Is it possible to go from obese to ripped?

  • I'm 30, have gone from 280 to 200 pounds and am continuing to lose, but along with losing weight, I'm losing faith that I will ever reach my goal. The studies I've looked at show that the number of fat cells in a human body doesn't decrease, that they merely shrink as I lose weight. So given that I was obese most of my life, is it even possible that my muscles will ever show through, or will I always be soft?

    nathanheal   by: nathanheal
  • 8 votes
    Bogleg  over 2 years ago by: Bogleg

    Don't get discouraged - you've accomplished an amazing feat and have much better health and well-being to show for it. You should be very proud. There are a few factors to take into consideration. 1) How much lean body mass do you have at 200 pounds? Getting your muscles to show through may involve adding some muscle to your frame. 2) Excess skin - if you were significantly obese, you might have excess skin that could prevent some definition from occuring. You would need to consult with a doctor or certified professional to best address this. 3) Your fat cells might not go away, but they can shrink to the size of pin-points. We all have them, even the leanest people. Long-term obesity can certainly cause you to have MORE of them, but that doesn't mean you can't shrink them to the point of near-invisibility. Don't lose heart!

    I would say you should focus more on your body's makeup now and less on the scale - determine what your lean body mass and body fat numbers are, and set goals appropriately.

    • nathanheal
      nathanheal over 2 years ago

      Walk, congrats to you on your transformation! Did you find anything helpful to do to firm up that skin, or did you just let nature take its course?

    • walkinlooove
      walkinlooove over 2 years ago

      Thanks! I noticed it soon after I started training for a 10k and was running quite a that may have had something to do with it, but I'm not completely sure--it may have just been time!

  • 5 votes
    andysmith  over 2 years ago by: andysmith

    280 to 200 is amazing nathanheal!

  • 3 votes
    zaengerlein  over 2 years ago by: zaengerlein

    Have patience - and stay on a steady way towards your goal. You have already accomplished a lot and you will accomplish even more. It does not matter whether it will take you a few month more or less. If you take a break make sure you have someone who reminds you to continue again!
    And now a bit more concrete regarding your question: when you loose weight and along when you loose body fat, you are right - the fat cells do not die. But: they release the stored fat. And while they release body fat, they shrink in size. And that's whats important to get those muscles to show up more prominently. A strong bodybuilder like definition will only show when you have reached a very low body fat percentage. But the muscle groups in general will be become more visible before that.
    So keep going!
    To give you some motivation, I recommend you check the website Marks Daily Apple - every friday someones success story in loosing weight and transforming their lives is posted there. One of the greatest examples is the story from 9th of December - check it out. Highly recommended!

    • nathanheal
      nathanheal over 2 years ago

      Thanks for the input. Really helpful, and that story on Mark's Daily Apple is absolutely NUTS! Seems like it's gotta be totally doable, then. :)

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