Monthly Archives: May 2018

Observations, Well Stated and Relevant to Life and Corseting

For some time I have been thinking about implementing a short, possibly corset related, and/or provocative feature at the very start of my home page.

Today I have done just that: so check it out.

It’s a feature that quotes someone else whose opinion seems particularly relevant to our lives and lifestyles today. It may not be directly related to corseting, but most likely you will find something instructive and possibly helpful in your waist-training efforts.

Being raised by a high school teacher who was committed to proper grammar, I appreciate the same when respected by others. I pay particular attention to excellent writing that hits the spot, especially writing regarding health, psychology, and politics today.

In my trusty weekend NY Times Magazine, I read the following:

The internet (writing) is different (from prose): flat, utilitarian, almost completely dignity-free and populated in large part by people typing incoherent nonsense.”

I’m particularly attentive to pithy comments such as this one concerning social trends, ways, and styles of interacting. The quoted comment represents everything that my business, and I, personally, do not.

Corsets and the figures they create are certainly not flat — that much can be said! They can be utilitarian of course; witness my introduction to them to support an injured back until I could heal, now going on almost 50 years ago! Lucy William’s remarkable book Solaced, compiles an amazing variety of first-personĀ  account of other benefits that accrue from corseting or waist training. I commend it to anyone doubting the efficacy or healthiness of wearing corsets.

Contributors to Lucy’s book are certainly not incoherent nor do they spout nonsense. However as commented above, you might or will see both incoherence and nonsense on social media groups devoted to corseting and waist training, but then, that’s been true for the history of the internet starting with the original chat rooms now seemingly replaced by Twitter and Facebook.

Some attribute this problem (if you find it to be a social problem) to over-valuing convenience, wanting to be spoon fed, being in a rush, and not respecting experience. I’m part of this “some.”

Madeline Albright has a new book out on fascism, which I’ve always felt us human beings truly want and must struggle against on a lifelong basis. That is, I observe that at heart humans want the convenience and ease of Mommie or Daddy doing and deciding it for us, and almost living our lives for us so that we don’t have to expend much effort. Not only that, but we want the “experts” telling us what to do. I call it the “Kim Kardashian effect.” I always marveled that Kim discovered “waist training” and “trainers” by herself, and now has become the paragon of popular corseting and figure-shaping virtue, for better or for worse (one could argue my point either way).

I also marvel at those who email me over the years, wanting me to “decide for them” what corset to order and how tightly to have the corset close down in the back. Then they want the product delivered yesterday.

I’m looking forward to a brand new coaching student, one who is devoted to improving her figure in a way that is healthy, slow, and deliberate, calling upon multiple resources in her quest for these goals. That’s a smart approach to waist training.

That’s exactly the approach that Denna followed. She was one of my first five students many years ago, and is pictured above corseted in “before” and “after” images following three months of waist-training coaching.

My new student already has in place a personal trainer/body builder (an educated former corset client of ROMANTASY) who will guide the student on the exercise element of waist training. She will coordinate that workout program with the program I will soon propose regarding corset wear and lacing down, nutrition (food choices and how one eats), and waist-targeted exercising.

Because of the student’s detail-oriented advance questioning, reliance on our corsetiere Sheri’s, and my, advice, good communication and response to my initial requests, and seeking detailed information including reading my 250-page book, I surmise that she stands a very good chance of reaching the reasonable waist-training goals we will all set together.

I’m frankly excited to help such a student, who comes to the process with her head screwed on rightly, and facing the right direction. We’ll follow soon with her “before” pictures and keep you posted on her progress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Science behind Optimal Metabolic Health and Nutrition — and corsets

Recently I completed a series of lectures presented by the UCSF Med Center program called “mini-med school.” Lectures by eminent professors at the top of their profession (both clinicians, researchers, and professors) are recorded to show to medical students, but classes are populated by us older non-medical adults. I plan a series of blogs on what I have learned, some information well known, some intuitive, and much of the information fact and research-based at UCSF.

