Category Archives: Hot Topics on Health

Sugar Addendum

My partner and I have been in the process of downsizing and simplifying our life, which is a very complex, detailed and difficult process indeed! I do hope “simple” and easy is at the end.

Yesterday he handed me a collection of some small, very old honey packets called “Honey Sauce” we got some time ago from Col. Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food restaurant. Accustomed as I am these days–but not when we collected these–of reading labels, here is what I learned about the contents of each 2″ x 1″ packet:

Ingredients:  High fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sugar, honey, fructose, caramel color, molasses, water, citric acid, natural and artificial flavor, and malic acid. (NB I photoed this packet and tried to upload it here, but I got a “not permitted for security reasons” notice when I tried. Now how the heck did KFC do that?)

In other words, each small packet contains SIX different kinds of sugar — and to make matters worse, honey is the fourth item in the list!

I ask you now, why does honey of “Honey  Sauce” need MORE sugar, and even MORE AND MORE, not to mention color, water and flavors added of any kind to plain old honey?

Plain and simple organic honey is just delicious (local is the best for tamping down blossom allergies) and it’s a white sugar substitute that I can live with in moderate quantities, just as I can live with chopped or mashed dates or bananas used to sweeten, or Truvia or Stevia to cook with.

I’m now going to toss these packets where they belong — O>U>T!!!

Our  recent Sf Examiner newspaper just had a column by Drs. Oz and Roizen that pointed to research that “now shows” that high-fat sugar-packed diets create similar impulses as does marijuana, by stimulating our body’s endocannabinoid system to make us very hungry!

Not a good thing if you are on a corset waist-training process. You want to minimize your hunger p0angs in every way possible to make your journey comfy, easy and effective in the long run. Now I know one reason how they say that eating sugar makes you want to eat even more sugar. The easiest way to control your sugar intake is to avoid sugar to begin with. That may take a little time (a few weeks or months) and effort (perhaps some headaches or nausea in the early stages) but going Cold Turkey makes more sense to me personally, and it is what I advise my waist-training students to do for three short months of their adventure.

Ms. K, my present student who is just completing her second week of training, opines that this request regarding diminishing if not omitting white added sugar, is part of the “extremity” of waist training and what I request. Note that I do not ‘require’ anything of my students; I might stress heavily facts that I know are sound from my own experience , from 27 years in the corset business, and from 16 yrs in the coaching business in figure shaping. But the choice is hers to make.

Just because life is complex and there are many motivators, many temptations, and many components to cause or address obesity or over weight, those things do not obviate the fact that we also have choices to make. Some choices are way better to honor our body and tend to improve our health over the long run. Which choices will you make?

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Distraction and Diversion – Pros and Cons in Waist Training

The news today on ABC-TV’s  “Good Morning America” (I admit to watching this fluffy, popular, and pop news channel in the mornings with my scrambled egg, half a piece of bacon, and Pixie espresso) was amazing– an absolute bombardment of miscellany that somehow relates to corset waist training via today’s topic of distraction and diversion. It included but was not limited to:

  • The first boy doll ‘Logan’, was released by “American Doll”–(and it’s only 2017, just about 60 yrs. since the advent of the Women’s Liberation movement, of which I, and many good men of course, was a proud early member.) Parents and children of both genders are apparently pleased.
  • 88% of people age 19 to 24 admit to driving while texting, or running a red light.
  • Flynn was fired from Trump’s cabinet for lying to Trump (not to mention to the public) about discussing with the Russian ambassador, and diminishing the potential effect after Jan. 20, of  Obama’s earlier sanctions against Russia for hacking our election process.
  • Other Trump staff are now reported to have been in contact with Russia long before the transition period, during the election run-up (is anyone, D or R, truly surprised?)
  • Spicer in his news conference re: Flynn, said (in relevant part), “there’s no information that would conclude me that anyone was in contact with Russia before the transition period”.  Anyone notice the wrong words that news reporters are more commonly using than in the past? Is the teaching of correct grammar and the English language now defunct in US schools?
  • “Eat less, move more” is once again in the news, with a “new study” showing that belly fat and the apple shape are associated with increased risk of high cholesterol, diabetes and more. Too simplistic, right? And ubiquitous public health information of the sort proposing this solution to obesity doesn’t seem to be helping.

