

Monistat makes a chafe relief gel. It is very effective and will help prevent irritation by keeping the skin from rubbing until you are raw and sore. It is sold by the yeast infection creams. I have heard many people say that using antiperspirant in the folds is also a big help because it cuts down on moisture in the folds. I don't know if I would do that or if it would interfere in my body's ability to cool itself. When you are at home alone, esp if you currently have a yeast infection in an area, use a clean piece of cotton cloth, or a length of toilet paper, and put it between the skin in the irritated fold. It will prevent rubbing and absorb any moisture in the area.

If you do get a yeast infection, make sure your powder is NOT cornstarch. for times when you don't have a yeast infection, you can use cornstarch (it can be much cheaper than baby powder at least here). During a yeast infection, cornstarch makes it worse.

The OTC creams that you use once, or for 3 days only, are not effective on skin yeast infections. The seven day cream is better and far cheaper. Rubbing yogurt on your skin isn't very helpful at getting rid of the infection, I am sad to say.

If your skin tends to be very dry, you may want to consider oil cleansing for your whole body. You mix castor oil with other oils of your choice. Before you get wet, this is rubbed into skin for one minute and then you rinse it off in hot water. Then you dry your skin well. It doesn't strip your skin's natural oils and does not cause tiny tears in the skin that let in bacteria. The basic recipe is 25-33% castor oil and the rest any oil of your choice (olive, pumpkin seed, walnut, macadamia nut, grapeseed, sunflower seed etc. You can use almost any oil you like for this except mineral/baby oil. I only use food grade oils because the skin is the largest organ and absorbs so very much.

I hope some or all of these helps. Congrats on the weight loss!!!


Crazy Cat Lady
Susie, I do take probiotics. I don't remember the brand, but they require refrigeration. I also eat yoghurt and drink kefir, but that's because I love the stuff.

I've been thinking about oil cleansing as right now, my skin is so dry that I've got sores on my upper back and shoulders from scratching. It itches terribly and I haven't been able to find a cream/lotion to help this that I can tolerate.

I don't have psoriasis or anything like that, just very sensitive skin.

I had a feeling I was stuck with the loose skin, but figured I'd ask. Plastic surgery is out of the question for me.


Well-Known Member
Plastic surgery might be covered by your insurance though! I know those of us who have had weighloss surgery often require plastic surgery because of the medical issues the skin causes. What we have to do is go to the Dr and get care every time we get an infection or anytime there is an issue with the skin. If you have medical documentation that there is an issue that could be removed if you had plastic surgery the insurance will often pay for it.


Roll With It
Oil cleansing is completely amazing. I have zero idea why so many products for skin cleansing are sold, esp as they require the need for lotions etc... after. Oil cleansing solves most of the problems with one step. My only issue is getting the oil out of washcloths. Since I discovered what Sam's calls "shop towels' that are $16-$19 for 100 that are the size of washcloths but a loosely woven rather scratchy cloth that is amazing for exfoliation, I don't care. I use those and then wash them in really hot water with extra soap and an extra rinse and they take care of the problem of the 'nice' washcloths smelling like old oil. with the shop towels I can pitch them and buy new every other month or so and I don't mind.

Oil cleansing will really really help with the sensitive skin and the itching and sores. It also clears up acne unless you have an actual infection going on. It even really helped Jess's teenage acne. It also had almost done away with the yeast infections she gets on her skin. No one can tell us WHY she gets yeast infections on her skin, esp as it isn't in folds but usually is on her cheeks but she does. Or did before the oil cleansing.

Given sensitive skin, use as many food safe ingredients as you can. I don't know if castor oil is edible, but the other oils should be. Castor is just great for cleansing the skin if you use 25% to 33%. I eyeball the amts of oils because I don't have a need to be super precise. I do find that rosehip seed oil is great for antiaging and anti-inflammatory purposes. I use grapeseed oil for J's skin and a mix of grapeseed, rosehip seed and rice bran oil for my skin. If my skin is dry, I use straight rice bran oil on it during the day. It feels amazing, absorbs fast and isn't heavy or greasy feeling to me. It is also excellent for sensitive skin. I got a quart of rice bran oil at BigLots for $6. It is esp good for sensitive skin and baby skin because it not likely to be something that triggers allergies.

