I did not understand what loose skin was as a kid. There was no internet or forums for weight loss. I just had a paperback book with calorie information, Susan Powter infomercials, and a Mom that was willing to help me in any way.
Most 14-year-old kids are not worried about their weight. I was. I was 220 pounds and wanted to be skinny. I put myself on a 900 calorie a day diet and lost 75 pounds. I did it over the summer and came back looking different.
Although I got tons of compliments, I still felt fat. Pants never fit me well. No matter the size, my skin would hang out. I would try the old “I will not tuck in my shirt” and it would look like a tire was around my waist. I had skin hang from my arms. I could not understand why.
Then I gained back the weight and lost it again. I did this over and over again. It was years later that I realized I had loose skin and I would probably never get rid of it. I realized what the term “muffin top” meant and knew I was a “muffin top.”
When I was 420 pounds I had no loose skin. None at all. My skin was tight as can be. My wife never cared about my weight as much as my health. Being so overweight put me in a bad mood a lot of the time.
Because of my weight, I sold myself short a lot. I did not ask for more money at work. I did not push myself for a promotion at the restaurant although I deserved it. This would make my wife so angry. She would tell me how much talent I had, but it was wasted. She was right. I just did things to get by each day.
Before I started this final journey (Or whatever you would like to call it), I asked my doctor about loose skin. It sounds silly for a 420 pound guy to be worried about loose skin. Yet, I had to lose over 200 pounds. I did not want gobs and gobs of skin all over. My doctor told me to lose weight first and then he would talk to me about it.
I talk about the last four years of weight loss, but what I rarely talk about is the person I found. More than eating right and working out, I found someone that my wife has always seen. I probably would have never blogged if I did not lose weight. I would not have pushed myself at work if I did not lose weight. I would not have learned to love myself.
Because I did not realize how strong of a person I am. I realized that I do not have to have people walk all over me. I learned that I have talent.
Sometimes I wonder about the future. I have a huge love for Anytime Fitness. Maybe I will buy a franchise? Maybe I will become a personal trainer? Maybe I will become a writer full time.
The beauty is now there are a lot of maybes.
Weight loss is funny. Once you think you have it, you get lost. Once you are proud of yourself, you wake up the next day disappointed. Once you inspire someone, you wonder if you can inspire yourself.
So after losing the weight I went to my doctor. He was shocked I lost the weight. Most people who know me were. He told me there were types of surgery or different workouts to help with the loose skin.
I have loose skin around my waist and a little on my arms. Sometimes I look like there is a tire around my waist. I have “muffin top” days.
I always will. It is not gobs and gobs of skin and there is a ton of muscle there.
Because my goal is not to get rid of the skin. My goal is to make sure it never gets tight again.
Tony Posnanski is a renowned blogger, a chef, and an Anytime Fitness member. He writes about weight loss, fitness, motivation and more on his blog The Anti Jared.