Monthly Archives: April 2011

A word about waist-training belts

Just received this email from a lady with whom I’ve been corresponding as she judges her budget and tries to settle on the right rib-straightening style of corsetry:

“Last week I did wear a wide leather belt I had at home to try to catch the bottom part of my ribs and bring them in, so I could start training them, but I ended so sore and red abrasions from it.”

We’ve heard that before when a client goes about ‘seasoning’ a new belt too precipitously, but rarely such a complaint even if seasoning a custom corset the same. That is because the corset will sculpt over the body if properly made and not tweak or pinch, nor have truly hard edges as has a sturdy leather belt.

Even our Training Belt when it was in production (we have no team maker just yet and do not offer it as of April 2011 but hope to in the future), had some similar problems if folks belted down too much or wore it for too long. Additionally we have had clients report back that they experienced a much more gaseous tummy with a belt than with a corset. The final problem is that a belt will undoubtedly squish out the lower belly and might tend to encourage it to reamin so, the longer you belt down, especially if not worn with a sturdy girdle to control more of the lower torso.

That being said, I like to wear my belt occasionally or as an alternative to a more body-snugging corset. The belt will allow you to breathe and move more readily and might be preferable for those reasons.

Do you have a preference or experience with belts to share?

Shown left is a gorgeous hand-made embellished Training Belt by our former maker Kevin, worn backwards, more in a fashion style.


Filed under Custom Corsets Suitable for Waist Training, General Waist Training Information, Hot Topics on Health

“I told you so!” and other hunger-cutting tales of corset waist training

I was delighted to receive this recent email after two weeks of waist training from my present coaching student. I have compared corsets to gastric banding in effect, knowing that it functions in the same way. It is an external “band” that prohibits the tummy from expanding — and boy! Can our stomachs expand. They can grow to nine times their at-rest size! That’s why and how we can so easily over-eat and end up feeling bloated and miserable. Here’s what Carl said to demonstrate the effect:

I’ve had weight issues my entire life.  Believe me when I say it is very rare for me to feel full at any point unless I am absolutely gorging on something.  I had a ham sandwich on a high fiber wrap (mustard only) and a strawberry smoothie (w/fiber additive).  About 435 calories…one of the larger meals for the day.  Before training this would be considered a pretty light lunch for me, nothing that would even remotely make me feel full.

After the sandwich I got about 2/3 of the way through the smoothie and realized I had slowed down quite a bit even beyond my now reduced pace.  It suddenly hit me that I was feeling very full.  I could finish the smoothie but did NOT want anything else.

You must be used to this, but it is new to me.   I was ecstatic!  I knew in theory the corset would help me feel this way, but this is the first time I felt it strongly.  I am VERY VERY happy.  Anybody would have a real hard time convincing me to remove the corset right now.”

Do you have any information on hunger and how your corsets have cut back on the sensation, when and how long, or if it disappeared all together with waist training?

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Zenocal and other Diet Drugs: “Not Very Effective”–but Diet and Exercise?

Dr. Richard Besser of GMA commenting this morning on the FDA possibly pulling Zenocal and other diet drugs from the market due to cases of liver failure, gall stones and pancreatitis (not to mention side effects of loose stools, belly pain and cramps), also said that Zenocal and other diet drugs are “not very effective.”

Considering the side effects, and considering the risks (although only 17 cases of liver failure, 73 of gall stones, and 47 of pancreatitis have been reported in the examined (unknown) period),  why waste the money?

But what blew me away was his other statement that “diet and exercise are not very effective.”

And if you believe that, m’dear, I have a bridge to sell…

What does Dr. Besser know that I don’t? I’ve always heard that exercise is good for us?  More good for us the older and creakier we get. And diet? Sure, crash diets don’t work, but carefully watching what one eats, how one eats, and portion size, lead to the proper waist size (anything over 35″ for women and 40″ for men is a sign of danger for many health problems), body fat content, and generally good health.

If I’m one of the 17 cases of liver failure, I wonder if I would wish I had tried the corset waist training plan first? Besser like most people in America haven’t a clue what that’s all about. Oprah — despite being approached by me three times with a program proposal — never responded (except “no” by way of ignoring my letters, book, and detailed images of my successful students). People continue to claim that aside from drugs and surgery, there is very little that works.

