Monthly Archives: May 2016

How to sum up corset waist training: the key principles to keep in mind

I’m sometimes asked what are the key points that lead to success in waist training. From my fall Primer on  ‘how to’ reduce your waistlineCorset by Sheri for ROMANTASY book in progress, here they are:

FIVE CONCLUDING POINTS:

1. Be conscious of, and respect, your body. Listen to its messages and heed them. Your body will tell you when you have reached your limit.

2. Be moderate and do nothing to excess. Always stop training or take off your corset just short of serious distress, leaving yourself looking forward to the next opportunity you have to corset. (A pretty but simple corset like the one pictured here by Sheri, will make you look forward to corseting each day!)

3. Persevere. Change comes through ordinary, slow progress. There are no Corset Body Shaping Goddesses, and no miracles. Do not let naysayers stop you in your path.

4. Treat yourself at least as well as you treat others. No one will do it for you. Eat right, exercise, drink water, move, and never give up on these positive practices.

5.  Learn as much as you can about corseting. This will help you fully understand what is happening to you as you progress. Then you will be able to adjust your eating plan and lifestyle to stay healthy and still corset over time.

It takes common sense–not all that common these days to quote someone famous!

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How corsets help with blood pressure

The usual issue regarding blood pressure and corsets, is high blood pressure sometimes suffered by those a bit overweight. But some of us Corset by Sheri.5 for ROMANTASYsuffer low blood pressure — and corsets can help.

High blood pressure does not always mean that you can’t waist train or wear corsets — but not without a physicians release and carefully checking daily of the pressure at home and at work, several times.

We received an interesting personal story of how corsets helped a  book client with low blood pressure, and we thank her for the details which are helpful:

“My blood pressure drops 40 points when rising from sitting to standing.  My paternal grandmother also had this issue and had low blood pressure her whole life.  She also had varicose veins in her legs from a young age. I was told to consume lots of salt when I was about 12 to counteract it.  My grandmother was put on pills to raise her blood pressure, which the doctor failed to monitor.  She wound up with high blood pressure for the rest of her life from those pills.
“My mother started me wearing Legg’s active support control top stockings as a teen and through my young adult life.  I didn’t develop varicose veins, but have one bad valve in my lower leg now.  Also I rarely had issues with fainting or blood pressure when wearing support hosiery.  When I started wearing corsets for historical re-enactments, I found that my back stopped hurting and my blood pressure normalized, just like wearing compression stockings.  I researched on your site and on Lucy Corsetry about proper corsets, and finally got a few OTR and one custom corset to wear to work and started my waist training journey.
“My blood pressure is now finally normal when sitting or standing, unless I am not wearing a corset.  My bad leg valve has not gotten worse even though I sit at a desk job now, because I wear my compression socks and my corset almost 8 hours a day.  So the corset is acting just like another compression garment and my blood pressure returns to low (my normal pressure is 64/35, with my corset on I stay around 110/60, if I consume salt it helps keep it in the normal range when I remove my corset.
My back physician said my corsets are built exactly like the medical corsets for use after surgery and has encouraged my continued wear of these to postpone or possibly prevent surgery on my own back, which is also damaged from several car accidents in addition to the scoliosis.
Currently, I am getting back into my regular regime of waist training and losing the weight I gained last year while my child was hospitalized.  I’m saving up for a new custom corset this fall.”
We know that one of our great custom corsets will be just the right addition to  our client’s wardrobe when she is ready! Here’s our latest lovely, sedate and elegant underbust Victorian by Sheri for ROMANTASY.

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WHAT IF I CAN’T WEAR A CORSET TO WORK AND NEED TO WAIST TRAIN?

WHAT IF I CAN’T WEAR A CORSET TO  WORK AND NEED TO WAIST TRAIN?

If you can’t accommodate your work responsibilities or office furniture to the limitations of being corseted, you’ll need to find time to wear the corset during leisure hours or while you sleep (after about 20 initial wearings with you upright, so that you don’t permanently torque or twist the boning).

