I don’t understand weight gain

mmmmstarbucks Posts: 1 Member
Hi I am a 45 year old woman and up until a year ago I weighed 105 pounds. I walked every day but I decided that I wanted to be more fit so I joined a gym. I had a body fat % of 19% and I was pretty happy. (But I wanted a challenge.)
I hired a trainer and we started slow focusing on form and I continued with cardio every day. At the end of October I weighed 118 pounds but my body fat was down to 16% and they told me that that was fabulous news. I gained muscle not fat.

At that point my trainer flipped the script and his main focus was getting me ‘jacked’. Last Sunday he weighed me and I now weigh 125 pounds. He did not calculate my body fat % so I went home and used my tape measure and every measurement increased including my waist. Isn’t your waist supposed to get smaller? It went from 26.5 to 28 inches. Now my husband says I’m fat. 🙁 He thinks I ate too much protein. I was consuming 100 grams of plant protein a day. I don’t eat meat.
I would talk to my trainer but I feel like he doesn’t want to hear about my weight gain issues. He is just pumped that I am getting so strong. I actually feel like a failure.
I tried to do the right thing- strength train.
My husband suggested I diet back down to my happy weight so here I am. However I am afraid that I am overreacting because I am uneducated about training or am I just lying to myself and my husband is correct. zxln7grquhvg.jpeg

I just wanted to show my progression so you might have a better idea of giving me advice. Top picture is before the gym. Middle is in November and Bottom is yesterday.

I think I am so concerned because I used to weigh 260 pounds and I fought so hard to loose and maintain my weight. I have been maintaining for 7 years.


  • GaryRuns
    GaryRuns Posts: 508 Member
    I don't know about the rest of you, but that gun (aka arm) looks awesome. Good job! I don't see "fat" in that arm. And if you're consistently trying to reach and maintain your fitness goal you are not a failure. That puts you ahead of 90% (estimate) of the rest of the population.

    Your trainer's job is to help their client, you, reach your goals, as long as those goals are reasonable. If they have a problem when you tell them what your goal is, as long as that goal isn't contrary to good health, then it's time to get a new trainer.

    And I would suggest that in addition to measuring with a tape measure you get yourself a set of cheap calipers, like these, and measure your fat in areas you're concerned about, eg., tummy, thighs, arms, etc. I think that's a better way for us mere mortals to track our fat.

    The other way to estimate body fat, especially for us non-pros, is visually. Here's a chart
  • giancarlov1191
    giancarlov1191 Posts: 493 Member
    Also keep in mind that measuring bf% accurately is very difficult so you'realmost better off going by appearance...on that note, you look great!
  • magnusthenerd
    magnusthenerd Posts: 1,207 Member
    Have you tracked or even eyeballed the change in fiber you're getting to have a large amount of plant protein? You could have a fuller stomach as part of the waist size change.
    It also is definitely possible to end up adding volume to the waist with growing the muscles. Muscle still has volume, just less per pound than fat.
  • i_fraser11
    i_fraser11 Posts: 35 Member
    Do what makes you happy, not others!
  • RepswithRyan
    RepswithRyan Posts: 171 Member
    Definitely not fat! I think you're observing changes that come with a bulk but don't start cutting with HIIT and a large deficit otherwise you will lose the strength and muscle you have built.

    Research recomping and calorie cycling as you can preserve your muscle mass while losing any excess fat after a winter bulk.
  • billkansas
    billkansas Posts: 267 Member
    What a journey... overweight to underweight to jacked. In my experience, putting on any muscle does come at cost of adding a little fat- no big deal. You could trim that off for summer if you want but why not see how strong you can get first? Got any deadlift, squat or press goals?
  • Sparketta
    Sparketta Posts: 4 Member
    You are definitely not fat. If you are also working your abs, especially obliques, that can quickly add inches to your waist. (It happened to me too). It's not fat, it is muscle. Lifting heavy also requires you to have a strong core, which can result in a "thicker" waist. Lower back muscles contributes as well. You looked almost underweight previously, definitely "under-muscled" tho. As we females age, it is more important than ever to lift heavy and have strong bones. Keep lifting heavy! Definitely express your concerns to your trainer.
    ***You can still be strong while you fine tune your physique, to what you WANT to look like, now that you have an amazing base of muscle. Good luck! You got this!
  • LiftNRiot
    LiftNRiot Posts: 463 Member
    You sure they dont mean phat?
  • richardgavel
    richardgavel Posts: 1,001 Member
    I wouldn't worry about weight gain. You gain muscle faster if you eat at a surplus, but 100% of the gain won't be muscle. You CAN gain muscle eating at maintenance and lose fat (maintaining weight), but the muscle gain comes significantly slower. It's a trade off.