Category Archives: General

Taking your power back in waist training

It’s almost beyond debate that there is a link between emotions and ill health, particularly in chronic back pain, IBS, arthritis, and other. If you want proof, check out the Dec. 7, 2004 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Professor Elissa S. Epel, UCSF Medical Center, and some colleagues, published an article affirming that the mind plays a significant role in our physical health. They demonstrated a definitive connection between perceived and chronic stress and changes in telomeres. Telomeres are specific areas of the chromosome that are known to relate to the length of cell life and aging. I attended a mini-med school class at UCSF not long ago and heard her speak on these results with respect to our national epidemic of obesity. Minimizing stress is one specific strategy that could be ameliorative.

But there are challenges in our society to overcome before that concept will be universally accepted. Sadly enough, initially men may have the most difficult time with it.

I heard today that an NFL football player recently and vehemently rejected the notion that he had shed a tear or two on the field after sustaining a serious injury. I feel sorry for him, not only for the injury, one that I would never wish on anyone, even one who accepts the substantial risk to present and future health of playing football. I feel more sorry for him because he is still victim to the  long existing and misguided social message that men must not be weak nor show weakness — and that tears are still considered as a prime sign of male, and perhaps even female, weakness.

Learning earlier this year about Dr. John Sarno and reading his seminal book, The Divided Mind, I often think about the connection between emotions and brain-caused pain. Any ache or pain I experience causes me to first ask: is there a structural cause or not? And even if there may be a structural cause, why am I continuing to experience pain? Could that pain be brain-caused?

Doctors well know that even many structural problems such as arthritis or disc ruptures, do not cause pain in many of their patients. It’s an undeniable fact if you read Dr. Sarno’s remarkable book, and that fact may change your life.

A second step I take when encountering pain or a health problem, is to take charge and get more information. Usually I do that by binging the topic, and/or by making a doctor’s appointment. What happens time and again when I do either or both of those things, is that I immediately improve!

Recently the same thing happened. I am dealing with two pesky problems the past two months, one of them being that often I wake up at 3 am in the morning. My mind starts working overtime, and I have to get up and stay up until about 10 or 12 in the morning when I collapse into bed to catch up on disrupted sleep. After struggling for about two months with this problem, I recently made an appointment to chat with my doctor about it. The next five nights, I slept all the night through! (Incidentally you can try what seems to help for me: one hour before turn-out-the-lights-time, take one melatonin and one or two droppers of passion flower extract)

It didn’t take me long to realize that I improved because I took one or more action steps to take back my power over my problem. I decided not to sit there suffer. Even though I was waiting a few days for a telephone call with my doctor, I had acted to do something, and the very act of acting, translated into improvement.

In my book on waist training I relate a personal story about a time in my mid 20s when I used to bite or chew the inside of my lip when I was under stress, which was a lot of the time. I knew it to be a dangerous practice and one I had to stop. I called a local hypnotherapist psychiatrist, chatted with him about my problem, and made an appointment in one week to see him. He gave me a homework assignment in the meantime. I was to write down every time I caught myself chewing on my lip, the date, time, circumstances, and my stress level on a scale from 1 to 10. I started the record and three days later I stopped the habit. I called the doctor and cancelled my appointment, explaining what had happened. He and I both laughed! And, never again was I plagued with this destructive habit.

The point of this blog is to suggest that if you are dissatisfied with your size, shape, or health when it comes to nutrition and well being, and if you but commit to corset waist train in some way and take one action step, you might find that automatically you start feeling better and doing the right things!

That one action step could be:

–reading my Corset Waist Training book,

–calling me to register for my coaching program (but don’t start until January since I don’t recommend you make a serious waist-training effort that encompasses food-tempting holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas),

— enrolling in a social media group that supports waist training with reliable, fact-based information and encouragement.

— reading Lucy William’s great book, Solaced, with stories about the successes of many other folks who love and wear or tried corsets for many beneficial health-related purposes, or

— binging “corset waist training” and reading online resources.

Sure, we have to evaluate possible action steps carefully, being sure before we choose one or more of them, to consult reliable, fact-based resources; we can’t abandon all sense and look for a guru or “social media influencer” to follow mindlessly when it comes to our health. We have to stay in our “adult” and take care of ourselves to the end.

But when we encounter health challenges, act we must–and accept we must that many of our health issues are emotion-based and brain-caused, not structurally-caused or other-caused. We cause many of them, especially ones that bother us and cause us pain, as well as health problems that last a long time or recur periodically without structural causation.

