Category Archives: Hot Topics on Health

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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Not so difficult to understand after all: habit and motivation re-visited

Toni before and after corsetingI’ve long been fascinated with the power of habit and motivation especially when it comes to corset waist training. That includes my fascination with who makes it work to reach their figure-shaping goals, and who does not.

Today’s morning news show on ABC-TV featured a visit by author James Clear and discussion of his new New York Time‘s Best Seller Atomic Habit. Clear boiled down his theories and confirmed a few to which I have always subscribed. It all seems so simple, even if what moves us to implement those theories remains so mysterious. Here they are:

1. Get clear about your goals, don’t worry about “motivation.”

I have students set numerical goals before they start, in inch reductions and weight reduction desired (they are two separate things and you don’t have to do both!), and how tightly they want to wear their corset for how many hours to improve their record by the end of training.

2. Start small, maybe very small.

There are only three elements to effective waist training:  a regular schedule or corset wear six days a week, waist-targeted exercise (not aerobic or weight training or Crunch or any specific general program and not even at a gym), and corset-friendly eating and nutrition habits (note that I do not use the word “diet” since that is not a relevant concept today no matter if you are waist training or not in an attempt to lose inches or weight).

3. Never miss twice; re-start fast, like the next day.

I advise setting only a 95% personal goal of completion of the program elements; it is impossible to hold ourselves accountable for 100% completion. That is doomed to failure from the start. Give yourself a bit of leeway to be human, to encounter daily crises that take all your time and attention, not to mention energy. However, the next day add a few more minutes to the 20 mins of waist-targeted exercises the first month (then 30 min. the second and 40 min. the third), or wear the corset two hours more than on your plan the next two days, and that sort of thing. Push yourself a wee bit to make time up, but don’t punish yourself and just quit because you have fallen off the waist-training wagon!

4. Lock in a “commitment device” such as a buddy who will show up at 6 am for that morning run and you’ll be embarrassed if you let her down (social accountability).

I’m keen on the idea of a Waist Training Buddy, not necessarily someone who trains with you, but that can work, too. Choose someone who can provide a delicious and effective form of competition that can work well to motivate you. I adore Pandora, a well-known ex-pat American living in Britain, who has about the same figure measurements and weight as I do. She was corsetier Michael Garrod’s favorite model (he passed in 2003) and I got to know her at various corset events and appearances at ROMANTASY boutique from 1990 to 1998 when it closed. We loved to tight lace and go hours testing our resolve at various corset events, but I’ll never forget her sense of humor at the end when occasionally she would say, “Ok Ann, now we’re ready. Let’s remove our corsets and go get a pizza!”

Clear also answered a typical question of “how long will it take to lock in a new habit?” His answer? “Forever.”

His point is one I make when students ask me, “Will corset waist training results last?” I tend to answer, “No, if you go out the next day and start pigging out on Krispy Kreme donuts!” You know what I mean.

The only thing with which I disagree, is the author’s advice to forget goals and concentrate on getting into place a system that works. I agree with that, but I think a system should be proceeded with a goal, one that is (1) reasonable, (2) do-able, (3) consistent with your lifestyle so that you are likely to pursue it, and (4) slightly under what is probable to accomplish and one that you probably will pursue to the end of your period of training.

I tell my students that I would rather them set a goal slightly under what they think they want and can accomplish, so that they will more than likely reach it, and be inspired.

Sideview 2009 Waist-training Student, Cat, after 9 weeks of training

Inspired to do what? Keep going for one thing. No one says you have to corset waist train for three months, or three weeks. You can set multiple increments of waist training, one right after the other, or one every year for a re-set and weight/measurement check, or one periodically over many years on occasions when you find yourself slipping back into bad eating habits such as portion overloading or stress and mindless eating.

Inspired to do what? Celebrate! Women tend to resonate to that point more than men. Men seem to go directly for their goal then move on without taking a moment to savor victory, or during the training process to seek out others to appreciate progress and let the trainee show off. More’s the pity.

Having a “rah rah” section as Marie, an awesome tight-lacer once told me, is a necessary component of successful waist training, at least for her. Having someone appreciate and celebrate your effort as well as your successes along the way, can inspire you to continue to take better care of yourself after training ends.

It’s all pretty simple. Now what will start you moving forward in your New Year’s Resolutions that about 80% of us break by the end of January every year?

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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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July pill hits market to cause waistline inch loss — only one inch in six months????

Interesting article on DuPont’s pill, Howaru Shape. The weight-loss product is mainly a probiotic, but DuPont also provides a combo of probiotic and fiber. Apparently the probiotic along caused one inch waistline loss in six? months in the research group. I don’t want to mislead anyone and have not read other than a brief summary of the research;  there are obviously other details in the study. Note that one research group taking the dual-time pill lost over 4% in body fat and one waistline inch loss plus added muscle, so there are beneficial results to be sure.

But, what’s of interest is this:

Here’s our lovely Kiska pictured. She completed our formal corset waist training (three months of coaching) in early May. These show before and after pictures not altered in any way, one set corseted and one set natural. You can note that by the end of the three months Kiska could rather easily close the training corset and wear it up to 10 hrs a day.

Here’s another picture of her before and after posture without the corset. Amazing, no?

