Friday, May 17, 2013

Baggy skin? Who ya gonna call?

So I was reading about how to battle baggy skin, for no particular reason, which is good, because in her article titled, “How to Deal with Baggy Skin,” Jillian Michaels, the toughest trainer you ever saw, essentially says hang it up.   

Oh!  Pardon my choice of words.  You can’t take that literally!  That would be painful. 

Jillian says, extremely tactfully, that if you have baggy skin, on your elbows, say, just look somewhere else.  Look at your knees, for example.  Oops.  Well.  Look at someone else’s knees.  Someone who’s a lot younger than you are with skin that’s not so baggy. 

I guess what she’s saying is just pretend that other person’s knees are your knees.   

It’s a bit of the old bait and switch that every mom used on every child who fixated on the gummy bears in the grocery checkout line.  “Oh, look Honey!  Look way over there at the big juicy red apples.” 

Yeah.  It probably won’t work now, either.  Saggy knees and elbows are their own little train wreck of a phenomenon.  No matter how horrified you are, you just can’t look away. 

But to give her credit, Jillian doesn’t mean literally to avert your eyes from your drapey, saggy elbows.  That’s actually my idea.  It’s not as good as long sleeved shirts, but it can be useful if you are on a tight timeline and must not be drawn down the rabbit hole of terror and dread at what next year will bring. 

Maybe you’ve heard the one about the 80-year-old man who went to the doctor for his checkup.  After a series of thumps, bumps and probes, the doc says, “I’ve got some bad news and some worse news.  Which would you like first?”   

The elderly gentleman draws a brave breath and says, “I’ll take the worst news first, Doc.”  To which the doctor replies, “You have an advanced stage of cancer that is untreatable.  Nothing we can do for you.  It’s bad.  It’s real bad.” 

The man shakes his head in dismay and says, “Wow.  That is terrible news.  Unbelievable.  I’m shocked.  I’m numb.”  

Then, he pulls himself together and says, “OK, I’m ready for the bad news now.” 

The doc says, “You have advanced dementia.” 

“Oh!  Thank goodness!” cries the man.  “I thought you were going to tell me I had cancer.” 

But unlike the doctor above, Jillian claims to have good news to go with her bad news.   

It reads like this:  She fields a plaintive question from a devotee:  Dear Jillian, I have excess skin after weight loss.  What should I do? 

“I hear this question all the time,” Jillian responds cheerily, perhaps from the cover of Fitness magazine.  “And I have good news and bad news.”  

Okay, Jillian!  I can take it!  Bad news first!  What’s the bad news about my, er, this poor woman who wrote to you…what’s her bad news? 

Now I don’t know if Jillian is one of those folks who just has to show off how much she knows, but she goes on and on and ON with way more than any old saggy-skinned woman really wants to hear about her predicament.   

“The skin is an organ and not a rubber band,” she says.  I don’t know how it comes through the printed word, but I distinctly heard a neener neener.  

“Skin can only stretch and tighten so much over the course of a life of slothful indulgence.”  OK, she didn’t say that.  She would never say that.  But I’m just sayin’. 

“Sagging skin has nothing to do with how quickly you lose weight.”  What?  She did say that!  I think when she was wearing another of those bare midriff workout outfits that are so inspiring.   

No!  The excess material you’ve been tucking into your spandex has everything to do with your genetics and age.  The younger you are, the more collagen you have giving your skin its elasticity and ability to shrink after weight loss.  

Hey thanks. 

“Ready for the good news?” says airbrushed Jillian, her mane of luscious hair dipping coyly over her eye.  “You are no longer unhealthy and obese!”
Right.  Right!  Thank God!  I thought you were going to tell me I’m stuck with saggy skin.