We need to be responsible for the many choices available to us throughout life in order to live the happiest, most satisfying life we can, while we are on this earth.

I’m down for that; are you?

 

 

 

 

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Yet another study on importance of waist circumference! from Denmark this time

“…. researchers found that higher levels of fitness were associated with a smaller waist circumference and a lower degree of inflammation independently of BMI. The researchers acknowledge that there are possible limitations that may affect the findings of the study, but overall the results suggest that increased fitness has the potential to reduce abdominal fat mass and inflammation which may improve metabolic health irrespective of BMI.

‘We found that fitness is inversely associated with both abdominal adiposity and low-grade inflammation independent of BMI,” says Wedell-Neergaard. “These results suggest that, regardless of BMI, high fitness levels lead to a reduction in abdominal fat mass and low-grade inflammation.'”

So say Danish researchers in this January publication: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/p-lfi011118.php

What’s interesting to me, is that this finding is independent of the BMI, recently reported by our so-called president’s doctor, after examining our 237-lb leader. Apparently this doc left his tape measure at home and ignored the waistline. Just one more bit of proof that corset waist training is addressing a truly significant health indicator of risk to health and life! And it’s a heckofa lot more fun than going on (yet another) diet!

The absence of tape measures is not unusual. Most doctors never measure our waistlines! I’ve read that before, and I personally know that to be true.

What is wrong with doctors today, and medical schools that fail to teach med students to keep a tape measure in their office desk, or better–draped around their shoulders like the stethoscope we always see?

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Trying New Things is Easy — on January 1, but afterwards????

Trying new things—usually a diet of some kind—is easy on January 1. Maybe on January 2 it’s easy to start one or go to the gym, or even do so thru the end of the month.

But sticking to it? That’s another matter. Yet it’s first things first, we say. And that is just to try.

But trying new things is “so hard to do” says New York Times article writer Sendhil Mullainathan in the Business Section of the Dec. 3 issue.

This applies to countless folks who have emailed me over the years that I’ve been advising, coaching or writing about corset waist training (some 15-plus years by now, since I first coached a student in our three-month process of shaving inches off the waistline and losing pounds, if the latter is also desired as a goal. Our latest student, Ms. K, is shown here after coaching, with amazing improvement of posture even with moderate weight and inch-loss!).

The great majority of those inquiring about or expressing interest in the process, do not follow thru to enroll in my program or buy my book (the 2016 version is only $14.95 for a full-length, detailed “how to” book), or they never contact me after I answer their initial questions and provide encouragement. Thus, I never really know if they move forward based on some other source of information or on their own. Most likely most do not move forward at all to try the process.

Mullainathan posits some five or six reasons we hesitate to try something new: habits are powerful, he says, to start with!

Then, trying something new can be painful (you might not like the process or the results), you have to forgo something to try something new, the cost is immediate while the benefits are remote at a future time that feels abstract, we are overconfident in our negative assessment of the cost and potential benefits, and we engage in automatic behavior doing the same thing we have always done and making the same comfortable choices.

There is simply an “automatic bias in favor of the status quo” Mullainanthan concludes.

January 1 provides us with the impetus to once more try to overturn our status quo. That’s true for this coming New Year of 2018, as it has been in all the other new years of our past. Why not take the chance this New Year to try something new?– if you have been curious about corset waist training but not yet dipped your toe in the pond?

Just contact us (inquiry@romantasy.com or call 415 587-3863) and I’ll happily chat with you about how others have gone about the process, what my students have found difficult or easy, and the results they experienced.

Even better, you can view amazing moving gifs such as this one of full-figure student Ashlee, or this one of of transwoman client Amy,  accurate  images as far as Raven, my web assistant, can make them. The images show “before” and “after” three-months of coaching, with substantial to dramatic posture and figure changes.

Or just visit our waist training pages, the page showing results of those who generally follow the program I recommend, as well as results for those who have formally trained in our coaching program.

I once had a person reply to my general announcement about availability of the ROMANTASY coaching program, to the effect of “why do I need your coaching program–or anyone’s help for a fee–when I can simply go on social media groups and get all the information I need?” It’s a valid question in one aspect; perhaps you don’t! There is a lot of free information out there these days about how to waist train and you might be the type who is self-motivated and determined to reach your goals.