It doesn't take a lot of oil to cleanse, and in areas where yeast isn't a problem, you can use sugar to exfoliate. I do this with my face. I often have little bags of sugar from husband grabbing them if he gets coffee out somewhere, and one little packet is the perfect amt to exfoliate my face. For yeast prone areas, you can use salt, though I wouldn't. mostly because it irritates my skin. You can also use oatmeal. Just make a paste of it with the oil the way you would sugar or salt and rub it in.

I hope this helps. If you lived near me, I would mix some oil up for you to try. FYI, you can use grapeseed or rice bran oil on your hair either as a deep conditioner that you will wash out, or use a few drops in your palms rubbed into the ends of your hair to tame flyaways, condition, and make it shiny. My hair is down to my tushie now and I do this regularly. Garnier makes hair oil now for everyone's hair, and the sample I had felt greasy and slimy. I think that is partly the silicone in it though. I use my oils and they are amazing on my hair.


Roll With It
One thing to keep in mind: coconut oil is one of the harshest oils on your skin. It may feel good in the beginning, but it is more harsh than many other oils and it can create problems with sensitive skin and skin allergy issues. It is often used in soaps because it creates a soap that lathers really well, but it also is very hard on the skin.


Crazy Cat Lady
I wear my hair very short, but it too is dry. Right now my scalp is doing mostly OK with a tea-tree and peppermint shampoo and conditioner.

I only get yeast in the "usual" places luckily.

I knew that about coconut oil as I used to be a groomer and discovered that many of the shampoos wrecked my skin.


Roll With It
Bertmery, you may want to start out just trying to add a little bit of exercise here and there rather than doing an actual formal 'workout' either in a gym or at home. Back when husband worked in a big office building, he started by parking at the back of the parking lot. Then after a week or so, he got off the elevator 1-2 floors below his floor and walked up the stairs. I had started this by giving up my paid parking space and parking at a free lot about a mile away from my office. We each would park at the back of the grocery store lot rather than up front by the store. It was surprising the difference small things like that made.

Recently my dad had open heart surgery. All my life he said he was allergic to exercise. He was in BAD shape. He started walking around his house. He then figured that a certain number of laps around the house was a mile. Over about two months he got up to walking those laps in the morning and in the evening. His phys therapist at rehab was having him do ten min on a very slow speed on the treadmill and my dad was annoyed because it was not a challenge. He now walks several miles a day and goes to a gym 4-6 days a week. It has made an amazing difference in just six short months.

I have seen starting with those small changes, a lap around a building or parking in the back of a lot or going up or down the stairs instead of using the elevator make a huge difference in a very short time. I don't go up stairs because it kills my knees but I do go down them. Even just going down them makes a difference.

Try getting a pedometer and wearing it for a week without doing anything different. Average the number of steps per day to get a baseline. Then try to add a few hundred steps a day for a week, and gradually increase that number. Things like this have a far more lasting impact on your health than going to a gym for a month or two for official 'workouts' that eventually you will stop doing (because statistics on gym use/membership show that after a few months MOST people stop going because it is hard to fit this into their lives). My dad may keep this up at this rate, but that is largely because he is unemployed and has little to do and this gets him out of my mother's hair, which is a VERY good thing, lol.

Just a few thoughts to help with the exercise goal.


Crazy Cat Lady
Exercise is just coming into the picture, unfortunately. Right after I started the diabetic diet and weight loss venture, I tripped on the stairs and broke my fibula. That had me hobbling around in a boot with a cane, and under orders to stay off that leg for as much as possible.

It's just now healed to the point where I can consider starting to walk again. I still have to be careful of swelling in the leg and ankle and put it up and ice it when it does.

I've started with walking instead ofusing a scooter when I go to the local department store. I can't yet walk our Super WalMart as it is huge and poorly laid out.

Plus, I had a rare (as usual) reaction to Trileptal and have to go on Topomax, which is the only mood stabilizer other than lithium I haven't tried.