But you readers and my clients and students know otherwise. I wonder if those Zenocal takers, once informed about corsets, would rather have invested about $260 (or more, if you prefer finer fabrics and more experience in your corsetiere, or a particular complex style) in a fine waist training corset that will last them about 10 to 20 years?  What would hold them back? And, we can shrink the girth of a corset by about 1 to 3 or more inches if you lose a lot of weight, at half or less of the cost of a new corset.

Speaking of corsets, we received a plaintive email from a drag queen who purchased a readymade underbust corset (in the image, it is the right-most corset) and then a stud popped off the front busk, making her investment of about $100 basically wasted save for prior wear (we hope she got good use out of it!). No one she approached could fix it, not even the company that sold it to her, because they don’t make their living by service or by customer after-care services as we do. We’re taking it on to replace the busk for her at our normal cost plus a premium, and we advised her to examine the U shape silhouette, and compare it to our lovely wasp or hourglass shapes that keep corsets from pressing down on that hipbone to cause discomfort or numbness as one laces down. Hopefully she’ll see the difference, as will you, and come to ROMANTASY when you want the full picture about what you are purchasing and what you are getting, compared to what you need and desire — and within the confines of your budget!


Filed under General Waist Training Information

“Does It Really Work?”

I’m often asked the question, “Does corset waist training really work?” I always reply:  “It works if you work it!”

The picture after only five weeks of dedicated six-day-per-week corset wear, good nutrition and eating practices, and waist-targeted exercises, tells it all (apologies for the posterizing effect on the ‘after’ image; we are working on improving it).

Two inches dropped off our coaching program student’s body in that time with about a five pound weight loss. Clearly, losing weight and counting calories are not all that important to make huge and beneficial changes!

When we lose weight we lose fat first and put on muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat. That is why I don’t worry if weight comes off slowly; I’m more concerned about looking for downward trends in both inches and weight, and seeing visible changes in posture, evident here.

Our student’s son, partner, mom and friends all notice the difference, and comment positively. That’s one common occurrence if you decide to waist train, and it can motivate dedication to the program and the sometimes-tough days you may encounter. You can use vanity to your advantage in that way.

You’ll likely nip 2 to 3″ off your waist with your new corset the first day, and then build up to longer hours of wear and even more restriction over time with care and relative comfort. The secret is dedication to long hours of moderate corset wear — and the proper hourglass or wasp silhouetted custom underbust corset, either Victorian high hipped or Edwardian long lined. We hope you’ll ask questions and learn as much as you can about fact-based and health-focused corset waist training, a fun and fashionable way to reshape your figure!


Filed under Announcements, General Waist Training Information, Proper Nutrition Tips for Waist Training

Tripping the Light Fantastic of Mis-information about Quality Corseting

* NOTICE: Bay Area relationship therapist, Dr. Claudia Six (415.453-6218), specializes in advice for women on body image and our relationship to food. Check it out: Dr. Six is a former assistant at our ROMANTASY storefront before we closed to go full time on the Internet with corsetry.


I feel so disappointed in this corset industry and so-called “corset experts” when I engage in emails to answer plaintive questions from people who have been bamboozled on the web. I just received the following concluding email from a series with a new corset purchaser from another corset business,  someone whom I’ve never met or served, and involving a corset business with which I am unfamiliar except for their web page.

When she first emailed me she was sure that she had purchased a “very high quality corset costing $250” in which to do serious waist training, but told me that she was noticing numbness starting at her pelvic bone and going down her leg.  This is certainly a dangerous condition requiring her to remove the corset (which she wisely did) until it passes, but now she needed a solution and some understanding of the cause in order to avoid this unhappy result in the future. Together we analyzed her situation and came up with some strategies to correct the situation.

Consider her story carefully, and examine the four silhouettes that various styles of corsets can create on one body – mine! To me, the differences are amazing. We hope you will come back to ROMANTASY for more advice on that matter and also to purchase your next corset to suit your individual body contours and needs, including budget —  as it seems that Jenny might do!

From Jenny:

“Interesting. The silhouette of my new, non-ROMANTASY corset on my body certainly does not look like the typical hourglass that the company publicized the corset as creating for suitable waist training….there is very little “roundness” out over the hips and rib areas (and thus it has led to creating numbness in my pelvic area and leg. Ed note: most likely Jenny has a U-shaped corset that is pressing down on the anterior femoral nerve running over the pelvic bone and down the leg).

