Exercise! Love it or hate it, let's motivate each other to just DO IT!

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Old 03-19-2011, 12:57 PM   #1  
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Default Sick of having such WIDE HIPS & being so out of proportion! Exercises for this?

I seem to have wide "child-bearing hips" even though I've never had kids & I'm in my mid-50s! All my life, my hips have always been 12 inches larger than my waist no matter what I weigh. Had the same proportions when I was in the 190s (60 lbs overweight) as when I was 125 lbs years ago. (Anyone else have a similar wide hip history?)

Right now since I lost 7 lbs and a few inches during the past 2 months, I'm 148 lbs at 5'2" & waist is 31", hips 43". While it's nice to be curvy with a small waist, I've always hated having such WIDE HIPS. It's especially bad because I'm also so short w/ short legs-- these wide hips drag me down! Only have about 20 lbs to lose right now, but even around much more overweight women, I usually look like the widest! (I'd trade having a small waist for narrower hips anytime!)

The other day in Tai Chi class when the instructor had us face the mirror (unusual for that class, our sides are usually to the mirror), I was horrified to realize that compared to the 10 other women there (3 were more overweight than me), they were ALL narrower than me-- again I had the widest hips in the room! (happens all the time.)

I'm posting this on the Exercise forum because while I know that supposedly you can't "spot-reduce", what suggestions are there to "narrow" my hip size while NOT decreasing my waist size at the same time? Seems very tricky to find. Every time in an exercise class when it's announced about a good exercise to work on the waist & decrease its size (seems like most people are focused on this more than decreasing hip size), I want to avoid doing this routine, don't need my waist any smaller! I know this is an unusual request but I'm so sick of having my hips so wide & out of proportion compared to my waist!

A friend of mine (she's the same height as me but more overweight -- about 50 lbs overweight but has better proportions so she looks thinner than she is) said she believes my wide hips were partly caused by all the bike riding I do! (for decades now, I've used a bike for 75% - 80% of my transportation needs since I've never owned a car/been a driver) Never heard of this before, any possible truth to this? I countered back that my wide hips are probably more due to the years I was very sedentary at my job sitting at a desk & then sitting around a lot at home! (maybe it increased my hip spread?)

Btw, seems like I have wide hip bones but there's also soft skin w/ fat over those bones! Yet, when I've tried to reduce that fat on the hips, the waist goes along with it & gets smaller also. The smallest measurements I can remember having were 26" waist & 38" hips, that was at 125 lbs in my twenties. Don't think I ever got my hips below 38", could hardly fit into size 9/10 jeans at that weight even though other females my exact same height & weight (I knew 2 of them around my age) could fit into much smaller clothing sizes, size 6 jeans! That's another thing that frustrates me, how difficult it is to find clothes that fit me right w/ these extra-wide hips/small waist!

Sorry if this sounds like a bad rant but feeling very frustrated today. Would appreciate any helpful feedback and/or exercise advice.
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:07 PM   #2  
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You really can't spot reduce, unfortunately. And since you've always had these proportions, my guess is that this is just the way you are built and it most likely bothers you a whole lot more than it bothers anyone else. In fact, I bet many women are envious of you. I get it though. I am rather well-endowed and while other women are jealous, I'd rather lose them.

I can tell you that my proportions have always been to have my hips 9 inches wider than my waist. This was true at 235 pounds and it's true now...EXCEPT...at this exact moment my waist is 27 inches and my hips are 35. So right now there's only an 8 inch difference. I tend to alternate between losing chest/hips and then waist. Right now I'm losing in the hips. My waist will be next. If you track your measurements, you may find a similar pattern? And then maybe stop losing when your measurements are off that mark you don't like?

I doubt your hip measurements are coming from biking. We have a woman in our spin class who thinks her thighs are getting bigger because of spin class. I'm not convinced. We're all different though.

Best of luck! Try to embrace your curves. I seriously doubt yours are the widest hips in your class. We are far harder on ourselves and often see ourselves as bigger than we really are.
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:57 PM   #3  
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Wow, I'd almost kill to have hips 35" or under!

Don't think my hips have ever been that small even when I got down to my lowest weight as an adult. That was almost 10 yrs ago when I briefly got down to 115lbs (at 5'2") for about a minute! Actually I got down to 113 lbs - 115 lbs the week of Thanksgiving 2001 but unfortunately, that low weight didn't last long-- was back up to the 130s by Feb 2002, 4 months later. Don't remember taking my measurements at that time, wish I had! But don't think my hips were at 35" or smaller at that time, probably was about 36" or a little higher.

