Weight Loss Support - Overweight changes your body shape?

10-30-2006, 02:38 PM
Hi Girls

So, I had always considered myself slightly pear-shaped, since I have never had lean thighs. They have always been fat. Overall, I have been pretty fortunate to being close to hourglass. As I have lost weight, I have lost lots from my waist, and I look more hourglass from the front.

But from the side I still have a pretty large stomach, especially from the side. My waist to hip ratio is .82, so I'm considered an apple. And I KNOW this is better than it used to be, when I was more heavy.

Is it possible that being overweight has permanently changed my body shape? I am only 24, and I have not had any kids yet. I had hoped I wouldn't be dealing with a disproportionate stomach right now.

I hear over and over again people saying that your general shape stays the same, no matter what size you are. But what has been your experience? Has your shape stayed the same?

10-30-2006, 02:50 PM
Its the same with me.. thats the area that has stayed bad for me too.. I am about the same age, and I really had hoped by now that I would be down a fair more that what I actually am. My stomach is all I really need to go now.

10-30-2006, 03:33 PM
By adulthood a normal body has a set number of fat cells which shrink or expand depending on the amount of excess energy being stored or burned. Each person has a different total number of fat cells depending on body type, genetics, weight during childhood, etc. However, when the fat cells in overweight people have expanded to their maximum size, they can divide, thus producing an increase in the actual number of fat cells. Obesity develops when a person's fat cells increase either in number (called hyperplasia), in size (called hypertrophy) or very often in both. I believe it is impossible to reduce the number of fat cells once they are established... only shrink them. So yes your body shape could now be different in that you might have more fat cells. The only non-surgical way to reshape your body is to shrink/expand your existing fat cells and/or increase/decrease your muscle mass. If you only diet your body will get smaller but your body shape will probably stay the same. This is why it is possible to hit your goal weight but still be overfat. Exercise... specifically weight-lifting... is the key to truly changing your body size and shape (along with your metabolism).

10-30-2006, 03:40 PM
Sigh... Thank you for your reply Sojourner. I guess I suspected as much. I have heard all of those things before, but I think I needed a reminder. I have been alternating Firm videos lately. Some of them are primarily step/aerobic, and some are more strength- centered.

I probably need to just stop worrying so much and do the best I can for my body.

10-30-2006, 03:41 PM
I think my body has always been V shaped and still is. I am at my goal and still wish my tummy area was smaller, but it doesn't seem to happen. When I was young and played basketball and swam a lot, I had more muscular hips and thighs than I have now. But, I never had the really small waist that I see on others.

10-30-2006, 03:46 PM
Oh but I can so relate to your frustration! Lets just keep at it and use our knowledge as motivation to transform into healthy, strong, lean, powerful, beautiful bodies!

10-30-2006, 04:43 PM
My shape stayed the same. I'm 36-26-36. I'm not sure of the measurements before but I was very hourglassy even at almost 200.

10-30-2006, 10:28 PM
Hey Start8 it sounds like we have similar bodies... hourglass, same height, and heaviest weight of 198. WOW you are down to 127.8! So how are you losing it and how long has it taken you?

10-30-2006, 10:38 PM
My body shape is exactly the same - just smaller. All the places I didn't really like - upper arms, thighs, belly - still big, just smaller. I just had to learn to love what I have. I used to dream that being thin would make me look like a super model in a bikini ad, well...that didn't happen :)

10-30-2006, 11:00 PM
I am also giving up my dream of ever wearing even a modest bikini in public. My body shape has stayed the same; my top half is still almost two sizes smaller than my bottom half. I look great from the waist up and the knees down, but the area from my knees to my waist...sigh. It's pretty clear to me that I don't want to eat or exercise the way I would have to for that part of my body to look great so I'm learning to accept it. The good news is that it's only a problem in a bathing suit; normal clothes hide my flaws pretty well.