My former waist-training student, Bret, advises that if you have weekends off, try sleeping in a corset first on a Friday or Saturday night so Darcy in Br Creations corset for ROMANTASYthat if you lose sleep, you have another day or two to recover. When I started corseting, I couldn’t sleep an entire night, even when moderately laced. I’d wake up at about four in the morning with back discomfort, and have to take the corset off. Since I readily returned to sleep, the interruption didn’t bother me.

Even if you find it a nuisance, after four or five attempts to sleep thru the night while wearing your corset, you’ll likely rest comfortably. You need just a little practice and patience to learn how, and at bedtime you might start by lacing more loosely than normal.

Hours you sleep in a corset can be substituted for daytime corseting to achieve the day’s scheduled hours of wear, if you stay laced to the planned level. PH, another former student, said, “My primary purpose of sleeping in a corset is simply to train my body to accept the corset more comfortably during the day, and wear it for longer periods of time.”

There may be some unexpectedly pleasant emotional rewards if you experiment with logging your hours of wear during the night. PH discovered that he loved it. “I think the enjoyment of night time corseting, once acquired, has partly to do with an element of reassurance, namely, that one is always in contact with something else. This gives tactile pleasure derived from both light tension and from the extra warmth one feels around the waist, kidneys, and rib cage. I now find it pleasurable to sleep while wearing a corset.”

Have you tried it? Let us know if you have an tips to start the process or make it easier.

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How to get rid of cravings that derail waist-training: eat none of what you crave!

Eating well and healthier are two requirements of comfort in waist training, especially when you are squeezing your midriff with a corset. You need to reduce the fat and sugar content in your stomach and make it easy for food to progress thru your digestive track. What we crave tends to defeat that goal.

Dr. Mercola just posted a great summary blog of what I learned in Mark Schatzker’s book, The Dorito Effect, that Big Food and Gig Flavor are “out to get us”, that is, tempt us to indulge in our cravings, and hook us on manufactured flavors added back into food that has been stripped of flavor. The new flavors are addicting and designed to be that way, which accounts for the addition of sugar of many kinds of almost every kind of processed foods that we crave.

Sadly, as Dr. Mercola says, “First of all, as with any other addiction program, the less of it you eat, the less you’ll crave it as your body gets “weaned” from all these addictive hooks. So to beat food cravings you need to, ironically, eat less of the offending foods. chick broc sweet

I’m not convinced however, that fasting, even intermittent fasting that Dr. Mercola recommends, works. If he means what I did to get over my addiction to sugar last summer–well and good. I just quit refined added sugar “cold turkey” on June 15 and struggled for three weeks, but held on for the full four weeks that Barry Friedman recommends in I Love Me More Than Sugar. And I got over the craving for sugar, primarily in that way.

I do agree that we should “eat real foods.” Dr. Mercola means eat clean, natural, non processed foods, and cook them without a lot of additional fat, sugar or salt. There are too many good flavorings out there, including many flavors of Mrs. Dash, my personal “go to” flavoring when cooking, if not my parsley and sometimes thyme or rosemary garden herb plot outside my kitchen door.

chicken and two squashA waist-training student who taught me a lot was Lee, a lady of 5’2″ in height. Pictured are some of her “clean” meals and this is all she ate every day to lose from 157 to 120, enter our training program and drop down to 112 when she got consumed with her legal work and we lost touch. Still she had great habits in place, dropped over an inch in her waist in 2 months and was well on her way to her “fighting” weight where she felt best: 110.

Now I see pictures of food such as the ones in this blog, and I get hungry for just that food! you can tempt yourself to eat the right things in some of the same ways. It takes a little self-discipline but not all that much time, just like figure-trimming can be accomplished in a few weeks or a few months.