“You’ve definitely made a very good point (to examine the silhouette the corset creates on my body). I will from now on refuse to purchase a corset if I cannot have access to detailed information on the specific corsetiere who makes my garment (my company only said they had ‘qualified corsetieres on staff’), and/orthey can’t answer my specific questions.

“Regarding not finding ROMANTASY and first coming to you, I was referred directly to (xxx) from a very convincing discussion on a remote forum (a generalized fashion discussion board) by a self-proclaimed ‘expert.’ I suppose I should not have  been so gullible. Being very naive I simply didn’t know what to believe, there is so much mixed/misinformation floating around the web, and I was timid about googling for myself. Thank you very much for your helpful and informative e-mails. I will refer anyone in need of info or corsets to your web page.”   (4/12/11)

Certainly words to the corset-wise! Any of your own stories to share?

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Filed under Announcements, Custom Corsets Suitable for Waist Training, General Waist Training Information

Counting Calories? A Former Waist Training Student Speaks

I’ve been motivated recently by news item upon news item about new “diets” coming onto the scene, portion control, chef Jamie Oliver’s coming second tv series attempting to deal with America’s growing youth obesity problem, etc., etc., to think about counting calories again.

Below is what Sarah contributed to the conversation, and her strategy for not offending hosts at dinner parties. That strategy also applies to not offending mom’s who offer us fatty foods in enormous portions as a misguided signs of “mother love.” What do you think?

“Counting calories?  Never have and never will.  My portion size is determined by what will either fit in the palm of my hand or the size of my fist.  Out to a restaurant with other people, guest at someone’s home or at a potluck, cut the size in half so that when you feel the pressure to go for seconds you are fooling your mind as well as not offending your host by refusing seconds.
The only counting I’m concerned with is the amount of sodium. Bottom line is if you eat sensibly at all times and exercise regularly, you don’t need to worry about counting calories. Hugs, Sarah”

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Filed under General Waist Training Information, Hot Topics on Health, Proper Nutrition Tips for Waist Training

Learning — and chuckling– from the best, my waist training students!

I am still ROTFLMAO as I write this. Corsets should at all times be fun, as should waist training. I think my student Carl, has got that point down pat.

Typically I send students quizzes based on chapters in my waist-training book. When Carl expressed some trepidation about the upcoming quiz, I explained that I use these to ensure that students are groking the principles behind the program, and becoming one of the truly educated few among corset enthusiasts, a special group.

I further explained that I want to create soldiers in my army of those out to quash inaccurate exaggerations and downright lies and  misrepresentations about corsets and modern day custom corsets. If I don’t enlist corset enthusiasts from among by students and clients, then  stereotypes go on and on. It pains me greatly, not to mention makes my business even that much more difficult to support and from which to make a living!

In response Carl wrote a stage play that I repeat below for today’s laugh:

Picture an action movie with a scene in the back of a troop transport plane.  The voice over narration goes as follows:

Narrator: They are among you.  Some are clearly visible, others are hiding among the masses.  Tight-laced corseted soldiers of truth!

(Cue the dramatic and heroic music).

Narrator: Here we see one platoon preparing to drop in on an unsuspecting day time talk show espousing the merits of the latest Hollywood exercise craze and fad diet.  The audience and the shows so-called experts won’t know what hit them.

(Cut to a scene with soldiers lined up facing a wall.  All are in corsets.  Those facing the wall are having them laced down by a comrade.  A woman, in a corset decorated with insignia of rank, walks down the line with a critical eye.  She steps up to a soldier, pulls out a measuring tape, wraps it around his waist…)

General Ann: You!  Soldier!  You’re goal was 36″ today, not 36.5, not 36.25, not 36.1!  I said 36″ period!  So lets get that properly laced!  Suck it up soldier, you can do it!

Eager Recruit: (Shouts) Yes ma’am! (Nodding to the soldier lacing him down).

(The General turns back to the platoon and continues pacing)

General Ann: I am tired of hearing this nonsense about corset wear on our airwaves!  What are we going to do today?!?!

Soldiers: (Shouts) Inform the public!

General Ann: Do we have our sources memorized?

Soldiers: (Shouts louder)  Yes, Ma’am!

General Ann: Are we laced for battle?!?!?

Soldiers: Yes, Ma’am!!!

General Ann: I … can’t … hear … you!!!!

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Does Size Really Matter?

We say it does! I’m referring of course, to portion control of food, not what you may be thinking about….errrr….