But–are your goals reasonable? And what happens when you hit a bump in the road and there’s no  individualized, medically-sound or verifiable answer to be found?

As in the past, the amount of information out there on the web and in chat rooms does not one-to-one translate to accurate information or helpful information for you! One is tempted to mention the old saying of “the halt leading the blind.” Sometimes that can be true, and more often than you might think.

There are nuances to waist training; everyone is individual in their response to waist training, and no single piece of advice or formula works for all. A qualified coach can listen to your individual concerns, discomforts, and physical and emotional challenges, think about prior long experience in the field, and help you figure out how to best deal with them so you can reach your goal without giving up midstream. An experienced coach has other resources to consult regarding specific questions you may have (we have two doctors on call) and can offer you additional help as we do, such as assigning a former successful student to be an additional peer coach during your training program. These resources beyond what your coach can offer, can be valuable to provide other perspectives as you move forward.

“Experimentation is an act of humility, an acknowledgement that there is simply no way of knowing without trying something different” says the New York Times writer.

Why not experiment with corset waist training in the New Year? It’s fun, it’s fashionable, and it’s amazingly successful if you set reasonable goals and are dedicated to a moderate health-conscious process for a short period of months.

Then maintaining your success is another matter for another blog, and another book that I’m working on. More on that challenge for later!

 

 

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Body Acceptance, obesity, overweight, fitness, and risk to health

Body acceptance, including of any and all when it comes to race, culture, age, size and shape, has been much in the news and social media commentary during the past few years. Health and fitness have replaced the word “diet”. Today  I saw that Helen Mirren is featured on the  Sept. magazine cover of  Allure — which magazine has apparently eschewed forevermore the word “anti-aging.”

I’ve always supported the notion that curvy women look better in corsets and “take to” them easier than do slender folks. ROMANTASY features a full-figure gallery to encourage women of all sizes and shape to try a corset for any of a number of purposes. One of our clients pictured on that page had a bosom measurement of 54″ and a waistline measurement of up to 60″ is not all that abnormal over our 27 years in this corset business.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures of the vast majority of my typical corset clients over the years. Marcia Venema (holding flowers), is one of our most loving supporters of all things corset and of my modest small business venture, with an amazing 16″ natural hip spring (waist vs hips). (Black and white, and magenta corset by Sue Nice, former team member; blue and brown corsets by Sheri; ).

In general, I agree with the body acceptance trend, but honestly, I have always had a vaguely discomfiting feeling that I have not been able to name, when it comes to that term, in conjunction wtih how to think about large waist sizes and weight.

Most of us know about Dr. Oz and many others in the medical fields who advise that a woman’s waist should not exceed 35″ and a man’s 40″, in order to minimize many health risks as we age. Now I’ve read that for us women, it might be 31″ for the waistline goal! (see below)

To me, the bottom line is that we each have to judge our own body size and shape as to whether we feel good and safe in them, healthy, and out of pain. But I continue to wonder if obesity is ever a good thing to support in the name of body acceptance?

As for Mirren as Allure’s Sept. Cover Woman (let’s dump forever the term “girl” as Mirren is surely not that!), one can only muse, “why now, and why not eons ago?” Betty Friedan mused along with me in 2006, but not eons ago, when she published a book I recommend to all, The Fountain of Age. Aging is not a trip to the garbage heap according to Friedan. But there’s a lot more research to be done with attention to men and women over 70, to fill in a huge gap in knowledge as Friedan points out.

And of course, there is a lot more research to be done on weight, waist size, hunger, eating habits, nutrition, and related health matters.

Lately The European Heart Journal reported on a new study from London designed to find a correlation between people who were fat but fit, and heart disease. 521.000 Europeans from 10 countries participated and were monitored for 15 years. It’s worth a read if like me, you are struggling with the concept of body image and how that relates to overall health and health risks.

The researchers noted individuals as being “unhealthy” if they were found to have at least three harmful metabolic markers such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, and a larger waist size (37″ for men and 31″ for women). Meanwhile, those with a body mass index (BMI) of over 30 were considered “obese,” while participants with a BMI of 25-30 were viewed as overweight. Anyone with a BMI of 18.5-25 was listed as normal.

While participants who made the “unhealthy” list were more than twice as likely to suffer from coronary heart disease regardless of weight, people considered “healthy” under the formula who were overweight still had a 26 percent greater risk of battling the condition. Obese “healthy” participants were found to have a 28 percent increase risk.