Thanks for the feedback. Now, if anyone knows about any exercise routines which might decrease my hips without at the same time decreasing my already-small waist, I'd still love to hear about it!
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:56 PM   #4  
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There are no exercises that will just reduce your hips. You can't spot reduce any part of your body. Weights will tone your body and make it smaller than another person who weighs the same but doesn't do weights (muscle takes up less volume than fat).
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Old 03-19-2011, 03:21 PM   #5  
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Hi! I have a similar wide hip problem and yes, it makes me crazy as well. My bottom is way larger than my top. It was only when I was down in the 110s that I thought my butt looked OK, but given that I am 5'6" and over 35 years old, I have no chance of weighing that again. I don't mind a booty, it's the hips/saddlebags/thighs, the WIDTH, that get me so frustrated. Oh well.

So - Even though you can't spot reduce. I have found that extensive leg-work (squats/lunges/etc) create a more streamlined, chiseled thigh. Cardio and losing weight in general will reduce your body fat percentage (but of course your proportions will remain about the same...). I wouldn't *not* do the ab exercises in your class. They will help keep everything streamlined and tight.

I know it is disappointing to find out there isn't much to be done about your basic body shape.

Begin OT section: After many years agonizing about my hips, I have concluded that camouflage is my friend!!! I have investigated a number of style sources (What Not To Wear - the British version; The Pocket Stylist, online...) and have eliminated LOTS of nice but unflattering things from my wardrobe. Shirts/jackets that end at my widest point, cropped pants, low rise pants, light-colored bottoms, cargo pants with big pockets on the butt & thighs, skirts that end at the widest part of the calf, shoes with round toes, ankle straps or clunky heels - these all add width.

Pointy sling-back shoes with at least a small heel, straight/wide leg pants, dark colored pants & skirts, skirts that skim the hips and flare out a little and then end right below the knees at the narrow point before the calf, jackets that end above or way below my butt (like a long cardigan), tops with light colors, patterns, embellishments and/or wide open necklines, and smallish purses held up by the bustline rather than at the hip - these tend to draw the eye up and add length to the overall body. Focus on balancing your top half with your bottom half - a good bra, padding/inserts for the bra if you need it (I do!) and even shoulder pads (shocking I know, but I have discovered there are now very realistic ones that can balance your shoulders if you are a typical pear-shape that has small, rounded, sloping shoulders).
Oh, and I wear hip-smoothing shapewear that almost goes down to my knees under almost everything...

For workout wear - (btw - I have had that exact same experience with the mirror in class!! I am horrified to distraction sometimes so I try to stay near the back and not look in the mirror) Dark bottoms that skim your hips but are kind of wide, like yoga pants are your best bet. If you don't get too hot wearing full-length, that tends to even out the hips better than a crop. For the top, I have given up on the bra-top thing, it just emphasizes how small I am up top. I wear something a little blousy, a running-type shirt with elastic at the bottom that I wear over a sports bra. They have sports bras now that are even a little padded, constructed like a real bra, so they keep you more shapely than the complete flat-as-a-board I get from the pull-on sports bras... but honestly, I try ignore how I look when working out.

These are all just guidelines but for me at least it has improved how I feel about my body shape.

Sorry that this wasn't what you were looking for! I have been struggling with this same question for so long...
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Old 03-19-2011, 03:34 PM   #6  
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Thanks, EmmaD, for the feedback. It's just helpful to know that another person can relate to my wide-hip problems. BTW, I'm also busty, well-endowed on top plus have a big booty with thick legs/fat thighs (due to my Italian/Cuban/Puerto Rican heritage?) But lately, the wideness at my hips has been bothering me the most. Used to think I had an hourglass shape, but it's truly more pear-shaped because my shoulders/back/waist are so narrow on top of my wide hips!

I'll have to look into your clothing camouflage suggestions-- thanks again for the help.

Last edited by WeightLoss11; 03-19-2011 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:24 PM   #7  
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Originally Posted by WeightLoss11 View Post

Thanks for the feedback. Now, if anyone knows about any exercise routines which might decrease my hips without at the same time decreasing my already-small waist, I'd still love to hear about it!
Just keep doing what you're doing exercise and food wise, we all have our problem areas, unfortunately... When I started running I found that my hips and thighs went down dramatically and in the summer time when I run and bike my bottom goes down dramatically....
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:00 PM   #8  
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WL I understand. My waist is 28" and my hips are 43".

