100 lb. Club - How come some people lose inches so fast?




mandydawn77
09-27-2013, 10:30 PM
I have been doing zumba since the last week in January and for the past few months I have been doing 1-hour classes 4 days a week for the most part. I took measurements February 1st and I just checked tonight to see the difference. I haven't checked in awhile because it was depressing. I never lose inches! I admit I didn't start dieting until June 14th, but you would think going from being a couch potato to sweating my butt off doing intense workouts that I would have noticed a difference without dieting. I have definitely seen results. I know my legs are somewhat smaller and more muscular and I can tell I am stronger even in my arms. Mainly I can tell a big difference in my stamina and that I take the stairs a lot more at work and walk my son to the bus stop every chance I get. I'm a lot more active and I like the instant mood boost I get after zumba class.

My complaint is that I read all these comments on different weight loss websites where people say things like I lost "18 pounds and 8 inches," "15 pounds and 4 pant sizes in two months," "24 pounds and 20.5 inches," etc. Those are just a few I seen tonight in one thread. What I want to know is how I've lost 85 pounds and only like 3 pant sizes???!!! I don't have my measurements from back in July 2011 when I first started dieting. I went totally off my diet over the holidays of 2012 and by June 2013 I had gained like 25 pounds back, so I just recently lost all that I had gained back. I just measured today and I've lost a couple of inches here and there, but nothing like these other people are saying. I'm sure part of the difference is the fact that I have excess skin and others that never have been over 300 pounds don't have that problem. Even though my arm muscles are much better than before and I feel stronger and more toned, when I measure it doesn't show but maybe a half inch difference because of all the skin hanging down underneath. My waist is a few inches smaller and I lost a couple up under my bust, not much difference around the hips. I did lose some in my legs, but not as big of a difference as I thought there might be. And how do you know if you are measuring in the same places each time?

I don't mean to go on and on, but it's so frustrating because I don't understand why it's so hard for me to see visible results when someone else can lose just 15 pounds and go down 4 whole pant sizes! Am I the only one with this problem? :?:


kaplods
09-27-2013, 11:03 PM
I've lost 100 lbs and only one pant size.

How many inches and sizes you lose depends down to how big you are when you start and where the fat lost comes from.

The bigger you are, the more pounds it takes to go down a size, or lose an inch. Also, some folks lose weight fairly evenly (which translates into fewer inches lost in any one spot). Others lose from certain areas faster than others.

I'm losing in the reverse order than I'd like. I've lost 10" and 3 sizes in my bust, 5" and 2 sizes in my waist, and (barely) 3" and 1 size in my hips.

As you get smaller, it will take fewer pounds per size (or inch).

Some folks call this the "paper towel" principle (As a roll of paper towels gets smaller, each sheet you take away becomes more noticeable as the roll gets smaller).

Angihas2
09-27-2013, 11:35 PM
I feel your frustration. It took about 75 lbs for me to notice a difference and actually need new pants. Due to my build and height. I carry all me weight around my hips and lower belly but no leg, arm, back or upper belly areas. Sure, I lost a few inches from those places, but couldn't really go down in smaller sizes because the fabric wouldn't go over my lower belly. It was...heart breaking, "why did I bother losing weight and making healthier choices if I STIlL look like a fat slob", was a mental thing for me. Eventually and finally it's catching up. From 300+ to below 200, size 14 Calvin Klein hip huggers. Finally.

Remember a lot of the other websites are going to try an sell you a product or convince you their diet is the one for you. Everybody is going to lose lbs and inches differently. My lower tummy area still has a lot of work to do an I've already accepted the fact that if I ever want it to be semi flat, that area at least will need skin removal surgery. Check out the maintainers forum, they'll be best able to guide you on when you can expect skin to start to bounce back, although 109% elasticity is highly unlikely


sweetcakes736
09-28-2013, 12:05 AM
I know this may come off as a little harsh....I don't mean it too but how many of us have squeezed into clothes that are really 3 sizes too small but we claimed that as our size. Maybe it feels like a small loss because we weren't honest with ourselves in the upfront.

vintagecat
09-28-2013, 12:42 AM
The converse of sweetcakes point, I wore my clothes pretty loose always. After losing 20 pounds I was swimming in my already loose clothes and needed clothes sooner than people that wear more fitted clothes. After losing almost 40 pounds I'm down a couple of sizes.

