Weight Loss Support - Realistic Expectations: the last 10-20lbs

01-25-2012, 11:55 AM
I have about 10-20lbs left before hitting goal (the actual number isn't set in stone yet) but being that I've always seen my goal as a range rather than a set number I'm trying to figure out what are realistic expectations when I get there.

For that most part, I'm pretty happy with my body. I wear a size 6 pants and can wear small or sometimes medium shirts. However, my waist is still bigger than I'd like (31") and my upper arms are still carrying a decent amount of weight (13", which I don't feel is that bad but shirts that fit in the waist/chest are sometimes still too tight in the arms). But I'm pretty happy about the rest of me. I know the stretch marks are here to stay and probably the loose skin too but I'm not so worried about those.

FWIW, I do lift heavy (I have been for almost a year and plan on continuing). I also feel it's worth mentioning that I'd rather stay at a higher weight that is maintainable than going lower and not being able to maintain that weight. I was 140lbs in high school (maintained that for 4 years) and then was 155lbs in college (maintained that for 4 years also) so I know what to expect more or less at those weights in terms of food/exercise (granted, then I was just doing a lot of cardio, no lifting and I was younger...).

What I would like to know, though, is what can you expect in terms of changes in your body with the last 10-20lbs? As in the number of clothing sizes dropped/inches lost etc? Did your body ratio actually change (as in losing more in your waist with respect to the rest of your body or did you still lose fairly evenly?)? Also in terms of maintenance, how much harder would it be to maintain 155lbs vs. 140 (basically is it significantly harder to maintain 10-15lbs less?). Any stories/experience from someone who decided to shoot for the higher end of their BMI but worked on their body through weight lifting would also be very much appreciated. :D

01-25-2012, 12:28 PM
within the last 10-15 pounds my body changed quite dramatically. My waist stubbornly held on to its inches until recently and went from 28 to 25 inches fairly quickly. My arms shrunk down, revealing the muscle I worked hard to build, as did my thighs (I have a picture of me 16lbs heavier and my arms are flabby. Now they're not!). I just recently noticed muscle in my back and I'm assuming the fat was previously covering that.

My hips, where I had been losing most of my inches, virtually slowed to a crawl with the last 5-10 pounds or so and it seemed that my waist was playing catch up at that point.

Once I got down to that range though, I noticed changes every 2-3 pounds as did everyone else. It was strange after earlier on in my weight loss when it would take much more to notice a difference!

I still have loose skin on my stomach and the remnants of that lower stomach pooch but just today I noticed it's practically gone. I think I'm slowly shrinking into my new body or something :lol:

FWIW I don't find 120 all that difficult to maintain, even though my original goal was 135. Granted, I haven't been here all that long but I'm not starving or anything like that. I did go through a period of hunger recently but I realized I was eating more fruit and cut back on that and added more veggies :) Now I'm fine.

It's funny though, when I was 125 (and didn't know it because my scale weighed me in at 135) I was eating to maintain at 135 and still lost 5 pounds! I'm theorizing that that has to do with the strength training.

01-25-2012, 10:00 PM
sontaikle sums things up pretty well.

The "problem areas" are going to vary from person to person and those areas are the ones that for whatever reason your body is not drawing fat from as fast as others.

If you have ever seen amateur figure competitors it is not unusual to see a woman with an insanely lean upper body but still have a fair amount of fat in her thighs and hips.

Some people are lucky and the fat is distributed fairly evenly. Most of us are not.

So ... the point is ... whatever you feel the problem areas are you'll probably lose the fat there dead last and you may decide it isn't worth it.

01-27-2012, 09:06 AM
sontaikle and JohnP- thanks so much for the responses!

sontaikle- wow, I coudln't imagine losing 3" off of my midsection just like that. I think if that happened I really would say I was at goal. ;) It's funny, the last 5lbs haven't really made much of a difference at all or at least it's still not coming off of my midsection yet. I guess I'm still not at the point where a few pounds make a difference (then again I am 3" taller than you too...).


So ... the point is ... whatever you feel the problem areas are you'll probably lose the fat there dead last and you may decide it isn't worth it.

This! I think that's really what I'm rolling around in my head right now. For me maintaining my weights is key, so I just have this fear that if I go down too far that it's going to be too difficult to maintain. Sometimes I just wish I could walk around in someone else's shoes for a day that's at my goal weight to see if I feel that it's worth it or not.

