Category Archives: General Waist Training Information

The unknowing keeps on going when it comes to “dangers” from corset waist training

MeasuringI had to smile wryly once again, when my webmistress sent a link to an article I read some years ago in the Huffington Post. I hesitate to pass around misinformation contained therein, but if you wish to read how some modern-day physicians opine about corset waist training in the most egregious manner, check this out:

I checked with two physicians of extensive qualifications, one a retired coroner and forensic expert, the other with 43 years of teaching and clinical practice who also wears corsets.

I was curious about the “danger” posited by one bariatric surgeon quoted in the article who was against trying the “corset diet” (N.B. we do not call waist training a diet because it is not). She said that” the lack of oxygenation as a result of wearing the corset might contribute to metabolic syndrome, which can actually result in weight gain.”

Actually, it is exactly the opposite!

Here is what one consultant physician said after consulting the Mayo clinic, a respected source of medical fact:

Metabolic syndrome is primarily caused by obesity and inactivity. People who have metabolic syndrome typically have apple-shaped bodies, meaning they have larger waists and carry a lot of weight around their abdomens. It’s thought that having a pear-shaped body — that is, carrying more of your weight around your hips and having a narrower waist — puts you at a lower risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and other complications of metabolic syndrome.
Of course, as an “obestity expert” in the article said, a dietitian, exercise physiologist and or behavioral psychologist can work for some to help lose weight. But that does not automatically exclude the concomitant use of moderate regularly custom corset wear to boost weight loss and waistline loss forward.
And no, a corset does not need to “reshape” the rib cage as the surgeon said. Nor can smaller waists “only be done with rib removal.” (quoting Dr. Sinclair). They can be achieved by corset waist training without one doubt, based on my 26 yrs. in this specialty business, coaching 30 students in waist training. With moderate post-training attention to good nutrition and exercise, the results can be permanent.
There is no evidence in the article that this surgeon or any other person quoted, actually ever wore a corset, or tried corset waist training (!). Need I say more?  [Underbust leather “Bella” by Sharon McCoy Morgan, model Somi Vichi]

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Why Buffets and Culture are So Dangerous; how do you cope during corset waist training?

3B-parents plateIn my three-month coaching program, I strongly recommend that my students avoid buffets. But I never really understood the full panoply of reasons that we pig out at buffets, until I read Bee Wilson’s new book, First Bite. I highly recommend it to you, especially her informative chapter on hunger. For waist trainees, hunger is much diminished for many reasons by wearing a corset when you eat, and moreso, by dedicated corset waist training.

I’ll be attending Wilson’s book signing at 6:30 pm this Jan. 21 in San Francisco’s Omnivore book store on Cesar Chavez Street in the Mission District, and if you can make it, you might want to join me.

Buffets in this blog mean and include buffets laid out family-style at home, as well as in those ubiquitous buffet restaurants you can find in many major shopping centers and strip malls, especially in Chinese buffets. I know about both. To celebrate my mom-in-law’s birthday, this past Saturday we ate out in a Chinese buffet in Concord, one that we have attended a number of time over the past 14 years. She’s a delightful little “bit” of a thing, about 100 pounds “soaking wet” as my dad used to say. It’s not my intention to criticize or mislead anyone into thinking I’ve studied the science of nutrition much less know much about sound child-rearing practices. I do, however, read a lot in nutrition, and I think carefully about my personal observations and family experiences so that I learn how to better protect and preserve my own food health and the health of my life partner, Ron.

Ron and his youngest sister are Chinese-American. Both of his parents and his older brother are from China, but his brother was raised from the age of nine in the Bay Area when his family immigrated here. As a family they never eat out anywhere but in Chinese restaurants preferred by his parents and our aunt, mainly in buffets. I believe those food and restaurant preferences to be in part a result not only of their tastes for familiar foods, but also a part of their culture of conserving their financial resources and investing wisely.  Chinese buffets are amazingly inexpensive compared to some other buffets. Conserving finances is a value I also appreciate and know something about from my Scotch-heritage mom. Ron had never heard about that culture’s similar values until I told him about the phrase “Being Scotch”, meaning, being parsimonious or even stingy when it comes to spending money. But the Scotch-Germans eat quite differently from the Chinese, as I’ll describe below.

