Alternachicks - A belated introduction

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10-12-2006, 08:26 AM
I have been lurking on this forum for *ahem* a few months now and thought I really ought to poke my head forward and say hello. I am not sure where to begin with this introduction because there are so many things that could be said. I can begin with a few basics: I am 32, single(ish), living in Istanbul, Turkey (but Canadian by birth and by nature in spite of a deceade out roaming the world), an active walker and lover of weird exotic foods of all sorts. I'm totally into music and photography and dancing (african, middle eastern, anything).

I have been blessed with a lower half disproportionately wider than my upper half, and although I am not really very overweight (bmi is 25, if i remember correctly) I really need to lighten things up a bit to feel more comfortable. I've been bottom heavy all my life and have yet to find a way to deal with it- I tend to lose weight from my top half first and end up looking gaunt in all the wrong places.

I don't have a diet or exercise plan formulated yet- still in the thinking stages-- but I am trying to keep active and eat healthfully, which isn't hard to do in Istanbul when you don't have a car and have easy access to lots of lovely fresh fruits and veggies! I guess what i am looking for is...a bit of cheerleading, since in all my years I have never ever actually been able to get below 68 kilo and that's still not enough. Argh.

10-12-2006, 10:20 AM
Welcome Koangirl! :wave:

I have the same issues - smaller on top, heavier on the bottom, and I lose weight in my upper body first.

One of the things I found that helped was bellydancing - it is the only type of exercise that made me trim inches off my thighs and butt! :lol:

I stick to whole foods and stay away from processed food and fast food as much as possible.

Good luck with your weight loss - you can do it! :cheer:

10-12-2006, 12:44 PM
Welcome Koangirl!

Since you enjoy walking - trying adding a pack for extra weight. When fitted properly, you lower half actually supports all the weight and you get the benefits of doing squats without having to squat. LOL Just be sure your walk includes at least 1 hill or several smaller hills steep enough to make you sweat and breath hard. You will know it is working because your legs will tell you.

Hiking with weight is the first exercise I have found that I dont get tired of because I go with a friend and we just BS all the way up the hills - we stop and rest as needed and of course chug the water, twice a week (1-1.5hr +/- always uphill one way and then back down - gotta work the front leg too), not only has my butt and hips slimmed down from this, but I have greater balance and more secure center of gravity. Fresh air, pretty scenery, the occasional deer. Its all good.:D

10-13-2006, 05:58 AM
Thank you for the advice! It's funny, actually, because where I live both the belly dancing and hill walking are totally normal parts of my life already: I live in Istanbul, and my flat is partway up and extremely steep (and I mean extremely! You have to lean forward to stay balanced and bikes can't make it!) hill in a car-unfriendly inner city area so if I want to get to work, I need to walk 25 minutes uphill to the metro and then walk another 10-15 min, and i am a teacher so i always have a packful of books on my back. And the bellydancing... yeah! The Turks are wonderful for this! Maybe I just need to do more... My lower half is actually really strong from all my walking and my upper half is... not. Maybe I should do weight training. I am about a 14 below and a 10 above, which is really unbalanced! Has anyone ever actually managed to minimise this discrepancy??? I know I will always be a bit unbalanced but is is necessary for it to be so extreme????

10-13-2006, 11:10 AM
Weird! We are currently the same sizes! I have to buy separates in clothing as dresses don't fit right, either too big on top and just right on the bottom or tight on the bottom and just right on top - grrr!!!! Jeans are even worse as the waist is always too big but they fit fine in the butt and hip area.

I wear alot of skirts and usually wear darker colors for bottoms- blacks, chocolate browns, deep greens etc. and nothing too clingy in the hips. I wear fitted (but not tight) tops in different colors or prints (simple ones)- mostly black, brown, oranges, greens, reds, purples. I find that 3 quarter length sleeves or long sleeves work best. I find this balances out my shape and makes my hips and butt look smaller but curvy.

I'm finding that yoga and bellydance are taking some inches off as well as taking daily walks.

10-14-2006, 04:10 PM
The funny thing for me is that normally weight loss occurs at my waist first, butt last. So pants are usually tight in the legs, hips but loose at waist. Since I have been hiking my legs are looser than my waist. I am in a 14 jean now which is awesome for me but will always wear an 18 in blouses due to my broad shoulders - which means the blouse will be too big from the ribs down (I dont wear blouses often). I try to find clingy shirts that are stretchy enough at the arms to not bind and yet not be baggy at the waist. Or tapered in the waist.

(note to Koan, a day pack is bad for you back and may be the reason you are getting the right workout., It should have a waist strap so that no weight is on your shoulders, instead all weight sits on the hips - I use an external frame pack, but the internal ones are good and they make waist straps you can add to a day pack)

10-15-2006, 06:19 AM
Thanks for the advice about packs. I'm not really sure how to work the big-pack thing since I'll just be using my day pack for daily work toting. I have my big hip-resting one for travelling but it seems way too impractical for day to day use. I'll figure something out...

10-15-2006, 02:12 PM
Hi Koan - the idea is to have a small day pack that is designed like the full size trail packs - specifically the waist/hip strap that takes the weight off your shoulders.

This link is to an example - please find a cheaper one at a yard sale or something - it is just to show you what I am talking about. They - pack makers - also make the waist strap separately that can be added to your existing pack with a bit of thread.

Having the weight off your neck and shoulders will make you sleep better - will give your legs a better workout and you will be able to carry a heavier load. :carrot:

10-30-2006, 04:56 AM
I just wanted to check in now that my life is back into a state of mostly normalcy ;-) I had been away for a month to see my boyfriend who lives in Dubai-- and because it was Ramadan (the month of fasting for muslims) we were invited to far too many traditional evening meals which are gorgeous, lavish, huge affairs that stretch on for hours. Very hard to start any sort of healthy eating plan when you can't eat in public during the day and are treated to so much every night! I managed to stay stable in my weight somehow but definitely haven't lost anything except muscle (Dubai was so hot I couldnt keep up my usual walking habit).

Now I am back in Istanbul, starting a new job today, and trying to focus on getting my act together! I plan to do a low key detox, cutting out processed foodsand sugar, and see how I feel after a few weeks. Does anyone have any info about this sort of thing? Like does and donts and tips?

10-30-2006, 12:57 PM
Hi koangirl... I have been to Istanbul briefly and also to Dubai several times. Dubai is definitely the hottest place I have ever been in! I think it was a balmy 112 my first time there. Are you Muslim? I have spent a few months in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan as part of my job working with a humanitarian aid organization. I must admit I always schedule my trips around Ramadan because the fasting would be miserable! Welcome back. :)