Im not a pro at stretching but from watching tons of Video and learning how to do it the right way they say that stretching with weights is bad. Especially using padlocks and really heavy items. Alot of things they say u end up with is Thinning as you mentioned, Uneven Lobes, Tears,scar tissue if you get tears,oblong shaped holes so if you put plugs in you will have a gap above. If your at a bigger size i would just use Tape and take it slow. They do sell weighted earrings that arnet supper heavy and would stretch your ears probably safer and slower but i still would think wearing them too much would cause you to have a long shapped hole. There is a couple videos online talking about this you should check out. Kingsbodyjewlery has a youtube Vid about this also. Check it out..