Weight Loss Support - Now in the healthy weight range but still losing weight?




Esofia
11-23-2011, 11:03 AM
I'm curious to hear from other people who are officially at a healthy weight (let's say more or less BMI, with slight tweakings for build and musculature) but who are still losing weight. How are you finding it?

I've never had a huge amount to lose, 35-40lb, and I've been in the healthy range for a while now. Judging by the last few weeks, my rate of weight loss is dropping from 1lb/week to 0.7lb or less. Thankfully I've been doing this long enough, and most importantly hanging around here long enough, that it's not bothering me. I'd quite like to get the weight loss over and done with so that I can sort out my wardrobe, especially with the cold weather coming up and surprisingly few sweaters left that fit me, but losing healthily is more important. I'm not too well at the moment and don't want to put too much strain on my system by losing faster than my body wants. While I'm still heavier than I used to be years ago, compared to how I've been for the last few years it feels absolutely great and I'm revelling in feeling much more like me again.

I don't get out much due to disability, so thankfully I'm not having to deal with people asking me why I'd want to continue losing weight if I'm already at a healthy weight. (Weirdly, I got that at the start, when I had a BMI of 28.5 and definitely needed to lose weight.) I'm aiming for the weight I was for most of my adult life: I looked good then, felt good, and I have a lot of clothes I want to wear again! I also reckon that my health will be better off if I'm at the slimmer end of the BMI category. (The BMI range for my height seems to fit me pretty well. I'm guessing that I have a medium build; I sort of expected it to be small, but on the other hand I've never been smaller than a 32 band for bras, and I know lots of women much taller than me who are 32s, so if I really had a small build I'd probably be a 30 or 28 when slim.) I developed PMDD when I put on weight rapidly some years ago, and several doctors have told me that it's probably connected. I also have CFIDS/ME, which involves extreme fatigue and is thought by some specialists to be a type of heart failure, so the less extra weight I am carrying about, the better.

Either my weight is coming off different bits of me at different times, or I have rather odd proportions, because I still have quite a belly while my hips are losing so much fat that it's getting downright uncomfortable to lie on my tailbone area on the floor for stretches! Possibly a mix of the two, as no matter what my weight, I've always found it awkward to find clothes that fit. I've managed to get up to a 4" difference between my hips and my waist and I really hope that improves. I'm also wondering where on earth I'll find trousers if my backside gets much smaller, because I'm down to the smallest size in the only brand that fits me. In terms of the top half, I'm down to a 32E and was a 32DD before I gained weight. I would absolutely love to be a 32D if it's possible.

People always talk about being overweight being bad for joints, but oddly enough, my joints are more painful now than they were before. I'm guessing that I wasn't overweight enough for that to make much difference, and it's probably something completely unrelated that just happens to be cropping up at the moment that is worsening my joint pain.


sontaikle
11-23-2011, 01:28 PM
It's funny you should post this. I was talking about something similar on my blog.

It seems that ever since I got close to and hit a healthy weight for my height and frame size (147 pounds for a large-framed, 5'3" woman), that my weight loss has slowed down. Before I was losing at 7 or 8 pounds a month, and it seems that I've slowed down to 5 pounds a month. Still at a good pace so I can't really complain. I'm now just at a healthy BMI and I mean just as my BMI is 24.8.

I do have folks also asking me if I'm done and when I say that I'm not I get lectured that I'm already at a healthy weight so I should stop. I'm not going to just stop though. I've shifted my focus to body fat percentage over my BMI. Currently I'm around 25.7% body fat; this is at the lower end of the "Acceptable" range and almost into the "Fitness" range, where I want to end up. I set my goal at 22-23% body fat which should mean that I'll end up anywhere in the vicinity of 134-135 pounds. I've also found that I have a lean body mass of around 104 pounds...meaning that the lowest end of the BMI is completely unreachable for me :joker:

Bra sizes are funny I suppose. I'm now a 32 band despite my large frame (my underbust measures in at just over 32") and I believe I'm a 32DD...although my underbust just recently went down from 34" to 32" (and I only lost an inch on my bust) and I haven't had a chance to buy new bras as a result.

