Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss - No waist definition

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07-05-2013, 09:53 PM
When I was overweight I had an hourglass shape, albeit a thick and flabby one. Now that I am at a normal BMI, my shape has become -to put it kindly- "athletic." And it's not just me. Over and over again, in the photos of many of my weight-reduced sisters, I see the same thing - nearly straight between ribcage and hips. I don't get it. This is not what's "supposed" to happen, and it doesn't seem to have anything to do with excess skin (the skin around my waist is taut). Unlike many maintainers on this board, I lost a relatively modest 40 pounds or so, but the amount of weight lost also doesn't seem to have much to do with this phenomenon (see photos here: e.g. Sue, Lisa and Kathy). Maybe age? If you're over 30 you can kiss your waist goodbye?

I'm curious to know if any of you regained (or retained) an hourglass shape with a nipped-in waist after you lost weight, and if so, how old are you? While I know I will never look like this:, I was at least hoping for a waist-to-hip ratio of .75. Instead, at 5'2" my hips are 34" but my waist is stubbornly 27.5. Since I have broad shoulders from weight training, and my thighs are still "sturdy," the overall impression I give when naked is straight up and down (very much like the Grand Prize Winner Sue on the Precision Nutrition website). I know that as far as body issues go, this is a trivial complaint compared to those of you battling excess skin, dropped abdomens, etc, but it really has become a big pet peeve of mine.

07-05-2013, 10:30 PM
I had an hourglass shape before gaining weight, and am returning to one with my weightloss. You can click on my avatar photo to see. I'm 48 years old, in menopause for 3 years. But, I wouldn't mind a more athletic shape, an am trying to lose my "pear".

07-05-2013, 10:52 PM
I'm a bit less than halfway to my goal, but so far I seem to be regaining my hourglass figure. I started with a waist of 38 and hips of 43. Thus far, my hips have shrunk 2 inches to 41 while my waist has shrunk 7 inches to 31, which puts me at a .75 ratio and I'm starting to see an 'hourglass'. I'm hoping that trend continues, but time will tell. I'm 56.

07-05-2013, 10:58 PM
My waist to hip is currently 0.77. Ironically, the shapes of most women on the Precision Nutrition site is the reason I decided to not sign up with them. I find them too athletic, as well. I had an hourglass figure before I gained most of my weight 5 yrs ago and hope to retain what I currently have. I am 48.

I do a lot of Jillian Michaels. She tones without loosing the curves. But I also have quite some troubles loosing in my waist. I may have abs now. At least I can do full sit-ups without a problem. But there is still that little pouch left over it that is very resistant.

07-07-2013, 10:16 AM
I've always had an hourglass figure and I have a feeling even when I get to goal I will have this - it's the body shape of most of the women in my Mom's family (even the thin ones) we have big butts/hips ;)

But when I was at my lowest, around 200 lbs, and about 30ish lbs from goal, I still had the hourglass figure - my ratio was .69 and right now, it's .68.

It might just be what your true shape is. Maybe when you weighed more, the extra weight gave the illusion of an hourglass shape??? Even before I gained a ton of weight, I had an hourglass shape - big boobs, small waist and big hips. And I thought I was huge :dizzy:

07-07-2013, 11:11 AM
(see photos here: e.g. Sue, Lisa and Kathy). Maybe age? If you're over 30 you can kiss your waist goodbye?

I don't see any of these women having an hourglass shape before the weight loss :?:
In my opinion Sue's in between hourglass and brick, the 2 Lisas are apples, and Kathy a brick. I might be wrong though, body shape calculators tell me I'm an hourglass but I still don't know where my waist is :D

07-07-2013, 12:30 PM
I've never been an hourglass. At my heaviest, I was an apple. My waist size was larger than my hip size. Now, I'm a banana. My waist size is 3 inches smaller than my hips. I am learning to embrace the banana! I kind of like having a waist now even if it isn't very defined.

07-07-2013, 02:02 PM
Now, I'm a banana.

That was my laugh for the day!! I've heard of apple, pear...but never banana. Good comparison!

07-07-2013, 02:40 PM
I'm not maintaining but I have lost close to 60lbs. I was an hourglass before weight gain, at my highest I was an apple and now I'm turning back into an hourglass with a waist to hip ratio of .75
I'm 30y/o

07-07-2013, 02:59 PM
I'm still a pear, but my upper body work has turned me into a human optical illusion because my shoulders are more defined. But the clothes measurements are true and I always wear one size larger below than up top.

