How do you decide what your "normal/ideal" is?

I was a fat teenager (BMI 36-37), up and down in my 20s (tho never back to that level of obese, mostly hovered around BMI 26-28)

I've tried maintaining once before, when I hit roughly the same weight I'm at now (53-55kg at 159.5cm), and then had dental issues and lost down to 48kg. Then I gained 20kg (could finally eat again once the pain was gone and I couldn't stop + I was under a lot of stress and constantly sick so my workout routine also mostly disappeared)... and. yeah. I then more or less maintained that "overweight but not obese" range for 6 or 7 years

Anyway. This time I first chose 56-57kg as my goal (22.2 BMI) ... I got there and I wasn't happy with my body fat % so I kept working out, after another 3 months I hit just over 53kg (21.1 BMI)... I've since then tried to switch to maintaining but I'm struggling not going massively over or under my goals and I'm all over the place... But fingers crossed I figure it out soon. Because of the pandemic and the shutdown (no busses) I'm currently walking 2+h a day to get to work and it's really messing with my appetite

Another thing is - what even are realistic goals to have? My (obese) family makes fun of me for being "bony" but I think I'm just built that way - I lose weight from my hands and mostly upper body in general really fast, but the rest of me I think looks more on the chubby side vs thin (I'm pear shaped)... How much visible bone and muscle definition is normal/expected when in the normal weight range? I'm trying to figure out if it's my brain still not being adjusted to me being smaller and seeing things bigger than in reality, or if family is right about the "bony" thing

Fwiw tho I think I do have a decent (tho not amazing) amount of muscle, but also some loose skin

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Replies

  • netitheyeti
    netitheyeti Posts: 539 Member
    A lot of my loose skin is on my inner thighs and the lower part of my stomach, but yeah, I think I got fairly lucky with my arms :)
  • netitheyeti
    netitheyeti Posts: 539 Member
    I guess I'm overthinking it because I'm sure my average more or less evens out, but past 10 days I've had days where I ended up eating anywhere between 1300 and 2600kcal (I was legit hungry). I'm estimating my maintenance to be in the 1900-2000 range with my current activity level. I was eating 1700ish to (slowly) lose the last 2-3 months.
    My weight - I don't weigh myself often, but I do take measurements and things have been fairly consistent. I'm just really not enjoying my hunger levels being all over the place with my diet being more or less the same (in terms of types of food if nothing else), I guess I'm not very comfortable with being over/under more than a 1-200 because in the past I've had bad experience with gaininig/losing more than I wanted

    My best friends are mostly overweight/obese, mind you they don't comment on my body much if at all - I don't on theirs either unless I'm asked for diet opinions

    I am moving towards the end of the month which should cut down on my walking... but I should have the energy to do my weights and other workouts again, properly
  • shirazum2023
    shirazum2023 Posts: 54 Member
    Hi, I am shaped a lot like you. I lose weight mostly from my upperbody and have visible cuts in shoulder, delts, triceps from not working out all that much. Kind of blessed. You look amazing. Your cuts are stunning.

    There's this thing I have learned, I never felt that I am small, always felt I am decent, normal and then I started noticing myself beside other people and I have realized I am smaller than majority of the people. My point being, we are sometimes too critical/hard on ourselves.
  • bold_rabbit
    bold_rabbit Posts: 1,198 Member
    My BMI is currently 21.2. My shape is very similar to yours. I have less muscle and more obvious loose skin, but that's mainly an age thing (and laziness about strength training). I have definitely noticed improvement as maintenance goes on in how my skin looks, so you can likely look forward to that.

    I eat a wide range of calories day to day. I think that's just normal for some people. I use a spreadsheet to track weight, calories in, deficit, exercise calories, etc It has allowed me to figure out exactly how many calories to eat, plus it lets me see where my calories are over the entire month.

    Here's a screenshot of a portion of November's:

    oyukctxh5sob.png

    Let me know if I can help in any way.

    And what everyone else said about your family.😁
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,826 Member
    I think you look great, I don't think you look too small at all, but how do you feel? I think it's about finding goals that are sustainable (if you plan on staying there), realistic and make you happy.

    You are going to find a variety of body compositions at the same BMI, and I don't think there is an "ideal". It all depends on how much muscle vs fat they have, how they carry that fat, their genetics etc. For example I maintain around 20-21 BMI but to me it is irrelevant because I am more focused on body composition. I have been around the same weight for most of my life but I look completely different depending on how much muscle mass I have.

    My hunger fluctuates too so rather than force it on myself to eat a certain way, I vary the amount of calories I eat everyday (unless I am trying to gain). During maintenance I ate a bit more, a bit less, but overall maintained within a 3-5lb range. I had periods of slight gain, and periods of slight loss. That works best for me. Maybe you have to experiment with a maintenance way of eating that works best for you.

  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,845 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    A couple of years later, I asked a close, sensible and very honest friend why she'd reacted the way she did (at one point, she even mentioned worry about anorexia, when I was eating > 2000 calories daily, and losing at around half a pound a week!). She said she wasn't sure, but she thought that shock and maybe some envy were in the mix. Further, she said (at that couple years on stage) that she'd gotten used to me looking as I did, and I no longer looked alarming to her.

