Monthly Archives: October 2013

“The Corset Diet” — and other troubling approaches to figure reshaping

I was amused on October 9 to catch a “pop news” segment on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ regarding Dr. Alexander Sinclair, a plastic surgeon in Los Angeles, who introduced his “corset diet” to the world.  GMA says it’s a “new fad” and their station doctor dissed the process as dangerous. “Seems like torture” said one tv commentator, and the reporter, Abby Boudreau,  appeared extremely happy to take off a heavy, pretty clearly non-custom-made neopreme or rubber, stretchy “corset” that the doctor uses.

When I first published my book in 2000, it was titled “The Corset Diet.” Soon thereafter I thought about that title, and decided to change it, because truly, figure reshaping on a reasonable, permanent basis, is not a “diet” at all. It’s a health-conscious lifestyle choice to improve posture, to reshape your body and figure, and also to lose weight if you want to (no, you don’t have to lose weight yet you can drop waistline inches with the process), and it doesn’t happen in one day or even one week.

However, it DOES happen in months, if you work the process and go about it in a common sense way, respecting and paying attention to your body’s messages and adjusting your program as indicated as you move forward.

I did find some similarities of my approach and process with Dr. Sinclair’s approach, namely that it’s best to start by wearing a corset 2 to 3 hrs. per day and take one day off per week. Apparently his program includes two days off and 3 to 5 hrs of daily wear. The tv program did not say how long a client needs to “corset diet”, or how tightly the corset needs to be on how many days and how to move up or down in restriction.

Even more curious and somewhat troubling was to learn via a phone call to his office by a client, that the doctor apparently charges only $150 for the corset, and my client was told that his advice is ‘free’. While I have not verified this report, I wonder how  a medical doctor of repute can afford to give away his advice and guidance for free, unless the “corset diet” is some kind of loss leader for his plastic surgery practice, or there is not much advice or guidance offered while the patient diets? More facts are surely needed before one can seriously evaluate his program. Of course, the popular media never has or takes time to elaborate or give sufficient facts about any “pop news” item upon which can rely with confidence to evaluate it.

On a side note, it’s curious too, how ABC can come up with this report and again stress the dangerousness of the process, while at the same time exactly one year ago on October 12, ABC’s “20/20” reporter Deborah Roberts did not find the process dangerous at all. In fact, she reported favorably on her two-week experiment wearing one of Jill Hoverman for ROMANTASY’s training corsets! See: Could it be the right hand does not knoweth what the left hand doeth?

This made me reflect upon what makes corset waist training work vs. fad dieting, and I thought I would share a new “Introduction” section I added early this year to my book which addresses the question. I also include inspirational pictures of Heather, my 2012 waist-training student, below right, and client Heidi who trained by herself using our general advice, below left. Both trained in corsets produced by Jill on our team, but we recommend both Sheri and Sharon for your consideration, since each corsetiere has her own specializations that can benefit your waist-training efforts, which differences we explain more fully on our Elegant Line webpage where we personally introduce each talented lady:

“CORSET MAGIC: a Fun Guide to Trim Your Waist and Figure” Heather uncorseted back view after training (end Dec. 2012)
© Ann Grogan 2013 (7.1.13)

INTRODUCTION (new section)

I think a lot about what makes corset waist training work for my students in the three-month coaching program I sponsor, and for others who try the process on their own. Lately I’ve concluded that it’s not food choices, it’s not portions we eat, it’s not even how many steps we walk each day or how many hours we spend at the gym. It doesn’t even really have to do with wearing our corsets. It’s about correcting our thinking process and thoughts which are normally misguided when it comes to corset waist training.
I noted one misguided way of thinking and stopped it early on with a former student, Gigi, who told me she was going to indulge in fatty foods the week before commencing training so that she didn’t feel deprived during the three months she would pursue the process.
Corset waist training is not deprivation!  It is fun. It is effective. It is fashionable and it is unique. Not many folks in the world will accept the challenge and take the chance to try a new adventure in life with certain rewards coming to those exercising a modicum of dedication and common sense. How wonderful to be unique in life and do something different rather than follow the beaten path.
But corset waist training is certainly not justification to pig out the week before it begins!
Heather is the most recent student who graduated from my coaching program at the end of 2012. She is a graphic artist who was initially challenged by “free” food offered daily at the workplace by her employer. The food certainly wasn’t healthy but was quite abundant, and Heather always indulged.
Early in her program I assigned Heather the task of designing and posting in an obvious place at her desk, a sign you’ll see here, one that said: “Free food is NOT free!”Clearly, “free” food was packing on the pounds, and Heather’s continuing practice of mindless food indulgence ran contrary to her waist-training goals. To reach her goals she had to change the way she thought about that “free” food from pleasurable and good to not good and contrary to what she truly valued and wanted to accomplish.
Six other mental or strategical approaches that don’t involve corset-wearing, exercise, or food–-ones that can assist you successfully waist train—include:

Corsets by Jill model Heidi  flyer1. Setting aside corset waist training as the top priority in one’s life for three months. It just can’t take second seat to anything except perhaps family or work obligations—and most of the time those kinds of obligations become excuses to quit rather than re-arrange one’s schedule to serve those needs yet keep on target.

