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Old 03-17-2008, 02:11 AM
 
Location: NC's southern coastline
454 posts, read 1,600,341 times
Reputation: 335

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I know you can't spot reduce, for example, trying to work out your legs just to make your thighs smaller. You have to lose weight overall and the part you want to spot reduce will get smaller too. This I know.

But is there ever any hope of changing your body shape with a combination of diet and exercises that focus on an area- not spot reducing, but once you get to the point where you are at an ideal weight and don't need to lose anymore, THEN targetting a problem area to change your shape? Does this make sense?

Because no matter what I do, I am curvy and it annoys me. I seriously have to be about 15 pounds underweight to look thin, otherwise I have a very hard time keeping my stomach flat and keep the weight off my *torso*--I'd rather be pear shaped, but I tend to put weight on in the stomach and bust. It is so easy for me to get my legs and arms into shape, and butt.....but not my stomach/back/side lovehandles/bustline. So aggravating!!

BTW is all that stuff about stress and cortisol/abs true?
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:39 PM
 
617 posts, read 2,213,925 times
Reputation: 286
You can't change the shape of your muscles, but you can grow or reduce their size, thus changing your body shape.

Bottom line, for your question, I'm sure you can do it. You probably need to check your total bf% and make sure your weight/shape is from muscle and not just bodyfat that is shaping your figure.

You definitely can't change the shape of fat. You may need to reduce fat % more, then "reshape" your body. I reccommend getting a rough bf% measurement and go from there.

You may be at an "ideal weight" but not an ideal muscle to fat ratio. The scale, in this case, is really not your friend. bf%...


I don't know what's going around about cortizol, but it does hinder proper muscle building and fat loss processes. Cortizol is the body builder's 'enemy'. To put it simply.

Good luck. You can do it.
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Old 03-18-2008, 01:39 PM
 
Location: SoCal - Sherman Oaks & Woodland Hills
12,980 posts, read 18,908,863 times
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I always get confused when people say they are "curvy" because everyone has a different definition of "curvy". Most men think of curvy as being like Jessica Rabbit, Jessica Beal, Scarlett Johansson or the girls who tryout for the Pussycat Dolls show. Women's idea of "curvy" is totally different than that of men as it usually means they are like Rosie O'Donnell, Queen Latifah, Cameron Manheim, Carnie Wilson or Kirstie Alley. So from your description its safe to assume that you fall into the latter category since you mentioned your stomach/back/side lovehandles/bustline are your problem areas.

These areas are the usual problem areas for most women and CAN be changed by the following:

1. Better nutrition. Notice I didnt say diet. Stay away from anything fried, fatty, bleached (white rice, white pasta, white bread, etc.). Monitor your calorie intake. Eat 4-5 meals per day (this is to speed up your metabolism).

2. Anaerobic and Aerobic exercise - You need both and especially with anaerobic exercise you'll see results much faster.

3. Resistance training - Weight lifting. Especially compound movements.

#2 and #3 would be useless without adhering to #1 though. But it can definately be done.
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:47 PM
 
2,122 posts, read 5,448,721 times
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The simple answer is no - you are born with certain genetics which dictate basic body shape. If you have a short torso and long legs for example... you will after working out for any length of time.

The more accurate answer is that every 7 years you essentially have a new body with all the cells in your body having changed. As you stress your bones, they adjust by changing their shape (this is physiological fact). As you stress your muscles, they change their shape as well. As you eat a diet (lower or absent of) flour & breads as well as sugar and corn-syrup, your fat cells will lose volume and thus change their shape. Overall, yes through working out and eating right for a reasonable length of time your shape will change. Do most people really commit the time and energy to do this?... I have doubts. But I have seen guys go from rather undefined and flabby and rather pear shaped to muscular, ripped, with thin waist and broad shoulders in the course of about 2 years. I myself underwent a similar but less dramatic change. I also have known women with rather large breasts workout and change their diets to such a degree that their breasts shrunk. I know it is possible. I don't know what to say to you except that I wish to encourage you to like yourself and to make positive changes to your exercise schedule and diet.... you'll feel better and live healthier.
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Old 03-19-2008, 02:52 PM
 
Location: NC's southern coastline
454 posts, read 1,600,341 times
Reputation: 335
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBeez View Post
I always get confused when people say they are "curvy" because everyone has a different definition of "curvy". Most men think of curvy as being like Jessica Rabbit, Jessica Beal, Scarlett Johansson or the girls who tryout for the Pussycat Dolls show. Women's idea of "curvy" is totally different than that of men as it usually means they are like Rosie O'Donnell, Queen Latifah, Cameron Manheim, Carnie Wilson or Kirstie Alley. So from your description its safe to assume that you fall into the latter category since you mentioned your stomach/back/side lovehandles/bustline are your problem areas.
.
I can see how curvy is a confusing word. In my case, I'm definitely not like the latter, and definitely not a Jessica Rabbit either. I am trying to think of a celeb that has a similar body shape to mine- what makes that hard is except FOR the Rosies and Carnies, everyone else seems to go to great lengths to be at the absolute bottom barrel weight. I used to look sort of like Jessica Simpson before she lost all of that weight for her Daisy Dukes- I heard she got down to 100 for that role, and the producers were still wanting her to look more svelte. Whatever she did worked, but the poor girl obviously had to starve down or do one heck of an Atkins. She seems to have kept it off. But I'm just saying, I think I'm similar to her natural tendency- she's naturally busty, etc. So I guess in my case by curvy I mean bigger in the bust and hips even when I weight under 120 but I'm not tall so this is not a Jessica Rabbit look. I'll never be an extomorph or a pear. My legs are small and muscular, I don't tend to have problems with my butt, thighs, or legs...or normally my arms. It's easy for me to get a flatter stomach but NOT a smaller waistline if that makes sense. I seem to be built wider, always looked skinny from the side and then from the front, hippier. The last time I was measured for a dress before pregnancy I was 38-27-I forget the hip measurement, at 119 pounds. I have a short torso, too, and during my 2 pregnancies, I had nowhere to carry the baby except out--TMI perhaps, but my rib cage (aka bra band size) increased by inches and I can't get it to go back smaller- this is one thing I hope exercises can help after I get my weight back down fully.