01-27-2012, 10:52 AM
Over the holidays I gained 14 pounds in 17 days due to eating way more carbs than usually. I lost 9 of those pounds in a week and now I'm working on the stubborn last fat pounds (2 to go).

I felt I had gained all the weight in my waist, and I practically had (glycogen stores). My measurements before the weight gain was 41-32-41. After the 14 pounds, 41-34-42. Now they are back to 41-32-41.

And when I look at my body, it's the waist and upper thighs that still have weight on the. Though the upper, inner thighs could mostly be looser skin.

So, I figure, that will be where I lose the last 15 pounds too.

01-27-2012, 11:26 AM
I'm jealous! I wear size 12 pants and weigh 154! My *** must be huge! hehe. The smallest size pant's I've ever worn in adult hood are 9's...and that's my goal to get back into them as they are still in my closet! Europe baby!

As far as maintaining my low weight, I know what happened. I lost it when I went to the academy and was forced to work out 5 days a week plus run. So I was down in the low to mid 140s. Then I went to work after...10 hour days 5 days a week. I kept up the running well until I hurt my hip. So it just decreased there..

Boyfriends...drinking more, not exercising as much...the weight came back because I wasn't paying attention. I'm at the point my duty belt is super tight and I don't want to get a size up, **** no! So now that I am in a committed relationship I am working at routine and a healthier lifestyle together. As for hardcore we are only on day 5 of P90x and me counting my calories like crazy.

I think it's a matter of getting to your goal and not letting life get in your way cause you "know" you lost it...or else it'll sneak back on when you least expect it. Nasty wake up call when you have to go a pant size up :(

01-27-2012, 01:20 PM
At one point I weighed about 12 pounds less than I do now and it made a very significant difference in my waist and abdomen. I would so like to lose it again and keep it off. They truly make a significant difference. I call them the "money" pounds because the pay off is so high.

01-27-2012, 01:51 PM
I'm this problem too.

I have anywhere between 10 to 20 lbs to go and it's been harder than the first 40ish and I don't know where my body will be.

I fit into 8s right now, 10s look too baggy on me, but I also know that sizes have crept up in the last decade or so, because I can now SQUEEZE into my prom dress which was a size 10 back in the day.

I don't know how to handle these last few, if it'll be hard to get them off (it seems like) or if I should try to go even lower. I had picked 140 as my ultimate low weight because I don't think I can go lower but then again, maybe I can?

I'm just aiming for 150 right now, which would bring me to "normal" weight and my doctor would be ecstatic about.

01-27-2012, 02:08 PM
I'm struggling now, too. It's so much harder to lose weight than it was at the beginning. I do everything right and the scale moves a tiny little bit. I will admit that smaller losses are more visible, but still. I'm feeling like maybe it's time to just maintain also. But I do run 4X/week and eat pretty well so I have to keep losing, right? LOL I don't know. I'm not trying to control it a much as I used to. I am a pear shape, so I know the next lbs are all in my hips/thighs and would make a big difference. My upper body already looks really lean. I guess my advice to you is to just keep living healthy and doing the things you enjoy and see where it all ends up.

01-27-2012, 03:02 PM
One last thought, which I forgot to put it in my answer.

One of the things that I have been thinking about is how much can I really drop. I've been wondering if I could get measured for body fat percentage and start looking at other "markers" of health/fitness rather than just the scale (the scale drives me nuts anyway because the weight comes off slowly).

I might start getting more serious on that one. I'm cycling as a hobby and for exercise and I am currently struggling figuring out how to feed myself in the context of the sport. Some advise me to keep eating as I am now and let the calories burn off the fat, other say I need to eat what I burn, others insist that I have to be careful because of my IR and I need to feed accordingly (and not follow what other people advise).

I don't know the answer yet, but it is a sport I like a lot and I may focus on getting better at it (feeling better after long rides, going faster, etc.) rather than necessarily what I'm losing? And hope that I lose weight along the way?

I don't know, but these thoughts are kind of running in my head. I lost the weight not to reach a specific number on the scale, I did it for health reasons and now I have fitness reasons to lose weight. But really, it's less about the scale a lot more about how well I'm doing in those areas (health and fitness) than the number, right?!