Importantly, Kiska dropped over two inches and 10 lbs in her waistline in three months–which leads me to ask:

Can’t DuPont’s pills do any better than one waistline inch loss in six months?

Hmmmmm……I’m wondering what six months of DuPont’s pills cost?

Our coaching program is $400 (plus another $100 is taken on deposit but returned to you if you successfully complete the full coaching program. If you do not for any reason, then we donate $100 to our battered women’s shelter, La Casa de las Madres. How the coaching program works is accurately described on our website.

I’ve occasionally read questions online as to why anyone would “need” a coach for waist training? Some do not and some do.

To be sure, there is a lot of information out there these days online by corset makers, many quite reputable and knowledgeable about corsets. Some have hundreds of clients, but none to my knowledge have formally coached 30 or more students since 1998 when we took on our first student (a man from London, P.H.)

In addition, there is a lot of sharing of information by those with little experience, and experience counts for a lot to help the newbie not waste time by re-inventing the training wheels, or panicking at any little twinge or tweak while corseting.

The more you know — the easier the go in corset waist training!

 

 

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The Most Perplexing Thing about Corset Waist Training

“You’ve got to give yourself two, three, four years of consistent behavioral changes (after maximum effort to lose weight/shape up). That is hard work. You’re building new habits. And that takes time,” Bellatti says.

I’ve read about the facts covered in the above July article, that The Biggest (weight) Losers from the tv show of that name, gain most or all of their weight back — and some gain even more.Why?

I’ve read explanations that hormonal changes dictate this result, or that during strict dieting one’s metabolism slows down and remains down even when one starts to eat more after a diet ends.

The above article summarizes a position I’ve come to, that yes, there are genetic and complex metabolic processes going on that we cannot change, but that is not the be all and end all of maintaining a healthy waist size over the years. Behavior change and sound decision making are also important. I call it “acting like an adult and not letting your adolescent rule your eating choices and behavior.”

One aspect of behavior change that can have a positive effect on the figure and weight, involves fashion. Start wearing a corset!

Wearing a well-fitting, attractive, fashionable custom corset either as foundation wear or on the outside of clothing, is not only effective in controlling portions of food and encouraging better posture (especially holding in the lower belly), it is darned fun!

For women who often from childhood play around with clothing, fashion, style, and color, designing a corset then wearing it as a piece of sexy lingerie can be the opposite of what one might expect. Not only is that type of corset not painful — it’s comfortable and it quickly becomes easy to wear and to slowly lace down as inches drop off the waistline,  and even pounds drop off if you want that, too (each result requires a bit of a different approach to corseting).

Not long ago the Sunday Magazine of the NYT had an article authored by a curvy woman who had tried every conceivable diet and approach to weight loss, to improving her health, and to reducing long-term risk, except she failed to mention corseting (see recent blog comment). Clearly, she was unaware of common-sense corset waist training, or had set it aside as an option she would not try (nor did she try expensive, extreme bariatric surgery, thank goodness!).

To me, that’s the most perplexing thing about corset waist training. Not only is it not a diet, it’s not onerous, it’s not hard (tho it can be challenging as one gets used to a structured garment rather than sloppy t-shirts we are more accustomed to wearing these days), it doesn’t take all that long to see results — and — it’s darn right fun! (Did I say that before?) Just like wearing a lacy bra and panties, corset waist training can go on the rest of one’s life (after proper seasoning of a new corset and getting used to it).

One of my three-month waist-training program coaching students told me that each morning when she woke up, she absolutely delighted in rushing to put on her gorgeous waist-training corset. She used that motivation to stay in the corset the required number of hours scheduled for that day, and she found it not all that difficult to do even when the hours each day built up to 10 or more in the latter part of her program, and at tighter lacing-down levels.

We recommend you don’t opt for a readymade, dull, boring underbust corset in which to waist train. Go for fully custom, go for colors, fabrics, and designs that you believe to be artistic and attractive, add a bit of embellishment (some is fine even if the corset is worn under clothing), and get something you love and will be attracted to.

True, some fabrics are a bit more delicate and if the corset is worn under clothing, the fabric may “rub” and threads become loosened over time. There are possible fixes to that (installation of outer bone casings to reinforce fabric or as we did in one case, removed the polysilk front busk and replaced it with cotton twill leaving the polysilk corset otherwise intact). The ivory paisley polysilk and peach cotton-backed satin corset pictured here, is from Bettina, one of my favorite, serious corset enthusiast clients. It is just lovely — and functional, and some years later after a good bit of wear, is still intact!

 

I have always trained in a simple hourglass cotton-backed satin corset such as the black one pictured here, one usually made by Ruth Johnson/BR Corsets. My old corset is showing a bit of scuffing along the front busk. Sometimes the braid trim I’ve added to a corset will fray, but with this minor issue or with eventual scuffing, the structure remains sound.

With a beautiful corset attractive to you, you’ll enjoy the adventure of corset waist training, and most likely begin to see some results in a few months, as most of my dedicated clients and waist-training students have seen.

(Orange polysilk corset by Sue Nice on model Ana; Bettina’s corset by Jill Hoverman; black and paisley corset on model Jasmine, by Jill Hoverman).

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