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By Vikarious On 04/04/04  

....not the cow kind.

Mine. My big fat calves. I HATE them. I can stand having big thighs and hips and a floppy belly, but I HATE my calves. Every spring when shorts weather rolls around, I go through this agony.

I've given up on the dream of ever having a pair of high boots NOT from a fat lady catalog. As I've mentioned before, I'm like a size 16/18. Some bigger girls have nice lean legs, shapely calves. I on the other hand, have huge ham hock looking calves that look HORRIBLE anyway you look at them. They have no shape or definition or anything.

Enough ranting. Are there any exercises I can do to give them shape? Would wearing heeled shoes help give my legs some definition? Other than basically losing all my weight, can I get rid of them somehow? I think the problem lies mostly in the fat that's below my calf muscles. Is it even possible to do something about that?

PLEASE help me lose em.
Kari



By denimqueen On 04/04/04  

check out the self.com website. they might have a calve tageting workout. walking, light jogging, or ballet all help too! good luck!



By roxy_fondue On 04/04/04  

why all the hatred towards your calves? they can't be all THAT bad, can they?

my gym teacher in high school used to go around flaunting the hugeness of her calves all the time. one time, canada's female champion rower came to our high school and our gym teacher, mrs. henderson, compared the size of their calves and was proud that her's were larger.

at the time, i thought it was pretty mental for mrs.henderson to care so much about the size of her calves, but now that i think about it, it's pretty cool. it's not too often we're given a female role model who wants BIGGER legs.

i know what it's like to hate huge legs (i have huge muthafuckin' legs myself), but i just wanted to tell you that big calves aren't all that bad (although i can relate to you with the boot-buying story. they need to make boots for big-calved girls like us!). maybe pilates or yoga would help? something that will make your leg muscles longer and leaner?

i hope that your calf-hatred is alleviated soon. and i'll keep a look out for expandable boots!

with all of my big-calf love,
roxy



By Vikarious On 04/04/04  

Roxy-

Being big isn't the whole problem. If they were big at the top and tapered down at the ankle (and up top at the knee) maybe they'd be ok. But it's just one big fat straight leg. Ugh.

I'd like to not hate my calves. It's so weird. I'm big all over and this is the ONE thing I can't stand. I dislike them so much I've thought about having them liposuctioned to give them definition, or wondered if I could use make up to create some.

Trust me, I'd love to love em, or at least just accept them. But it's hard.

:( Usually by the end of the summer I've gotten used to them, but right now it sucks.



By invisilurker On 04/04/04  

Be careful about wearing high heeled shoes..it actually shortens your calve muscles over time.
So I wouldn't recommend that.

Maybe that's just how your legs are. I know a girl who isn't even very big, and her legs are like that. They have no taper at all, and she has super wide hips. Her top half doesn't match the bottom half at all, but that's just how she is. She's not any less beautiful for it.



By Lydia On 04/04/04  

i dont know about the long-term effects of heel-wearing, but in the short term they really do make your legs look longer and more shapely. maybe wearing a small heel would be the least bad of both worlds?
i hate shorts too. i have semi-skinny legs, but my knees are really knobby, and i feel really self conscious in shorts. i think i look terrible in them. mrrrrr. body image...



By Xuli On 04/05/04  

By the way, I think those high boots are just designed to make us feel bad. I have to buy special boots for extra-large calves, too, and I'm a size 8.



By spoilt rotten On 04/05/04  

Argh!! So glad I'm not the only one out there with this issue!!! I think my biggest problem is that when I was a little slenderer I had quite nice legs (which I didn't like at the time, silly me!) and I had a lot of knee length skirts. I still have the skirts, but I hate wearing them because of my kankles!
Sending love to all those with calf issues...



By graphicsgirl On 04/05/04  

Vikarious,

First, I sympathize - I'm not a big girl, but I hate my calves too, for the same reasons - my calves are hefty compared to the rest of me, and I don't have cute little tapered ankles like most girls. I have hated my calves since I was 15 and a boy I liked told me I had "man calves". I'm sure he had no idea he would scare me away from shorts and skirts for years to come!!

Anyway, I have suffered through many hot summers in long jeans and skirts, but I think this year I am finally starting to like my calves. I have been running regularly (3 miles, 5 times a week) and it has made my calves more defined. Running isn't much fun, but I keep myself motivated by thinking about how good it'll feel to feel confident in shorts this summer!

I also second pilates, which is good for lengthening muscles and making them look longer.

Good luck!
~gg



By looloo On 04/05/04  

God, you would have thought that I wrote this! I have the same darn problem! It is really bugging me today because the skirt I am wearing comes down to 1/2 my calf, which I know only accentuates the problem!



By Beano On 04/05/04  

Speaking of skirt lengths...What is the best length for a girl in my position to wear?

I have one that comes to my knee or just below it and I really like it. It seems to make my legs look a bit slimmer.

I used to have skirts that were right above the knee a couple of inches maybe, and I didn't like those cause they showed my fat thigh/knee area, which made me just look chunkier.

And, I think I've tried mid-calf ones too, which if I remember didn't help the calf issue too much.

Am I crazy to think the knee length is ok? Or maybe it's just my wishful thinking because I like the skirt. Oh man, wouldn't be nice to be able to wear boots with a knee length skirt... :( I guess that's my answer for the dream life thread
"I want to do anything, anywhere, as long as I can wear a knee length skirt and boots."

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one, but it doesn't make my calves look any better. :(



By jtsang On 04/05/04  

I would try hiking in the woods, scenic routes, go up and down, climb over that rock to see what's behind it, do stuff like that b/c a) people enjoy seeing scenery and b) it will give you rock solid gorgeous calves. My calves were so sculpted and defined the summer i worked at a summer camp that had uneven terrain and i was constantly hiking up and down, back and forth. i also taught swimming lessons at the time but dont' think that had much to do with it b/c i was always standing around, not swimming, but holding kids up etc.

another solution, move to the top of a hill, it's amazing what a daily hike up a hill can do for the calves as well

good luck, i can't wear high boots either but i've convinced myself it's b/c the shoe industry has decided if you have small feet you must also be incredibly skinny :-P

jt



By nicegirl512 On 04/05/04  

1) Skirt length: Knee length or slightly above would be the best, in my opinion. It will draw attention to the top part of your leg (and the shape you have where your legs go in to be the knees). Mid calf only shows off your ankles, and it sounds like this is not what you want.

2) If you have an aerobic step or access to a curb where people won't stare at you like you're nuts, stand on the step/curb with the front half of your foot. Dip your heels down below the level of the step/curb, then rock up onto your toes. Do lots of reps. If you don't have access to either of these, just go from flat-footed to as far up onto your toes as you can go. Do both quick reps and long holds; you can hold your feet parallel or turned out. Hold onto a chair or your kitchen counter for balance. This will tone your calves like nobody's business, just ask a ballerina. I don't think know of any way to slim the ankles.



By thixle On 04/05/04  

I have no suggestons, but I have a question of my own:

Is there anyway to make ANKLES bigger? that is why I don't wear shorts-- I have shapely legs, but my ankles are just bone with a little skin. It makes my feet and calves look huge, even though they are "normal" sized.

ack, just a thought



By robust chick On 04/05/04  

For toning, you can stand on the edge of a platform or phone book or something with your heels hanging off the edge, then go up onto your toes, and back down, doing a few sets each time. Vary by pointing your toes in, pidgeontoed, and out, ballerina style. You can make it harder by holding weights in your hand. It is like lunges for calves, and it really works. It won't get rid of the fat, as there is no such thing as spot reducing, but it will give you some nice definition. For me, it is the belly that I simply cannot handle!



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