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Decision-making, points of discernment, and two critical tasks for every day to improve your figure and health

One of my favorite authors is Barry Friedman, a man, as I am learning, of many talents (including juggling!) Barry is the inspirational author Ann in copper BRof a book about loving yourself — and doing away with added refined sugar:  I Love Me More Than Sugar.

Barry’s approach and his book, changed my life for the better when I desperately needed to get back into my corsets and reduce my expanding waistline, and find my lost energy– but at a time I wasn’t inclined to formally corset waist train because nothing seemed to fit!

I came upon the book shortly after I had added a two-day-per-week aerobics routine to my life, a routine worked out by a kinesiologist,  concentrating on exercise to avoid falling.

An email note today from Barry pointed out what is critical to do each day to keep well and fit, focusing on the word “discernment”. We make 35,000 decisions a day, but what should we include most every day? What will we discern as of maximum importance to our health?

I’ve added 100 squats and stretching to my daily routine, plus walking twice a week to and from my vigorous hour-long aerobics class. Since I started the class a year ago, I figure it’s now a beneficial habit I’m not likely to abandon it, nor will I abandon my commitment to go sugar-free for the most part (organic honey and fruit are still in my diet).  I’ve never felt better, not to mention energy gain, weight loss back to my norm, muscle building, better digestion overall, and figure toning and trimming! Overall I’m a lot happier after these “discernments.”

Here’s what Barry recommends:

  1. The Quality and Quantity of the Food You Eat Eat to live, don’t live to eat. Use discernment to define the foods that support the lifestyle you want for yourself – and stick to it. It’s just as easy to set the automatic response to ‘No, thank you’ as it is to have it set to ‘Sure, I’ll have another one of those!’
  2. Exercise Every Single Day – When the voice in you says, “I’m too tired to exercise,” prove it wrong. Do something to actually exhaust your body and reap the benefits. Physical activity promotes weight loss, increases HDL ‘good’ cholesterol, improves mood, confidence, and self-esteem, reduces constipation, and yields deeper sleep.

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Seeking strategies to avoid food: chewing gum vs. food, a query?

To be of help to my waist-training coaching program students, I’m alert to any novel ideas that might keep them away from food (as well as from taking smaller bites unlike this lady, which is another topic for another day!). That’s sometimes advisable if and when they need to reduce a few calories as part of their figure-shaping goals.

Of course, waist training is not a diet–and requires a multifaceted approach that focuses first on health, not inches or pounds.Slide Open Mouth

I like the concept of “Distract your mouth.” 

In any initial attempt at waist training, even when you are wearing a corset, you have to give yourself a sufficient time-out from cravings and hunger pangs so that they diminish or disappear. This benefit of waist training has happened to all of my coaching program students, it’s great news, and it’s one of the key reasons that waist training works! I’ll address the underlying factors about how that works in another blog.

Some of the ways to distract yourself from cravings, involves keeping your mouth occupied with something other than food—and I don’t mean smoking!

You can chew gum like  a 2012 student, Heather, does, or talk on the phone when you get hungry. A University of Rhode Island study found that people who chewed sugar-free gum in the morning ate 68 fewer calories for lunch than those who did not. And they didn’t make up for it later in the day. (“Health News,” Ladies Home Journal, March 10, ca 2005, p. 128).

One possible reason is that the nerves in the jaw feed into the hypothalamus region of the brain that controls satiety, so the act of chewing makes you full.

My question today is: why that doesn’t work just from chewing a reasonable portion of food that we adore?

If you have an answer, please let me know. FCM - fab pink dot coutil

We’d also love your additional suggestions about how you distract yourself from overeating?  That likely starts with a journal identifying when you do that, and under what circumstances. Then you can deal with the source of the impetus to overeat, while you distract yourself from the temptation.

In the meantime, don’t walk into a restaurant, shop for food, cook, or eat unless you are wearing your corset snugly laced! this lovely corset is by Sheri Jurnecka for ROMANTASY, in pink dot German coutil bound with pink Petersham, a super and pretty corset for waist training!

