Monthly Archives: August 2019

The Process of Making Art, and Waist Training

No, I’m not talking about the size or shape of the body today. I’m writing about the appreciation of corset waist training from the analogy of the experience of making art. There are distinct parallels between making art and the struggles to make art — and corset waist training. When you are corset waist-training, your canvass is your body! The process of sculpting your body has some clear similarities with art.

I was so  inspired by that realization while reading my new book Art and Fear: Observations on the perils (and rewards) of Artmaking, by David Bayles and Ted Orland, that I got up from my breakfast table to jot down these notes about waist training.

Here is what the authors say about art:

“Making art now means working in the face of uncertainty; it means living with doubt and contradiction, doing something no one much cares whether you do, and for which there may be neither audience nor reward.

Making the work you want to make means setting aside these doubts so that you may see clearly what you have done, and thereby see where to go next. Making the work you want to make means finding nourishment within the work itself. This is not the Age of Faith, Truth and Certainty”.

For sure, waist training means training in the face of uncertainty.

Uncertainty about how you will actually feel along the way. Uncertainty about how easily you will be able to lace tighter, or endure longer hours corseted as you progress. Uncertainty about whether or not you will ever be able to close the corset in back, or reach your precise goals. Uncertainty about what will come along the way that might distract you or cause you to stop waist training in your tracks.

Life is uncertain to the max, right? And so is waist training.

I shall never forget the client who wanted to enroll in my three month waist-training program. During the seasoning process with a new corset that we delivered early, that is, one month before she began formal coaching/training, this person had closed her corset and worked up to 6 hrs. of continual wear. She was already quite comfortable. I was impressed and told her that she would make an awesomely successful student. However, she became discouraged — at her success in waist training! She was  convinced we had “mismeasured” and given her the wrong corset and that she had no where to go during training, so she dropped out “in a fever” (as Johnny Cash would say about his marriage).

No one can give you with 100 percent certainty, a prediction about how your body will respond to lacing down and long hours of corset wear along the way. No one can tell you how soon or how late you will see progress on the scale and in your figure. No one can assure you without one whit of doubt, how many pounds you will lose, or whether you will need two or five more corsets in order to reach an aggressive goal you set, or even reach a reasonable one! We had given her none of these assurances and informed her of some vagaries in the training process, based on our prior long experience, but she had conveniently forgotten or refused to acknowledge all that.

Perhaps it was from a sense of desperation and overeach that this student approached in the first place? I will never know, because she abruptly quit communicating with me.  It was quite sad. She simply refused to believe information I provided her, that we could continue by starting the program with a longer no. of hours each day that she would wear her corset, even up to 23.5 hrs. a day in order to reach her goals. She seemed to dismiss that I offered her a tighter “loaner” corset should the process be too easy mid way through, plus we offered her a discount on a brand new corset simply because she had made truly  unusual lacing-down progress during seasoning, progress that I had never seen in 28 years of coaching and selling corsets! She failed to recognize that she could exercise longer and harder, concentrating on her waistline muscles, to help reach her goals. After all, corset-wearing is just one element of a sucessful program — not the only one!

If you are the type of person who requires certainty in waist training, and who has a very low tolerance for unknowingness, perhaps waist training is not for you. Or perhaps you can find a corset maker or coach with more experience than another one, someone who can give you that kind of complete 100% assurance, and that person would seem to be best to guide you. (But I wonder if you don’t reach the guaranteed goals, how far would you crash, and how likely would it be that you would persist over time after that type of “failure”?)

But if you can live with some doubt and contradiction, I’m certain you can learn something from almost every fact-based corset waist-training program and well-experienced coach, whether you find it easy or hard to lace down — if you have patience in the process and trust well-founded advice!

Can you waist train without an appreciative audience?

You better be able to do so!

It is far better to choose and then pursue this process in order to please yourself and no one else. No one may be there to slog thru the trenches and bear up with the going gets rough with your corset on day in and day out (save one day offer per week as we recommend). Your ‘rah rah’ section  may be missing, and you may well have to rely on yourself to stick to the contract you made with yourself, a partner, or your coach, as to how tightly to lace and how long to stay in your corset, what to eat, and how much to exercise each day.