I thought I was at my smallest too when I hit 34", but it turns out I was wrong. Those inches came off suddenly.

I'm hoping for the same thing as you: to not lose anymore off my hips. Currently my measurements are 37/28/36 (although my hips are just under 36") and I really want to get my waist down some. My 6s are loose now and I'm fitting into 4s and 2s. I don't really want to go down much more than that (plus I can't afford more clothes!!).

I never had joint issues when I was heavy, but interestingly enough I find that my periods are much more tolerable at this weight. I used to have five days of great pain and fatigue (and heavy bleeding) and would dread when it would arrive. Now I'm down to three days, with just one heavy day.

Esofia
11-23-2011, 01:44 PM
I'm not surprised about the periods, it presumably goes with the whole business of oestrogen being stored in fat. Come to think of it, that must be why I've had heavier periods with this IUD (a copper one) than I did when I had an IUD years ago when I was slimmer. My periods are still a bit haywire, the dieting has evidently shaken up my hormones, but I think they're shortening a bit too. It's hard to tell since I take Omega 3 oils these days, and they always make my periods shorter and lighter.

I am trying to decide whether or not it's worth spending the money to dye the new corduroy trousers that arrived from eBay today. If my hips shrink much more, they'll be too big, and the other size 8s I have (UK sizes, remember; think it's a 4 in American) are quite nice over the hips/waist but a smidgen loose over the legs. The cords that arrived today are lilac, and a more pinky lilac than I expect. Bluey lilac I could probably have lived with, pink isn't really my thing, though by now I just want some trousers that fit! I don't know what the fit is like yet, they need to go in the washing machine a few times to get rid of the smell of commercial detergent that was used on them before they were sold. The original plan was to wait until my wait stabilised and then dye them dark blue, which would hopefully give a sort of dull indigo with lilac stitching. Maybe I should just live dangerously and dye them now!

Oh, and my current measurements are 36/29/33, measured when wearing a stretchy nonwired sleep bra. According to UK dress sizes, I think my hips are a size 6 or less while my waist is a 14, and my bust is a 12-14! I like my trousers on the waist and I'm short, hence having such trouble finding any. Weirdly, despite my relatively large waist, the trousers I get are often a bit too big over the waist and need a belt. They must be made for women who are apple-shaped and then some.

I was generally 98-105lb as a teenager and adult, and dipped briefly below that after a bad break-up. I don't recall ever being less than a 32. That said, I realised that I was in completely the wrong bra size in my early 20s, and while that particular revelation was about cup sizes (it turned out that balconette bras were not inherently indecent things that practically showed your nipples, it was because I was wearing a B instead of a D), it's possible that there could have been band size errors I didn't spot. I don't want to be that thin again, though, but hey, weight seems to redistribute itself in strange ways. Apparently it's very common for people with ME/CFIDS to gain abdominal weight in particular, it wasn't just me, and I do get the feeling that my body is a different shape on the way down to what it was on the way up.

I once knew a woman who is 5'10, fairly overweight, and a 32J. Apparently she has a ridiculously small ribcage. It was a good few years ago that I knew her, and at that point there were literally only two bras she could have bought, both of which looked odd under clothing. Thank heaven for improvements in bras these days, eh.


princessgina00
11-23-2011, 01:57 PM
I'm not going to lie. I'm actually one of those people whose all like, "Why are you still losing weight if you have achieved a healthy BMI?" or "Stop losing weight. You are so tiny. Can't you see how tiny you are? So, stop it now. Stop it. Stop it. Stop it." But, I'm extremely lazy and only like doing the bare minimum to achieve a goal. When I reach 150, there is no way (no way!) I am going to continue losing weight. No way! And, like most people, I project these feelings/philosophies onto others goals and ambitions. But, then I realized, hey, it's your goal, do as you like as long as it makes you happy and keeps you healthy. Sure, I will never understand why people insist on losing weight to fit into a size 2 or 0 (what's so wrong about an 8 or a 10?). But, I also don't understand why people insist on running marathons. The ancient Greeks actually had a purpose for running 26.2 miles and it wasn't to finish a race. My opinion is mine alone and should not impact your journey. However, I would caution one that continuously lowers (ups?) their goal. At some point, you're going to have to force yourself to be happy no matter what a number on a scale reads. If not, then what was the point of this journey?

