After some consideration, I'm shifting my goalposts!

I've been happily maintaining my weight for 4 months now, but I've recently been feeling like I'm not quite at the final size/shape I want to be, so I'm setting out to lose another 8-10lbs, towards a lower weight range of 9st8 - 9st11. I want to share my motivations for doing this, as they don't just relate to having a goal weight but also having a goal size and shape:

Re weight: I've been maintaining my weight between around 10st2 to 10st5 since September, having lost 2 stone from my starting weight of 12st4. I'm very pleased to have achieved and sustained this goal. But for my height (5'4") I'm at the very top end of a 'healthy' bmi. If I can get down to 9st8 I would then have a bmi of 23. This would be more securely within the healthy weight range for my height, and is still at the upper end really, so I don't think it's unrealistic.

Re size: I fit into some size 12s but not all size 12s, especially for jeans and skirts. I think I'm still between sizes, making it not 100% easy when I go shopping. I know this is a minor complaint, as this time last year shopping for clothes felt miserable as nothing I wanted to wear would fit, whereas now I'm just getting picky about not wanting to have to get something in a 14... But again, as I'm quite short, I think a size 12 isn't an unrealistic goal, so I'd like to definitely fit into all 12s, not just full-skirted and curvy/wide-legged 12s!

Lastly, re shape: I'm hoping losing a little more weight will help me have a less exaggerated shape. When I was at my heaviest my waist to hip ratio was much larger, about 16-17 inches difference between the two measurements. I still have a high ratio, with a 13 inch difference, but it's much less. I'm a classic 'pear', but shops don't cater for this! I'm hoping losing a bit more weight will give me a less exaggerated shape. I know we can't plan to lose weight off some areas and not others, but in the light of previous changes to my shape, I'm hoping to reduce my waist to hip difference by another 1-2 inches.

Has anyone else shifted their goal posts, or is anyone else who's maintaining thinking about whether the goal they worked so hard to reach is actually their ideal long-term weight/size/shape?

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56 Replies

  • Sounds to me that you are totally rational and sensible in your thinking.

    I am now under my original maintenance range and happily so. I think if you want to lose a little more then you can healthily do so. It is all about you now. No one else's pressure but what you want to look and feel like.

    I am sure you will be able to shift a few more lbs if that's what you want x

    Cheering you on x

  • Thanks 2b! Feeling very bucked by your cheers. I've been really thinking about this and think I've got a rational perspective on it now. But a little encouragement makes a big difference. Glad you're happy at your below maintaining weight. I guess that's what I'm really aiming for too - just a little less, a little below where I'm at right now, a little room for manoeuvre :)

  • Hi Ruth, I can't comment personally because I'm still at the got to lose two stone to get to the healthy bmi point. But your plan sounds both healthy and realistic. Maybe because you have been eating at maintenance level for a while you might avoid the dreaded plateau which seems to hit people close to their goal ( not looking forward to that) good luck, and I'm sure you'll achieve it as you did the initial weight loss last year ☀️

  • I had about 2 weeks of that 'plateau' at around 10st10 and I defeated it with strength exercises. I think I'll similarly need to up my strength exercises to be able to lose weight from this point. But I'm up for the challenge! I hope you're feeling positive about losing those 2 stones. I think knowing I've done it before helps me know I can do it again. But when I started out it felt like an insurmountable task. The encouragement from this forum made it feel all the more possible :)

  • Hi Ruth, well done in reaching your initial target and it seems like there is nothing wrong with wanting to shed a few more pounds to make you feel good. I am not claiming to be a specialist in dress sizes etc but past and present ladies in my life have all been "pear-shaped" and it seems to me that the main problem lies more with the different clothes manufacturers than your body shape! Women are meant to have curves in those places and it still amazes me to see how the fashion industry generally promote their products using models with stick insect like "figures" ???? Have a good weekend :-) John

  • Thanks John. I know it's not just me - I definitely know lots of other women with 'curves' - but it's still no fun shopping for clothes even with that knowledge! Some shops are better than others - e.g. I gave up on topshop a long time ago, whereas monsoon often has curvy styles in stock. I think I'll always be at the curvy end of the scale even if I lose those few more pounds, so clothes that suit skinny models will be unlikely to ever suit me!