Part of my problem is that I'd LIKE to look tall, lean, lanky, and it can't happen. Have to work w/ what I have, short and muscular legs, tendency to have a bust and difficult abs. When I was underweight and about 100, (a long time ago!!!), I just looked tiny but still didn't look lanky.
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Old 03-19-2008, 03:12 PM
 
2,122 posts, read 5,448,721 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueLily7 View Post
I seem to be built wider, always looked skinny from the side and then from the front, hippier. The last time I was measured for a dress before pregnancy I was 38-27-I forget the hip measurement, at 119 pounds. I have a short torso, too, and during my 2 pregnancies, I had nowhere to carry the baby except out--TMI perhaps, but my rib cage (aka bra band size) increased by inches and I can't get it to go back smaller- this is one thing I hope exercises can help after I get my weight back down fully.

Part of my problem is that I'd LIKE to look tall, lean, lanky, and it can't happen. Have to work w/ what I have, short and muscular legs, tendency to have a bust and difficult abs. When I was underweight and about 100, (a long time ago!!!), I just looked tiny but still didn't look lanky.
You need to start not just liking yourself, but loving yourself. Seriously. You don't have the structure of those you idealize and that isn't psychologically healthy. I'm not being harsh, but just real. I in fact as a male have had similar thoughts - I've looked at some guys and said, wow, I wish my waist was more narrow and my torso longer... what a waste of my time though. I only realize it now years after obsessing. Try to look the best you can, and others will sense your confidence and greatness. That is all that matters. Make certain you pass on this love of yourself to your children too.. since they may have your build when they grow up.
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:45 AM
 
Location: Az.
1,198 posts, read 405,864 times
Reputation: 345
You can't exactly change the shape of your body, but you can definitely define, tone, and tighten it up with exercise and a right diet. But you can't change bone structure.
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
11,186 posts, read 12,813,280 times
Reputation: 7323
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbuszu View Post
The simple answer is no - you are born with certain genetics which dictate basic body shape. If you have a short torso and long legs for example... you will after working out for any length of time.

The more accurate answer is that every 7 years you essentially have a new body with all the cells in your body having changed. As you stress your bones, they adjust by changing their shape (this is physiological fact). As you stress your muscles, they change their shape as well. As you eat a diet (lower or absent of) flour & breads as well as sugar and corn-syrup, your fat cells will lose volume and thus change their shape. Overall, yes through working out and eating right for a reasonable length of time your shape will change. Do most people really commit the time and energy to do this?... I have doubts. But I have seen guys go from rather undefined and flabby and rather pear shaped to muscular, ripped, with thin waist and broad shoulders in the course of about 2 years. I myself underwent a similar but less dramatic change. I also have known women with rather large breasts workout and change their diets to such a degree that their breasts shrunk. I know it is possible. I don't know what to say to you except that I wish to encourage you to like yourself and to make positive changes to your exercise schedule and diet.... you'll feel better and live healthier.
I've worked out at the gym and done daily cardio workouts since about age 20, and I'm 41 now. I've never been overweight and work now just to maintain muscle, trim abdomen, and for basic health reasons. But I've realized that there are some things you just really can't change. My only gripe is my butt - it's not that I don't have one, and what I have is muscle, but you can't build up muscle where you just don't have much muscle. If I didn't regularly work out, I'd probably have none at all! Oh well, what can you do?
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:16 AM
 
2,122 posts, read 5,448,721 times
Reputation: 1835
Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
I've worked out at the gym and done daily cardio workouts since about age 20, and I'm 41 now. I've never been overweight and work now just to maintain muscle, trim abdomen, and for basic health reasons. But I've realized that there are some things you just really can't change. My only gripe is my butt - it's not that I don't have one, and what I have is muscle, but you can't build up muscle where you just don't have much muscle. If I didn't regularly work out, I'd probably have none at all! Oh well, what can you do?
I'm not a self-proclaimed expert, but I know some things I'll share to potentially help you. Building your gluteus muscles is something that you can do, even at your age. They are not like your calve muscles which are notoriously difficult for most people to train and enlarge. They react to weight training pretty quickly. There's three muscles to work out - everyone has them, and yes everyone can make them larger. There's multiple exercises you can do to build them up. The key is that you want to "body-build" not just strengthen. There's a difference in how you approach body-building vs strength-training. You need to do things which target those muscles, break them down, and then do it all over again while eating a diet that supports muscle growth. There's a lot of information out on the Internet about bodybuilding vs strength training - definitely spend just a few minutes reading some of it. Also look for relevant exercises you can perform. You'll have a buttocks in no time!
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Old 03-27-2008, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Az.
1,198 posts, read 405,864 times
Reputation: 345
When you exercise you should use all 3 components:

1. Cardio- jogging, long walks, swimming, jump rope, hiking, aerobics, or anything that keeps you moving between 30-60 minutes.

2. Strength- weight training and/or the nautilus machines at the gym.

3. Flexibliltiy- Pilates, Yoga, and calisthenics.


If you put all 3 in your workout routine, you should have a nicer, toner, tighter, shape. And also, to keep you healthy.
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