Esofia
11-23-2011, 02:21 PM
I know what you mean about approaching this in a psychologically healthy way. If you didn't have a huge amount of weight to lose to begin with, constantly lowering your goal can be a bad sign. For people with a large amount of weight to lose, however, I gather that you really don't know where your journey will take you, and are more likely to end up adjusting your goal in either direction as you get closer to it. You've lost an incredible amount of weight, and I can see why a few vanity pounds would seem pretty pointless in comparison.

As for being happy, I was happy when I started this journey! I didn't want to keep on being overweight, but that's not the same as being unhappy. I don't rely on my weight to make me happy either, notwithstanding occasional small gleeful jumps when I make significant progress.

A US size 0 is just about feasible on someone of my height, though I think I'd have to be a bit underweight for it - and of course, I'm only guessing since sizes vary so much and I'm having to convert from US sizes. I would be surprised if it were a healthy weight on more than a small handful of people.

Nice point about marathons! I wonder how many marathoners know that the original guy who ran all that way to Athens to deliver the news of the battle of Marathon dropped dead afterwards? At least the battle was a victory. Legend has it that some Greek bloke ran home to deliver the news of a lost battle elsewhere, and the assorted women to whom he delivered the news promptly took out the big pins that were holding up their dresses and stabbed him to death with them. After that, Greek clothing for women changed to something less dangerous. Er, random half-remembered snippets from GCSE Greek are totally and utterly off topic here, aren't they.

Going back to the health thing, as we often remark on this forum, BMI ain't everything and it's not even always all that accurate. I developed fairly serious health problems when I put on about 10lb five years ago, so if losing that last 10lb makes a difference to the PMDD, I am pretty keen on that. And then there's the heart issue I mentioned above. It could turn out that I do better a bit higher in the BMI healthy range, though, and if my doctor and I end up agreeing that I should put some of the weight back on or stop losing, I'll give that a try as well.

But if I'm probably going to be a bit healthier and almost definitely going to be a bit prettier, why not lose a few more pounds? I'm aiming for a BMI of 20 or 21, and I've got muscle wastage so that probably equates to a bit higher if anything. I have every right to adjust my weight to something that I think looks prettier, it's my body, and I'm not planning to go outside the healthy range. It's funny how odd it feels to reply, "Because I want to," when someone asks, "But why do you want to lose more weight?" We're not planning to do anything unhealthy, why should we have to justify our choice any more than we have to justify our clothing style or how long we keep our hair?

Unna
11-23-2011, 03:47 PM
I didn't know the estrogen in fat could make periods bad. My period this month (is almost gone) was so light and easy! I only needed two tylenols! Normally I have problems sleeping, terrible moods and hunger, and killer pain. I usually have to take pain medicine the whole day/night for 48 hours. I wonder if this period was easier because of the weight I recently lost.

If I were you, I'd keep doing what you are doing and let your body decide its comfy, healthy weight.

I'm also a healthy weight now, technically. I want to continue to lose a bit more to make running/sports easier. I also believe modest calorie restriction is healthy for the body in general and could help your disease. No one ever talks about the health benefits of calorie restriction on this forum, why not?