3B-typical family dishClearly for some, if we see food, any food, we eat it.  The huge variety and quantity of food we see tempts many to over eat. As Wilson says, the reason why buffets are so dangerous is that because when we eat a certain food, like salty foods served in main dishes, that satiates us, but it satiates our hunger only for that particular food. Our hunger for other new foods remains. Thus, seeing sweet desserts is a whole other matter and we get “hungry” all over again, even if our stomach is stuffed. Professor Barbara Rolls of Johns Hopkins University, coined the term for this as “sensory-specific satiety.”

We’ve all seen the phenomenon in operation at buffets. Some fill their plate up high with the main courses and eat an entire plate, then go back to fill up another clean plate with desserts. One of each thing never seems enough. I remember observing that phenomenon at my favorite wedding reception of all time for a BFF. To save on wedding expenses, the couple asked invitees to bring one dish that we made, to put together on the reception buffet table. Of course we all knocked ourselves out to bring our best. The array was stunning and the favors were superb.  I watched the man and woman sitting at the next table over, do just what I describe above for Chinese buffets. I wish I had taken a surreptitious picture of their plates; it was horrifying!

I know that since I changed my eating habits last summer to avoid refined sugar and cut way, way back on processed foods, I just don’t relish the thought of attending those Chinese buffets. Perhaps even moreso I dread the temptations of my Chinese family’s family-style buffets that are far more common, as we don’t eat out all that often. But over time I’ve learned to manage the temptations a bit better, which is subject for another blog.

I was amazed when I first met my partner fourteen years ago and then met his family and attended my first at-home gathering for dinner. My own family is from North-Western Europe. My dad was of Irish heritage and my mom as said, was of Scotch-German background (to be sure, both many generations removed). We ate in a typical fashion for that region: one meat, one vegetable, and one starch served on each dinner plate, sometimes a small side plate of salad, and often a small dessert served immediately after dinner before we got up from the table, like a tiny-sized cookie or two, or small slice of pie.

3B-half of a typical family buffeetMy partner’s family eats in what he says is a typical Chinese cultural style: each family member brings two or three dishes to the party. The food is laid out on the counter in heaping serving plates or bowls. Buffets invariably feature three to four meats and three to four vegetables. They also typically feature two starches (noodles and mashed potatoes), two salads, and two bread choices to boot. Those are the minimums; sometimes there is even more.

In 2011 I even witnessed them offering two birthday cakes at one time, because two of our family members have birthdays occurring in the same month. Gratefully, that only has happened once. I fully admit at that time when I was eating sugar, I was most delighted by this happy abundance!3B-two birthday cakes_6

Part of the danger of this practice is its effect on children being raised in the home. Parents model eating behavior; it’s that simple. Wilson agrees. That’s the thesis of her book First Bite, that how we eat as adults is influenced heavily by our upbringing. Her good news is that we can change those habits, preferences and our tastes even if it takes some attention and effort.

3B-children's choicesIn general, I was simply gobsmacked when I first saw this amazing array of food. I first thought it was an exception to the rule, like for most Thanksgiving or Christmas feasts, but no, these types of incredible buffets are standard fare for family dinners.

It’s not too surprising that at these family dinners just like at Chinese buffet restaurants, I observe his family members over eating every single time. Each person fills his or her dinner plate with savory foods, and everyone, even Ron’s diminutive father and mother, go back for seconds. Sometimes I see that happen with my nephew. Often that is true for desserts as well, when the time comes.

Gratefully, I have avoided picking up that practice, and I rarely see my brother-in-law do that. He’s of Scandanavian descent. Just as gratefully, Ron has begun to recognize the dangers of this family tradition, habit and practice, and accordingly, he now makes healthier choices for himself, including joining me last summer in cutting way back on refined sugar and processed foods.

