Whether from pregnancy or weight loss, l know how hard it can be to live with loose skin. After carrying two children I have been left with both stretchmarks and a wrinkled tummy.
I have the kind of tummy that looks pretty okay when I’m stood up straight, pretty great when I stretch up and lean back and that looks pretty gross when I bend over. When I lean forward and look at my stomach I see the face of an eighty year old woman looking right back at me. This was especially true in the early days after my weightloss, so much so I affectionately named her Vera – #HiVera.
As much as we’ve grown used to each other Vera and I, as a 35 year old woman who still feels very much in her prime, I actively tried to find alternative housing for Vera. It’s not that I’m ashamed of her or that I couldn’t live with her if I had to, but I do wish she wouldn’t just ‘hang out’ without warning when I’m bending down for the baby, or even worse ‘hang OVER’ when I’m unaware my trousers have ridden down a little. (I won’t even get into what she does when I’m having a romantic evening with James; you know the kind that happens in the privacy of your own bedroom. Let’s just say it’s not romantic, its like living with your Nan and due to her tendency to make a wrinkly appearance at the most inopportune moments, I can get a little particular about lighting, touching and how shall we say… “Positioning”).
However, I’m happy to say that over the course of my weightloss and commitment to fitness, I’ve found some basic but well known principles, that definitely helped tighten up my tummy and stopped Vera wanting to hang out quite so much.
Here are three things I do to improve, smooth and firm up my overstretched skin
Eat a Nutrient rich diet.
There are a number of foods we can eat that can help improve the look of our skin and our skins elasticity. Strawberries, bell peppers and Vitamin C found in citrus fruits, all help produce collagen (which is essential for tightening up the skin). Healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and salmon also help with the formation of collagen as well as improving skin moisture.
2. Resistance training.
If you’ve lost weight the chances are you’ve lost a combination of fat and muscle. This wastage is what can leave skin loose and sagging. Resistance training at least 3 times a week will help you rebuild lean muscle. So effectively you will just be replacing decreased body mass with increased muscle mass making the loose skin look firmer, smoother and tighter.
3. Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate
Drink your water. Dehydrated skin causes sagging and wrinkles. Water is the ultimate cell plumper, which gives the appearance of smoother lovelier skin. This absolutely makes the most visible difference for me on a day to day basis
I do still try all the lotions and scrubs and they do temporarily make my skin seem in better condition, but ultimately it’s these 3 principles that keep my tummy looking and feeling its best for longer.
So yes, Vera still lives with me and she still likes to hang out now and then and say hi! But she’s not acting her age as much, so living together is easier and because we respect what each of us have been through, we make it work.
Hope this helps and you all have a great weekend xx