Unlike kaplod I'm losing on the extremities, shoulders and my hips. My bust and waist is moving slower than the rest. I'm still buying boxy things and will until I have a shape. I kind of think all those inches are the total of several body parts too.

kaplods
09-28-2013, 01:08 AM
I know this may come off as a little harsh....I don't mean it too but how many of us have squeezed into clothes that are really 3 sizes too small but we claimed that as our size. Maybe it feels like a small loss because we weren't honest with ourselves in the upfront.

There's a major flaw in your logic. Someone who habitually squeezes into the smallest possible size is most likely going to keep that habit when they lose weight. So they're going to change sizes at about the same rate (if not sooner) than someone who wears their clothing looser, because they're going to claim the smaller size as soon as they can squeeze into it.

Besides which, the OP, admits to losing 3 pant sizes, which is pretty damned good for an 85 lb loss. With her starting and current weight, it is quite a lot, actually.

In my own case, I NEVER squeeze into too-tight clothing, because I hate how it looks and feels, especially feels. I have fibromyalgia and arthritis and cannot tolerate the feeling of tight clothing, or eeven well-tailored clothing that is the least bit restrictive.

Even when I was younger and without pain issues, I was more likely to err on the side of comfort and slightly loose, but not baggy clothing (except in the 80's when baggy was "in").

As such, I'm pretty aware for myself of my "true" size, and what I'm experiencing now (and op's description of her experience) and what I've observed in others is all consistent with my previous post.

The amount of weight and size fluctuation, my current experience (and that of op) is pretty typical (except that when I was younger, the weight loss tended to be more evenly distributed. I still lost more off of my boobs than my waist and hips, but the differences weren't nearly as great.

When someone weighs more than 300 lbs, it's not unusual for a size change to require a loss (or gain) of 40-50 lbs.

Darwin
09-28-2013, 07:38 AM
I like the paper towel theory. That sounds about right to me. I'm hopeful as I approach the 200 and under mark sizes will drop faster.

Also, how many places are they taking measurements for those inches? I did that Groupon for Curves. Went in yesterday for the before measurements and she took like seven or eight different circumferences. That would add up a lot after than just hips, waist, and bust.

Josiee
09-28-2013, 08:11 AM
There's a major flaw in your logic. Someone who habitually squeezes into the smallest possible size is most likely going to keep that habit when they lose weight. So they're going to change sizes at about the same rate (if not sooner) than someone who wears their clothing looser, because they're going to claim the smaller size as soon as they can squeeze into it.


I think for me squeezing into clothes at my highest weight was because that was the highest size in the store i.e. 16. Easier to squeeze in then try to find stores with bigger sizes. Although in a fairly big city there's not a lot of options. So once there were no options the only option was to lose weight. Now that I've lost some weight I find there are more larger options/sizes in the store and fewer small and even the sizes listed as small or extra small are more of a large. It has me perplexed because now I'm finding it hard to find clothes that fit at a smaller size and have to buy baggier clothes lol.

I think my waist I may have only lost a few inches so far maybe one in the chest but that's ok ;) . Mostly have lost in my hips and bust and then other areas along the torso and in neck and face. Waiting for the day there is some waist movement (without sacrificing the chest) lol.

sweetcakes736
09-28-2013, 08:29 AM
It was just a theory...that could be taken or left at will.

mandydawn77
09-28-2013, 10:12 AM
Thank you all for your responses. I take no offense sweetcakes. In my case I don't wear my clothing too tight, but I have a friend who does and as she loses weight she still squeezes into sizes that I would never wear at her size. Different strokes for different folks. Her body shape is a LOT different than mine and she only really has one major problem area where my weight is pretty much equal all over. It's astounding to me when she tells me the size pants she buys but she has to wear really long shirts to cover the top because they don't actually fit in the waist. It doesn't do any good when I try to give my opinion because she's convinced they look good. I know if she were to buy pants that truly fit in the waist they would be HUGE in the legs for her and she has no butt whatsoever. Men's jeans are what fit her best, but unfortunately she's also guilty of wearing the pants under her stomach like some men do. It bugs me so bad and half the time half her butt is showing when her shirt comes up. I've tried to tell her, but I've known her for over 20 years and it does no good.

