Just saw a post by neuro which inspired this thread
Judging your body/weight/health/happiness by clothing size is a bad idea. I am not saying anyone on this forum is doing this but I just want to raise the issue. Neuro mentioned a tall broad friend who was a size 16 I think but with everything in good proportion.
It is all about proportionality.
If you have wide shoulders and hips/arse you are much better off if your limbs match. Nothing worse than a nice behind with two skinny legs with the knee being the widest point. *Shudder*
So I suppose what I am trying to say is, if you are a size 16-18 and in proportion be happy as this is much much better than being a size 10-12 with an awkward shape.
Clothing size means nothing, obviously trashy mags and the media throw about figures but these are the same magazines/media which print awful pictures of overweight stars and then slag them if they lose weight, usually saying how they are on a dangerous crazy diet. What kind of a mixed message is that?
Dropping dress sizes should not be your goal. Lowering your bodyfat % to a normal level or putting some muscle on your thighs/arms/where-ever to suit your frame are much more positive and measurable goals.
Bit of a rant on clothing sizes I know but I hate them being used as a reference for body shape.
Yes, have a read of this
Your current clothes are a good guage to how you are doing though, you might not see the difference, but if your clothes are getting looser it is not like they are growing in the wash!. Change is gradual and can go un-noticed.
hell yeah, putting new holes in a belt would be very satisfying I'd imagine but I just wanted to raise the issue and striving to be a size X (pick a size) is not perfect because being a size X doesn't automatically mean you'll look good.
So try and use a more scientific measure of success
I don't think it the dress sizes per se - it is more if I'm a 14 and I want to be a 12. I can chart my progress on the clothes I'm wearing at the moment.
Body fat is not the easiest thing to measure accurately. And standing on the scales if you're working out a good bit can be misleading. Clothes are probably the most accurate way of registering progress.
I agree it is not easy to accurately measure bodyfat but it is pretty easy to measure a downward trend with a set a calipers.
lets face it if someone is serious about their diet/weightloss then they will go to the trouble of measuring bf% with a calipers
I disagree with this completely. Calipers are better, photographs (taken monthly in the same lighting) are better and a good old measuring tape is better.
Even shop to shop clothing size changes.
I'd rather the thread deleted than sent there. The topic is about using clothing size as a measure of success while dieting. Think its pretty apt here
If last month I couldn't fit into a pair of jeans I own, and this month I can. Well, to me, that is a fairly good indicator that I've lost weight.
Measurements/photographs/calipers.. unless you are a trained professional I would doubt joe soap's abilty to take accurate measurements using both these methods.
People use items of clothing in a certain dress size as a goal - maybe something they used to fit into a few years ago. I think it is one of the best and easiest ways of measuring your progress at home.
I do agree with what you are saying, but at the same time mention the words toned size 14/16 and the result is people will be like nah thats fat. It doesnt matter that you arent fat thats the message you get. There is a lot of negatively surrounding larger clothes sizes and please those magazines tend to call a size 8 curvy.
My response is to just not buy those magazines tbh. I have enough body image issues without obsorbing more useless crap.
Anyhow i think that even if you are proportional it is still difficult to get clothes in larger sizes to fit properly!!
Kind of depends what your goals are though. For the vast majority of people losing weight means literally that - losing size - and so your clothes will be the best measure of how well you're doing.
For those who are more fitness minded, losing weight tends to imply losing bodyfat, in which case callipers and a tape are indeed superior, especially if you're trying to add muscle (in which case your clothes will hopefully getting smaller!!).
Personally I've completely given up on using clothes as progress markers, purely because my shape has changed so much in so many ways. My bodyfat is lower, but my muscle mass is up, so even though I look better nekkid (I didn't say great, just better ) there isn't a huge difference in how much roomier my clothes are. And they get tight in totally differently places now: whereas before my ever expanding belly would stop me from fitting certain t-shirts, now it's my broad shoulders and big arms that force me to go up a size leaving shirts looking tent-like around the tummy.
And it's similar with jeans and trousers: my thighs are rock solid, but big so I have to wear sizes that once again are gaping around the stomach but tight on the upper leg. My bum is still big, but it doesn't wobble so much anymore
oh and the thread stays put.
Firstly g'em I have huge respect for you so please don't take this as an arguement but rather as a way of justifing my point of view.
I agree most people just want to lose size to fit in to a smaller clothing which is pushed by various media as being the norm or trendy. I think that is a poor (verging on unhealthy) mindset to be in.
I think when someone says they want to lose "weight", that weight should always be bodyfat regardless of fitness level. Who wants to lose their muscle?? Why would you want to lose muscle?
Its very easy to lose size, just starve yourself, its very bad for you, you'll look like crap and its dangerous. Losing fat while retaining muscle (which is what we should be telling people how to do) is a little tougher.