Shannon talks about a change like this in one of her posts where someone was worried about exercise thickening their obliques.

07-07-2013, 03:45 PM
That was my laugh for the day!! I've heard of apple, pear...but never banana. Good comparison!


I picked up the lingo from this Body Type Calculator (

07-07-2013, 10:02 PM
I still lurk around here!:D

I have no idea what my ratio is.

I am rather broad shouldered, have a large and long, out of control bosom, long and manly/muscular arms. I also do have somewhat of a waist, but then genetics and having twins that were over 6 pounds each, gave me a nice pot gut, and stretch marks that would rival a road map of NYC!

Without the benefit of lots of deadlifts, step ups, and squats, I have a butt as flat as western Kansas!

But, I have great legs! From mid thigh down. The upper is jiggly and is what it is.

I finally decided, I have the body I have! Make what you have the best it can be!:D

07-08-2013, 03:37 AM
I thought I was an hourglass before, at my biggest my waist:hip ratio was .78 but as I'm losing weight it is falling from my upper body much fast than my lower body. Because of this I think I've moved into the pear category (my boobs are now 3.5" smaller than my hips and from the back it looks pretty straight boob-waist) and my waist:hip ratio is at .69 and my thighs are wider than my hips- trying to find pants is quite the challenge.

07-10-2013, 01:28 AM
I used to be more of an hourglass before children. Now with weight loss I have not noticed a huge difference in hip to waist ratio. Still a rectangle. Thankfully I still have a bit of a bust but that is going with weight loss as well. I think I am done losing. Healthy weight now and things don't seem to be improving. Just getting more saggy and shriveled.

07-10-2013, 10:36 AM
My waist to hip ratio is .94. :fr:

Just call me The Brick.

Precious Little
08-08-2013, 11:00 PM
I'll always be a pear, but I was the most pear shaped at my heaviest.

The best I can realistically achieve is a bit more 'hourglass'-y than 'pear' by strength training and increasing my muscle mass on my upper half --- bigger arms and bigger shoulders definitely do balance out my lower half, but being a shorty isn't helping much... kinda feel a bit 'chunk-ay!!!' but in a good way :p

My hips are the most stubborn area... slowly they are whittling down but it's HARD fighting my natural body shape and my body's natural tendency to want to hang onto fat around my bottom and thighs... but it's supposed to be the healthiest place to store fat isn't it? (though I'd rather much store fat in the fridge than on my boot-ay!!)

08-09-2013, 02:38 AM
Have a look at the Venus Index ( Their workout is designed to build a curvy shape.

08-16-2013, 04:36 PM
I think this is because that isn't really your "shape" in the past. Your extra weight just sat that way. There's nothing anyone can do about that really. I was a big ball when I was overweight. As I lost I realized I have a real and prominent hourglass figure because I have a tiny waist and wide hips. It's about bone structure.

09-15-2013, 07:30 PM
I have a question pertaining to inch loss. I gained almost 100 lbs over 10 years. Before gaining, I was 38-28-38 and wore an 8/10. (5'8") My waist measurement at 251 was 45". I've now lost almost fifty lbs, but only 6" from my waist. I figure that means I will probably lose another 6" with the next fifty. Unfortunately, that's still 5" larger around the waist than I was initially at the same weight. I thought I'd look much smaller once I lost all the weight. maybe im looking at it wrong, do inches come off in a less uniform manner?

Does anyone here find that to be true? Are you bigger at the same weight than you used to be? Sounds like I'll be shifting from hourglass to brick. :(

09-16-2013, 01:24 AM
^ if you are losing muscle along with fat it is quite possible to become larger than you previously were at the same weight.

I am having this issue. Due to high fat percent, age and lose skin I have a lot of obstacles to over come. Its a slow and steady process....I'm doing what I can.

09-16-2013, 03:21 PM
Thanks for the reply :). Congrats on your success, that's great!!

I'm hoping my inch loss starts coming off my mid-section more. It has to at some point, right? My exercise plan right now is walking 3mph for 30 min with short jogging intervals (6mph for 30 sec) every few minutes. That doesn't sound like a lot, but it does get my heart rate up and I sweat, so I figure at my fitness level, (poor) it's good enough for now.

