Losing several waist sizes without losing weight

When she sets a goal, she set the goal, and she sticks with that goal til it’s done. It’s part of her personality.

It’s not that she’s complaining. :wink: It’s just that she set out from the beginning to use the scale as her means of assessment, and since that’s how she set out, that’s how it is. To change means of assessment in the middle would feel (to her, because of her personality) like giving up.

You know, people are funny.

That is honestly, one of the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Some people just have to be their own worst enemies I guess.

I concur. That’s absurd.

There has a been a deflation trend over the years in women’s sizes–clothes makers put an 8 on something that used to be a 10 or even 12 so women will feel better about themselves when buying that label.

To be fair I think that there are plenty of people who just have never really thought about the fact that they can be in better shape (healthier, stronger, more endurance, slimmer, whatever the goal is) and yet still be at about the same weight they are now. It’s very easy to step on a scale and see a number and a lot of folks are going to use that as the measurement.

I’d really recommend that the lady in this case look at other measures of success - the fact that she has to buy smaller clothes, or that her workouts are now easier, or that she has to do more to feel like she’s exerting herself at the same level. One woman I dated said that her best feedback was to look at herself naked in the mirror, over time she could really see the improvements in her shape.

An old friend of mine was in town a few weeks ago and she told me that she started dieting and working out to lose weight and like the OP’s friend, she was a bit put off by the fact that she lost about 5 pounds and then just stopped. Then she brightened up and proceeded to flex a little, smiled and said that she’s really getting strong and toned.

This was in a restaurant. It was funny watching her try to show me her 6-pack surreptiously. We go back a ways :smiley:

I think you guys have misunderstood. As I said: She’s not complaining. She’s perfectly happy to be wearing an 8 now instead of the 12 she was wearing a year ago. She considers this to be a great advantage conferred by her exercise regimen. She is quite pleased.

Also, she’s disappointed she’s not losing weight.

This does not negate the happiness of the shrunken waist. It’s simply a different matter. Her project was to lose weight. Having set forth that project for herself, she is disappointed unless she achieves it. If she does not achieve a project she sets forth for herself, she is disappointed. It’s not the end of the world. But she is disappointed.

Granted that this is a personality quirk, I don’t think it’s fair to paint it as “absurd”. Think about the description: When X sets out a project for X’s self, X is disappointed when X does not accomplish the project. What’s absurd about that? It sounds pretty rational actually, when I put it that way–and it’s a perfectly accurate way to put it.

Having made it sound rational, I’ll also cop to the fact that in my opinion, she can be unduly singleminded about things like this. But to call her “stupid” or “absurd” over this is itself way over the top. It’s a personality characteristic. People are different. Everybody’s got hangups. As hangups go, this is pretty damn benign.

Within the same item. I’m not even talking identical items in different colors: I’m talking about grabbing two blouses of the same model, same color, same size, both fit the same way at the arms but one buttoned correctly and the other one looked like I was about to explode.

I once gained 5kg while losing 2 jeans sizes: it was a matter of fat becoming muscle over the course of 2 weeks in which my idea of a “rest day” involved walking 28km over mountains. It was the point at which I decided that weight/height tables could kiss mine ass, as I would happily have gained 5 more kg if it meant losing 2 more sizes. Gaining weight is something that’s relatively common when people are exercising more than they used to; bodybuilding mags are all worried about gaining weight, not losing it.

Fat doesn’t become muscle. You lose body fat and put on muscle simulataneously, but one isn’t transforming into the other.

That said - 5kg of muscle in 2 weeks? That’s about 12 lbs! With all due respect to your observations, that’s completely impossible (or you’ve discovered a miraculous process which athletes the world over will pay you billions for!)

Maybe she has made some changes in her diet that result in less abdominal bloating?

If she’s putting on muscle while losing fat and toning up her ab muscles, sure, she could lose a clothing size or two while not losing weight. Pretty silly, to my mind, to be getting thinner, fitter, and healthier then get upset you haven’t lost weight. 155 lbs for a 5’9" woman is hardly unreasonable. Even the loathed BMI comes out to 22.5 with those figures, and that’s well within the “normal” range.

I know it didn’t literally “become” muscle, that’s chemically impossible. But yeah, it happened.
Two weeks in a mountaineering camp.

Sunday: arrival. Mount tents and kitchen. None of the cute little houses and fancy buildings you guys have in American summer camps, this was half a dozen tents, shared 4-5 bodies/tent, plus one wooden building which got disassembled and reassembled every year and which served as the kitchen.

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: climb mountains. No ropes, none of the fancy stuff: just you, your feet, your hands (for Atxerito’s North Face, these are very much needed) and the mountain. The only trip that was less than 8 hours walking was Atxerito, whose North Face ends in a vertical climb that’s about 100 yds; the way down is not a climb down that wall, but butt-sky a bit further west, on a very high slope that’s covered in pieces of slate (better bring your thickest jeans to that one).

