Body image .. and how I feel about mine


Gold Member
S: 18st11lb C: 12st4lb G: 11st7lb BMI: 27.8 Loss: 6st7lb(34.6%)
As a moderator of this forum I monitor it regularly, but rarely post on it or start new threads as I tend to post my daily ramblings on my diary thread - but I thought that seeing as I'm pretty much at the end of my weightloss journey that I'd express some of how I feel on here about my 'new' body and how it's changed in just over 9 months since I first began on a VLCD back in February.

For the record, I began CD weighing 18 st 9 lbs (BMI 42) and was a size 24, bordering on a size 26. Today I'm 10 st 7 lbs (BMI 23.7) and a size 12, bordering on a size 10 - which is actually quite a bit smaller than I expected to be at this weight as I always imagined myself being no less than a size 14 even at BMI 25.

So how do I feel about the way I look now I've achieved the 'holy grail' of becoming slim? What I'm about to say may surprise some people, but it's the honest truth just the same and I write it with complete candour and objectivity: The fact is that I love my shape now, but hate the way my body looks.

When I'm dressed, I'm more than happy with the way I look. I can wear (pretty much) anything and know that I look good in it - but undressed is another story.

I've lost 10" from my bust, 10" from my waist, a whopping 20" from my hips, 10" from each thigh and 6.5" from my upper arms - and unfortunately, with those sorts of losses, the skin doesn't just disappear as the weight does.

This morning I looked at my naked body as dispassionately as I could and saw the body of a much older woman staring back at me. My thighs are very wrinkled, as are my upper arms, my tummy has the obvious signs of having been stretched and reduced and my boobs (while still a reasonable shape) are definitely more droopy than they used to be.

In many ways, I felt sexier and more sexually desirable when I was heavy - my skin was smooth and wrinkle-free and I had womanly curves, albeit ones which curved out FAR too much for my liking and, it has to be said, my health too. Because of the way I feel about my body at the moment, I wouldn't want to go on holiday to anywhere I'd need to wear a swimming costume, bikini or shorts because I'd feel far too self-conscious to wear them as I know my bare legs, arms and tummy don't look at all attractive - much like those women who were on the 10 Years Younger, Bikini Special programmes.

I've even thought about whether I could apply to a makeover programme, but I've decided that I really wouldn't want that kind of exposure - if you'll pardon the pun! To me, this is a private matter which I really wouldn't want broadcast so publicly - even if it would be nice to have someone else pay for the procedures as they're so damned expensive.

After discussing this with DH this morning, we've agreed that I should enquire about surgery - first of all on my thighs which we both agree are the most needy part, then my arms, tummy and finally (if I think it's necessary) a boob uplift. We realise the costs involved are high, but thankfully we have the potential financial resources to cover it longer-term even if we do have to take out a loan in the short-term.

How do I feel about this? In a word: terrified! I hate the thought of having surgery of any kind, but I truly think that my weightloss journey is only half way complete at the moment and I won't have reached the 'finish line' until I have the body I always imagined I would have when I weighed 10 1/2 stone.

So .. was it all worth it? Absolutely YES! I wouldn't want to go back to being nearly 19 stone again for anything. I can sit anywhere I want (even though one of the unexpected side-effects of having a bonier bum is that you can't sit for too long without having to shift position as it gets rather uncomfortable :rolleyes: ), I can shop anywhere I want, moving a 10 1/2 frame is far easier than shifting one weighing close to 19 stone, the compliments I now get are lovely to receive - oh, and a bottle of body moisturiser last an awful lot longer :) .

I certainly wouldn't want to put anyone off pursuing their own weightloss goals as the rewards really do outweigh the negatives. It's still a goal worth pursuing and is not only body changing but life-changing too.

Good luck to all on whatever diet you're following. I think I'll now go and acquaint myself with those on the Plastic Surgery after Weightloss forum :)

Lots of love
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Moderator/CD Counsellor
I just wanted to say that I identify 100% with what you have said hun, your post reflects exacltly how I feel at the mo.. I even think the prospect of being more wrinkly is Sabotaging my ability to get to goal..:eek::eek: I'm scared of looking worse and of facing up to the prospect of surgery!!!!:eek::eek:.... I'm in a low place at the moment, and struggling quite badly, but I'm sure I'll be joining you on the "surgery" thread some time in the not to distant future.....:eek:

Thank you for making me feel not so alone:)

much love as always xxxxxxx:D:):D


Gold Member
I'm following you around today Summer! Meet your new stalker!

