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Looking larger at the same weight?

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Old 05-15-2013, 07:50 PM   #1
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Default Looking larger at the same weight?

When I first reached goal (140 lb. ---then lost about another 5 while trying to figure out maintenance), I looked REALLY thin. I mean thin as in people were telling me I really needed to stop losing and that they could not believe I was the weight I said I was. Even my face looked too thin (to me and others).

I've now been maintaining about 1 1/2 years. At last weigh-in, I was 138.2, which is about 3 lbs. above what I would like to be, but still within my range. However, now, even though I wear the same size (just bought two size four skirts yesterday!), to me, I look heavier. I mean , my breasts look bigger, as do my arms. My face has filled out (I'm glad about that).

In the past, I've anecdotally observed that people's bodies seem to eventually "catch up" with their weight after a major weight loss. However, even though I observed this in others, I've never experienced it myself.

Any thoughts on why this happens? Do you think this actually something physically real or is it just changed perception, i.e., the person gets used to his/her lower weight so that after a while, he/she seems larger than when he/she first lost weight? (And this might apply to how others perceive us as well).

What do you think?

ETA: In the last month or so, I've been lifting weights more than usual (going to a morning CrossFit class 3-5 days a week), so I've know I've built muscle---not sure if this would make a difference.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:55 PM   #2
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Have you compared pictures side by side to see if you look different at the same weight?
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:25 PM   #3
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I think it's a combination. If your clothes fit the same, you must be close to the same size. Also, I think faces change a bit. They fill in a bit somehow and you stop looking gaunt. And then there is the "got used to it" factor. My adult daughter (who only knew me as a fat person) said this about 3 months into maintenance, "When I think of you now I finally see your thin face, not the fat one. Your thin face is now normal to me." I felt the same! Now "this" seems normal. No one tells me I'm too thin anymore, but they did while I was losing. Exactly the same as you describe. The brain takes a while to get used to the new look. And somehow your body smooths out the face a bit.

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Life style change started on Jan 13, 2011. I was going to lose 100 pounds by Christmas.
I lost 93 pounds by Oct 1, 2011 and am holding there for now. We'll see what happens.
New goal: To maintain at about 160 Final Goal: To decide if I need to lose more
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:33 PM   #4
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You know I feel this way too compared to a year ago. Weight is virtually unchanged - 123-126. I feel like I'm bulkier up top and leaning out on the bottom. Definitely weight training in my case.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magical View Post
Have you compared pictures side by side to see if you look different at the same weight?
Not intentionally. I hate taking pictures because I'm not very photogenic. However, in a group photo for work I took a year ago, I don't look noticeably bigger than the group photo last year.

The odd thing is that about a month ago, I had posted that my skirts felt tight, and I was really frightened to get on the scale (I only weigh in once a month). I finally did and discovered that I'm 138.2 (my previous weigh-in was 135 or so). I then thought that the tighter feel to my skirts was my imagination, and the fact that I recently bought clothes in size four (my usual size is 4-6) reinforced that it might be my imagination. But now that I think of it, two shirts in my closet that I recently tried on seem snug across the bust. Also, my husband commented that now I look "normal" (he thought I looked too think a few months ago). So, maybe it's partly me getting used to it and maybe a few pounds does make a noticeable difference in someone as short as I am (5 ft. 3).

ETA:

Quote:
Originally Posted by krampus View Post
You know I feel this way too compared to a year ago. Weight is virtually unchanged - 123-126. I feel like I'm bulkier up top and leaning out on the bottom. Definitely weight training in my case.
Krampus, I was posting at the same time you did. I'm so glad to read your response! As you can see from my response above, it seems as if I can see a tangible difference in the fit of my shirts but not in my bottoms (as my recent shopping attests). Maybe I'm building up in the chest area ----not that this thrills me
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:03 PM   #6
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Hmm, but weight training will not do anything to your face. At least, I would not think so.

Perhaps as linJber said, a combination of perception as well as actual increase in build from muscles.

If you are happy with how you look and feel, continue what you're doing!
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:17 PM   #7
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I thought it was going to be as simple as "keep weight training, just get smaller everywhere" - not so! Shopping can be depressing since tiny shirts often pull awkwardly across my shoulders. A dress I had trouble fitting into last summer now fits nicely in the waist but the lack of stretch means it pulls across my shoulders and under my arms.

Good thing I like stretchy clothes and sleeveless shirts.

My face has stayed the same btw, but I didn't lose much weight last spring/summer - only 5-7 lbs and it was very gradual.
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