  • Go for it, I say. If you run, it is easier on your body to be lighter, I think.

  • Thanks LTL - there's always that motivation too of course :)

  • Hi Ruth,

    I definitely think your plans sound healthy and doable, and you've done so well to lose the 2 stones and then maintain for 4 months, I am sure you will be able to get down to the new ideal weight you hope to achieve.

    We'll be cheering you on.

    Good luck with your new goals.

    Lowcal :-)

  • Thanks Lowcal! :) I really appreciate all your common sense and encouragement :)

  • Hi Ruth - this makes perfect sense to me and is exactly what I'm going through at the moment as well. I've reached 11st 7lb, which is probably what my original target would have been (BMI around 23.6). But having got here, I know now that I would like to lose another half stone or so. Like you, I'd like to get down to a comfortable size 12 dress size so that I can be guaranteed that most size 12s will fit me, and that they are fitting well enough so that a few pounds loss/gain either way aren't going to make them too tight/loose. Being 'between' sizes is not easy !!

    Getting down to this ideal weight will put me around about the middle of the healthy BMI range, a sensible place to be - especially since I'm getting to that stage of life where losing lbs will become ever more difficult !

    Body shape wise, I know I do still have a bit of a 'middle' so I know that I can afford a lose a bit extra without straying into getting 'too thin' (as if !!).

    So yes Ruth, I sympathise entirely and we'll reach this target together :-)

  • Yay! Great to be weight loss buddies again. Thank you so much for echoing my thoughts - I do want to if at all possible be a fairly standard size 12 - it will feel like 'mission accomplished' :)

  • We will give each other loads of encouragement to get to target ! Funny, you don't think about getting stuck between sizes when you originally set a a target :-)

  • I didn't used to weigh myself until I got overweight, so I honestly don't know what weight I was when I was last 'healthy'. I think I picked 10st7 because that's what I weighed when I registered with my doctor, when maybe aiming for size rather than weight would have been more accurate...

  • I was around 11st 7lbs about 10 years ago, so I think that's why I went for that figure. Before that, I have no idea, as I probably didn't weigh myself regularly - but I know that prior to that I had been up at 15st at some point (typical yo-yo dieter !!). But I didn't ever make a conscious effort to lose that weight to get to 11st 7 - so this is the first time I have actually lost weight to a plan, and got to a specific target :-) I am happy at my current weight, and if it wasn't for the sizing issue I probably wouldn't worry too much - but I thought that whilst I was 'in the zone' for losing weight, I might as well take advantage of it !!

  • I'm feeling relieved to still be 'in the zone' through having you guys all at my fingertips on here. And the strategies I used to lose my first two stones aren't too distant a memory at this point, so I'm ready to put that all back into action. Baby gem lettuce leaf wraps here I come :)

  • I have been wondering what my final goal will be. I am not at all sure. I think if I can fit into a pair of size 12s and am somewhere near the bmi healthy weight. I will settle for that I hope. Maybe this will change.

    You have to do what feels comfortable for you.

  • Thanks Aqua. I think from my experience it's hard to tell until you get there. There are so many factors, many of which I haven't listed here.

  • I can imagine. Life is not simple. I think that going on this healthy living thing makes us all aware of how different we all are.

    Good luck with your choices. I wish I had your enthusiasm for exercise. I do it but I don't love it except the swimming - I do like that.

  • Yes I shifted mine, originally from 12st 6, to 11st, then 10st 8, and now 10st 5, not a classic shape, balancing out all ok.

    You ate making me feel fatter now, being the same height!