Anyway, I didn't mean to get so off track. I guess it must be just the fact that I started out at such a large size. The paper towel theory makes sense. So does the theory about people measuring in many places and then adding them all up. I know I've lost a lot in my face, neck and chest/shoulder area and those are places I never would have thought to measure. I hope the next 50 pounds will make more of a difference as far as inches/clothing size goes. I have heard that it takes up to 2 years for your skin to snap back as far as it's going to. I know it's unrealistic to expect skin to snap back when it has been stretched as far and for as long as mine has.

It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who lost a significant amount of weight and only a couple of sizes. I guess I was just feeling jealous because every time I read one of those comments about only losing a small amount of weight and saying they went down like 4 sizes it just irritates the heck out of me and makes me wonder if they are lying. These are on message boards like this one and my fp and not just the advertisements for weight loss products. I guess I need to just be happy with the progress I've made and not let myself get discouraged and quit - again. The lowest weight I remember as an adult (early twenties) was 217 and I was just then getting into "regular" size clothes 16 to 18 I think, so I guess I shouldn't be so shocked. I want to get under 200 pounds so bad! It seems nearly impossible to me, but I know if I keep up with my diet and exercise long enough I will eventually get there. It's just so hard because it takes so long.

Thank you guys again for telling me your experiences and theories :)

tefrey
09-28-2013, 11:35 AM
Hey sweetcakes736! I totally get what you meant. When I was smaller I tended to wear baggy clothes, and so they still 'fit' when I gained weight. I hate the clothes available to overweight people so I would try to hold off shopping as long as I could. So I have no clue what my size actually is ... I even have some sweaters and coats in my closet from high school when I weighed next to nothing.

So I don't know what my size was, but not because I like wearing tight clothes ... quite the opposite!

kaplods
09-28-2013, 12:06 PM
Another factor is how folks "count" sizes. I've found that many people will say they've lost two sizes, when they've only lost one, because they subtract the new size from the old size to get their count.

So if they wore a size 28 and now wear a size 26, they say they've lost two sizes, even though there is no size 27.

They're not necessarily lying, but it is messed up math.

mandydawn77
09-28-2013, 12:15 PM
kaplods - I never thought of someone counting sizes like that. Very interesting.

Elladorine
09-28-2013, 12:19 PM
For what it's worth, I've been well over 300 pounds myself, so I've experienced first-hand that the higher you start out at, the less the individual pounds show. I think it was a good 40 pounds before I managed to get down my first size.

Since I'm an apple, most of my weight is in my belly, and it's also my most stubborn area. In my case, it felt I was losing everywhere other than my stomach, which really prevented me from losing sizes. I went through very long phases of not being able to find jeans that fit properly; if they fit my hips and butt, there was no way I'd be able to fasten them. By the time I found a waist big enough to fit around me, my butt and hips were swimming. So frustrating! It's gotten better as I've gotten smaller, but I imagine it will always be a problem area for me.

Regardless, I spent much of my weight loss journey wearing a 22/24, which was probably when I was in the 250-300 lb. range. Before I got pregnant, I was down to 210-215 and was in a 16.

mandydawn77
09-28-2013, 12:52 PM
elladorine - Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you and I are pretty similar body wise. It took a long time to get out of 24's, but they are finally too baggy to wear. Everyone keeps telling me I need to buy new workout clothes because they are getting too big, especially the t-shirts because I have always liked my shirts big and now they are really big lol. I guess I'm going to have to suck it up and go spend more money. Hopefully I can find a good sale. It took me months to finally talk myself into spending the money for a new, good pair of tennis shoes and I love them.