More than 10,000 people served as a control group for the study and factors such as exercise level, smoking history, and socio-economic status were taken into account for the research.

The authors believe that “the excess weight itself may not be increasing the risk of heart disease directly, but rather indirectly through mechanisms such as increased blood pressure and high glucose.” They agree that stronger awareness and prevention measures, along with treatment of obesity, be offered by doctors so that those who “fat, but fit” don’t lose sight of losing weight.

“I think there is no longer this concept of healthy obese,” says Dr. Ioanna Tzoulaki, from Imperial’s School of Public Health. If anything, our study shows that people with excess weight who might be classed as ‘healthy’ haven’t yet developed an unhealthy metabolic profile. That comes later in the timeline, then they have an event, such as a heart attack.”

I’ll let that be the last word for now, but always welcome your thoughts on the matter!

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Don’t Let One Uninformed or Prejudiced Corset Comment go Unrefuted

I’ve always been one to speak up about policies and procedures that make no sense, or about something that I feel will improve my family, community or personal life. That also includes corsets.

Some who first considering wearing a corset, equate them with being from the fringe or the fetish world. Some see only the sexual aspect of corseting, not realizing that corsets are worn for a countless number of distinct, beneficial reasons (See corset enthusiast/corset maker Lucy William’s book, Solaced, available on amazon.com). Some fear that being identified with corsets by letter writing, or by wearing the corset as an outer fashion garment, or even by stealthing and being outed in some way, will bring opprobrium down on their head. They don’t see sufficient benefit of posting public comments or writing letters to editors or to authors of articles to correct wrong statements about corsets, to provide personal examples of positive benefits, or to make comments on style, design, and construction. I wonder how truly harmful those comments would be, really, or even if they would hear any at all? Most folks are into their own things and go about their business with little regard for others who might be tangential.

Perhaps we succumb to imagined trauma when there is none these days? Corsets are worn visibly and are ubiquitous outside of a fetish content. With nearly 400 international corset makers showing their wares on the web and rushing out gorgeous custom creations to hundreds if not thousands of clients all over the world?

A  rather new BFF of mine is subject to the connection of wearing corsets with both delight, and with shame. Recently she picked up a stunning, comfy and well fitting new overbust corset by Sheri (pictured here with lavendar paisley corset fitting properly; note there is no “toothpaste” protruding underneathe her arms; nor in the back which is not pictured) who is now our preferred ROMANTASY CORSETIERE (send us email for a direct referral to work with Sheri on your design and style needs).

My friend doesn’t feel comfortable enough to let her 40-year old daughter know that she is wearing a corset as a foundation garment, yet her daughter commented on her good posture and lovely bosom supported properly by an overbust style.  In addition, she has gotten many favorable comments even tho viewers don’t know she is wearing a corset, many along the lines of “Wow–you look great; that inspires me to start losing some weight too!”

Her daughter questioned the height of her mom’s bosom in the corset. Of course the corset needs some seasoning to fit better over time, and it needs to be pulled a bit down on my friend’s body (with the lean-pull technique).

As another example, the client, not my new friend, pictured here is wearing a red Chinese polysilk underbust style corset too high on her torso, allowing her lower stomach to protrude outward. She pulled the corset down about one inch and lo! it fit perfectly!

My BFF needs to remember that a corset tends to rise when sitting for a while, and over a day of wearing. Wearing a corset takes some attention and some tinkering with height and lacing down; the best fit requires some adjustment during the day until the corset settles on the body. Of course, we’re so used to seeing ourselves slump under loose clothing styles, that just seeing better posture looking back in the mirror can be stunning, even shocking, and take some getting used to. Most of all, my newly-corseting friend needs to heed my advice to delay any negative — or positive ultimate conclusion if corsets are for her or not.

Aside from potential negative or ill-informed comments that need to be corrected when they occur in the media, often corsets in the news are simply left out in any discussion about health or body size or shape, or about fat, obesity, and diet challenges.

That’s true of one New York Times Magazine’s article from this past Sunday (see below). It’s as if corsets and corset waist training just don’t exist, much like society has treated women as not existing in  conversations conducted and dominated by men in the boardroom and conference hall. Women have to push their way in and speak up to be heard; it takes courage. Courage is more important than courtesy, as Senator Kamala Harris believes (she’s publishing a button with that saying, and I’m waiting for mine to wear proudly).