  • Don't mean to make anyone feel their weight is wrong - just because we're the same height. There's so much else to consider - we're all different in our own ways! Interesting you've had a series of goalpost changes... I think it needs to be for the right reason, and coming from yourself, not what anyone else says or thinks :)

  • Diana I can't wait to get to 10:5 well done! 10:5 that's not fat!! That's amazing!

  • Re bodyshape we need to accept bone structure and where we carry our reserves. I am the opposite to Ruth I wear size 8 slimfit trousers but a 12+ top. We need to work out what shapes and styles flatter what we have to work with. Even once at middle bmi range some styles do not look right. I don't worry too much what the label says. It is more about fit and style. I have to use a specialist store to get dresses that fit. I have to buy tankini as if the top fits on a swimsuit the bottoms are baggy!

    Celebrate curves once you get where you want to be and enjoy finding styles and shapes that you can wow in!

  • Knowing your shape is a big part of this whole weight loss thing. I think accepting I'm a pear shape whatever my size is important, otherwise I'd be trying to achieve the impossible to change that!

  • I always buy tankinis. They are so practical. Getting a swimming costume on or off is a nightmare. Bhs always have them.

  • I'm also a successful "loser" of 2 stone and for 9 months now I have been maintaining at around 9st 11 lbs ( give or take a pound or two) , at 5ft5 this is a mid healthy weight, but Id still like to be 7lbs lighter.

    Like you Im pear shaped and invariably in between sizes. Either 12 or 14.

    I would love a tailored, fitted dress but they just dont fit me. The only dress I own is a knitted sweater dress..... so it looks like Im resigned to a life of separates , just as I was when I was 2 st bigger!!

  • I'm the same for dresses - my solution is empire line, which shows off slim shoulders and forgives wide hips - or a shirt dress with a belt round the middle. But separates aren't so bad - you can be creative, mix and match. You look very slim in the picture I've seen of you - I'm surprised to hear you'd also like to lose more - just shows we can't make assumptions about anyone else.

  • Thank you for the compliment, but I suppose there are two reasons really. One, I'd love to get back to the weight I was before I had children , thirty years ago! And two, to be a constant size 12 ....especially as Im old enough to remember being an original size 12 ( 34-24-36) before manufacturers introduced vanity sizing!

  • Now that's interesting, as there's a 12 inch difference between waist and hip there. But from what I can tell manufacturers only allow for a maximum of 10 inches difference in their sizing, and that's only in their 'curvy' styles...

  • Yes, women have got bigger especially in the middle! Not helped by being fooled by vanity clothes sizing . In the past 40 years the fashion industry has a lot to answer for .

    I must confess I was actually only 34-24-36 for short spells here and there. Mostly I was a bit bigger. My first ( !) wedding dress In 1973 was the then size 14, and I measured 35-26-38 and weighed 9st 2.

    Then my second wedding dress in 1986 was also size 14 but was 10 lbs heavier and 36-27-39.

    Now in 2016, after 2 kids, menopause and a two stone gain 😕, I have successfully got myself back to a healthy 9st 11 again .... yet I am 36-29- 39 but can fit size 12.

    It is all smoke and mirrors 😀

  • This is the site I found that gave a guide of which shops to go to for a wide waist to hip ratio in jeans. I'm currently at 34-27-40 - so even the very largest styles wouldn't fit me. Also, I know from experience that those 'curvy' styles are very heavy on the lycra - they don't feel like proper jeans to me. I'd love to be in the 10 inch difference area - look at how much would suddenly be available! (Although I'm not sure that's ever going to be achievable :) - that one's an 'aim' not a set-in-stone goal )

  • So weird, I'm 38, 32, and 37, a size 14 top, in less very baggy, and yet a 12 in jeans, I used to be a constant 'old' 14, pre vanity sizing and bought some charity shop cords that are that size too!

    Also post menopausal, my shape will never be the same, despite weight I think!