10-31-2006, 01:09 AM
But you CAN change your body shape if you add weightlifting (complemented by aerobics)... but you have to lift some pretty heavy weights and not use machines. I recommend checking out the Body for Lilfe program for anyone ready for the commitment! It truly can change your body into something marvelous. I will be adding the weights in about six weeks from now... it really is the ticket to amazing changes.

10-31-2006, 12:14 PM
I looked at it as a change in lifestyle, not just a diet. My lose is probably slower than a lot of people because I take time off and I have PCOS.

I try keep my calories at 1200 on weekdays, 1400 on weekends and I work out 6 days a week for 30 minutes-but in the beginning I worked out only 4 days a week. I started July '05 and I was down 50 lbs by Christmas, at 136 in Mid-March and it's taken me 8 months to lose the last 8-but slow and steady. In these 8 months my lose has slowed considerably because A. It's harder to lose the closer you are to goal and B. I've taken time off for trips to NY, LV, Memphis, Corpus Christi, family gatherings, best friends Wedding weekend, my birthday, moving homes (I bought my first place), etc.

But the key for me was that after each time I went off I got back on plan when I got home and generally after binging out for 3 days I would crave my healthy food!

10-31-2006, 12:41 PM
I have mild PCOS as well... are you taking metformin? What kind of workouts have you been doing? Do you have before/after pics?

10-31-2006, 03:01 PM
I was on metaformin but with my weight what it is now my doctor took me off it because she didn't think it was healthy. I don't know how to upload pics but I can email them if you would like.

I either walk 4 miles (actually a walk/run combo) or do the elliptical for 30 minutes on level 12 or bike for 30 minutes at about 15 mph on level 6.

10-31-2006, 03:10 PM



Does this work? I'm the blond...looking for after pics and full body shots.

10-31-2006, 03:29 PM
I think this is working....these are the only body shots I have on this computer. I'm the blond in the blue top and white capris.




10-31-2006, 03:30 PM
I still have the boobs and the butt...hoping the rest of my stomach goes away with the last few pounds.

10-31-2006, 03:35 PM
Wow you look great... thanks for the inspiration!

10-31-2006, 03:40 PM
Found some old ones...this is me around 185 or so I think. I'm the blond in the black top, blue jean skirt, and curly (naturally-I straighten it with my Chi normally) blond hair.

I might have been a little drunk here :o




All the girls with me in all the pictures are my best friends and they are amazingly supportive girls! The pretty brunette in them (and my sig) is my best friend Katie (pink top, black bottoms) and she's the one that hit the gym with me everyday when I started to encourage me to keep going.

10-31-2006, 03:59 PM
wow start8 - you are a huge insipration to me now! I only hope I can get that nice tight looking body you got going on! congrats!

10-31-2006, 04:24 PM
I heard that the stomach is the last to go, the last to develop (if you want a six pack).

Some of it is genetics. My mother and I have the exact shape, except I am smaller. Even at my lowest I didn't have a flat stomach. If I keep the weight off for a year I am going to get a tummy tuck Spring 2008 so that I can be happy.

10-31-2006, 04:30 PM
Thanks for the kind words.

I just have a little pouch now so I think with the last few it will go, that and my outer thighs are my errrrrr zone.

Those and my big calves-but I've accepted those for the muscles they are and I'm learning to love.

10-31-2006, 06:25 PM
start8 - I just had to say that you just became my motivation :yes: I had my second daughter at the end of May and got back down to my pre-pregnancy weight (200 lbs) one month after having her. I'm 184 lbs now. I have almost the exact body shape as you did in your before pictures. After seeing your "after" pictures, it gave me hope that I can look that good one day if I keep trying! Thanks so much for posting your pictures!

10-31-2006, 07:04 PM
Start8, Looks like your friends lost weigh with you!

10-31-2006, 07:25 PM
Start - you look fantastic! What plan were/are you on?

10-31-2006, 11:07 PM
What gorgeous pictures... thank you so much for posting your before and afters. You should post them in the main thread... they are very inspirational.

Also so fun to see a big bunch of friends together having a good time :)

I hope to have before and after pictures as outstanding as yours in a year!