I urge you to consider pushing your way into any misguided corset conversation, or where your informed comment may be relevant, so that these wonderful garments and their many benefits become more broadly available in the consciousness of anyone who wants to improve their posture and/or lose weight or waistline inches. It’s one more option of self-improvement that has nothing to do with dieting and everything to do with feeling good, fashionable, feminine, comfy, and au courant!! We need every voice to speak up to address “The Corset Question” and diminish it’s ludicrousness and invented foundational belief that corsets cause pain.

On another point, one person reminded me to confront statements like I used to make, that modern day corsetry well fit and custom, is a lot more comfy than Victorian corsets were. But that’s simply not true — or women would have been complaining and not wearing them a long time ago!  Any custom corset properly fit, then slowly seasoned and worn properly on the torso and with respect to the body’s messages about comfort and health, can be beneficial, and almost never detrimental to health and well being if common sense is applied in the wearing.

If you want to know how to safely and sanely waist train, check out what a doctor, nutritionist, and corsetmaker say about my new “how to waist train” primer book (just $14.95 online). It can help ease your way into comfy waist training, and avoid most pesky problems that might occur for some.

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Letter to the Editor, New York Times 8/8/17

Dear Editor:

I feel for Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s angst about weight  (“Losing It”, NYT Magazine 8/6/17). However, the public obsession pro or con fat (or whatever PC term we are supposed to use now), is about sexism at base. Women at the other end of the weight spectrum get trashed, too. Society thinks it’s just fine to lob cruel public comments at thin and fat women. What’s sad is that Taffy has not found anything to help but the old saws of superfoods, bariatric surgery, and the like. She could think entirely out of the box, and try corset waist training. It’s a fashionable and fun approach that’s completely unrelated to dieting. Simply don a beautifully crafted custom corset to immediately improve posture plus comfortably nip inches off any persons’s waistline. Soon looking better translates into feeling better, as do the positive public comments you’ll receive. Meanwhile the corset mandates portion control: overeat and the resulting discomfort reminds you to resist the next time you eat. I’ve coached students in the initial three-month process for 25 years. Wearing a corset gives them time for stomachs to become less elastic, and encourages the development of new, beneficial nutrition, food, and exercise choices. It shrinks the waistline in an amazingly short time, and you can lose weight if you want to. Better yet, like wearing panties or a bra, wearing a comfy corset occasionally becomes second nature to a woman so that we continue to reap the lifelong rewards of the initial success that every single student I’ve coached has experienced. ###

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Good posture and corsets–initial thoughts on what the Alexander Technique might add to your comfort during waist training

I believe that the most immediate, and perhaps most beneficial, result of wearing corsets and corset waist training, is improved posture. So is the result of the Alexander Technique–the topic of today’s blog.

It is only after some months of dedicated corset wearing, coupled with corset-friendly nutrition practices and waist-targeted exercises, that temporary figure improvement can be converted into permanent figure improvement — if you then don’t pig out on Krispy Kreme donuts and revert to dubious nutritional practices. After all, we have to use common sense when it comes to corseting, as in  all other matters of life!

Recently I’ve started learning about and pursuing lessons in the Alexander Technique (“AT”). My immediate motivation relates to a lingering whiplash cervical injury given to me by a particularly incompetent Chinese wife of my Chinese acupunturist, sad to say. In a moment of pain and depression from a lingering low back muscle spasm, last November I allowed her to manipulate my spine and neck before acupuncture– and three days later, just as with a car accident, the neck injury appeared. I should have known better, but I was too vulnerable. I’m still seeking relief and recovery, which is coming all too slowly for my taste.

Raven, my great friend and web mistress, only a few weeks ago found a video on the Alexander Technique, and “felt” it was for me. I’ve considered cold laser threatment, Feldenkrais, and other. I’ve pursued competent physical therapy, and started swimming three times a week at my warm rehab pool (such a blessing to have the Pomeroy Center in San Francisco!). I’m still not 100% and my neck causes me from mild to serious pain or discomfort every day.

When I viewed the video on the AT that Raven sent a link to, and a few others on the technique, I was gobsmacked. Something seemed to resonate with me about AT theory and practice. I particularly loved it when a local San Francisco AT therapist, in describing the technique and practice, called it: “the thinking person’s physical therapy.”