To a person with the exception now of Ron, his family members over stuff themselves. Even his diabetic brother accepts a huge piece of sugar-iced birthday cake,  but why? It must be the variety, and seeing that variety stretched out on the full kitchen counter is hard to resist.  Reason does not prevail on such occasions, with the exception that Ron’s brother and his partner lately have been bringing a roasted root vegetable medly dish for family dinners, a dish that is not only delicious but nutritious as well. And then they pig out on over-sized portions of that and other choices, as is normal.3B-typical age six meal

I’m sure that tummies don’t feel all that good a half-hour after they finish eating. Often even if I do my best not to overfill my plate, I overeat and feel the same. The family has to wait two to three hours for dessert. My family used to serve it right after the meal, but comparatively, we had not eaten all that much to begin with. With Ron’s family we scatter after dinner into smaller groups to watch television, read a book, or chat. Some go on a short walk, which is good. No one can bear the thought of eating dessert right after such a sumptuous meal. Thus, family dinners on a weekend day end up being a real event, taking an entire afternoon into the night, and nothing else can be planned.

To me, these buffets appear to encourage compulsive over eating. Ron says that it might be because his parents grew up in southern China and experienced in their early lives, a very dire food situation. His mom and dad sometimes had nothing to eat but a few grains of rice in their bowl. In America we know that as the “depression mentality.” My  mom went thru the Great Depression, but she fared better. Her dad was a train engineer for the Norfolk and Western, and always had a steady blue collar job. He was able to provide regularly for his family, so mom was extremely lucky. She did tell the tale of how she and her two brothers were permitted to take as much from each serving bowls on the table as she wanted, but with one provision: she had to eat every single bite on her plate. She also told of sometimes waiting til her parents weren’t looking and if she had taken too much, she would let her Collie “Bill” sidle up to the table then she would surreptitiously feed him the last bits on her plate. I guess you could say it was a “win-win” situation for every one involved even if the parents were being kept in the dark!

I also remembered that even if my mom restrained the quantity offered for our daily meals,  my mom would over-offer food at her famously famous dinners for guests, or tea parties for her girl friends and my high school friends as well. There, it seemed de rigueur to show abundance and generosity especially with fatty and sugary foods, and accordingly, over feed her guests in the style of typical Chinese dinners. When I lived at home I was always delighted when those somewhat rare occasions came along, although I’m not so pleased these days of trying to do better for my waistline and long-term health.

I’m curious about how others have dealt with buffets and huge family dinners, be they for special holidays or for every family gathering?

For certain, it takes a huge amount of will power and convincing oneself before the buffet, that normal tendencies to over indulge are human, but truly detrimental to our health, and giving in to our baser instincts runs counter to our goals of better health, especially if we are pursuing corset waist training as one strategy for shaping up.




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Eating right: It all seems so simple, right?

I had to laugh today to learn on Good Morning America tv news, that Chris and Heidi Powell, the tv show weight gurus, have just published another book called

Extreme Transformation: Lifelong Weight Loss in 21 Days

Love it! How the heck does that work in 21 short days?

It’s just one more unrealistic pitch to a ‘want it now’ generation of Americans, seeking the quick fix!

That doesn’t mean we can’t learn something from the book, but what was summarized this morning, is stuff we already know, summarized below.

But changing habits takes more than just 21 days as any reasonable person knows. Corset waist training takes more than 21 days!

We’d like to hear from our readers about what has worked for them to keep weight off and keep their curvy figure gained after successful corset waist training? It’s the intended topic of some forthcoming blogs and perhaps, a new book, so send on your thoughts and experiences.

And all best for a healthy New Year to all! Let’s find out and keep up, what works for us!  –Ann

  1. set up for success by preparing your gym back the night before.
  2. place the gym bag away from your bed by your alarm clock so you have to get out of bed and see the bag to remind yourself to go to the gym.
  3. know what to expect in  weight loss.
  4. reduce your sugar intake.