I also started taking supplements that claim to help with "belly-fat loss." Although, I don't know how a pill can tell where fat is located, lol. I figure that I'll give it a try for awhile. Ive also wondered about adding light weight training, but I'm wondering if I should wait until I lose more weight???

09-16-2013, 05:01 PM
A lot of people think, or like to say they are hourglasses. Truth is they aren't. Unless your bust and hip measurements are identical, and your waist is smaller than those two, you are not an hourglass. For example 36-25-36 would be an hourglass. 36-25-37 would not be. Just having a waist does not make you an hourglass.

I see LOTS of pears claim hourglass like it is "better" or something. It's silly and it's denial. There is nothing wrong with being a few inches larger around the hips than your bust. Just like there is nothing wrong with being a "brick" or "athletic" or what ever you want to call having a straighter shape. Don't try to force yourself into a mold. If you're a square peg, repeatedly trying to smash yourself into a round hole is only going to make you a dented up square peg.

09-16-2013, 08:42 PM
What's it to you, Maui, if someone labels themselves an attractive label? Does that change what your body looks like?

09-17-2013, 11:21 AM
What's it to you, Maui, if someone labels themselves an attractive label? Does that change what your body looks like?

I'll tell you what it is to me. People can pretend all they want to be what they are not as they choose, or they can start accepting their factual reality and learn to love who they actually are and be much happier. I'm sad and tired of seeing people who feel like they are somehow "less than" because of some stupid, arbitrary label that the media has forced down societies throat. It's ridiculous and very sad that people get drawn in to the idea that unless they are this hair color/this height/that shape/this bust size/that weight they aren't good enough/pretty enough/valuable enough, or that they are somehow "second place" to someone who does meet those standards. Children are suffering because of this stuff. They're learning these flawed and damaging concepts via parents who've bought in to it themselves, and most of the time the parents don't even know they are doing it. For example, if a parent stuffs their bra or buys a big padded push up bra and the kids see that over the years (and they know, kids are very perceptive) they become conditioned to the idea that you must have a bust "that" size or something is wrong with you. Now, you've taught your child (and perpetuated this for another generation...unconsciously, but none the less) to view their body as sub par, in need of fixing. Same thing for body shape. Chances are very good that your children will have the same or similar body shape as you. So if you're a pear, or a brick, or banana or whatever other shape they've decided people are now, and you insist on being called another shape that you aren't, you're teaching the people around you that there is something wrong with being the shape you are. It's not just about kids either, your friends, family/siblings etc are all affected by this subconscious programming. That's why I think it's important for people to be and accept what they are. This board is full of people who say things like they loathe to see themselves in a mirror, or it makes them sad that they'll never look like a runway model or wear a bikini etc. They are hurting. And they hurt because people have allowed themselves to buy in to the garbage that has permeated society that only certain looks are good/right/valued. If people threw that out, and fought against being forced in to that mold, eventually it would go away and people wouldn't have to suffer for one narrow "ideal" concept of beauty. Ghandi said “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. We need not wait to see what others do.” (Usually this is manipulated to be "Be the change you want to see in the world) That is what I am trying to do. Maybe it bothers you, and maybe you'll hate me for my opinion Maria. But there you are, that is what it is to me. It's worth what you paid for it, and it's yours to accept or disregard as you please. Best wishes.

09-17-2013, 02:28 PM
This thread went really off topic.:dizzy:
The first time I ever lost weight I ended up with a flat stomach and an hourglass shape, but I was a teenager. As I've gotten older I've tended to lose curvaceousness while losing weight.

09-17-2013, 07:43 PM
Well as for the OP I guess I would say my body type has become a banana or straight body type....I am very happy with that !!!!...I guess I could almost be a body double for SUE. I am 61 and am 5'5" and have been staying steady at 123 ish for about 4 months.
I eat leanish,gluten free avoid dairy and do eat meat,lots of fish and fruits and veggies. I exercise quite a bit I run and do weights.
I looked simmlar to her before picture I weighed 174 {when I did no exercise and kept gaining} maybe a tiny bit smaller around belly and bigger breasts.
I have no idea what my real bodyfat measurement is but no I do not have much fat left on my body.