In the final presentation neurologist Dr. Sandra Aamodt spoke on “The Diet Trap: Why you should never go on a diet again and what to do instead.” You can watch her TED talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn0Ygp7pMbA

She started by listing the common excuses given for why we can’t eat healthily such as we have no time, it’s too expensive, I’m too tired to cook, social pressures, my family won’t do it with me, I hate regulation, and others. She verified that we cannot just rely on will power to pursue and maintain a diet: it doesn’t work.

I’ve long been convinced that habit and motivation are two key elements that have to do with success in figure shaping, corset waist training, and pursuing good health. Aamodt said that 90% of our food choices are habit based, and don’t require will power at all.

Habit works with three steps: (1) cue, (2) routine, and (3) reward.

For a reward to work it has to be intrinsically valuable to us and not imposed by anyone. It has to be directly associated with the habit, and we have to enjoy the reward. It has to be positive and not neutral, but it can be subtle. What is NOT a reward is eating healthy, lowering our disease rate, or being a healthy size (that’s too abstract).

The above highlighted information was a surprise to me. The food industry seems determined to stress “healthy eating” these days, declaring their commitment in all capital letters on the front of food packaging even if the backside of that package reports food contents including many different kinds of sugars, artificial and “natural” flavorings straight out of the chem lab, and lots of carbs.

What does work to motivate us to change habits are rewards that increase our physical pleasure, psychological pleasure, or efficiency.

  1. Something tells me that the latter motivation of efficiency to help us change our eating habits, has to do with changing values coming from our overly-stressed out, IT-oriented, fast-draw society, and perhaps is not the best thing for us to concentrate on.
  2. I’ve often said that corseting and waist training are old-fashioned techniques involving a historical garment, and none of that goes very well with efficiency. It’s “efficient” to lower your head to the plate and shovel food into an open mouth, chewing little at all and gulping while shoveling the next bite in. That’s efficient. I see it all the time in both men and women (in more and more women eating in public these days, sad to say). But there are other things to consider, not least of all the distress it might give your viewers and companions to observe you being so efficient. Enough said.

What helps us change our habits is setting clear, simple, measurable goals not involving calorie counting. Yes to “cook dinner four times a week”, no to “lower my calorie intake by 200 calories a day.”

When I coach students in my three-month waist training program, as part of the nutrition element (there are three elements in total) I “require” them to count to 30 when chewing, that is, chew 30 times before swallowing. Yes, even ice cream…! That goes along with Aamodt’s point that we must be mindful to the present moment especially when eating (and planning to eat say I). Pause, evaluate and redirect your hunger she says. Re-set your urge to eat. Direct your attention to the properties of food and enjoyment, not to time and not to the quantity you eat. Pause–do you really want that second helping?

The best takeaway from this class was the point to start changing habits with the smallest habit you can choose.

Things appear harder than they are; just start and start small. As you practice, it gets easier to change, and also more rewarding! Just trust that fact and keep on long enough for the rewards to become evident. That’s the advice I give my students: persist in your three-month waist training program until the very last day, because change comes later for some, and it takes time to develo9p new tastes for healthy foods, shrink the expansion of your belly, and become satisfied with going for top quality rather than “low-quality quantity” as I call it.

Make your new choices sound good: “tasty” or “easy” or “handmade” or “Cajun style” or “farm fresh”. Words matter (as I’ve written before), and predispose us to get to better results with less effort along the way. Concentrate on value-based motivation rather than health-based motivation. Re-frame the way you think about eating, but forget about “dieting.” — it just doesn’t work.

That’s a new way to put it for me (value-based motivation), but not a new thought. Value-based, quality-based, slow-based, and in-the-moment are all phrases that apply to corset waist training. Why not try it now, or re-institute a short program to get back in your groove, but don’t quit if you fall back a bit, keep going all the way thru what you plan to try, and let me know how you fare and what works for you in corset waist training or figure shaping.

 

 

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