“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: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/10/10/my-life-in-a-corset-squeezing-into-a-new-dieting-strategy/ 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:  http://romantasyweb.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=R&Category_Code=ccel

“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

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

  1. Dear Ms. Grogan,

    So sorry to “trouble” you for not charging my patients enough, but it has always been my practice to underpromise and over deliver. I’m not sure why your “curiosity” is aroused because I give my patients advice for free.
    Corsets are not a loss leader. I charge what I believe is a fair price. I am a board certified Plastic Surgeon and I have a Master of Science from the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University College of Physicans and Surgeons. I have done research on Adipose development, bone development in facial clefts, and other topics in peer related journals regarding fat cell and bone modification. I also have clinical experience that encompasses more than 5,000 surgeries, including rib removal for waist narrowing. I did not state that corsets were a form of diet. Before you impugn one’s professional reputation you might consider getting the “facts” rather than speculating or posing as a “secret shopper” and reporting based on what a secretary said.
    Alexander Sinclair M.D.

    • Hello Dr. Sinclair: Thank you for taking your time to visit ROMANTASY, read my blog, and respond with further information regarding your substantial credentials and your weight- or waist-reduction program using compression garments. I’m more than pleased to learn that you do not call your program a “diet” and like me, tend to underpromise and over deliver. I note that perhaps once more (as in some of my own past experiences with the media) a short “pop” news story has chosen to characterize something dealing with waist restriction in a possibly inaccurate manner. I imagine that you communicated your concern to them as you have to me?

      I am sorry that you believe that I impugned your reputation, not at all my intent nor reasonably implied by anything I said in my blog. I simply raised a few questions about information gleaned from the several-minute news report. While my blog speaks for itself, perhaps you failed to note that I said: “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.”

      I also raised questions based on an actual client’s report of her contact with your office; rest assured that I was not the person who called your office. Regarding that matter, I stated that I “have not verified” the client’s report that you charge nothing for your program advice, but only for the garment itself. Incidentally, I welcome anyone’s call be it anonymous or otherwise, seeking accurate, fact-based information regarding our ROMANTASY program in corset waist training (our product and program prices are transparently posted on our website). I also appreciate anyone pointing out inaccuracies in information I provide, or suggesting better ways to serve my clients.

      Thank you for clarifying that indeed you do charge for your advice as well as your product, which is consistent with what any qualified professional must do to earn his or her living. Perhaps your secretary was overwhelmed that day with calls after the show, or did not fully understand how to interpret your service and fees, and thus, misstated information to my client.

      In any event, in my blog I state exactly what you ask for: “More facts are surely needed before one can seriously evaluate his program” and, I drew some favorable similarities between your recommendations as reported, and my program. Perhaps you did not notice that? I am pleased to see that you are interested in a more detailed dialogue about a topic that obviously fascinates us both, and I invite you to call me for a longer telephone conversation, or when you are next in the Bay Area, perhaps we can have coffee together to establish a cordial relationship between responsible, qualified professionals dedicated to client health.

      (Incidentally, altho not the topic of my blog at all, I have discussed surgical rib removal in a telephone interview with Dr. Sheila Kirk who conducted about nine rib removals to shrink the waist of her transgendered clients (MTF). I am fascinated by the details of that surgery and to know that you are such a surgeon with actual experience in that rather serious approach to waist reduction. I’d be most interested in discussing the long-term efficacy and popularity of that approach.)



  2. eva

    What corset model Heidi is wearing
    Is it available at your site

    • Hello there, Heidi is wearing an underbust Victorian by ROMANTASY corsetiere Jill Hovermany under our Fundamentl line of corsets. May I help with an order? Ann

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