    That's very interesting.
    One of my chubby friends, who has been intending to lose weight for the entire 25+ years I've known her, thought I looked "gaunt and scrawny" when I initially lost weight (I was still slightly over the top of the BMI normal range at that stage!) many months later opined I looked much better now I had regained some weight.
    Except I hadn't, I was actually lighter and leaner. I think my face had changed a bit but not as much of a factor as her simply getting used to seeing me at a healthy weight.

    Congrats on using the word slender @AnnPT77
    A very under-used word.

    With apologies to the OP for the digression: My personal perception of myself is that there was a period right at the end of weight loss, where I looked a little haggard, and that resolved within a month or two. Weight loss, long term calorie deficit: It's a physical stressor. It wouldn't be surprising if that has temporary appearance implications. My speculation would be that some final slackness of skin (like facial skin) contributed to this but improved fairly quickly, and that the small incremental glycogen replenishment as I hit maintenance calories (and stayed there for a bit) acted like a bit of filler/enhancement as well.

    Comments from a knowlegeable trainer friend, whom I now see only rarely, reinforced this interpretation: She saw me at about the end of loss, then again a couple of months later; and on the second occasion told me she thought I'd looked a little gaunt at first, but looked really healthy on the second occasion (I was at the same body weight).

    Granted, both her comment and my perception can be illusions related to getting used to the look, but I think there might be something there. 🤷‍♀️
  • corinasue1143
    corinasue1143 Posts: 6,374 Member
    edited December 2020
    You look great right where you are. May not seem perfect to you, but a darn good place to be!
    Especially if you feel good!
  • SnifterPug
    SnifterPug Posts: 746 Member
    Your arms are TO DIE FOR! The rest of you looks great, too, but I have serious arm envy going on here.
  • netitheyeti
    netitheyeti Posts: 539 Member
    SnifterPug wrote: »
    Your arms are TO DIE FOR! The rest of you looks great, too, but I have serious arm envy going on here.

    <3 Thank you! I've always struggled pushing through long/hard enough to build any upper body strength so I'm actually so happy to have some muscle now
  • chris89topher
    chris89topher Posts: 386 Member
    edited December 2020
    I'll echo everyone else by saying that I think you look great right where you are. I think sometimes we see ourselves differently than reality. I'm guilty of this myself, because when I look in the mirror I still want to lose more weight even though my BMI is 20.0 (male).

    I think you've done a great job!
  • Liftsalotat5
    Liftsalotat5 Posts: 21 Member
    My ideal is always goal oriented. When I wanted to bench press 1.5xbw,squat 2xbw and dead lift 2.5xbw I bulked up to 176 and when my joints started hurting I dropped down to 145 to run a half marathon and enjoy rock climbing more challenging routes. I was alright with both body composition because they lent themselves to what I wanted to accomplish.
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,380 Member
    I am built similarly - bony upper body, solid lower body. I Have been maintaining at 121-125 for several years, but still seesaw between thinking I should gain a few pounds to get some padding on my back/ribs vs. I should lose a few to get thinner thighs. I think my husband would rather I gain a few pounds, but doesn't say so, since he believes the choice is mine to make.

    I am much older than you are but net about 1800 calories a day, and that is sustainable for me since I eat back all my exercise calories. It took me a while to find a balance since I burn more calories than is typical for someone of my age and somewhat sedentary lifestyle. That allows me a lot of flexibility in my diet.

    What I have decided is that since I am comfortable with the amount I'm eating, I'm not hungry - or if I am, I eat, and I can do the things I want to do (run and hike), while maintaining a stable weight, I'll stick with what is working. I know that if I were getting less exercise, my weight would go up, and I'd be all right with that as long as it didn't go up too much. I know what I need to do to lose, to gain, and to maintain, so I'll enjoy where I am now, and if the situation changes, I'll figure it out.
  • nitalieben
    nitalieben Posts: 680 Member
    I was a fat teenager (BMI 36-37), up and down in my 20s (tho never back to that level of obese, mostly hovered around BMI 26-28)

    I've tried maintaining once before, when I hit roughly the same weight I'm at now (53-55kg at 159.5cm), and then had dental issues and lost down to 48kg. Then I gained 20kg (could finally eat again once the pain was gone and I couldn't stop + I was under a lot of stress and constantly sick so my workout routine also mostly disappeared)... and. yeah. I then more or less maintained that "overweight but not obese" range for 6 or 7 years

    Anyway. This time I first chose 56-57kg as my goal (22.2 BMI) ... I got there and I wasn't happy with my body fat % so I kept working out, after another 3 months I hit just over 53kg (21.1 BMI)... I've since then tried to switch to maintaining but I'm struggling not going massively over or under my goals and I'm all over the place... But fingers crossed I figure it out soon. Because of the pandemic and the shutdown (no busses) I'm currently walking 2+h a day to get to work and it's really messing with my appetite

    Another thing is - what even are realistic goals to have? My (obese) family makes fun of me for being "bony" but I think I'm just built that way - I lose weight from my hands and mostly upper body in general really fast, but the rest of me I think looks more on the chubby side vs thin (I'm pear shaped)... How much visible bone and muscle definition is normal/expected when in the normal weight range? I'm trying to figure out if it's my brain still not being adjusted to me being smaller and seeing things bigger than in reality, or if family is right about the "bony" thing

    Fwiw tho I think I do have a decent (tho not amazing) amount of muscle, but also some loose skin

    yge8igqpg9bn.png
    9jii9wibt3sh.png
    4ssy59zyyrse.png
    s2775psl3kew.png

    I don't know, but I'd be damned happy if I looked like you!