Why should that differ depending on fitness level?
Ok that's a seperate point, back to clothing size
So g'em taking you as an example. Before you went on your super cut you had some bodyfat you wanted to to get rid of (just like most people on a diet) You applied a scientific approach to the problem and looked ****ing amazing at the end a true inspiration to a lot of boards users.
Saying I want to go from a size 16 to a size 12 is just madness to me as size 12 varies from shop to shop for christs sake.
To olaola, dropping fat to fit into a currently owned piece of clothing (which is practically measuring yourself anyway as the clothing is a fixed size) is not exactly what I was getting at.
Saying I want to be a size twelve is different from saying I want a 30 inch waste to fit into the nice jeans in my wardrobe. The latter being a more concrete and reasonable way of measuring things. The same could be done with a measuring tape in about 2 seconds, no professionals needed really. Also its not hard to take photos on a digi camera
Anyway my point is more that clothing sizes are inconsistent from shop to shop and there is a huge negative stigma attached to higher sizes. These 2 points make clothing sizes bad frames of reference for fat loss.
Like lets get real for a minute, this forum is about diet and nutrition for us users who choose to post here. If you are serious about weight loss (fat) or gain (muscle) taking decent measurements is important. There are much better methods than weighing scales and clothing sizes for this.
As a personal example. In the last 6 months I have gone from about 77kg to 90kg (trying to gain muscle). If I was just weighing myself or going by my clothes it would appear I have put on a lot of muscle. It is far from all muscle
We're actually on the same page about things and I agree with everything you say - I recoil with horror when I contemplate losing muscle mass, and as for doing it intentionally... well it jsut doesn't bare thinking about
But these are measures and techniques and words and phraseology and information that we simply take for granted. My point is that for the greater population at large weight loss = size loss, and it's that simple. That doesn't make it right, that doesn't mean they shouldn't be given the information to know differently, just that that's the way it is.
btw well done on the weight gain - any guesstimations on how much of it is lean?
oh and btw #2 thank you for the lovely words
@ olaola - I totally see where you're coming from, and you're right, having an item of clothing that you used to fit into does make a handy 'goal-assessor'. But at the same time I think it's a very limiting tool, it's like saying "Unless I fit into this dress/ these jeans/ this top by x date I won't have succeeded" and personally I find that a very negative frame of mind. Instead of having a win/lose situation I prefer to take the approach that every step in the direction of my goal is a win. The progress might be small, but it's still progress.
If I was to constantly take the win/lose scenario I'd be miserable - my wardrobe is FULL of stuff I don't fit into anymore because of the way I've changed from my sport!! Now, instead, if I don't fit into something I try to assess why. Is it because I've put on fat? Or is it that being physically active has caused my shape to change in a good way?
Using a tape measure and callipers lets you track your progress on a constant basis, so that every time the numbers go down (or up in vegeta's case!!) you can pat yourself on the back and say, "Job (so far) well done!"
This isn't a jab at you at all, just trying to put a new spin on things
I agree with the shop sizes changing, - no point aiming to be a size 12- you just end up picking a brand whos size 12 is huge. Thats why I posted the link on "vanity sizing". I also said "Your current clothes are a good guage to how you are doing though".
Your current clothes will not grow, and if washed a few times will not shrink- so in effect a pair of jeans is a continuous row of measuring tapes all the way down your legs & thighs. You cannot squeeze too tight- like on a tape, you are always in and around the same place- e.g. you could subconciously move the tape down your thigh to get a lower reading.
You can be the same weight gaining muscle and losing fat at the same rate. Muscle goes onto "good" places, and fat onto "bad". If my shirt arms are too tight I will be pleased, if my jeans wasit is too tight I am not...
Size 12 used to be a 26" waist. I was wondering why I had gone down two clothes sizes since I was 11 (I'm now 20) and had a look at an old pair of jeans and they are about the same as my current size 8s. In some cheap shops even the 8 is a bit saggy and they don't do a smaller size. Considering I'm just in the middle of a healthy weight range for my height, it's a bit unfair on skinny or underweight people.
Just to add to the clothes angle, shapes and sizes vary so much from shop to shop and from range to range that it is just maddening.
I used to be a size 22, and thought how much fun shopping would be if I only lost some weight and could fit into "normal" sizes. So I lost the weight. But guess what? Not fitting into a pair of size 12 jeans is just as disheartening as not fitting into a pair of size 22. You still take it personally, and at least with the bigger sizes, you have a pretty good idea of what will fit. I've got clothes now that range from size 8 to size 18 and they all fit.
I've just borrowed "Trinny and Suzannah's Body Shape Bible" from the library in the hope of finding out what will suit my current body shape.