There are multiple reasons that I eschew pop news for weeks on end and from time to time, refusing to watch anything but PBS’s evening news program and the Financial News, plus CSPAN when a meaty program on the US or world affairs is being presented. Of course I love my Sunday New York Times, where I often find substantial articles on health and nutrition, topics directly relevant to my professional focus on corset waist training.

Slide Open MouthNews is dismally appalling and negative these days. I have a good friend who won’t watch the TV or read hardcopy news at all, except for an occasional peek at Facebook news. Pop or entertainment news is pitifully brief and all over the place, like the above. It routinely upsets me. It leads me down multiple paths of diversion and distraction. These days I fire off letters to my Senators or the White House to avoid doing nothing but fuming. Some claim that pop news or any news or programs lead me to eat more (and usually forget my manners) when I dine in front of the TV and not at my table.

Of course, I imagine pop news leads me to be sort of “up to date” when I’m not an avid fan of social media but only an occasional user. I like my privacy and prefer my friends face-to-face and where I can delve more into meaningful, detailed  conversations such as on personal email compared to 140-character tweets.

I learned recently about a beneficial effect of diversion and distraction.

Dr. Patrick Wall, the author of highly-recommended Pain: The Science of Suffering, taught me that distraction can be a powerful pain-killer. We have to focus on pain in order to feel it. We have to pay attention to injury, to be in pain. If we are distracted, we don’t feel pain until later if at all. Witness the rush of adrenaline when we are injured or in danger, allowing us to rescue or take care of others before we turn to focus on our own discomfort or tragedy.

I also learned from Painful Yarns by Lorimer Moseley, also highly recommended (watch his hilarious TED talk on YouTube) that  all pain is not tissue-derived. Some or a lot of it comes from our brains firing off neurons designed to warm of “pain” in order to protect us, but that felt pain while real, is also “not real” or  exaggerated. Just learning that fact helped me enormously on my daily walks to rehab a recent back spasm (another one!). When I occasionally trip or step off a curb a bit hard onto the street, I don’t now overreact and imagine that it is painful. I remain more objective, continue on and think about the situation. Did the trip really cause me tissue-oriented pain? I never has so far. The concept has proved beneficial for my recovery.

My present waist training coaching program student, Ms. K (pictured at the start of her program on Feb 7, left) is having a bit of a hard time  moving up in hours of corset wear a day, in the moderate training program she is following. We design a student’s program to gradually increase the no. of hours of wear from two for three days, to four for three days, to six for three days (or a img_0370similar increase, depending on several factors). A slow increase such as in this example, enhances comfort and tolerance of a new, stiff feeling of a structured garment such as the corset.

When she reached four continuous hours of wear at the latter part of her first week, my student mentioned that she wore her corset two hours, then lay down for two more hours to meet her program goals that day. But once she lay down, she stared at the clock and found that time went by very slowly. I believe she increased the difficulty of waist training by paying attention to time. It is when we ignore time (except to double check to ensure we don’t over-do our set program wearing hours), that time goes by very quickly.

I write about distraction as a technique for making waist training easier, in my new book, Corset Waist Training: a primer on easy, fun and fashionable waistline reduction.

When you build up to long hours of corset wear at tighter levels of restriction, you will surely hit the wall some day and want out of your corset. The key is not to move into pain or excruciating pain, but to be able to tolerate discomfort even to the edge of pain, so that you derive maximum benefit from the corset in your search to trim your figure and/or weight. Try the technique of distraction.

Take a walk, play with your pet, call a friend, send an email, read a chapter in your book, wash dishes–almost anything will do, and then go back to normal activities.

Also if you begin to experience discomfort into pain when corseting, remember Moseley’s point. Could it be that unfamiliar feelings of tight restriction, impediment to movement and breathing, folding of the skin and so on from lacing down, strike you as uncomfortable rather than just something neutral to observe and keep an eye on? Are you overreacting to a “not normal” feeling that your brain perceives as endangering your body and health?

I’ve never seen the above discussed  in any forum on corset waist training nor mentioned in any book on the topic. I’ll be thinking more about it to see if there are examples from my own corseting experience and that of my students, that can further enlighten me. Always happy to hear your thoughts!

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Is Waist Size a Valid Predictor of Risk to Health? We still think so–and so is lethargy!