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More on “I don’t want to hear it” — About hope in changing multiple habits and well-being!

I LOVE HOPE!Exercise in our stretch denim and mesh custom corset

I’m an eternal optimist, sometimes a Pollyanna, as one of my friends says. I smile and say to myself: “Better that than the reverse.”

My hope springs eternal for both you and for me! When it comes to health, there is new, optimistic news from a small research study that:

–We don’t have to take a hugely long time to change in many ways at once and for the better!

That dovetails nicely with the research proof I have from coaching about 25 students in corset waist training.    I stress three elements, not just one, in a three-month adventure to reshape your figure and lose waistline inches:

(1) corset wearing, (2) corset-friendly nutrition practices, and (3) waist-targeted exercises.

You can even exercise in a corset if you want to as Heidi is doing here, in the “Kewl Korset” by Jill Hoverman for Romantasy. It’s a flexible lycra-with-satin-and corsetmesh single-boned corset, cooler on the body than most and non-restrictive. It provides just enough back support to correct the leaning posture inherent in riding a bike, protect you from aggravation on the golf course, and more.

To achieve success in waist reduction, it’s my experience that you must do several things all together, not just one. You can enhance your chances of reaching reasonable goals by adding a few sub-elements of waist training such as visualization, finding and implementing a Training Buddy or other support system, carefully recording statistics as well as physical and emotional reactions, and other. You can read detailed information in our “how to” Corset Magic book and order it online.

Waist training is not a “one-item-diet” like the grapefruit cleanse. It’s not a one-step journey.

So wherein lies hope?

The NYT summarized new research by Prof. Michael Mrazek from my alma mater, UC Santa Barbara (published  in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience)  and proud I am to read that:

it’s likely “better to address all of our bad habits at once rather than try to make incremental changes to our lives.”

(“Out with the old” by Gretchen Reynolds, NYT , May 15, 2016). Admittedly the research involved a very small group of 31 students, half divided into a group that completed 3.5 hrs/ of exercise every day (in two sessions including trainer-led walks, meditation, stretching, resistance training and balance exercises), twice a week interval- style endurance workouts on their own, attended lectures about nutrition and sleep, and kept daily logs detailing their exercise, diets, sleep patterns, and moods.

There was no information about whether or not nutrition changes were also implemented, but that could have only benefited the students more, not less. Students ended up stronger, fitter and more flexible, plus performed better on test of thinking, focus and working memory, and reported feeling happier and calmer, with a higher self esteem.

Six weeks after the initial six-week study and without any support or research team contact, the results were holding, even though “none of them were still exercising or meditation as much as they did during the experiment.”

I like to say that corset waist training works—if you work it. This small study, limited in time, is some support for my advice: enter into a three-month period that focuses your priority on figure shaping and achieving better heath and sense of well-being, do multiple things to reach your goal, and you will likely succeed in getting rid of a number of bad habits and replaced them with new, and feeling better in the process! Corset waist training changes more than just the waistline!

Then you must attend to the riches of your new figure over time because you want more than just six weeks of after-burn, right? Let’s move together forward to a  lifetime of benefits and support each other as we succeed!

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I Don’t Want to Hear It Anymore: “I don’t have TIME to shop, eat well, cook, waist train (you name it!)”

“The Lies Busy People Tell Themselves” said it all to me: we waste a lot of time worrying that we “don” have time” to do what we know we must: primarily take care of ourselves, and then take care of our families and loved ones–or corset waist train! I’ll never say that again after readying Laura Vanderkams’s article in the NYT Style section this Sunday! I recommend it to you.