Tuesdays, Thursdays: “rest” days. There was a river at the edge of the field we used as a campsite, but the Good Pool was in another river, in the next valley over. Go over there twice a day, morning and afternoon: 28km. Spend any other time cleaning, playing sports, playing games, complaining that “Mikel got proteins in his potatoes and the rest of us didn’t!” (there was a fly in his plate, the bastard), and moving rocks around in the river at the campsite, trying to build a pool.

Saturday: pretty up the place. Pray it won’t rain tomorrow. Go to the pool twice. Go to the village once, to make sure that the caravan for the next day has been set and to bring groceries.

Sunday: families day. Go to the pool only once, after the families have left. Celebrate that A Certain Guy Who Shall Remain Unnamed has taken his shirt off while playing voleyball (that was one of the high points of the summer for us girls). Feel ridiculously lazy, as we haven’t even walked 20km…
Note that my usual exercise regime consisted of walking to school and a mountaineering trip once a month. I was exempt from Phys Ed, that year.

That’s a point - did she give up carbonated drinks?

12 lbs of muscle takes months to builds. It doesn’t happen in two weeks without extreme weight training (not hiking, which doesn’t really build muscle), diet of massive amounts of protein and little else, and steroids, although even they don’t work that quickly.

Pity I don’t have pictures of my cousin Iñaki here. Legs like tree trunks. He never did any weight training, but was a professional mountain climber. His training when he was not working consisted of walking up and down a mountain for hours.

Hiking up and down mountains does not build your biceps or give you a six pack. But it does build up your legs.

Nava, see my post upthread - studies done on muscle gain show the MAX gain possible is about 18 or 19 pounds a YEAR. It’s impossible to gain as much as you say you did in two weeks, no matter what you say.

I don’t disagree with this assertion at all (although it would be good for abs too), but honestly, it really is impossible to put on 12lbs of muscle in two weeks. That’s a massive amount; we’re talking “Captain America Super-Serum” levels. Bodybuilders using steroids, whose sole goal is to put on muscle, put it on at a fraction of that rate - 1lb per month or so. Most people on a good muscle building program will be lucky to put on half that.

I won’t argue that you didn’t put on some muscle, but the actual weight difference must have been due to some other effect. Water weight, perhaps - dunno, I’m just guessing here. In terms of muscle, realistically, you may have put on 0.5lbs at the very, very most - and that’s comparing you to a steroid-using bodybuilder!

[Edit - I see EmAnJ is quoting figures a little higher, but not much].

I’m gonna make a guess that this was mainly water weight.

I too can put on quite a bit of weight in a short time when I’m getting tons of activity. I’m sure some of it is muscle, and I have noticed myself ‘looking stronger’ but some of it is also fat (because you can’t gain one without some of the other unless you’re on a bodybuilding regime) and some of it was because I was stuffed full of food and water all the time - the reason I put on weight when I’m super-active is because exercise gives me a huge appetite.

When you’re hiking hard core, a water intake of 3 liters daily is what I have seen recommended, with 2 liters as the minimum. That’s far more than my normal intake and would definitely put some water weight on most people.
Also, the bloating point is a good one. I lost 2-3" off my waist from going grain-free - I don’t have any fat at all on my mid-section, but I was very bloated most of the time.

I would guess the weight gain had to do with hydration too. I climb mountains. I’ve never heard of anyone packing on that much weight in muscle mass in such a short time, and that includes my ex-girlfriend who was a freak and could build her biceps just curling her arm to eat an apple (seriously, that girl gained muscle like no other human I’ve ever met).

Especially if it’s a multi-day expedition of back country camping. I can’t even imagine carrying enough protein in meals to give your body what it needs to bulk up like that. Water weight is a different story. Last summer in the Sierra mountains, we were drinking at least 3 litres a day.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend with “absurd”, but it sounds too singleminded and unrealistic as a goal when it seems that your friend is doing all the right things to become fit and lose excess fat. Most people who do so successfully through a regimen that includes exercise, have usually read up enough to understand how the process works and that increased muscle mass is a positive thing for the end result of achieving a slim figure and bubble butt.

Therefore it’s a shock to hear that the number on the scale is a major factor for her sense of accomplishment. My instinct is to say “She thinks that is failure? That’s ridiculous!” I wasn’t meant to imply “What an idiot!”

Ditto. Weight is a poor indicator of health.

A few years ago I got into working out. After a couple months, during which I weighed myself every morning and had only lost a few pounds, someone asked how much weight I had lost, and guessed it at about 15 to 20 pounds.