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Old 05-21-2011, 11:53 PM
 
68 posts, read 263,977 times
Reputation: 61

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Hello -

I'm a 25 year old soldier. As of this morning, I weigh about 178 pounds. Three years ago - not long before I joined the Army - I weighed in at 240. In high school, I got as high as 290 - and I'm only 5'9.

This isn't about how I lost the weight - a lot of exercise, dieting, hard work, and a year long deployment - but what's resulted, and I bet a lot of you can guess.

I've got a weird, distended stomach that my buddies constantly tease me for - jerks that they are, they refer to it as my 'pouch'. No matter how much my weight fluctuates, it doesn't seem to get much bigger or smaller. I'm really self conscious about it - I won't go around shirtless if I don't have to, even around a bunch of guys. God help me if there's women around.

I've also got a good amount of stretch marks, but I'm less concerned about them - I know there's not much I can do about them, and they bother me far less than my stomach. I've got quite a few from high school that have faded to near nothing.

So does anyone have any advice on how to help? I know that surgery is probably the best option - and one I'll talk to with my doctor, next time I see him. But that's also incredibly expensive, and I seriously doubt TRICARE would cover something like that.

Is there anything else you guys could reccomend? I know there's no magic bullet, but anything would help.

Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:03 AM
 
4,424 posts, read 5,206,967 times
Reputation: 6479
you could always get a tummy tuck. i was in the army and i went from 200 down to 155 during a deployment. i gained the weight back a bit later but id rather be 155 than 200 even with a "pouch". as far as it being covered im sure you could talk it over with your unit's physician and see if theres someway you could get it done free. I dont know that theyd do it since you run the risk of gaining the weight back but it never hurts to ask. and i have never referred to jerks as "my buddies".
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
3,785 posts, read 8,765,275 times
Reputation: 7334
How long has it been since you lost the weight? I have a friend who lost alot of weight and it took about a year or so (once she reached goal) for her skin to regain some tone. I know she also joined a gym and worked out a lot and that definitely helped. From what I understand, the younger you are when you lose the weight, the easier it is for your skin to bounce back. Maybe some time and PT will help?
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:01 AM
 
7,099 posts, read 23,892,964 times
Reputation: 7248
How's your posture? If you stand straight and suck your stomach in, does it pooch out as much? A slump will add inches to your middle. Practice sucking that gut in as far as you can and holding it.

But the main thing is that it takes at least a year for excess skin to tighten. If your weight does go up and down, it will take longer.
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:36 PM
 
Location: US
5,145 posts, read 10,426,168 times
Reputation: 5326
Well go to the doctors and make sure its fat and not a health problem. The gut is the last place to go on pretty much every guy so don't worry too much about it. Congrats on your loss so far but it may be that you just have a few more to lose. 130-135 is about the lowest general guideline weight for you height. Since you did extreme fitness with the military you probably are more muscular so I would add at least 20lbs for muscle to that number and see how you look at 155-160.(about 20 lbs)

As far as skin tightening: I have had it take more than a year.I am trying to remember and I would say it was an easy 2 years. And everytime I lose fat (not weight) it takes a couple months even now to shrink back up from a couple inches lost. Working those flabby areas everyday helped more than general exercise advice. I do believe its just from more consistent blood flow to the areas to help clear out the old and it builds a bit of muscle too.
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