Like a budding artist, you may have to set aside doubts — but the rewards will most likely be prodigious!

You may “see clearly what you have done” if you but look in the mirror, or judge how you are feeling along the way.

You may then see “where to go next” and realize what challenges you can bear up under, and thus, your confidence and commitment to the process will grow as you encounter success in your own common-sense persistence.

You may find nourishment within the challenge of waist training itself: not from the confirmation of a coach nor the admiration of a partner.

For sure as the book authors say, this is not the “Age of Faith, Truth and Certainty.”

It is the age (sadly) of fast and faster, dis-attention and distraction, plus “want it now” without paying one’s dues.

As ever, it is your choice how to pursue your life and by what values you guide your behavior, even when it comes to corset waist training.

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Migrating Motor What??? — About the process of eating when corseted, and in general

For those in corset waist-training, I have always advised about the efficacy of grazing, with smaller plates used and snacking throughout the day, rather than eating three larger meals. Combined with sitting down to eat, take small bites (unlike the chapt pictured here! How many times have you seen someone actually fold over food to shovel more of it into his (or her) mouth when eating? I have seen it a lot!), chewing well and slowing down the whole process, this helps process food thru the intestines and out, especially when you are squeezing your midriff with a corset. It also contributes to a more pleasant eating experience when corseted.

I recently learned about another process that goes on when we eat, one that caused me to modify my general advice. It deals with the “migrating motor” complex.

“The migrating motor complex is a distinct pattern of electromechanical activity observed in gastrointestinal smooth muscle during the periods between meals. It is thought to serve a “housekeeping” role and sweep residual undigested material through the digestive tube. As studied in dogs and man, the cycle recurs every 1.5 to 2 hours.”

If we continue to eat between meals and break the 1.5 to 2 hrs  cycle, we reduce or stop the migrating motor reflex, and food remains in our stomachs. Ouch! That works contrary to what we want when corseting snugly and/or for long hours of dedicated waist training. I remember well when a piece of pizza I had bolted down while corseted, remained in my stomach and when some hours later I took my corset off, ouch! The pizza apparently rushed out and down and I got a horrible cramp for some minutes or longer!

My Kaiser gastro physician recently educated me about what I now surmise was going on with or was related at the least to the pizza incident, and about this process of the migrating motor complex. She advised that I not snack until three — or more! — hours after eating a major meal. In addition she advised me not to eat dinner after 6 pm (we eat at 7 pm) until breakfast, to allow the stomach to empty totally and food to start moving down.

Since I’m an inveterate “grazer” of small portions thoughout the day, especially when I am wearing corsets regularly, I’m finding this change back to a more traditional way of organizing my food intake, is a bit tough. To deal with hunger pangs I am eating a bit more at each meal, including eating dessert right after dinner rather than waiting a few hours (dessert means dried or fresh fruit with nuts, or yogurt typically — no white sugar treats!). I also am eating more protein and veggies, and reducing simple carbs like breads (sigh….I am not depriving myself totally, but I miss it already!) and pastas.

I’m still confident that eating breakfast is a “must” for anyone waist training or not, and it must mainly be high protein. Every morning I eat one piece of bacon, then scramble an egg with a bit of cheese and lots of fresh spinach to make an omelette.   When I soon thereafter go swimming three times a week, I never have moderate to severe sugar crashes during the swim or right after in the dressing room, as I used to, when I would eat steel cut oatmeal or non-sugary high fiber cereals for breakfast.

So what would I now advise my three-month dedicated waist-training students?

For the first 2 to 4 weeks of formal training, try grazing, meaning, divide your daily food portion/eating or snacking into 8 times a day and chew each bit of your food  30 times before swallowing for the first two weeks. Sit down for every meal or snack. This will normally result in reducing the total daily food portion you feel inclined to eat. If at any time you encounter acid reflux, bloating, or constipation, then consider reducing your snacking or eating times down to 4 times a day.

In any case, do not eat for at least 3 hrs. after the last time you ate a meal or a snack, and try not to eat anything (drinking liquids is fine) much after 6 to 8 pm.

The good news is, if you once disrupt and cut short the migrating motor process (any food introduced into your tummy will do that) then you will likely get it back if you change your ways according to the above advice that I received from my Kaiser specialist.

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