This rang a lot of bells with me, cos it is how I felt when I had finished the first part of my journey. I know I haven't lost as much as you, but the feelings were the same. I looked at my body (boobs and bum in particular), and just didn't recognise it - it looked like one of someone much much older. BUT, I have been eating since April, am only 16 lbs over target (and am working on this!), and my skin looks tonnes tonnes better (and i don't think this is because i am that little bit plumper). It really does adapt over time - what encouraged me was a woman in her group, who had been to a meeting with fellow VLCDs, where a plastic surgeon was there and said something along the lines of 'please wait a year. I assure you the skin will be a lot better. If any of you are still unhappy, I would be prepared to do the surgery for free'.

Anyway, feel free to ignore my ramblings, just sharing!


Gold Member
Thank you for posting this, its something I spent ages using as a reason not to slim :blush:
I even got my cdc to show me her tummy LOL
I'm terrified at the thought of surgery, will be really interested to hear how things go :)

Kitty xxx


Gone fishing
I could have written a lot of that myself :D

Actually, on a side note, I've just noticed that we started and ended on a similar weight. I started 18.7 and ended at 10.7

I'm a size 14/16 though :(, but only 2lbs difference. Never noticed that before :)


Got a life thank you!
I can completely empathise with you too. I am still a stone over my regular BMI but at a size 12 bottoms and 14/16 top I am really happy with where I am in terms of clothes.

I know I look decent when dressed and don't really have the desire to go much further than this although an extra half stone off would give me a half stone buffer which is where I will probably aim to be after Xmas.

Undressed I look dreadful but the only person that sees me undressed is my husband and he has seen me a lot bigger and wobbly than this.

The bit that upsets me is my neck - it looks like a chicken neck bleugh!

I have very mixed feelings about surgery - in a lot of ways I see the loose skin as my war wounds and a reminder that I don't want to go back there.

Also I have real problems right now recognising myself as slim - in my minds eye and in the mirror I see myself fatter now than I was before I lost the weigh so I am giving myself time for the brain to catch up because I honestly don't believe what I am seeing right now.

I will continue to watch your posts on this subject as it is very interesting.


Thin People Only
I was so glad to come across this post as it has been a fear of mine from the start. So much so that I have started to exercise whilst doing the diet...even though i lose less when I do exercise. Its all in a bid to prevent lose skin.

Does water not make a difference? Surely it makes the skin more elastic?
Does toning exercises make any difference?
does age make a difference?
Do the creams make a difference?
I suppose we will never have the answers!!!! Because it will vary from person to person. All I know is that I have always been big (since a child) and from around 14 yrs old my weight shot up leaving me covered in a lot of stretch marks (I have only just turned 25!!!!!!) These marks are even more visible with the loss of weight.
Scary eh?

I dont think any surgery will rid me of these! Plus seeing them worries me even more as it shows that my skin has lost its elasciticity!!!! So I better just face the fact of lose skin!

I liked the comment about waiting a year. How true is this? I suppose we can only verify this with those who have maintained for a year.

But sympathise with those in distress. Cant CD professionals start looking into this???????????
come up with a special CD cream! hahahahahahahahahahahha


Back on the wagon :-)
I can see this is going to be me too if I ever get to goal.

My inner thighs are starting to look very wrinkly but there is a lot less acre-age to do when I shave my legs.

I guess it depends on how old you are too - I'm 46 so my bikini days are over anyway.

Surgery is an extreme measure but only on par with stomach reduction for weight loss I guess. Good luck with what you decide Sharon.


Silver Member
I know and my husband has already agreed to support me. Because when I have lost the next 9 stone I need to loose I will deffo need a tummy tuck (for starters) and God knows what else. I get angry thinking about it because I let myself get into this state in the first place.

Anyway - best of luck and you know that we are all here to support you.




Back on the wagon :-)
Sorry I meant to say that plastic surgery is extreme but I do think it works well where it is done to address a specific issue.

So if you have a load of loose skin of course having it removed is going to give an excellent result.

Good luck both.

And jeez when I look at that wrinkly skin on the inside top of my thighs already, well maybe I'll be doing the same lol


Gold Member
Hi Summer, As you know I am ill so havent been on too much but on a quick fly in I saw this thread, and I am glad I did, I think you have voiced many fears and concerns that we all have yet put them into perspective.

