Health & Fitness

I had eight pounds of skin cut off my body – now I need to wear hand warmers

A WOMAN who had 8lbs of skin cut off because of her dramatic weight loss now goes into “cold shock” whenever she feels a slight chill.

Drea Vazquez, 22, a content creator from Michigan, US, started her weight loss journey five years ago in 2018, weighing 246lbs.

Drea Vazquez, 22, a content creator from Michigan, US, has lost over 100lbs and now goes into “cold shock” whenever she feels a slight chill
Ms Vasquez started her weight loss journey five years ago in 2018, weighing 246lbs
After losing the weight, she struggled with body dysmorphia due to the excess skin on her body and decided to get surgery to remove it — with 8lb cut off in the tummy tuck

She has since overhauled her health by eating in a calorie deficit, dropping seven stone and undergoing skin removal surgery, now weighing a healthy 140lbs.

Her wake-up call came when doctors told her she was pre-diabetic and if she didn’t lose weight her health would suffer, leaving her “terrified”.

She has now taken to TikTok to share her story and transformation to help others.

Ms Vazquez said: “It was terrifying being just a teenager and finding out how much my weight would eventually affect my life.

“I’ve been overweight for most of my life and I thought I was always going to be overweight.

“Losing the weight has been a really hard and scary process. But life is short and I knew that if I didn’t try I would be doing myself a disservice.”

Although she is now feeling “better than ever”, she hadn’t expected the shocking side effects that would follow.

While she has not been diagnosed with a medical condition, she claims her weight loss has left her extremely susceptible to the cold.

She said: “My body now gets extremely cold in winter and I couldn’t handle the freezing temperatures.

“To compare, when I was bigger I could happily walk into a storm without a coat. It was crazy being completely smacked in the face by the cold.

“My parents even got me electronic hand warmers because I am just an ice cube 24/7 now.

“It’s not a medical condition, nor a side effect of skin removal — but something that tends to happen after major weight loss.

“Fat keeps us warm, so when losing a significant amount of body fat, it shocks our bodies.

“This was stated by my doctor and over time, the cold won’t be as shocking anymore, but since I was overweight for the majority of my life, I was never used to the winter coldness like this.

“I don’t regret my weight loss because of this, as I’m glad I am healthy now and that’s what matters to me the most.”

How has Drea's diet changed?

Drea's dramatic weight loss came after overhauling her diet. Here is what she used to eat compared to what she has now:


Breakfast: Leftovers

Lunch: Two packs of ramen noodles

Dinner: Large home-cooked meal

Snacks: Candy, fizzy drinks or crisps


Breakfast: Yoghurt bowls with granola or banana on top

Lunch: Lean meat (turkey or chicken) and vegetables or avocado toast with a fried egg, feta and hot sauce

Dinner: Black bean burgers and sweet potato fries or grilled chicken with cheesy broccoli

Snacks: Rice cakes, chickpea puffs or chocolate hummus

She started her weight loss journey back in 2018 when she was 18 by adopting a calorie-deficit, healthier eating habits and a weekly workout routine.

Ms Vasquez began hitting the gym four to five days a week, with 30 minutes of cardio and one hour of weight training each time.

She said: “I tried to lose weight for years but always ended up losing hope and falling back into unhealthy habits.

“I was addicted to food and came to this realisation when my paediatrician told me that I was pre-diabetic.

“So I decided to do a calorie deficit to finally drop some weight and it wasn’t as scary and hard as I thought it would be.

“I did different forms of cardio, walking, running, stair-steppers and the same with weight training for about six months.

“Then I started practising long distance running, which has stuck with me to this day and is my main form of exercise currently.

‘It’s been quite a journey’

“I had tried so many different diets thinking nothing would help, until I came across a video on YouTube about calorie deficits.

“I knew that what I ate was a major factor into losing weight, but working out just helped the process.”

After losing the weight, she struggled with body dysmorphia due to the excess skin on her body and decided to get surgery to remove it.

She said: “It was a really hard decision to get the surgery, I was going back and forth with myself.

“Before going to the surgeon I decided on, I was able to have my doctor write a letter stating that I’d kept my weight off for over a year and maintained good health in hopes this would help with insurance coverage.

“I was able to get mostly all of the procedure covered and only paid $3,000 out of pocket for a tummy tuck, which is the removal of loose skin, muscle repair from muscle damage of my abdomen and belly button reconstruction.”

Drea had the skin removal surgery done in June 2021, with 8lbs worth being removed.

She added: “I was very nervous but excited, I wanted this so badly to finally see all that I worked for underneath the loose skin.

“It’s a very invasive surgery, I got eight pounds of skin cut off my body.

“I healed physically from the pain, which took about two months.

“It’s been quite a journey but I wouldn’t change my decision and I feel blessed that I was able to get this procedure done.

“And to see all the hard work paid off.

“I feel confident in my own body now, even if I do have to feel that little bit colder!”

In a viral video, Drea shows herself shivering in the cold, with the video captioned: “The coldness you feel after losing weight is painful.

“It’s been three years since I lost 100lbs and my body is still in shock when a cold breeze hits me.”

Source of data and images: thesun

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