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It’s THAT Time of Year: Resolutions and Goals Re: Figure Shaping and Weight Loss!

Before and after ROMANTASY style trainingIt’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to renewal, and also to self-improvement. For some  of us it means a re-dedication to what we already know works for us to continually keep improving our mood, our figure, our sense of well-being, and our happiness as well as our health and the health of our families and loved ones. For some, like these friendly corset clients pictured here, that includes corset waist training. These two ladies with very different figures, followed our general advice but did not enter our coaching program, since they are independent, motivated learners!

If you prosper with more hands-on advice, guidance, and daily discipline, then we are accepting applications to join our intensive coaching program in the New Year. Simply write us and summarize your goals, corseting experience, and why you are ready now to begin, rather than in the past. Also, please be in generally good health (we’ll discuss in more detail with you when you email).

We’re updating our Corset Magic book this month (write us for a gratis pdf file copy if you have already purchased one), and are beginning in the New Year to work on a second book that focused on our emerging interest in recent nutrition research and how that relates to maintaining our figure reshaping efforts with weight and waistline inch-losses that are really our “gains!”

We’d love to hear more from those  of you who have waist trained, seen results, but who are also concentrating on how to maintain your gains over time. What has worked well for you in the long run (and how long is “long” for you?)

As ever we will continue in 2016 to use this blog to post new information we run into that is relevant to corset waist-training that is health-motivated first and foremost. We also hope you will join in our confidential and private blog if you have a serious interest in sharing helpful tips or learning more detailed information than we post on our public blog. Just write email us for access, it’s easy!

We just started following an interesting website and writer, a doctor, who might pepper you to death with his prodigious writings if you sign up for his newsletter. However, there are pearls of fact-based wisdom there and you can readily scan his summary in your inbox before going to the newsletter:  Check out Dr. Mercola online.

Today came his information about a question I have long pondered which Dr. Mercola just answered for me:

Does the stomach actually shrink when you diet or corset waist train?

Here is what he said:

The science is split on whether or not eating smaller meals more frequently will help you lose weight, but what it will do is make your stomach less stretchy, which in turn will help you to feel fuller when eating less food.

To be clear, it’s unknown if the actual size of your stomach can change. Most people’s stomachs hold about one liter of liquid, whether you’re 150 pounds or 300 pounds.1 However, it has an ability to stretch and expand when you eat a meal.

If you regularly eat large meals, your stomach’s distensibility (or ability to become stretched) will increase to accommodate the food. If you instead eat only small amounts at a time, your stomach’s distensibility will decrease.


Dr. Mercola mentions another source of his information: “eating many small meals throughout the day — your stomach’s capacity goes down, says Rebekah Gross, M.D., a gastroenterologist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center.”

Dr. Mercola says just what we say to our corset waist trainees:

If you want to shrink your stomach (and we say, if you want to diminish your hunger and waistline as well), then eat four or five meals a day (N.B. we say eat 8 meals a day but don’t increase the amount of food you eat as a total).

He also says thatWhen you eat smaller meals more frequently, you’re not necessarily eating less food, just reducing the amount at each sitting, which makes it easier to stick with in the long term.”

If you snack every 2 to 3 hours on smaller portions of healthy snacks, of course, then a small meal, eight times a day, you don’t have time to suffer from hunger pangs that build up. if you start to get hungry at first–it’s time to eat again! Thus,  you give yourself enough time to change an old habit of eating too much at one sitting, to a permanent new habit  that quickly feels comfortable and familiar, one that will help you overall with digestion, elimination, and portion control in the future, not just in the present!





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The “how” of it is just as important as the “what” of it

Just like how you should go about seasoning a new corset or commencing a corset waist-training program, the key is the “how” of it for nutrition.

A friend just recommended the December 1 book  by Bee Wilson called  First Bite — and my copy is on the way. The author says, “The way we learn to eat holds the key to why food has gone so disastrously wrong for so many people.”