  • We're all so different - goes to show you can't go by weight or clothes-size alone. I think for me I need to look at weight, size and shape all together.

  • We all do!

  • Hear, hear! I've been "maintaining " for nine months and that's enough challenge in itself.

    I really don't have the stamina to strive for the perfect body ...

    Although I do admit to having some degree of "Helen Mirren Bikini Envy " , I'll just keep wearing my sarong!!😁

  • Thx for your interesting post Ruth. Good luck for your new goal. It's got to be good to stabilise and know you've got good control before embarking on stage 2. Well done so far and good luck!! Xx

  • Thanks Runningsoon. I do feel I'm at least stable. But returning to logging everything on mfp is definitely proving a challenge! I'm excited though, as I remember it being a positive experience last time :)

  • Hi Ruth

    I also think your new goals seem reasonable. I am not at maintaining stage as I am still 3.8kg away from the top end of my healthy range (I weighed myself this morning and I lost one kilo in this week so far but I only take into account the Monday reading so it might be more or less than that when Monday comes!); but I am too now considering trying to lose more when I reach 25, as I have read in the NHS website that people from Black and Ethnic Minorities might be at an increased risk from a lower BMI. Say 23. So really in my case this will mean not just being at 25 but a bit lower, to be *really* safe. I totally relate to your plan of not being so close to the top end and I am sure you will succeed!!

    We will definitely cheer you along the way!


  • Thank you Nussaybah - a very well thought out reply as always! That's interesting that you point out about the different risks for different ethnic groups. One of my risks is diabetes, I actually have quite a high risk due to my family's genetics, but they assess that more on waist rather than weight, and I'm currently described as being low risk, although it was still 5 point something percent. I'd definitely like to avoid getting that if I can! Another thing re health, last time they weighed me at the docs - I insisted because they still had me on record as being 80 something kg - I was fully dressed, shoes and everything, and of course it was after breakfast etc. So obviously my weight came out higher but so did my height as my heels were chunky. So my BMI still came out healthy. But I'd hate to know I was now under 25 bmi, but for docs to see me as still over it! I think reaching a BMI of 23, if I can do it, will make sure that doesn't happen :)

  • Well done Ruth on your weight loss and maintaining it I too want to be 9st 12 lbs I started off at 11st 12lbs 4 weeks ago and I'm now 11st 5 so lost half a stone but a long way to go yet I'm 5ft 3 and opposite shape to you I'm a inverted triangle in other words I look like danger mouse! Lol big top little bottom which is a nightmare for clothes too I've also started swimming twice a week so hope this will tone me up a bit going on my hols in July so want to be at my target weight for then anyway keep up the good work and I think your new goal is very realistic you can do it x

  • Congrats on already losing half a stone Paulapips - you're well on your way! I'm envious of your opposite figure to mine - at least you must be able to find jeans that fit ! Grass is always greener... Are you, like me, hoping that your body shape will be less pronounced at a lower weight? I don't imagine for a second I'll ever stop being a pear or you'll stop being an inverted triangle, but it would be great to be less conscious of it perhaps :)

  • Mine will always be the same I was this shape when I was slimmer just wish I had a waist! Oh well we are never always happy with everything lol and this dieting is very hard work! But I will be back in my summer clothes that's the attitude to have x

  • My last year's summer clothes are still in the wardrobe and they're very uninspiring - mostly shapeless big shirts with wraparound ties - designed for covering up rather than displaying my figure. I think I'd love more than anything to have a slimming set of summer clothes this year - I'll maybe get them all from scratch - all in size 12 hopefully :)

  • Well done Ruth on what you have achieved so far it is very inspiring to me as i started nearly 4 weeks ago at 12st 10lb and im 5ft 3. I would like to get into the middle of my healthy BMI range which is 7st 6lb - 10st 2lb , but till i get closer to that im saying 9st 10lb would be great. Im down to 12st 3lb at the moment which is still in the obese range and i think like you when i get in the healthy range one i will have to decide then because you never know which parts of your body the weight will decide to come off from. x

  • You're only very slightly in the obese range djas! I'm not strictly 5'4" - I'm 5'3.5" but prefer to say 5'4" especially as at my highest weight that meant I was still *just* less than obese. It was close though! I make sure I stand tall so everyone's convinced I'm that tall though. And at the doctors I let them measure my height with my shoes on too!

