My bad knees have really slowed me down, & I have put on a bit of weight that I need to lose. Walking & cycling are difficult now. I’m cutting back in calories as best I can & wearing my zip-front pants or shorts at least once a week so I know where I stand, lol.

I relate to the foot/shoe issue. About a year and a half ago I started dealing with a small bunion on my right foot that would get inflamed and give me pain. I saw a podiatrist and read up on bunions, etc. and determined that I needed to size up a half-size in my shoes and make sure they were comfortable in the toe box. It has been a process that has taken a good while. But, like Angie, I want to keep my feet happy!!!

I think the best way to assess muscle vs. fat is in the mirror. I can definitely tell when my fat is higher--more accurately than the scale. Scales can be deceiving. My weight fluctuates--seasonally and on how much I'm training about #5 lbs. in either direction. My wardrobe churn is usually due to tiring of styles more so than weight fluctuations. The exception is shoes--which I will get rid of even if they fit if they are uncomfortable. That's something I'm not willing to mess around with! Personally, I would wait to let your body settle before getting rid of too much--let your body find it's new set point.

Pretty minimal changes here, except my feet have gone up about half a size. Probably a long-term change accelerated by pandemic life (barefoot almost all the time). A lot of my older shoes still fit with thinner socks but I’ve been culling all the pairs (mostly 5-6 years old) where my toes are now right at the end.

I *think* my shoulders and upper arms have bulked up a bit, due to playing around with hand weights and being more diligent about isometrics (and lots of yard work!). But it could also be that my tolerance for fitted/constricting has declined.

Oh boy, I think you have lots of company, and I’m definitely in the camp of “did not lose weight during pandemic.” I’ve been trying to make some moderate changes and track my eating for the last couple of months and I think it’s having some effect. I do not own a scale and do not wish to, but I can tell when I’m on the right track or not by how my clothes feel. It’s a good sign that my regular bras from a year ago are not feeling as pinchy in the band as they were this winter.

I’ve had some fairly significant changes over the years in both directions. Most recently a significant size change when I started running a lot (went from roughly a size 10 to a size 6), and well, now I’m back to the 10. In fairness to myself the time in between also saw me through a hysterectomy and menopause, so some changes are not unexpected. But nonetheless, I know when I reach a point where I no longer feel good, and i know carrying excess (for me) weight is not good for my health. Hence my action of late.

For me, changes occur quite gradually and my body keeps the same basic shape — I never lose the hips or the boobs, everything just gets a little smaller or larger. Usually I notice changes in the lower part of my body first, but I do think that since menopause I seem to be holding onto more weight overall in my chest and midsection. Yay. My solution in clothes has mainly been to stick with styles that accommodate a bit of fluctuation. No tight tees, no skinny jeans. No bodycon dresses.

Funny, I was just tackling some digital clutter and cleaning out some old photo files on my computer and ran across this picture (amongst others) from when I was fitter 8 years ago, and our pugs were still alive. It made me sad in all the ways. I looked good then, sigh.

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I am right there with you. I went to a recent doctor appointment and was shocked by how much weight I gained during the pandemic, despite exercising the whole time. I have never gained so much weight in such a short time; it turns out all that "everyday life" activity pre-pandemic added up to something important. I knew some of my clothes weren't fitting well but stepping on the scale was a harsh awakening. It's possible that I gained muscle (my legs are especially muscular) but most of the weight is fluff from comfort eating and loads of stress during 2020 and early 2021.

My doctor told me to give myself a lot of "covid grace," which was good advice, I think. She said she had not had a single patient who hadn't faced weight fluctuations during the past year.

The only advice I have is to buy slowly and purchase what fits you now and makes you feel good. And don't get rid of anything just yet; it's too soon to tell.

I can't believe the number of people who have changes in feet sizes. Maybe I"m not observant enough or its the type of shoes I wear....always boots or sneakers.
I've been thinking about this thread and it could depend where you put your weight on. I can keep the same dresses and go up and down 3 sizes purely because I dont loose as much weight on the top and I wear loose on the top anyway. I do have to change my jeans as soon as I put on 5 kilos.
Also if you are living in a new country that can affect things. I put on weight both times I lived in Japan.

Where do I begin. Ha ha!

Let's start with the feet: I was dx'ed with a severe B12 deficiency 7 years ago. By the time it was dx'ed, I had nerve damage particularly in my feet. Basically, I had been walking around for years in shoes that did not fit-- because I couldn't feel my feet. Ugh. Anyway, the doctors thought the damage was going to be permanent, but I'm happy to say, my nerves woke up again! And whoa.... now my feet are so sensitive! So yeah, shoes matter, and yes my feet are super fussy.

When I was diagnosed, the doctor told me to expect weight gain with treatment, and told me I could stand to gain weight. I was also banned from any sort of exercise until the nerve damage heeled. I also was in the height of perimenopause with hot flashes and middle-aged spread and all of that. And yep I gained weight! I settled in at a "new normal" higher weight. It was tough to get used to it, but I kept telling myself the extra body fat plumped out the wrinkles, and made me have more "presence" in the world.

When the pandemic hit, I hadn't stepped on a scale in two years. Eating out less and cooking more at home definitely helped, but no major changes seen with how clothes fit.

Eventually for stress relief and sanity the husband and I started hiking 3-4x's a week, going longer and longer and with more challenging hikes. Then in January I signed up for the 52 Hike Challenge (hike 52 times in a year), which we completed a week ago!! I started to notice my leggings were slipping down, and I had to tighten my fanny pack, and the extra chin disappeared. I've been wearing bralettes but tried on my bra and realized I am down from a D to a C cup. I still have no idea what my weight started at, but I am going to guess I've lost 10 lbs just from hiking and eating out less over this past year. I finally weighed myself and I've still got a ways to go, but definitely better than two years ago.

I would like to drop another 10 lbs but I'm not going to do it by calorie counting alone. I'm just going to keep hiking and being active. I'm in no rush.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I stopped then reduced my exercise walking — and figured out that I had gained four or five pounds. It doesn’t sound like much, but I am only 5’ 1” and the extra weight made my bras feel like tourniquets particularly by the end of the day. Yuck! I started to ramp up my walking feeling I had extra time since I was no longer driving to a track. It took until December to get that weight off!

But by mid-December my knees were hurting. Badly. I contacted my doctor who recommended the Brooks Addictions I used to wear but gave up for some unknown reason. What a difference. The pain disappeared almost instantaneously. Today I added a heel insert to make them fit a little better. Got some knee pain. Goodby insert.

So with hill walking about 1.5 hr/day— 9 hr/wk since I do 6 days, I have been losing about a pound a month and continuing to eat pizza and pasta and drink wine and beer with my husband.

I’ve just noticed the cups have become too big on a couple of exercise bras but not on my regular ones. I think it’s a matter of their cut/style. Some clothing is just more forgiving but it’s hard to tell at the time of purchase. With shoes, adding or removing inserts or pads to shoes or feet can make a difference.

Wow, what an inspiring and wise group we have here. It’s wonderful to hear all these tips and also just the warm bath of compassion or “COVID grace” we can share. Hooray for stretchy clothes that are forgiving of our particular fluctuation tendencies.

Bijou, too funny!

Kelly and LaPed, closet churn can indeed result from “tiring of a style” or “less tolerance of discomfort” or the dreaded “closet shrink.”

Janet, thanks for sharing your photo. The pug is so cute and it can be hard to look back to times we’ve lost (I hate those Facebook reminders of photos from years past.). But I see your same radiant smile from then to now.

Shiny, what a terrible story about your feet! It’s a cautionary tale!

DonnaF, walking is wonderful for heart and mind.