No. The 120lb isn’t so much as important and being able to buy cute clothing in a size 8. Most designers don’t like to make clothing for women with shape (at least that’s my experience). Have you seen some of the stuff they sell for women with shape 12 and over? I dress shop and often wanna burst out into tears. Often times it’s ugly and ill-fitting, like a shapeless sack. And sure, I’m healthy. I should be thankful for that. It’s just annoying when everyone around you is tiny and eats like the world is going to end (wearing the most adorable things), and here I have to be very particular about my food because I have to avoid certain things because they are essentially a waste for me to eat (e.g. saddle me with extra pounds). And the older I get, the less and less I have to eat and the more I have to work out. It is exhausting.
As for the metabolism, you get that no amount of lemon-water or hot sauce is going to change that right? It’s based on a mix of activity, genetics, hormones, age, etc…and my base-line has/was always low.
A poor but comparative example of this: when I gave up soda nothing obvious happened, but I had a boyfriend at the time who gave them up as well and he shaved off 20lbs within a couple of months. Same lifestyle, essentially the same diet, but his overall genetics and hormonal makeup differed from mine. The only thing that had changed was the lack of soda. Granted this is a silly example with other possible variables I’m not considering, but I think you get what I mean.
If you research anything about somatotypes — it is fascinating theory about body-typing that seems to make a lot of sense. The principle is there are 3 primarily body types; people often straddling between two of them. You have your genetically blessed mesomorphic type, those who can work out and gain muscle and burn fat or maintain their physique with little effort. My ex was this way. Ate whatever he wanted, gave up running for 6 months, and still looked incredible.
There are the lithe ectomorphs who struggle to gain muscle or fat — think the marketed model body type (very skinny). Ectomorphs can literally eat whatever they want as their metabolisms burn through their caloric fuel quickly.
And then there are the endomorphs. I fall into this category, where you gain fat easily and it is very very very hard to lose. While endomorphic body types also gain muscle like a champ, unlike mesomorphs, they have an extra hurdle of getting rid of the fat (so they typically bulk up in lieu of losing weight). In a world of plenty, endomorphs are given the short stick genetically. Now if we were suddenly in the throws of a mass loss of provisions (a famine) and had to hunt and gather, the endomorph is ideally built for that scenario. Hence why I say if a zombie apocalypse were to come about, short of the biters, I’d likely be ok as I would survive on very little food. And while I am thankful I’m not struggling for my next meal as I was when I was kid, it sucks to watch my loved ones gorge the delicious food I make (but don’t get to enjoy myself). I make pancakes like a champ, but I don’t eat them. I haven’t had ice cream, soda, fast food, cupcakes, cake, etc…in years. So, yeah, kinda frustrating when my healthy diet (and yeah, I know the difference between pretend healthy courtesy of advertisers vs actual healthy — whole food), is keeping me fat. I don’t eat things like oatmeal and granola, or diet drinks or sports drinks.
Now, no matter how hard I try I will never be an ectomorph or a full blown meso. Like saying, I am a rhino, and no matter how hard I try, I will never be a unicorn.
When I work out with weights, as you were suggesting with the whole turning around my cardio vs weight, I bulk up like a body-builder, I don’t trim down. When I do nothing but cardio, sure I manage to get a little more toned, however, I’m still living on air and daylight and working out 6 days a week doing an hour or two of cardio and it sucks. So before you try to suggest things like lifting more weights, getting some blood work done, or changing up my meal plan yet again, maybe you should consider I’ve tried all of this with little to no results. I’m simply built that it would take a lot of extra effort to look a certain way, whereas it is easier for others (genetics). That is my struggle.