It starts at our family’s table and with our parents. They too are influenced by their own culture and upbringing. What they saw their mom’s cook, what they typically ate as a small child, and how they ate influenced them as it did all of us.

We learn portion size from them. We learn to “clean our plates” or to “leave one bite on the plate as a sign of good etiquette.” I remember my mom made me sit at the dinner table until I ate every single pea on my plate, even turning off the lights and leaving me alone to sit there. It was my version of early childhood waterboard torture.  I gave up and ate it all. At least I didn’t get into the bad habit of wolfing down food. I’ve seen that destructive way of eating in several of my friends, and I always notice it. If their parents sat down at the table and never put their fork down, then ran away from the table, it makes sense that they might eat the same way using the same example. I’ll have to ask my BFF about that, since she is one!

I also remember my mom telling me that her parents had the same rule. Thus, she used to have her collie Bill, sit by her side and when her parents weren’t looking, she would quickly place food from her plate into Bill’s waiting and happy mouth.

What about eating practices during the rise of the robots and our addiction to techie devices? I’ve read that modern families hardly ever sit down at a table together. They stand and wolf food down, or eat in smaller groups from the family unit, or each person chooses what they want to eat. Is that ubiquitous in families with parents age 20 to 30 today? I find it not only odd to me but sad, because it misses the social cement and bonding experience I had, that of the entire family sitting down together, iPhones off the table, and actually conversing together about daily topics or concerns.

It might pay for you to take the three months you formally corset train to carefully examine what you learned as a child, and decide how much of a role it has had in shaping your own good and bad habits and feelings about food and eating.

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Pre-Biotics and Good Health

We’re all pretty familiar with probiotics, but it took me til I read Tim Spector’s book, The Diet Myth, to learn a bit about prebiotics and the foods containing them.

You might want to read Dr. Spector’s book and also consult Dr. Mercola’s website mentioning prebiotics:

Dr. Mercola says to stick with traditionally fermented foods for healthful probiotics (such as sauerkraut, pickled foods, kefir, and buttermilk if you can tolerate it), and unprocessed whole foods for prebiotics, such as onions and garlic.

Spector also mentions Jerusalem artichokes (hard to find) and a few other food items as containing prebiotics which also positively affect our gut microbiomes.

Microbiomes are likely to be the next frontier in nutrition research.

Certainly good nutrition goes along with corset waist-training. I found I could not drop the 10 plus pounds I added to my figure two years ago, until I quit most refined sugar on June 15 (and quit most processed foods which contain added sugar, not to mention chemical flavors and preservatives).

That one food-intake change jump-started my figure-trimming process, gradually reduced my hunger, and caused other foods to improve in flavor, not to mention dropping the extra one inch off my waistline. During the past six months I only irregularly corseted, so changes were due to me changing my diet, and keeping up with a two-day a week hour-long aerobics program (plus walking there and back for an extra mile’s hike). Clearly, a daily corset regime will obviously enhance this kind of process and progress in most cases.

Not only that, dropping sugar most certainly caused a major and beneficial microbiome shift in my gut. One beneficial result has been the disappearance (almost) of occasional chronic constipation from which I have suffered since adolescence. Corseting only increases the risk of same if you do not attend to proper diet and drinking a good bit of water, plus regular exercise and increasing the fiber content (but not quantity) in what you eat.

However, beware of any generalized advice to “drink more water.” Hardly anyone  knows that a number of doctors now don’t recommend drinking 8 to 10 glasses per day, but drinking more like 2 to 6 glasses I was amazed to learn that some years ago and then a few years later to learn it again. On two separate occasions I over-drank water, caused pressure on my bladder (worse when you are corseting), and created UTI-like symptoms. On both occasions the doctor opined I was drinking too much water!  I backed off and lo! within days the symptoms disappeared both times.