Like the AT, corset waist training, to be both effective and safe, requires advance thinking and understanding of the whys and hows of what you are doing. That’s why I wrote my initial (600 page equivalent) book in 2003 Corset Waist Training, and updated it substantially with new information, in my Primer book from 2016 (300 pages). But in some ways, the corset and corset waist training, does not go far enough — and there’s where the AT comes in.

The corset, much akin to how a physical therapist or gym trainer works, changes the form of the body, but there’s not too much advance thinking involved, and usually, not much discussion or study from those who jump right in. Sure, there is the “right form” advisable for physical exercises so that we don’t injure ourselves inadvertently. I talk a lot about that in my exercise chapter from the new 2016 corset waist-training book. Starting with the “TVA” squeeze or “set” of that important waistline muscle, minimized injury risks in many exercises. My own wonderful Kaiser PT Matt Sheehy, made sure to teach me the “right” form for my back rehab exercises, however those sessions were only 30 min. long (curse the state of the US health care system) and there was limited time to be sure I knew what I was doing. There was almost never the time to find out “why” I was being asked to do what. Had there been more discussion, then I could have gone off and reflected deeply about those reasons. For me, that’s the way I cement new learning into my body, mind and soul, otherwise it is too easy to just slip away outside of my PT’s office.

If you wear corsets to protect your back from further or new injury, to improve your posture and fit of clothing, and/or to waist train, you might want to look into the Alexander Technique which I believe can be practiced effectively and beneficially in tandem with corseting. Check out this post based on the the AT, and an important mid-page photo showing improper and proper sitting posture.

“Posture isn’t just physical.  It’s a psychophysical (mind/body) state that we get into in response to our environment, technology, emotions, furniture, and people with whom we interact.  It’s easy to get stuck in these habits and then metaphorically spin in circles trying to get out of them.   We can make things worse by trying to fix them in away that intensifies the exact habits that we are trying to change (i.e. The lifting the chest and pulling the shoulders back phenomenon.)”

I was gobsmacked to learn from my talented, amazing local AT therapist. Elyse Shafarman, that unless we think about posture and take ameliorative steps to re-learn correct, non-stressful body habits, we merely take on and reflect, the poor posture of others. “We are social animals,” Elyse says, and we unconsciously pick up on not only the energy and spirit of others–but also how they look and move throughout their day.

I was also gobsmacked to learn form Elyse, that good posture does not mean throwing our shoulders and head up and back! It’s almost the opposite in the AT: the top of the head is “thought” to rise up a wee bit, the chin slightly (ever so slightly) down and the head almost “bobbles” easily on the neck, gently stretching out the cervical spine and elevating the entire spine. At the same time, the shoulder blades are “thought” to expand outward, and I have to learn not to squeeze my scapula, AKA “chicken wings”, backward.

But of course, there’s more — much more to AT, and for me to learn. After all, two lessons does not an AT expert make!

As I’ve been practicing these techniques and new thoughts for the past two weeks during my twice-daily walks, I’ve noticed that as soon as I think of spreading out or widening my shoulder blades, I always notice that my shoulders have automatically hunched up! While my cincher or corset worn on some days, tends to keep my midriff erect and protected, it does nothing to protect or alleviate discomfort in my shoulders and neck.

Even my high-backed corset (there are two or mine pictured, first the  white corset mesh with green and blue patterned bone casings, and above, the hot pink denim corset; the green high-backed corsets is modeled by corsetiere Sue Nice’s sister), at 10″ and 9″ from waist up to top in the back, can only do so much to alleviate neck discomfort and improve posture. Lingerie-style support bodices that promise to hold back the shoulders, also seem to “cut” under my armpits in the most uncomfy of ways.

I’ll post more on what I learn and observe over the coming weeks. If you have studied the AT, I’d love to hear from you as to what you noted, and the results of your practice.

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What if you don’t like corsets? (Or will I like them?)

Ms. Kiska, my present waist training student who is just about to conclude her three-month experiment and coaching in figure shaping, just wrote: “Unfortunately my corset feels like more of a nuisance than not.”

This is after almost 12 weeks of daily wearing her custom training corset, less one day per week, and after building up slowly in hours and tightness in lacing down so the process is comfy in general. She chose a well-fitting and extremely comfy training corset by Sheri, who patterns out over the rib cage more than others might, in order to allow for easier breathing and flexibility of movement. That’s why we recommend Sheri for waist training students who will have to work up to long hours of wear, and also for a second corset when you have dropped some fat and inches off your torso and waist to leave mainly muscle, and need to go more slowly and make sure it is comfy when you lace down to the next level. Sheri’s corsets are perfect for either person!