I have your proportion problems, but reversed! Its all in my legs and butt. I have no boobs.

princessgina00
11-23-2011, 03:48 PM
Well, bully for you (is that correct?) for being happy no matter what and congratulations on your weight loss and continued success on your journey to improved health. As for the Greek thing, I literally LOL'ed. That's a horrible way to die! I wonder if that's where we got the expression, "Don't kill the messenger." Ha! Oh, and "Because I want to" is a totally non-odd and reasonable response to any question one does not want to elaborate on with a long explanation. I usually go, "Why not?" That's my "Because I want to" response. :D People are naturally nosy, so I find a short, terse, non-response response is the best approach.

princessgina00
11-23-2011, 03:54 PM
I have your proportion problems, but reversed! Its all in my legs and butt. I have no boobs.

And I have your proportion problems, except, fortunately, I have pretty large boobs (32G) and I doubt they're going to decrease much in the next 40 pounds lost. :cool: ****, they only decreased one cup size (but three band sizes!) after a 70-pound weight loss. I guess we all have our weird body issues.

MariaMaria
11-23-2011, 04:40 PM
Even when we talk about "the" healthy weight range, we're talking about a range. It's not as if there's one ideal weight for your body-- that you're perfect at 105 and seriously off at 106, you know?

FWIW, I don't think bra band size is all that tightly related to frame size. Are your shoulders realtively big? Hips (bone, not just fat)? How about hands/wrists/ankles/feet? Bra band size is just a reflection of how wide or narrow your back is, which is only one variable. (Me? Narrow back, wide shoulders and hips. 32FF or so. Large frame, small ribcage. I read short (5'4) and thin, but I never read little no matter how thin I get.)

sontaikle
11-23-2011, 04:41 PM
Esofia - That makes sense about the estrogen in fat messing with one's hormones. I wonder if that's why girls are maturing so young these days? More and more children are overweight/obese so perhaps that has something to do with it.

With your measurements you might actually already be a US size 0 depending on the brand if you go by hip measurement alone. US size 0 seems be around a 32-34" hip measurement, although at some stores you'd be a 00!

Crazy, US sizing :)

Unna - I vaguely remember reading about the benefits of a low-calorie diet overall. It would be interesting to look into any research that discusses low-calorie diets and how they relate to health and longevity.

I know I plan on keeping to a low-calorie diet when I reach maintenance.

princessgina - your mind may change as you get closer to the normal BMI. I know mine did, but I eventually found that I can't get too far into a healthy BMI for the reasons I stated in my post above. If I want to get to the "Athlete" category for body fat percentage I could get down to around 120, but I don't want to go for that level of dedication.

It really pertains to frame size though :) Someone with a small frame may not be at a healthy weight even if their BMI is normal!

Michelle2008
11-23-2011, 04:51 PM
I am about five pounds away from goal and even though I am now a healthy bmi I do feel I need to lose more. People do tell me not to lose more weight but I think it is just a polite comment rather than a serious assessment.

I am losing weight at a rate of around half a pound a week - slow and steady! But I have spent a small fortune on new clothes (size 10 uk) which are already getting a bit big so I am happy enough for things to slow down.

runningfromfat
11-23-2011, 05:15 PM
I haven't had a chance to read the other responses yet but I wanted to respond...

I don't think there is much a connection between frame size and band ribcage measurement. I measure somewhere between 30-31" around my ribcage but I definitely have a large frame (large wrist measurements, elbow measurements, broad shoulders, wear smaller sizes than most at my current weight etc). I've heard of other women who are also large framed but with a small ribcage, seems like the opposite is definitely possible too. ;)

My weight loss went to zero this past month while losing inches at least. I've always had relatively slow loses but it's definitely frustrating. I know the feeling of wanting to get the losing part over and done with but, on the other hand, want is one more season in the long scheme of things? Besides, could you possibly get some of your winter clothes altered down next season if you don't make it to your goal?

Oh, and I also have joints that hurt worse now than when I was at my high weight. Then again, I'm more active now, but still, how unfair is that?

