Venting is more than welcome around here
How frustrating it is to not be able to decide where the fat come off our bodies! I can totally empathize with you; although my weight sticks to different spots. I've lost 90 lbs and still can't comfortably wear shorts because my thighs are nearly as thick as my waist! It's very frustrating to have huge rear and thighs and hips when everything above my waist is boney! And where the heck did my boobs go???
I'm sure the weight loss is indeed very noticable to others. Try to remember that before you began losing weight, you probably didn't feel so great about yourself and rarely stared at your body in the mirror. If you're anything like me, you look at yourself in the mirror all the time now
The thing is though, when you were heavier you were probably actually less critical of your build because you didn't expect anything new or exciting from checking yourself out. Point being, there are probably a lot of places on your body where the weight loss is VERY noticable, but it's not to you because when you were your heaviest you didn't even notice that you had a lot of extra padding at points a, b, c, etc... and now that it's gone you unfortunately don't notice the change either.
Either way, 40 lbs is an amazing loss! And, it looks like you've been plugging away at your weight in a slow and steady fashion, so not only have you lost, but you've probably done so in the best, healthiest way possible! I doubt you'll have much trouble maintaining your goal weight when you reach it!
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much, if anything, that we can do about the genetics of where we store our weight. I don't know how much validity there is to this, but there has recently been a rash of studies showing that calcium products promote weight loss around the mid section. Here's a quote from a site I like (whfoods.org):
Trying to lose weight, especially around the midsection? A study published in the April 2004 issue of Obesity Research suggests that eating more calcium-rich foods, especially low fat dairy foods such as cow's milk, yogurt and kefir, may really help.
In this study, 41 obese subjects, 32 of whom completed the study, were divided into three groups and put on diets designed to result in the loss of one pound per week for 24 weeks. All diets contained the same number of calories and were designed to provide subjects with a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day.
The first group received a low (430 mg/day) calcium diet. The second group got the same diet with enough supplemental calcium to bring their daily intake up to 1200 mg. And the third group ate a diet with enough dairy foods to provide about 1100 mg calcium each day. At the conclusion of the study, the low calcium group had lost almost 15 pounds, the high calcium group 19 pounds, and the high dairy foods group 24 pounds. Plus, fat lost from the midsection represented an average of 19% of total fat loss in those on the low calcium diet, 50% of the fat lost in those on the high calcium diet, and 66% of the fat lost in those getting their calcium from dairy foods.
I've seen similar reports from other studies in various magazines. Like I said, I can't say how valid it is. Sometimes with these studies it's like one week you should eat 3 avocados a daily to reduce your chance of stroke, and then the next week, OMG don't eat avocados they raise your chance of heart attack!
What's a girl to do??? However, I actually put a small amount of stock into the "eat more natural calcium sources, lose belly fat" studies because I personally consumed TONS of calcium when I first starting losing weight. Yogurt, chocolate milk, cereal w/ milk... these were all things that helped me when I had a craving for something sweet. Now, nearing the end of my journey, my stomach is pretty much flat (but let's not talk about those thighs and hips!
). So, did it help me lose belly fat? Who knows, hehe. But hey, most women don't get their recommended daily dose of calcium anyway, so you could always give it a try!
You've done a wonderful job losing the weight Debbie! Please don't get discouraged! If you stick with your routine your belly weight WILL slowly disappear into the past. In the meantime, to celebrate, I think you should still go buy some new clothing. Walking around window shopping and trying hordes of outfits on is decent exercise anyway! And, I bet if you actually go and try some clothing on you'll find that you can wear different styles of pants (or maybe buy some skirts) that you previously may have avoided. You said your shirt size has perhaps gone down? Well get some new shirts! Reward yourself for your progress, don't punish yourself for not being exactly where you imagined you'd be.
Best of luck to you!!! You're doing great!