You have really made a lot of progress in a fairly short amount of time. Do you mind if I ask what kind of diet you were following before pregnancy. Congrats on the pregnancy as well :)

Annik
09-28-2013, 12:58 PM
I have been doing zumba since the last week in January and for the past few months I have been doing 1-hour classes 4 days a week for the most part. I took measurements February 1st and I just checked tonight to see the difference. I haven't checked in awhile because it was depressing. I never lose inches! I admit I didn't start dieting until June 14th, but you would think going from being a couch potato to sweating my butt off doing intense workouts that I would have noticed a difference without dieting. I have definitely seen results. I know my legs are somewhat smaller and more muscular and I can tell I am stronger even in my arms. Mainly I can tell a big difference in my stamina and that I take the stairs a lot more at work and walk my son to the bus stop every chance I get. I'm a lot more active and I like the instant mood boost I get after zumba class.

My complaint is that I read all these comments on different weight loss websites where people say things like I lost "18 pounds and 8 inches," "15 pounds and 4 pant sizes in two months," "24 pounds and 20.5 inches," etc. Those are just a few I seen tonight in one thread. What I want to know is how I've lost 85 pounds and only like 3 pant sizes???!!! I don't have my measurements from back in July 2011 when I first started dieting. I went totally off my diet over the holidays of 2012 and by June 2013 I had gained like 25 pounds back, so I just recently lost all that I had gained back. I just measured today and I've lost a couple of inches here and there, but nothing like these other people are saying. I'm sure part of the difference is the fact that I have excess skin and others that never have been over 300 pounds don't have that problem. Even though my arm muscles are much better than before and I feel stronger and more toned, when I measure it doesn't show but maybe a half inch difference because of all the skin hanging down underneath. My waist is a few inches smaller and I lost a couple up under my bust, not much difference around the hips. I did lose some in my legs, but not as big of a difference as I thought there might be. And how do you know if you are measuring in the same places each time?

I don't mean to go on and on, but it's so frustrating because I don't understand why it's so hard for me to see visible results when someone else can lose just 15 pounds and go down 4 whole pant sizes! Am I the only one with this problem? :?:

Mandydawn,

Curious to know why you switch back and forth between Atkins and Weight Watchers? Do you find that helps?

Annik

HelloNurse
09-28-2013, 01:39 PM
Another factor is how folks "count" sizes. I've found that many people will say they've lost two sizes, when they've only lost one, because they subtract the new size from the old size to get their count.

So if they wore a size 28 and now wear a size 26, they say they've lost two sizes, even though there is no size 27.

They're not necessarily lying, but it is messed up math.

Missy and women's sizes are counted in even numbers, but juniors clothing comes in odd sizes. So there is a size 27 (I've seen it), just not in the same department that you might shop. That's also why sometimes we get stuck at this point where everything is either a little too big or a little too small; we're at an odd size but it's not very easy to find junior plus sizes. Or some feel like I feel now; I could technically go out and get size 17s but I'd rather just wait and get into 16s because buying new clothes at every size along the way would get very expensive.

Back to the OP, the reason it seems like people lose so many inches is because of the way that weight loss industry counts the inches. If I lose an inch off my belly, half an inch off each thigh, and an inch around my hips, that counts as 3 inches lost after just 10 pounds. Which makes it seem like you gain a whole lot of muscle and lose a whole lot of fat on their plan. It's sneaky and deceptive, and I wouldn't put any stock in it.

Elladorine
09-28-2013, 01:44 PM
elladorine - Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you and I are pretty similar body wise. It took a long time to get out of 24's, but they are finally too baggy to wear. Everyone keeps telling me I need to buy new workout clothes because they are getting too big, especially the t-shirts because I have always liked my shirts big and now they are really big lol. I guess I'm going to have to suck it up and go spend more money. Hopefully I can find a good sale. It took me months to finally talk myself into spending the money for a new, good pair of tennis shoes and I love them.

