I'm a newbie here but loving the information here. I am 35 years old, female, pretty healthy, no chronic health problems aside from winter sinus annoyances, but have never been "skinny" per se. I have 4 kids ranging from 6 years old to 9 months. From puberty until my first pregnancy, I have been 5'5" tall and weighed between 158 and 172 lbs. I more or less ate what I wanted, stayed fairly active, but never watched myself that closely. I neither gained nor lost any significant weight, and, despite being clinically overweight, I never "looked like a fat girl" to the average observer, I was able to dress in such a way that my weight wasn't obvious. My body type is probably more "apple" than "pear", I have good legs, large breasts, my butt is rounded, and most guys say it's nice, but my waist and hips weren't all that defined, my waist-to-hip ratio was around 0.85. Most of my weight is in my stomach and abdomen area. I always had a "gut" or "beer belly" - nothing huge, but big enough to notice if I was wearing something other than a baggy t-shirt or a sweater. Overall though if I dressed right, I looked "not-fat" or "average" if not actually "thin."
By the time I got pregnant with #4, I was at 201 lbs. Nine months after the birth of #4, I am now down to 168. I'm watching portions somewhat but breastfeeding helps, and trying to stay active between daily walks, various workouts (pilates, treadmill, etc) as the kids allow me to do so. When I was at my heaviest, I'd only grown one pants size but my stomach, boobs, and overall abdominal area carried the brunt of the weight. I had a noticeable top-heavy appearance, still had good, slimmish legs, but between my abdominal fat and D-cup breasts, I looked like my top was too heavy to be supported by my bottom half!
While I'm arguably healthier now than I was pre-kids (lower BP, lower HDL, etc), I don't "look" as good. On the positive side, I now have hips, thanks to the kids, and I think my butt actually looks a bit better and more defined. However, due to the rigors of age and 4 kids, even though I weigh about what I did, my stomach is larger, it hangs more and is flabbier. I almost look like I'm 4 months pregnant with a top on! My waist-to-hip ratio as of the time I type this has actually improved to 0.82, and I was always under the impression that this didn't really change.
Aside from surgery is there anything I can do about this? I would like to try to lose more, but, as I said, I've always weighed over 160 or so since puberty, and I don't know if I could maintain much lower without turning into a crazy health-nut type, and I don't think I've got that in me!
I know that stomach area weight is much worse for my health than a big butt and thighs would be (plus, let's face it, a big butt and hips is more attractive than looking preggo when I'm not!)
Why don't you, for the time being, shoot for 150 lbs.? You don't have to be a health-nut to do that, do you? That would only be a mere 18 lbs. If you achieve that goal, you might feel so good that you decide to lose even more. That will be the best thing you can do to lose the big stomach. Go for it!
And if you do that, you will be doing your children a big favor too. Think of the better example you will be setting for them. They will then be less likely to be overweight when they get older, if they see and hear about the importance of eating natural whole foods, like fresh fruit and vegetables. And they might be spared the ordeal of trying to lose a lot of weight when they get older.
I may do just that, shoot for 150. My 6-year-old has already started complaining, haha, that we don't have macaroni and cheese as much as we used to, but I am working on getting him (and the younger kids) used to better habits.
My husband (since he eats what I cook) has also lost 9 lbs, and has mentioned himself that we could "do it together", but he's so funny - I know he finds me sexy, but he's so worried that if he shows support for my weight loss goals I think he's afraid I'll think he doesn't find me attractive. I know that he does regardless...in fact I weigh what I did when we met, he's just funny how he dances around the issue. He himself (he's 36, 5'9) is around 225 lbs and was about 180 when we met, so he's gained more than I have! He says he wants to lose weight but doesn't seem to take it as seriously as I do. His being in upper management at his job and schmoozing with clients at lots of dinners and events can do that, and his golf game isn't exercise no matter what he claims haha!
Perhaps if I could get my husband fully on-board, it would be easier. Maybe if I promise him an extra night of sex each time he loses a pound..?
I'm also working to get my libido back to the vixen I used to be, lately I'm not in the mood as much.
Sounds like you're on the right path. Try to incorporate both resistance training and cardio. Try not to focus too much on using the scale to measure your progress. Just more by body measurements and how your clothes are fitting, then by weight. Exercise is very important, but nutrition is even more important. If you don't eat right then you're exercise will be wasted. Great Job on exceeding your goal. Now you know what to do and how long it took to achieve that goal, now pick another that is similar and shoot for that in the same time frame. Since all you had was weight as a goal last time go with that, but take body measurements before and after as well. Again Great Job!