The writer did a lot of time-keeping on herself and checked with others. She found she, and they, had a lot of time to do things she valued, despite being a very busy mother and professional. So …

Why do we lie to ourselves about not having enough time to do the things we find important in life and value?

           o    She says it’s because negative experiences (of being stressed out, late for an important project, working 90 hrs per week occasionally) stick in our minds. The good times are easily forgotten .

          o    We all like to see ourselves as hard working, not laggards. Thus, we tend to believe and repeat to others, that we are “over worked” and out of time.

         o   Professionals tend to overestimate the hours spent on work.

          o   We choose a high number of hours to say we’ve worked (and think we have) to justify our periodic stressed-out state and feeling, which is not all the time no matter what we imagine.

It’s not an unchangeable foible of us human beings. We can acknowledge this tendency now we know about it — and choose not to feel guilty that we “may” be neglecting our families, our health, and things that make life worth living! Most likely we are not and most likely we can find a little time. There’s no more excuse that you “don’t have time to corset waist train” and don’t have time on Sunday to shop for veggies and fruits and healthy light meats and “don’t have time to cook and prepare big pot of soup or lean roast and grilled veggies” which will last a few days during your busy work week.

You clearly DO HAVE TIME. If you value and have set corset waist training as a major priority in your life — and if you are focused on  improving your health first, your figure second, and your waistline size third (forget about dieting and the BMI or weight!), you have no supporter in me.

But you have a great supporter for moving forward in common sense ways toward health. I’ll encourage you to the max to try this fun and fascinating step toward health first: corset waist training.  Nearly everyone can do it!Snatch's corset

Chablis with plaqueCorsets are not just for Hollywood starlets who have just had a baby and want their figures back, and not just for social media stars who have impossibly curvy in-shape bodies already. Corsets and waist training are for us local, normal folks of any age and stage of life, any waistline size even up to 60″ waistlines and above, men, women, transwomen, lesbians, portly businessmen, classy socialites, club kids (as they say in England), Goth and steampunk devotees, tattoo artists, entertainers, drag queens, cross dressers and more–those of us who want to live long and prosper!

Here on the right is our drag queen corset client Snatch, from a few years back. Lovely white satin Victorian corset! She be styling on stage for sure! Left is our long-time lovely female impersonater/model and corseted client Chablis, looking fine. Check out Cheryl Shepard (crossdresser) modeling her BR Creations brown brocade classic hourglass corset for ROMANTASY, making a lovely hourgalss shape. Note Ms. Ana, our superb body builder tatooed corset lover from Arizona, in a dripping-lace black 1901 corset by True Grace (a treasure and non-duplicatable now since Mr. Garrod has passed)–she’s our adviser on all things physical and exercise in her realm.FCM - Men  Cheryl in BR05100

Burlesque cincherHere’s our Goth girl in a corset by Sheri, and young fetish model Somi Vichi in a leather corset by Sharon for ROMANTASY.  And below is Brian, one of our favorite men models in his amazingly tight-laced hot pink silk  corset by Sheri, one that has lasted him since 2005 for routine almost daily tight-lacing altho it’s about on its last leg now, some 11 years later. Talk about quality!Chinese silk Underbust by SheriCorsets and waist training are for anyone who has patience, and respect for the talents required by competent corsetmakers to create durable, comfortable, structured garments that will hold up to 60 to 90 pounds of waistline pressure and not rip, bend over, squench up, push up, dig in, wrinkle, and otherwise self-destruct in a few months of wear.

At ROMANTASY Somi BOB.3we welcome everyone! We’ll give you great advice on how to choose between real options we offer in terms of figure silhouettes created, corset styles, corsetmakers on our team of three, fabric and design options and more. It’s simple to order.

And we operate in old fashioned, personalized way. Give me a call: 415 587-3863 from 9 am to 6 pm PST and leave a message if I don’t pick up the phone. Consider ROMANTASY’s awesome 26 years plus experience comparing and contrasting various corsets, field testing each one, and educating about the differences. Opt for education first if you aren’t quite sure, and send me email: inquiry@romantasy.com for my personal attention!

 

 

 

 

 

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Survey on best of three book covers for “A Primer on Easy, Fun and Fashionable Waist Reduction” due out this fall from ROMANTASY!