You have really made a lot of progress in a fairly short amount of time. Do you mind if I ask what kind of diet you were following before pregnancy. Congrats on the pregnancy as well :)
Yeah, it does sound like we have similar bodies! :) I recently found an old post where I vented the fear that I'd never get out of 22/24's. :dizzy: Back in the day I'd lose 40 pounds and maybe lose a size, but the last 30 pounds has allowed me to drop about 3-4 sizes (from a 22/24 to the 16).

The weight loss has actually taken a lot longer than it appears: nine years in fact! :o I was at my highest weight back in 2003-2004, and lost in 20-40 lb. chunks and plateauing/maintaining for ages, sometimes for years, before getting back into weight loss mode and losing another 20-40 lb. chunk. With the exception of a 20-some pound regain from a couple of years ago, I've spent the last 9 years either losing or maintaining.

That regain was part of the reason I decided to get serious again with getting healthy. The last 60 pounds took about a year to get off, as I was averaging about a pound a week for my loss until I found out I was pregnant. ;) I just watch my portion sizes, eat lots of veggies and fruit, lean proteins and some healthy fats, try to stay away from overly-processed foods (especially sugar), and I track everything I eat in a hand-written food journal. And with the pregnancy I actually count calories, something I didn't even bother with while losing; I just want to make sure I eat enough for the baby without going overboard.

As for buying new clothes, definitely check out thrift stores if you can. I've found so many great deals at several of them recently, and I often find clothes that still have the original tags on them for next to nothing! You'll feel so much better when you have clothes that fit you properly. I used to always like my shirts big so they weren't "hugging" my rolls :lol: but there really is a point where big is too big. ;)

And thanks! I'm so anxious to meet the little one and being able to get back to working on a healthier weight. Don't worry so much about the rate your inches drop, as they'll definitely fall faster over time. :hug:

mandydawn77
09-28-2013, 03:07 PM
Hi annik - The reason why I seem to switch back and forth is just because once I start in eating carbs I seem to lose control. If I stay away from nearly all carbs, except for low-carb vegetables, then I lose that craving for them and I lose faster doing really strict low carb. I think the main reason why I keep going back to weight watchers is because after being so strict on the low carb it doesn't even feel like dieting, at least not in the beginning. I guess it's just that the low carb is just so restrictive that I like to take a break once in awhile. The first time I did low carb for a little over a year and the last month or so I just maintained, so I decided to switch it up for awhile. I instantly started losing when I switched to weight watchers, but then when the holidays came around I lost all self control and completely went crazy with my eating and gained back 25 pounds before I finally got my eating under control this past June. I did extremely low carb for the first 12 weeks and then just recently started weight watchers again. There are benefits to both. I'm a big meat and egg eater and I love butter and over the years I have come across some great low carb recipes and I love the way my appetite goes down and I really lose the carb cravings after a week or so. I love weight watchers because I feel like I can technically eat anything I want, just in moderation. I can splurge with my weekly points or just use a few of my weekly points each day. Also, I don't get all the negative comments from friends and family about the low carb lifestyle not being healthy and constantly hearing how they could never do it.

I'm sorry for going on and on. There's really no good reason to switch back and forth. It's just something that has worked for me I guess.

kaplods
09-28-2013, 03:10 PM
Missy and women's sizes are counted in even numbers, but juniors clothing comes in odd sizes. So there is a size 27 (I've seen it), just not in the same department that you might shop. That's also why sometimes we get stuck at this point where everything is either a little too big or a little too small; we're at an odd size but it's not very easy to find junior plus sizes.

Off-topic trivia alert:

I didn't really want to go into this, but I'm a bit of a sucker for trivia, so for anyone interested,


Yes, junior sizes are odd numbered, but they do not correspond to misses sizes. They are cut differently altogether.

As a result a junior 15 does not necessarily fall "in between" a misses 14 and 16. So while a 27 exists, it doesn't necessarily fall between 26 and 28.

Likewise, there are "half sizes" usually associated with a more "mature" body type or sometimes petites. They also do not necessarily correspond to misses sizes, so a 24 1/2 isn't always "between" a 24 and a 26. In fact, usually, for any given manufacturer, 24 1/2 is actually closest to a 24, but the cut is different so there is no exact match.