What the New York Times called “a new field” in last Sunday’s  paper, is personalized nutrition. However a web search of the phrase reveals folks talking about this years ago. What it means is that our metabolism whether from genetic or social/experiential causes, is highly individual. What works for me in corset waist training and good nutrition, might not be the same for you.

A lot of the answers to FAQ questions I receive and post online, state “it depends.” Frustrating answer, but it pays to be very cautious in dispensing or accepting general advice. It also pays to be wary of TV’s pop doctors dispensing the same.

I was fairly discouraged some months ago to see Dr. Oz stating that one of the elements of proof about corsets possibly being harmful and entailing risk, was that some organs are elevated during an MRI. The MRI tested a person wearing an unboned “wannabe” corset on a model and Dr. Oz discussed the results on his popular tv show. However, one of our medical advisors, a retired coroner and presently active forensic expert with substantial qualifications in anatomy and biology and quite corset and fashion-conscious,  alerted me that organs are naturally elevated during MRIs because you lie down! Organs drop when you stand up and elevate when you lie down, corseted or not.

More’s the pity when powerful but uneducated doctors issue thoughtless, generalized opinions or advice about corseting, waist training, possible “risk” and health. Don’t abandon your common sense when it comes to a so-called “expert.” You are the best expert in your own personal health and well being!

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A new book on sugar and sodas — tough on a corseted tummy!

There’s a new book by a professor whom I respect and quote in my Corset Magic book, because she’s not an alarmist nor an extremist, and does appreciate the scientific approach. The book blurb says:

In Soda Politics, Dr. Marion Nestle answers this question by detailing all of the ways that the soft drink industry works overtime to make drinking soda as common and accepted as drinking water, for adults and children. Dr. Nestle, a renowned food and nutrition policy expert and public health advocate, shows how sodas are principally miracles of advertising; Coca-Cola and PepsiCo spend billions of dollars each year to promote their sale to children, minorities, and low-income populations, in developing as well as industrialized nations. And once they have stimulated that demand, they leave no stone unturned to protect profits.

Soda on a corseted tummy can be very uncomfortable since bubbles go up — and down. That’s why I advise corseted brides not to imbibe in champagne toasts, or limit it to one glass sipped slowly and carefully to test the results.

I’ve blogged about the amoutn of sugar (almost 1/2 cup) contained in one Coke and more in a Mountain Dew. This weekend I read that 1/2 cup of my favorite egg nog has 41 gms of sugar.

But this year, my first, it will not be a temptation in which I indulge. I don’t want to re-visit that horrible nauseated feeling in my tummy after trying just one-half piece of iced carrot cake I tried on my birthday, after not eating added sugar for five months. It just isn’t worth it to me to suffer so.

I’ll hang onto that memory of the nausea, and will do my best to attach it to the idea of sugar whenever I see holiday treats laid out at parties. Yesterday I hosted a lady’s tea party for my Mary Kay friend, to learn about skin care and this caring company. The only refined sugar product I served was CostCo’s mini-quiches, and two of them contain but 3 gms of sugar. Since I offered no other treats containing white sugar, I decided this was acceptable.

I used a small bit of organic honey in the banana bread I baked fresh (and lots of bananas, dates and nuts), added blueberry honey to my cream cheese for a spread, baked a Southern recipe of corn flour muffins (no sugar), made hummus at home for a fresh veggie plate, chilled a fresh pineapple sprinkled with one tablespoon of Marsala wine and refrigerated overnight, and set out mixed toasted nuts and dried blueberries, and a bowl of  huge and sugary green seedless grapes for my guests. Everyone seemed to love the treats and not one person complained that they weren’t sweet enough.

So it IS possible to survive the holidays without eating refined and added sugar, but it takes some resolve, plus some planning, shopping, and cooking. Carry some of your own treats on a plate as a hostess gift in case there is nothing sugar-free there for you to eat, and you’ll be sure to stick to your plan, and tighten down, not loosen your glamorous corseted holiday attire.

Anyone care to share some holiday-style treats? I’ll be back with some dynamite pumpkin bread I just tried!


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