Take a peek at three size of ramekins on the left. Normally we serve ice cream (yes, we indulge occasionally in a bit of our very fave ice cream — full fat) in the 3″ one, but last night we ate the disgustingly delicious Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food in the 2.5″ one. If you haven’t tried this flavor, don’t, or you might get hooked as I have, and I’m not even a chocoholic!

Size of dishes matters as does size of the portion you put inside them. I recently talked about slipping up and eating a 600-calorie grapenut breakfast, but today, I ate a 300 calorie one with more quantity of cereal having more fiber content. I could hardly believe my good luck.

How did I achieve this happy result? Fiber One and Kashi GoLean provide two good solutions. The former in 1/2 c. portion size has 14 gm of fiber and only 60 calories or 100 calories with slim milk (unbelievable) while the latter in a 1 c. portion size has 10 gm of fiber and only 140 calories. Add 1/4 c. raisins for another 130 calories, and non fat milk for about 50 calories more.

Since I love the thought of re-fills of my cereal and that way, always feel like I eat more than I do and am psychologically pleased, I initially put only 1/4 c. of Fiber One plus 1/2 c. of GoLean in my small china bowl (see just prior blog comment) with 1/4 c. of dried blueberries (less calories than rasins!) and milk, ate that, then put another 1/8 c. Fiber One plus 1/4 c. of GoLean plus about 6 more blueberries but no more milk, for my second bowl. I was quite satisfied when done.

What kinds of high fiber – low cal cereals do you know about now on the market as we become more health-conscous, and stores start to respond to our requests?

Which reminds me: recently I asked at Safeway for gluten-free bread, but they had none. I wanted to try a 10 day gluten free diet to see if I felt any better and different. Now I’ll have to go to our local health food store for gluten-free products.  The other day our local CostCo did not have Ice, the no-cal lightly carbonated yummie cold drink I love. I sat down and wrote a letter to Costco and lo! The product soon appeared again on their shelves. So I’ll have to write to Safeway about my needs

If you don’t express your opinion about what you want to appear on the shelves, no change will ever happen. So get active on behalf of your own health!

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How Food Portions Slip Out of Control

One of the contributors to obesity and over weight, is portion size. Measuring out food portions is incredibly important, especially from time to time for a ‘food check.’

I learned that lesson once more, just this morning. I heard recently that we should double the calories that we ‘think’ we are eating every day for an accurate count. I was stunned to hear it. I always felt I counted rather well, but this made me doubt.

So this morning I selected a small bowl from my fine china set (not my large, normal cereal bowl; compare the two sizes in this image), put what I felt to be a small amount of grape nuts in it (they are healthy, right? grape nuts?), a little no fat milk not rising above about 1/2 of the grape nuts so as not to flood them, and a few raisins.

My theory about using a fine china small bowl is that I can ‘ fool’ myself into being more satisfied after a meal, by allowing myself one refill, but in sum eating only the amount I should. I also try to eat dinner on a salad plate rather than a dinner plate, for the same purpose of portion control yet ultimate satisfaction (see image below right). Of course I know I am fooling myself, but it works for me and I’m a practical type: whatever works, use it!

Then I decided this morning to check the cereal box for information.

The fiber count was excellent: 7 gm per serving. The sugar count less excellent:  5 gm per serving. The calorie count was worse than I expected for grape nuts:  200, or 240 per portion size eaten with no fat milk.

Then I braved up to look at the portion size.

Big Oops — Portion size: 1/2 cup.

I was worried.

So I got out my 1/2 c. measure, poured in that amount of grape nuts and put it back into into my small china bowl, and lo!  The amount was actually a bit less than I had already poured in and consumed as “one bowl.” I was shocked.

In sum and sad to say, I have now eaten for breakfast alone, at least 600 calories. And I always thought I kept my daily calorie count at about 1500 (during slim-down diets I try to keep that count about 1000 to 1200 calories).

I  don’t like to count calories or be too martinet with my students about portion size, measurements, and calorie counts. Now I believe that to be a mistake, and will impose regular re-counts throughout three months of training, and at intervals of time for myself.

Not only recording every drop a student drinks and bites they eat, amount and what, will be required for the first two weeks of training (to bring consciousness to our eating habits), but I will now ask students to measure their single protions using a food calorie counter and a food scale.

I can no longer deny that not doing so for myself, is one way I let my food intake get out of control. What do you feel about calorie and portion counting?

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