I recently learned of a study from the University of Florida  published in the Annals of Family Medicine in July 2016, that found that slender people with “proper” BMIs, can be prediabetic! I also know they can have high cholesterol, as my 103-lb mom did in the later part of her life from age 80 on. The study says:

“By 2012, 19% of adults age 20 to 44 at a healthy weight had a blood glucose reading that met the criteria for prediabetes, and 33% of adults age 45 and older in the healthy weight range met the criteria.” Researchers believed that waist size does not predict prediabetes!

One possible cause researchers postulated for the problem for slender folks, was leading a sedentary lifestyle. But then–we knew that!

However, I still think that we should be very concerned about our waist size throughout our life. This was confirmed by another research report in part issued by Johns Hopkins University and reported at the 2016 American College of Cardiology Scientific Session.

“Researchers from the two centers found that abdominal obesity — or having an apple-shaped body — is a strong predictor of serious heart disease in patients who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and haven’t displayed any symptoms of heart disease…The researchers found that even independently of total body weight and body mass index or BMI, abdominal obesity was strongly associated with regional left ventricular dysfunction, which is a common cause of heart disease, including congestive heart failure.”

Reducing your waist size can reduce your risk — it’s just that simple and has been repeated over and over again.

Why corset waist training makes so much sense, came clear to me once more, reading the NY Times article “That Lost Weight? The body finds it, even for ‘the biggest loser’.” (reprinted NYT The Stories/2016 on 1/1/17). Writer Gina Kolata tells the sad stories of the majority of the tv show’s “The Biggest Losers” after they lose weight. Most all regain all and even more of their original weight.

That’s why this year’s research at ROMANTASY will be directed in major part at definining effective strategies to maintain weight loss/figure reshaping after corset waist training. Sure you can lose some inches in three months of our coaching program or just do it by yourself  (hopefully following principles and clear ‘how to’ procedures outlined in details in my new book on the topic). But will you keep it off?

There is an “easy-to-maintain” weight for most of us, and our body fights to get to it no matter if we go up or down. Especially up, it seems.

But, when you lose a lot of weight, your metabolism slows down and stays down, the article reports. And that point seems surprising. As you tend to add on pounds as most do after a diet, you keep adding pounds because your metabolism is worse, not better, and you can easily gain more weight than you lost!

The major problem reported by the Biggest Losers who gained weight back was — hunger!

They were always hungry, driven by the body to return to their previous heavier weight. (The mystery for me is, why if we are born slim and not fat and stay that way say, all thru high school, then put on 100 or more pounds as adults, the body does not revert to pushing us to return to our high school weight, rather than our adult over weight condition? The article did not answer that mystery).

Hunger is where corset waist training comes in, and wearing a corset three times a week, or sleeping in one each night, or some combination, is a strategy that that cuts down hunger. Just like bariatric surgery cuts down hunger for many, so does squeezing the tummy to a smaller size by corseting do the same. Yes,  bariatric surgery patients can gain a lot of weight back, some even their same pre-surgery weight, so I surmise that the tummy is stretching or expanding gradually as they abandon resolve to eat healthier and consume less, the way they are required to do shortly after that surgery (or I understand they can toss their cookies and it isn’t pleasant).

With corset wearing, you just can’t stretch your tummy beyond comfort unless you, too, want to toss your cookies — you can’t stretch your stomach if you wear the corset regularly, especially when cooking or eating, and use it as external pressure to keep the stomach’s natural expansiveness in check. You have a good chance of not putting on too many pounds if you also couple period corset wearing we call “maintenance training”, with a good bit of waist-targeted exercises most days of the rest of your life.

Regarding protecting our new figure and/or weight we achieve after some effort and by some means, the tv show trainer on The Biggest Loser, says contestants must exercise nine hours a week for the rest of their life and monitor their diets.

One of the contestants who bounded back to 450 again said “It’s kind of like hearing you have a life sentence.”

As if that’s a horrible thing to suffer? Who wouldn’t like to be self-indulgent, out of control, and hedonistic the rest of our life if there were no ill consequences? But their are!

Such an informative statement by the contestant tells us a lot about this person’s personality and understanding about life– or lack thereof!!!