Well done on your journey, I look to you for inspiration, and I am looking forward to your thoughts x


Cambridge Diet Counsellor
Great thread and the kind of discussion that I think is really worthwhile as dieters and maintainers. So many times you just hear or read about the weight loss but not how it actually affects your self image ....thank you Sharon! :)


Gold Member
S: 18st11lb C: 12st4lb G: 11st7lb BMI: 27.8 Loss: 6st7lb(34.6%)
Thanks everyone for your comments! I did think long and hard about posting it - and have to confess I rehearsed it in my mind for ages before I started to write as I wanted it to come across honestly and accurately.

I do agree that surgery is an extreme measure, and I'd obviously prefer not to have to even consider it, but also know that at my age (50 next month) it's unlikely I have any alternative if I want to rid myself of the wrinkly bits :eek:

I'm going to look into having a consultation at a nearby private hospital this week (my CDC has had procedures done there and has highly recommended her surgeon) and will keep you informed how I get on :)


Water water everywhere
Thanks everyone for your comments! I did think long and hard about posting it - and have to confess I rehearsed it in my mind for ages before I started to write as I wanted it to come across honestly and accurately.

I do agree that surgery is an extreme measure, and I'd obviously prefer not to have to even consider it, but also know that at my age (50 next month) it's unlikely I have any alternative if I want to rid myself of the wrinkly bits :eek:

I'm going to look into having a consultation at a nearby private hospital this week (my CDC has had procedures done there and has highly recommended her surgeon) and will keep you informed how I get on :)

I thought you post was really honest and thought provoking. I know I'm going to have horrific skin after I've lost the next 6 stone, it already seems loose and it makes me feel odd. I've told my hubby that I am going to have surgery when I've finished to pull myself into shape - after all the hard work of losing weigh I want a body that I feel proud of :)

Look forward to hearing what the surgeon says :)


Gold Member
Ah now - this has pushed some buttons with me too!

At 12 stone, I have no wrinkles on my arms, boobs or thighs - like I did at 10stone 4!!!

I quite like the way my body looks now to be totally honest - I just don't like being bigger cos I liked being skinny!!

Maybe this is what is sabotaging my attempts to get back down to my lowest weight??????

Hmmmm - something to have a little think about!


Back on the wagon :-)
I guess a lot of us have thought about this post overnight.

Perhaps you need to have this done to complete the job you set out to do on yourself.

We only have one life to lead and so we might as well do it as the person we want to be.

Surgery ... well it is scary and expensive, but you can stand that then it can only be a great thing. And maybe you just have to grasp the nettle and do it.

Good luck.


Silver Member
Every so often somebody submits a post which stops me flicking from thread to thread and makes me give it some, well, quiet thought. Your post was one of those Sharon.

I completely echo what others have said about it being honest and most certainly thought provoking.

We all, regardless of sex, want to look and feel the best we can. Although I was oblivious to the potential saggy skin issue when I started my journey, it wasn't long before I fell on to a thread on the other site (Minimins didn't exist then) and it really bothered me. I remember thinking that now I am finally tackling my weight issue, I might end up with saggy skin and it is not bloody fair!

I was lucky in some respects because I never had an end goal in terms of weight, it was all about how I felt, looked and the ability to buy and wear any clothes I chose to.

I lost eight stone and am maintaining fairly well. I have had and do have my moments, but do manage to control things in a fashion I am comfortable with. I have however found that my skin improved much more than I could have hoped it would, particularly in the inner thigh area, which are now pretty much normal. My stomach is another story ;) . I do think of it as pretty much a lost cause. I think of it as a balloon which has been deflated after 40 years of self abuse. That said, I like my stomach and don't think twice about if swimming or at the beach.

I think overall, I am saying two things. For me, the skin has improved over the last 4 months and if it is don't improve anymore, I am happy anyway. Secondly, again for me, I can be self critical now, where as I wasn't before (what is that about). If I start thinking in that way, I really need to drag myself back to less than a year and force myself to remember what life was like then and what it is like now.

Like somebody else has said on here, I do kick myself for ever getting to that state in the first place. But, it is all about looking forward, never back.

We are in a club where only people who have gone through or are undertaking the transformation in our lives can understand the things we have issues with.

Bless you Sharon for kicking this subject off.


Gold Member
Hi Sharon, I think if it will make you happy you should go for it....I am terrified of wat I will look like when I have lost every ounce I want to lose, but I think its a small price to pay....if finances permitted, I would definately consider surgery to finish off my journey, but unfortunately I know I wont be in a position to do that...

In a strange way, maybe reaching our goal weights will not be enough for us until we have the bodies we envisaged at the beginning...I know from when I was pregnant that my skin isnt very elastic and although I am 25, I cannot see anything snapping into place the way I want it to be.

If you want to do it, and your other half is in agreement and you have the means to make it happen, then you should go for it