2. Grasping the idea that three months is an incredibly short period of time to bear down in order to survive the days that surely will arrive when you want out of the corset or off the exercise program.

3. Re-arranging your thinking to value more a svelte figure, than that second helping or weekly pizza.

4. Choosing high quality over quantity—and doing it every time when it comes to eating.

5. Understanding that it is the first bite of food that tastes the very best; the second and third bites go way down in terms of giving pleasure. Why fill up on a huge bowl of ice cream, instead of savor the first two or three bites of very high-quality ice cream and put just that much in your bowl to begin with?

6. Deciding not to find excuses to quit, and by not letting falling off “the wagon” provide one such excuse.

On this auspicious occasion of the New Year of 2013, I wish you right thinking–-and success in your waist-training adventure. I expect that you will realize the figure of your dreams!

— Ann Grogan, January 2, 2013


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

The psychological (and physical) challenges of waist training

The above topic came to mind when I received some insightful comments from Michie, who is no longer a corset waist-training “newbie” (as I told her today!). She’s made remarkable progress in waist training using the slow, gradual and recommended way. She’s about to order her second, smaller waist-training custom corset, and I’m very proud of her!

–Michie was reflecting on how she met and conquered some of the psychological and physical resistances she has encountered in her  journey (and surely there will be some along your way). Here is what she said:

–“I was sitting around last night and started thinking about a few of the things that I have done to get me through waist training and a few things were a bit funny, so I thought that I would share.
**Cotton Pads
**Bubble Wrap
**Credit Card Applications ( LOL I went to the bank especially to get them)
**Passport Applications (had those on hand)
**Cotton Balls
**Modesty Panel turned sideways
**Divided lacing up into 3 ribbons  ( 5 grommets per ribbon)
** Over the counter pain meds
**Asprocreme (crème with Aspirin in it)
**Hot Showers
**Sticking to it and not panicking and remembering to breathe (sometimes when you initially think “Ugh!!! THIS is painful!!!”  Sit, be quiet, and breathe or do something to take your mind off of the minor owwie, next thing you  know, it’s gone!!!
** Exercise
**A combination Olive oil and Lavender oil (Lavender Oil helps healing 1 drop   Lavender  Oil to 1 teaspoon Olive Oil. There is advice  contra indicating lavender oil for younger folks and men :
–A few comments on her comments, and more to come explaining how credit card applications apply (I must admit, I’m terribly curious….)
–This is not common, but I have had one student mention that about the third or fourth week of training her lower ribs became sore during wear and after removing the corset. Most likely this reflected certain movement in the ligaments connecting the ribs, if not the ribs themselve,s but rib movement occurring this early is not likely. I urged that if she were not at that pain scale level of a 6 or 7 from 1 to 10, to perservere in her daily wearing plan and not take the corset off or loosen up, but for three days try taking two ibuprofen tablets every four hours. I’ve heard it said that one could tolerate a week of four of these pills per four hours. She tried the more moderate approach and her rib soreness diminished in a few days. Of course, we can’t tell if that was helped by the medicine, or perserverance.
–The sideways modesty panel was an original idea of Michie, to try to pad the corset out more around her midriff. She tried this when she noted a small irritated or red spot toward her back waistline, surely the result of her long, continuous hours of tightening down gradually. Pressure on the skin can cause a bruise-like mark to appear and/or persist. The proper response is most likely to remove the corset, or loosen it up considerably to let the circulation flow and the mark calm down. We’ll let you know Michie’s result with this technique. Incidentally, there’s nothing preventing you from wearing two modesty panels, one on top of the other.
–The three-ribbon lacing idea ca e to me from an experienced corset-wearer some years ago. Sometimes you just need to adjust the top of the  corset separately from the bottom and midriff, in order to continue training and for comfort. In Michie’s case, we determined she needed to open up the top and bottom edge more than the waistline where she was achieving more remarkable lacing down than we had expected. She installed three sets of laces and now can leave the top and bottom open more, while pulling snugly on the middle set to close down the waistline. Pictures sent to me from Michie’s home in New Zealand, showed me that this addressed her immediate problem.
–Padding any problematic, uncomfy area of your torso under the corset, can help relieve pressure on that spot. I’ve used a rectangle of bubble wrap in the past over a sore pelvic bone that developed on one occasion (no, I don’t have any notable scoliosis that caused or contributed to that matter, but sometimes the body reacts in strange or unexpected ways. Rather than stop wearing my corset I always think of alternative ways to address the issue at hand.)
–Are there any ways you use to get over your own corset-wearing resistances?

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Filed under General Waist Training Information