We're hoping the Topomax works for mood stabilization and with the migraines. My medical team are leery of lithium, despite it likely being the best medication MH wise for me, because I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and Lithium can damage my thyroid further.

If the Topomax doesn't do the trick, I'll have to go on lithium, I guess. I need a mood stabilizer in order to function, which I haven't been doing all that well of late.

I'm going slightly bonkers with the leg as well. One of my coping mechanisms is to drive out to one of the local state/county parks and walk the snowmobile trails. It helps with the moods and also helps the fibro and arthritis. Right now, I can't go for my walks, so I'm climbing the walls.

On the bright side, I saw my psychiatrist today and not only was my blood pressure normal, but I've lost another 6lbs.

My goal is to be below 200 by the end of summer. That will get me into some clothing I "grew" out of and kept, I'm shooting for 165 as my goal weight. That's still heavy according to the charts, but it'll get me into Ladies' clothes and out of the plus sizes. It may also be enough loss to get me off the damned diabetes and blood pressure medications, which I'm hoping for as I don't like the side-effects at all.

I was put on propranolol for the migraines. It'shelped a little, but it's a beta blocker so is doing good things for my blood pressure. I plan on staying on it.

Another reason I hate the idea of going on lithium is that it causes weight gain. Topamax at least is not only considered to be weight neutral, but in some cases helps with weight loss as well.

The weight I'm carrying is from when I was on Zyprexa and then Seroquel. Had to go off of them because of dystonia and akithesia. Those went away once I went off the medications, but the weight hung around.

I'm not vain. I never had any grandiose ideas about my looks, but this whle thing is very unhealthy and it's wrecking my weight-bearing joints.

Once I move back down south to the WI/IL state line I plan on finding a Y and signing up for some water classes. The exercise should help at least tone up what's under the flab even if I'm stuck with the flab.

I'm noticing jiggly bits on my upper arms now, and my jowls and double chin are sagging some. It's depressing, LOL!

It's a helluva lot harder to lose weight when you throw in menopause and a fried thyroid.


Active Member
GoingNorth- Im just trying ..again.. to start a diet. Went off already and its only 7am :( I know exercise helps, but as the others said, I don't know about the loose skin. I will also have that problem. I also dont want plastic surgery to correct the skin ( not like I have money once I lose weight anyways). Im 100 pounds over weight to be honest. I wish you the best and you, Midwest and the others here, hearing you all losing weight, maybe I can too!

Thyroid issues Im sorry, my sis has it so I understand to a point. I heard of exercises for the chin and neck , Im going to research all this! Great ideas everyone, tips Ill use too! Hang in there GoingNorth, Im behind you :) Hugs


Well-Known Member
Topamax also helps with migraines. I seem to remember having an unusual side effect to it but I can't remember what it was. I do think it was the drug that made all things carbonated taste weird. All my Diet Coke tasted like it was flat. I didn't stop taking it for that reason though. Something else happened but I can't remember what at this point.

Good luck on the weight loss.

The tricks I learned when I had the weight loss surgery were to keep certain things around all the time. Sugar free popsicles are cheap, low cal, can be busted up into a slushy, and are tasty. Sugar free fudgesicles are the same. Cheese sticks and cubes. Peanut butter and english muffins or thin bagles. You would be amazed how good peanut butter tastes when you spread it on a hot english muffin. You can use those same thin bagles to make a roast beef and cream cheese sandwich which is delicious especially if you get the green onion cream cheese. My go to breakfast is Dannon Greek Light and Fit yogurt cups with Nature Valley Oats and Honey protein granola breakfast cereal. The yogurt is low cal and high protein. The cereal tastes just like regular granola but has the protein I have to have.

Since you are wanting to lose weight and keep your blood sugar in line make sure the carbs are low. The funny thing is that when you start looking at it low fat and low cal stuff often have the carbs increased or have carbs just as high as the regular stuff. Cream cheese was one of those things if I remember right. I hated the low fat low cal cream cheese but the regular stuff wasn't actually a huge difference.