    For me, the weight came off very evenly. But as I combined weight loss with exercise, especially the running, I did end up with improved tone on my legs and stomach - my legs in particular definitely have more of a shape to them these days. But it's definitely hard to predict what size you'll be at the end. I think 9st10 is a great goal - I only had the courage to aim for 10st7 - which I'm glad I did. But now I'm reassessing things and 9st10 seems about where my goal's going to be at as well - definitely feels ambitious at this point though! :)

    Lots of luck for your journey and congrats on an excellent first 4 weeks :)

  • Thank you for that, its my 4th weight in on Monday and i gave up sugar last Tuesday so it will be interesting what the scales have to say. I only chose 9st 10 because that will be exactly 3st loss for me which is a nice round number but im taking it half a stone at a time.

    Good luck to you too with your new target and keep us posted how you get on. x

  • Wow Ruth!

    So good to read your account, I'm at the same point my journey started at 13st:04 I got down to 10:8 I'm 5ft 2" and started in May I went to stay with friends in sept who fed me junk and since then i've found it hard to get back to working out and I gained 2lbs last wk and the same the wk before so up to 10:12!!!

    I lost 11lbs in 11days when I 1st started it was so easy, i went sugar free and cut out all process food and cooked some amazing meals from fresh. It was the best feeling ever, I was working out every day could only do 15mins at the start as I have low iron & vit D so had no energy my joints hurt and I cried in pain, then by day 4, 30mins day 6 1hr by my 2nd wk i was doing 1hr every day and started to use hand weights i lost 7" off my waist. After that I did 1hr joggin & 1hr weights all laying down on my Pilates machine. My pain was almost gone and painkillers helped me carry on.

    However since sept I've lost the able to make myself workout, I did my 1st 30mins last night and just saw your post and all the great replies it's been so helpful to hear lots of positive people thank you to all!! x

    Keep going Ruth I'm aiming for another stone off. Looking forward to feeling and looking great this summer. Summer bodies are made in winter lol

  • Hi Etiquette2day, sounds like you've been having a rough patch recently, but I think this time of year is a challenge for everyone. Hope you get yourself on track again asap. With exercise I play all sorts of little tricks on myself to get myself to do it, just easing in a little here and there, or leaving my running shoes out for when I get up in the morning. Good luck getting your routine sorted and losing your last stone :)

  • Ruth I think your post is just brilliant and certainly sparks a lot of interest in me. I too am feeling the exact same way with regards to the goal weight and shape and although I am very happy I am still not the shape I would like to be so have been trying to get my head around what to do and I have decided to come away from cardio and concentrate more on weight lifting and using my own body weight to strengthen and tone. I'm an hour glass shape which I am happy with, but I have the bulk of my weight still on my legs which have come down considerably from when I started, but in all honesty I still have some work to do in this area. As of tomorrow my new journey begins with the weights and strength exercising and I am looking forward to this, as I feel that this could me all the difference to where I want to get to in the future.