That's usually true for juniors as well. The measurements for a junior size 15 are usually closer to a misses 14 OR 16 rather than it is to halfway between the two. And even then, there are no exact midpoints, because junior sizes are cut entirely differently than misses (usually they're cut for an early adolescent, less curvy figure in which hips and bust are closer in measurement to the waist).

If junior sizes and petites were cut exactly the same, there would be no need for the distinction, but they're not... so my original post is accurate.

In the USA, whether you fit best into juniors, misses, womens or petites, sizes are measured in increments of two. If you're in juniors there are no "even" sizes and in misses there are no "odds" and in half sized there are no odd or whole sizes. The increment is always 2+ the previous size.

And all of this really only makes sense in the context of a single manufacturer, because size and cut varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. A 24 in one company may be a 26 in another, or worse the measurements for a 24 in one company may cross sizes in another, for exampe h the bust, hips, and waist measurements for a 24 might match those of a 22, 24, and 26 for another company.

Because sizes are not well-standardized, talking about size changes often becomes meaningless. Any of us can drop a size or to, simply by choosing where to shop.

Garnet2727
09-28-2013, 03:12 PM
To the OP, I had the same frustrations early on in my weight loss efforts. In what I now call the HALLELUJAH phase of my diet where I was dropping anywhere from 1 to 3 pounds a week, it felt like it was taking forever for my clothing sizes to drop. Then, at about 50 pounds in, KAWHAM. All of a sudden, my clothing was loose. Within about a month after that, I was swimming in my clothes. When I started my weight loss effort, I was wearing size 26 and those were getting tight. Now, I'm comfortably fitting in 18 - 20.

I think, like others have said too, that a lot depends on your body type. My friend who was also losing weight at about the same pace, was dropping sizes much faster and when we weighed the same, was wearing much smaller clothing. She's got an hour glass figure. Her waist, even when she was heavy, is over 10 inches smaller than her hips. I'm a banana. My waist when I started was the same size as my hips and now is only 3 inches smaller.

mandydawn77
09-28-2013, 03:55 PM
Garnet - I'm excited to get to my hallelujah moment. I look forward to getting out of the 20's.

Kaplods - I know what you mean about how the sizes vary between brands/manufacturers. There were certain brands that I had to buy bigger sizes in because the cut was so different. I've also found that the better the brand the roomier it seems to be. If I get an expensive outfit at a nice department store I can usually wear a smaller size than if I go to walmart and get an outfit. One thing I think has made a difference is that since I've been doing zumba regularly my legs have shrunk to where I can fit into clothes that used to fit in the waist, but be too tight on the thighs. My thighs have always been my biggest complaint about my body and even though I have a long way to go I'm happy with the changes I've noticed lately. I just hope my skin isn't going to stay this saggy. I hate that word, but it's the only word that really describes it.

patns
09-28-2013, 04:28 PM
[QUOTE=Josiee;4850427} Now that I've lost some weight I find there are more larger options/sizes in the store and fewer small and even the sizes listed as small or extra small are more of a large. It has me perplexed because now I'm finding it hard to find clothes that fit at a smaller size and have to buy baggier clothes lol.

[/QUOTE]

So true.Over my many years of trying to lose weight I have been different sizes. The one thing that has remained constant is that when I see something I like the one size not available is the one I am at the time.:?:

I also have the problem with the lower belly fat. I got to 130 and I was losing on boobs, rear etc but pants were an awful fit. To fit around the belly they were flapping everyplace else. I am aiming now to get back to 135 and wear a size up than I was at 130.

I am in my 60s so surgery is not going to happen but lesson to be learned is to try to get the excess off while you are younger and the body adjusts easier. That loose skin doesn't want to budge after it has been there for eons.

Angihas2
09-28-2013, 08:17 PM
Another thing to consider is where our anatomical landmarks were vs where they should have been. Where my waist is now is nowhere near where it used to be. Rolls of fat with an indent vs a leaner torso and naturally curved shape is going to fit into clothing much more differently.