The camouflage tips above are good. And so are the squats and lunges ideas. And the running.

But ...

I'm just telling myself that when I lose some more weight, it *has* to come off my thighs and bottom. It just has to, as I can't see where else it can come from. It seems rather stubborn though.

We'll just have to keep going, I suppose.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:15 PM   #9  
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I'm much heavier than you are, but I have a very similar hip to waist ratio. Even with the inches I've lost over the past few months (which do seem to have come mostly from both my hips and waist), my hips have remained 11 inches wider than my waist. At this point I'll be happy seeing both of those measurements become smaller, but I know that even once I reach my goal weight I will still be unhappy with the width of my hips, and probably still have to buy larger size pants to fit my hips and that will be too big in the waist. This just seems to be just the way my body is built.

If it helps any, I've noticed that in regards to measurements for clothing sizes, the hip measurement for a particular size is about 9 inches larger than the waist measurement. So we're not THAT far off from that ratio.

In regards to clothing, I've found that items that have a little bit of stretch to them help in fitting my hips without the bagging around the waist. I also avoid long tops that hit below my hips, as the longer length that covers the hips makes me look as wide as my hips and totally hides the fact that I do actually have a waist (even at my weight). And, as I'm sure you already know, black/dark colored pants and skirts almost always make your lower half look slimmer.

Sorry that I don't have more useful advice to offer on the exercise front, but good luck.

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Old 03-20-2011, 04:03 PM   #10  
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I currently have a 14 inch difference but it's never bothered me. Actually, I like it (except trying to find pants is a b*tch even with tailoring). I'd just like both my waist and hips to be smaller.

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Old 03-26-2011, 01:11 AM   #11  
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My hips are always at least 17 inches bigger than my waist, no matter what my weight is. I choose to think it emphasizes my small waist LOL. I also have big boobs, maybe that helps? It's an hour glass figure - unfortunately right now I have way too much sand in this thing
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:27 AM   #12  
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Your measurements sound very healthy and quite frankly, extremely attractive. It has been scientifically proven that women with a greater waist to hip difference are seen as being more desirable by the opposite sex.
However, if you are unhappy now and you were unhappy even when you were smaller, then the answer might not be in losing weight. The answer might be in finding a good tailor or seamstress who can alter your pants to create a more slimming flattering fit. As someone who shares similar measurements, I cannot emphasize how important good fitting pants are to not only make a woman feel better about herself but to understand that her body can be beautiful no matter what size. Try finding pants in thicker fabrics that drape well and have at least 3% spandex. Stretch wool, stretch denim and rayon blends work beautifully on women with more shapely frames and actually seem to look better on more shapely bodies than straight ones.
I also want to say that bike riding does not increase your hip size. What you have is natural and if you were to x ray your skeleton you would find that the pelvic bone flares out. So regardless of what exercise you do or how much weight you lose, you will always have those proportions because of how your bones are built. It's nothing to be ashamed of. We just haven't been exposed to bell shaped beauties like us in the media as often as we should.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:52 AM   #13  
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Well, I'm a narrow-hipped gal, but I've always sort of envied women with wide hips and small waists. My waist has always been my problem. However, you know what? After years of being somewhat dissatisfied with my body, now I've learned to accept it and appreciate its assets. No, it's not perfect, but it's healthy and it can look good in clothes.

My advice? Appreciate your figure. It sounds feminine and curvy, and like IndigoTemptress said, I'll bet it's the type of figure that most men appreciate the best.

Are you into poetry? Even if you're not, you might appreciate this poem called "Homage to My Hips" by Lucille Clifton: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/179615

Here's Clifton reading it---I love the spunky way she reads it: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15599
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:44 PM   #14  
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I have have been short with wide hips all my life, only got more spread out after a child. Unless I have my hips surgically shaved down there's nothing I can do. lol

Sucks but I'm over it.
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:31 PM   #15  
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I used to have very wide hips until I began weightlifting. I was still obese, but I think it helped make me into an hourglass shape. I looked a bit more in proportion because of weightlifting.

Have you considered taking up weightlifting? It can do amazing things for your body, and there's a couple of us weightlifters who started out as pears and ended up as hourglasses.

Of course I can't tell you what will happen to you should you take up weight lifting, but it is something every woman should do regardless
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