You’ll see Ms. K. in her underbust cotton corset by Sheri, pictured before she began waist training, so this corset doesn’t fit “the best”. That’s because she had to lace loosely and wear it loosely to begin training, to enhance her own comfort and let the corset gradually ‘breathe’ and accustom itself to her torso in return. In that manner you minimize the risk that you might damage your corset, altho with Sheri’s sturdy creations that is highly unlikely to begin with.

Of course to me, a 100 percent corset enthusiast, Ms. K’s message initially made me feel a bit sad. I had kept hope that over three months as she seasoned her new corset and got used to longer hours wearing it six days a week, it would become more comfortable and she would take a shine to it as well as to her shrinking waistline and improved posture.

Regarding the last two items, a shrinking waistline and improved posture, she did take a shine! But regarding the actual corset, and corset wear, she clearly did not.

Still, Ms. K. intends after formal training to keep up better nutrition choices she has learned, and some new exercises that target her waistline muscles to keep them toned and under control, but plans only occasionally to wear her training corset. We’ll soon share her simple but sound Maintenance Plan and final training results in the next blog.

As I thought about her reactions to a corset, I reflected on the incredible range of reasons that anyone might choose to wear a corset. I thought back on thousands and thousands of corsets clients I’ve served over my 27 years in the corset education and purveying/designing business. I also reflected on the 100 stories of why and how people who wrote to Lucy Williams, the young corset enthusiast from Canada, wore their corsets. Check out Lucy’s fascinating book collecting these stories, “Solaced,” available for Kindle on amazon.

If I have learned one thing in my 27 years focusing on this magical garment, it is that every individual reacts differently to wearing corsets (and to waist training). It is simply impossible to know how a specific person  will “take” to wearing a corset, and how one will find a corset useful in one’s life, if they take to corsets at all. Not everyone loves the garment!

Yesterday I tried corsets and corset muslins on my BFF Letha, pictured here wearing a muslin  of an overbust Victorian corset underneath her black outfit. She has decided she wants an overbust foundation corset to improve her posture and figure, plus  improve the fit of her clothing as she, like me, ages gracefully into her 70s. Letha loved the look and feel!

Within a few try-ons of a corset (her first ever!) and maybe 10 total minutes, she was strutting around the living room admiring herself in the mirror, laced down 5.5″ from her natural waist measurement. Yup. In about ten minutes! It stunned us both.

Obviously Letha is the type of client who is relatively plastic (“squishy”) in her midriff and can easily lace down. More importantly, she has no aversion to a relatively new feeling for her of wearing a body-fitting, closely structured garment on her torso. That was a bit surprising to me because her typical way of dressing is to wear flowing, artistic clothing.

Letha reminds me a bit of “Frankie” in the wonderful tv series “Frankie and Grace” if you have seen it? She’s experimental, adventurous, and cheerful, just the kind of personality I like and resonate with. I think she expected to like corsets–and she did! (If you haven’t seen the show, run, don’t walk, to rent the series. It’s a pure hoot, with wonderful actors Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda and a terrifically funny and heartwarming story line to boot).

So how will you know if you will ‘take’ to corsets? You won’t know for sure if you have never worn them or tried them on. But if you tend to like tight belts, panty hose, boned shapewear, fitted clothing like princess seams and well-fitted waistlines in pants and dresses, and tight jeans, you will likely take to corsets and to waist training as well. But then this guideline doesn’t explain Letha’s positive reaction, since she had never tried on a formal corset!

So keep your mind open to corsets, expect to like them, and if you can do so, try a fit sample corset on and lace it snugly (but not quickly!) to see if you like the feeling.

If you don’t have access to a try-on corset, then get a wide belt and belt down snugly or tightly. Try to keep the corset or belt on for more than five minutes! The more minutes you can wear a structured garment, the better you will be able to tell how you will react to the real thing. Stand up, sit down, walk around and if you can, eat a light meal to see how your stomach will feel while corseted.

Hopefully the real thing you finally choose, will be a well-fitting custom corset made especially for you, and not a dubiously-fitting readymade or over-the-counter OTC corset. You usually  can’t go wrong with custom, whereas you can easily go wrong with an uncomfy, non-individually fitted OTC choice.

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Filed under Custom Corsets Suitable for Waist Training, General, General Waist Training Information