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Gaining inches, getting frustrated

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Old 03-26-2012, 03:35 PM   #1
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Default Gaining inches, getting frustrated

Hello all! This is my first post on weight training, but I've read the forum backwards and forwards and it has really influenced my diet/workout changes as I try to obliterate the last ten pounds.

I am happy with my current weight in the 120's, and don't care too much about what the scale says, but would like to really lower my bodyfat and increase my endurance and strength. My body tends towards skinnyfat- I have tiny bones, unstable muscles, lots of cellulite and squish.

I've been weight training 2-3x per week for the last six weeks and doing some version of HIIT (sprinting a mile between 15-20 min weight training in the squat cage and with dumbbells) and this has been kicking my butt. Lots of soreness and cardiovascular challenge. On non weight lifting days I run between 4-8 miles, trying to aim for 20 miles per week. I take 1-2 rest days a week.

The scale has not budged, which is cool. I have put on an inch on my hips, which is not. I've gone from a comfy 37 to a not so comfy 38, with waist and bust stable at 26 and 34.5. I definitely feel like my clothes, especially pants, are tighter. Like, much tighter. Like, back to avoiding large sections of my closet tighter, which is SO disheartening, because it reminds me of the awful denial years where everything was too small and I couldn't face it.

I also just feel kind of, like thick. Not really bloated in the belly, but just like, thick in the thighs and waist and arms.

Is this something you ladies (especially shorties) have been through? Is this the point I just have to push through and eventually I'll shed this fat and start losing inches? It seems like NROWL repeats over and over again that you can't get bulky weightlifting...but I am having my doubts.

Ok, sorry for the long post, I'm just really feeling frustrated with how hard I'm working and how things seem to be going backwards.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:40 PM   #2
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Well I just started reading a few threads down (weightlifting for three weeks) and it has really motivated me to focus less on the workout and more on tweaking my diet... seems like previous posters have really run into similar things with water retention and this might be beating a dead horse =). I guess it all feels new to you when you start!
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:00 PM   #3
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Yeah, it really sounds like water retention (which is very, very normal with weight training). Test it out, is it worse the day after workout? What about if you don't work out for a day or two, do they fit better then?

FWIW, for about 24hours after a workout I have a lot of water rentention. Especially if you're still new to lifting, it can be worse. It's not nearly as bad now that I've been lifting over a year.

Check your diet too. Make sure you haven't increased it (lifting can make you hungrier) so really make sure you're getting in enough protein (at least something right after a workout!).
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:26 PM   #4
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Yes, my trainer had told me, your hip muscle may bulge. I am doing weight training for an year now. My muscle above knee is increasing, but my measurements overall are decreasing.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:57 PM   #5
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All of my shirts and dresses got too tight across the shoulders and arms after I spent a summer canoe tripping with a summer camp. I lost weight doing it too, but yes, women can bulk up a bit. Not as bad as the one male camp staff member who ended up with a few small stretch marks over his bicep muscles (they really grew that quickly!).
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Only Me View Post
All of my shirts and dresses got too tight across the shoulders and arms after I spent a summer canoe tripping with a summer camp. I lost weight doing it too, but yes, women can bulk up a bit. Not as bad as the one male camp staff member who ended up with a few small stretch marks over his bicep muscles (they really grew that quickly!).
This happened to me too.

I had my senior prom dress which I wore before I started weight training. I wore it again for my college senior formal (after weight training). It was tight across my bust and back, but loose around my middle and butt. I thought I gained weight but it's only recently that I realize that my body composition had changed.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:48 AM   #7
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It does sound like water retention. After I workout, my muscles look fuller or more "pumped".

FWIW, I have been lifting for seven months and I recently discovered that all of my pants and shorts have gotten more snug in the seat and loose in the waist due to body composition changes. I'd previously thought it was from gaining some bulk but not true.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:31 PM   #8
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Water retention is the likeliest culprit, but how is your fat loss coming? Are you losing fat as well as putting on a bit of muscle? If not, you might need to reexamine your diet.
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:07 PM   #9
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Water retention is the likeliest culprit, but how is your fat loss coming? Are you losing fat as well as putting on a bit of muscle? If not, you might need to reexamine your diet.
I'm not really sure how to assess this. I'm trying to use pictures to document any body comp changes, as well as measurements. I've never gotten my bodyfat measured per se, but I think I'm noticing a little more boniness and definition (around my ribs, collarbones, and my spine is starting to show a little when I bend over). My bras are fitting fine, and I generally gain weight in the breasts. One thing I am noticing quite a bit is puffiness and bags under my eyes, which I was attributing to getting older, but might be a sign of water weight.

Diet wise, I can do some work. I have a history of disordered eating and so I avoid calorie counting per se, just making all of my choices healthy and whole, but I suspect that to see this stubborn fat go, I'm going to have to get more precision involved.
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:09 PM   #10
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Are you eating plenty of protein and veggies and being sparing with the starches? If not, increasing your protein might enable you to clean up your diet a bit without having to count calories directly.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:38 PM   #11
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Dietvet-- I have cut all grains from my :diet:, but anytime I eat off plan, it is grain-- rice cakes, bits of pizza crust, crackers... I definitely treat carbs like delicious little treats. Also I've been letting myself have bites of Coconut Bliss and things like that, telling myself that its all ok in moderation and it isn't dairy so it shouldn't aggravate me. I think it IS ok in moderation, but for fat loss, it isn't. Gotta take a broom to it all.

fitmom-- I think something like this may be happening to me. I have always been top heavy type with soft arms and stomach, but many of the women in my Puerto Rican family have the typical tight waist and big bum.
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