ChickieChicks
11-23-2011, 10:23 PM
I think it is SO huge to hit a normal BMI, especially when you have a lot to lose. I never, ever IN A MILLION YEARS thought I would get to a normal weight. I just convinced myself it couldn't be done with my PCOS, having kids, blah, blah, blah. When I got to a 25 BMI, it was serously thrilling. OS much so, that I want to lose enough to stay comfortably within a healthy BMI. I don't want to hang out at 24.5, and then if my weight fluctuates, get pushed just over into the Overweight zone.

I know logically that a few pounds fluctuation is not a big deal, but the psychology, for me, from being 24.5 to 25.5 is big to me.

runningfromfat
11-24-2011, 06:46 AM
princessgina - your mind may change as you get closer to the normal BMI. I know mine did, but I eventually found that I can't get too far into a healthy BMI for the reasons I stated in my post above. If I want to get to the "Athlete" category for body fat percentage I could get down to around 120, but I don't want to go for that level of dedication.

It really pertains to frame size though :) Someone with a small frame may not be at a healthy weight even if their BMI is normal!

Agreed.

When i was starting out I fondly remembered my pre-pregnancy days at 175lbs where I looked "awesome" and "normal" even if I was still 20lbs overweight. Now I'm below that point and it's very clear to me still that I have more to lose. I don't feel I'm at a healthy weight yet for me, pretty close to it for sure, but not quite thee yet. I've discussed this before here, I don't think BMI is the be all, end all but I do think it's realistic for most people unless you are an extreme body builder (doesn't mean it's necessary but I do think it's realistic).

Beyond that so much does depend on frame size. Just look at those pages on the internet where you can compared people by their BMI or check out any of the millions of threads on here about people discussing their sizes according to their height/weight. Hitting a healthy BMI is going to look very different on someone with a small vs. large frame, especially if the person with the small frame is naturally less muscular than the person with the large frame. It's also very realistic that someone with a small frame, who was not exercising and is at the high end of their BMI realistically might need to lose weight for their health. Body fat percentage really is a much better determination of if someone is healthy or not...

Esofia
11-24-2011, 07:06 AM
I just tried a couple of online frame calculators, and came out as small-framed in one and large-framed in another, both based on my wrist measurement of 5.25"! It's so hard to tell at my height. If you're slim then you are generally perceived as tiny regardless of details (e.g. not noticing that I'm very bosomy), and if you're overweight then you're just short and fat. I'm probably medium-framed, since I am neither bird-like when I'm slim nor noticeably chunky. Hands and feet aren't much help either, they're always going to be small compared to everyone else. Size 3 feet (US 5) if that is useful to anyone.

princessgina00
11-24-2011, 12:49 PM
Agreed.

When i was starting out I fondly remembered my pre-pregnancy days at 175lbs where I looked "awesome" and "normal" even if I was still 20lbs overweight. Now I'm below that point and it's very clear to me still that I have more to lose. I don't feel I'm at a healthy weight yet for me, pretty close to it for sure, but not quite thee yet. I've discussed this before here, I don't think BMI is the be all, end all but I do think it's realistic for most people unless you are an extreme body builder (doesn't mean it's necessary but I do think it's realistic).

Beyond that so much does depend on frame size. Just look at those pages on the internet where you can compared people by their BMI or check out any of the millions of threads on here about people discussing their sizes according to their height/weight. Hitting a healthy BMI is going to look very different on someone with a small vs. large frame, especially if the person with the small frame is naturally less muscular than the person with the large frame. It's also very realistic that someone with a small frame, who was not exercising and is at the high end of their BMI realistically might need to lose weight for their health. Body fat percentage really is a much better determination of if someone is healthy or not...

You may be right. I think my problem is that I have no frame of reference and, therefore, cannot imagine what I would look/feel like at a healthy weight. Having been overweight all of my life, I do not remember if I was ever at a healthy weight, so every pound lost is a new milestone. ****, I'm probably lighter now (or at the same weight) at 193 pounds than I was in middle school. I just don't know because I didn't visit the doctor very often then and never weighed myself. Too bad I don't still have any clothes from back then which I could try on. I bet they'd fit. :D