Would you like to send  us your ranking for three possible book covers for our new book-in-progress on corset waist training? We’d love your participation and opinion! Email us: inquiry@romantasy.comCollage three Primer Book covers by ROMANTASY

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Are we improving in America, or not, in terms of portion size, and does it matter?

PORTION SIZE is an important matter for those who corset, or waist train. It’s not the only answer to comfort and control of our figures, but it cannot be ignored, otherwise we can suffer nausea, heartburn, burping and other digestive discomfort when we restrict our waistlines and overindulge.3B-parents plate

There’s a lot of public health news and advice out there on TV and in new books on nutrition. Some restaurants seem to be getting the message—but some do not, and I wonder why not? More pressure needs to be placed on those lagging behind, to change their offerings. Even so, that’s not the total answer either, because research has shown that when we see a menu containing identified healthy low-cal items, that seems to justify to us to order even larger more calorific plates. I was gobsmacked when I read about that! Somehow we use beneficial menu changes to let our food demons out of the bag and defeat our best intentions to eat well and nutritiously when we dine out. That’s one reason I urge students in my three month waist-training coaching program, to just avoid restaurants all together: guarantee you that they will still be there for you when you have reached your goals!

Do you think we are making headway in downsizing portions in restaurants and food stores, or not? Please let me know your thoughts, and the information that supports your conclusion.

3B-children's choicesIn some ways, huge (should I say, “obscene”?) calorie counts may be changing. In April 2016, a San Francisco manager of the Cheese Cake Factory told me that by 2011, at least in the continental United States, the chain had introduced a “Skinnylicious Menu” of appetizers and flatbreads, each under 490 calories, plus some salads and specials, each under 590 calories. Bully for them!

I was whipsawed in the other direction the same month, when the news announced that McDonalds announced that in Columbus and Dallas, it was testing a Grand Mac featuring larger buns and meat patties (1/5 lb compared to 1/3 lb of beef in the Big Mac), plus a second slice of cheese (see Columbus Business First, April 19, 2016).

It’s dangerous to eat in restaurants, we all know that, because the smells and choices are tempting. My partner now orders a baked chicken sandwich with no mayo when he goes to Burger King or the like, but I fear for him. How long can he resist those smells? So far, so good!

From The Dorito Effect (highly recommended reading) by Mark Schatzker, I learned that many fast food hamburger chains pipe in smell and/or make every item taste the same, designed to drive us mad with desire. Big Chemical and Flavor companies can replicate every single flavor you can imagine, and they shoot and pump it into de-flavored foods from meats to vegetables. They take the flavor out to fast-forward the meat and veggies to market and just before, they add flavor (not to mention preservatives) back in–but it’s all chemically produced in labs these days.

The only guide I’ve found to eat well in major chain restaurants, is Eat This Not That: Restaurant Survival Guide by  David Zinczenko (also recommended reading). We do our best when we go out, split one entree, almost never eat the pre-dinner bread, and never eat sugary desserts (since I gave up refined sugar on June 15, 2015 and am sticking to my guns with many beneficial results!)Sugar in a Coke_6

If there is one thing you can do when you dine out, that is to give up dessert, or just order fruit. A great book that really changed my nutritional habits when nothing else could, is Barry Friedman’s I Love Me More Than Sugar. Run don’t walk to get that one, read it, and consider implementing your own 30-day trial. You will likely find as I did, that flavors of other foods improved greatly, and started tasting sweet! Now I can’t stand the thought of a huge piece of iced cake, as it seems sickly sweet to me since my palate has changed. As far as i can tell it’s all for the good, since gut microbiomes improve with no sugar for bacteria to feast on. I’m a lot happier, more energetic, and calm camper these no-sugar days. I don’t have sugar crashes or get cranky when I get hungry. Hunger never overwhelms me as it once did.

Avoid those dessert trays (as well as leaded or unleaded soft drinks) in restaurants as one step you can take to better health, and voting with your wallet.

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