    You have already done amazing and you will continue to do amazing and I am sure you will reach your goal and be even more happy with yourself :-)

    Thank you Ruth

    T1 x

  • Hi T1 :)

    That's really interesting that you're actually deliberately setting out to lose the final few lbs in a different way. I'm assuming I'll need to do it in a different way to before as my fitness threshold is so much higher this time around. I'm going back to strength exercise too - I felt like my 'Strength September' really made a big difference in terms of toning up, and I really regret not maintaining those exercises as an ongoing habit. I will always keep running and cycling however. Running has especially made so much difference to my fitness. Cycling just makes me feel excellent - I love my bike! :)

    My new journey starts tomorrow, although I've tried to get on track a bit this weekend. I'm back logging onto myfitnesspal, and went totally over the 1400 cals yesterday - shows how much more I've been having while maintaining! It will take a big shift in perspective to get back into the weightloss mindset again, but I totally know I can do it. I totally know you can do it too. Good luck, and maybe let us know what those changes are that you're making for this final push :) :)

  • I've read that the final push to getting to where you want to be with weight and shape is all in the weights, whether using your own body or using actual weights. I have invested in a home gym which I am going to start using as well as using the kettle bell while squatting. I can do proper press ups/push ups and I have been shown a whole load of other new strength exercises from the OH. I can already feel some new muscles developing in my legs so will build on this. I am still going to be running as I just love it and the walks are just habit, my main aim though is to use the weights to get that final shape I am after.

    It's great that you have already made a start this weekend and that you begin officially tomorrow like me :-) I will also make sure I start using Myfitnesspal again as of tomorrow as I have not been logging anything for a while now and need to keep everything in check. I feel really positive moving forward, it's not going to be easy as I am sure I will start to feel a massive difference in my body starting this new venture, but it will all be worth it. I'm going to have to make sure I eat plenty of Protein as well to help my muscles and give me a boost.

    So here's to both of us on our new journey's :-) and thanks again Ruth for writing this post you hit the nail on the head for me with this one

    T1 :-)

  • That all sounds so positive Trafford - thanks as well for contributing such inspiring replies! I think we'll all be looking forward to some great pictures of fish/meaty dinners if you're upping the protein. I've been experimenting with more egg-based breakfasts - in all different ways and mostly for 280 cals or less - so maybe I'll share some of those pics too. Eggs do definitely make a difference in terms of stopping you feeling hungry mid-morning.

    I have some weights that I used to use to replicate exercises I'd done at circuit training, but I really just haven't used them for ages. I may, like you, incorporate them into my strength routine. I'm planning to ease in slowly though, and incorporate lots of stretching and back exercises, so I don't end up with weird aches and pains (and bruises!) like last time...

    Good luck for tomorrow :)

  • I love eggs. I usually have a boiled egg in my sandwich at lunch time and on weekends I have scrambled egg for lunch, they are a great way to keep hunger at bay as well as a good source of protein.

    I have a good workout planned for tomorrow and I think I will start off with 30 mins and see how I feel. Some stretching is a must which I usually do when I'm making my morning coffee to get it out of the way before I begin any exercise. I have all the kit now 4 different outfits 3 pairs of trainers so I'm well prepared. I feel like a whole new woman in my lycra LOL ready to take on the world :-)

    We don't want you getting any bruises like last time Ruth so no jeans when working out :-)

    Good luck to you as well hun

    T1 x

  • I'm going to (gasp!) get myself some lycra too. I've decided that during this next phase of weight loss I will buy one new item of clothing each week as a motivator to keep me focused on the prize. Nothing expensive - we're talking charity shop/ebay/sports direct - but one thing each week should quickly add up :) This week's challenge is to buy some proper running trousers/tights. Pretty terrifying!

  • I got my lycra from Primark and Decathlon they have some brilliant sales in Decathlon on workout clothes and there trainers are so comfortable. Buying one thing a week will certainly add up, I tend to do this as well and pleased to say that now my wardrobe is full

    again :-) I must admit I love sporting my lycra and I have matching colour trainers to go with each outfit. As soon as I get up I put it on and that way it puts you in the mood straight away, but not before I have my coffee.

    I'm am sure you will look great in yours Ruth :-)

  • I love Primark for stocking up on smart long sleeve tshirts which I wear for work with a smart skirt and cardy. But I always forget they have sport stuff too, I need to check that out. I have a £12 voucher for SD though so I think I may look in there first :)

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