Health is a life sentence. Maintaining weight is a life sentence. Being energetic is a life sentence. Seeking forgiveness when one must is a life sentence. Showing up for work on time is a life sentence (until retirement). Being a good mom or dad is a life sentence for certain! Caring about our aging parents is sometimes almost a life sentence. Being a compassionate helpful neighbor is a life sentence — and many of these things take effort.

It all depends on what you want in life and out of life, and who you want to be and be remembered as.

Helping each other by friendly support, entering our three-month coaching program if you respond to routine accountability and then staying in touch, or making new friends who will support your best efforts to live a full, reasonably happy, and healthy life, all seem to be answers. I’m of a firm belief that we can’t do life alone.

What do you find helps you make the right choices regarding your own figure and health? What helps you fight your hunger, and your urge to give in and give up and revert to childish choices?

 

 

 


Signature: Ann Grogan

CONFIDENTIAL PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT © ROMANTASY

CORSET WEAR PROGRAM ELEMENT PROPOSED FOR KISKA  (1/7/17)

Everyone differs in how they respond to wearing a corset and corset waist training. Therefore this proposed wearing element of a sound waist-training program can only be a guideline that should and must be adjusted by you and me as you move forward during training, according to your body’s messages back to you. Honor your body and strive for health above all especially if you develop any heart issues, ankle swelling, serious constipation, serious asthma, or any high blood pressure or serious low back pain. Minor aches and pains are to be expected for a few who waist train such as rib tenderness that passes in a day or so treated with ibuprofen.

If you wish further feedback or advice on the program suggested, please reply with your comments and any changes you prefer be made in what we propose for you

During training, please get in the habit of measuring your corset every two hours as it will or may tend to open up. Carry a tape measure with you in your purse or pocket, to work, and on chores outside of the home. Couple your wearing program with healthy nutrition and waist-targeted plus anerobic exercise (avoid frontal situps) (DETAILS TO COME).

Before training we recommend you take a set of photos in a snug leotard, shorts, or swimsuit/trunks from front, side and back. Take these again at the same time of day with same clothing and same tape measure mid term and at the end of your program. You will likely be amazed to see the progress you make, first in posture then in inches!

During training we recommend you write every day in a journal, typically at close of day before bedtime, with special notations made as to your physical and mental/emotional reactions, if any. Also we recommend use of an overall scale of 1 (easy) to 10 (pain). Note in your journal at end of day the right number of how difficult or challenging your day went, and make notes about why. This will help you identify foods, mood, stressors, physical swings or issues that arise, etc., that may impact your progress and either delay it or advance it.  It may also suggest that you need to extend your hours of wear by one or two hours from what is proposed, to make the program more challenging for you, in the range of 6-7 is what we recommend.

Remember to take and record your weight and rib cage, snug waist, and derriere measurements, in your journal on the same day of each week, once per week, likely on Tuesday mornings (Monday is your day off), using the same tape measure and the same scale. Always weigh at the same time of day. Be sure to gently “bounce” on any digital or other scale to overcome possible “stiction,” and to obtain the best accurate weight. You might step on and off the scale three times to be sure you get a consistent number to record each time you weigh.

Vacations or your day off do not provide an excuse for major deviations; 95% compliance should be your goal on a weekly basis. If you go off the schedule one day, then try your best to make up for it the next day by expanding your hours of wear, or extending your exercise period by half an hour, and get back on track.

Three months go by very, very quickly; you will achieve maximum waist reduction the first time you attempt corset waist training, so now is the time to put forth your best effort. Corset waist training will provide you with a very fun and fashionable adjunct to improve your health, posture, and well being.  It will be quite educational and fruitful. As we say: “the program works – if you work it!” We will be happy to learn about your results after the program is completed.

Proposed Goals at end of three months

1. From natural waist measurement of 34.5″ to 31.5″ waist. This is a reduction of 3″, or one inch per month. You can always continue the program for three more months to reach further. Is it acceptable to you?

Note that once you begin to lose waistline fat and develop more muscle and toning in your midriff, the more difficult it will be to lace down. You never want to move forward too fast with too tight of a second training corset. Be moderate and patient above all in what you attempt, and your results will prove more lasting as well as more dramatic in the long run.

2. You weigh      lbs. now. Weight from     to      lbs. seems manageable (under     lbs. per month). Note that weight reduction is less important than keeping an eye on inches lost. Note also that you can yo-yo up and down inch wise and weight wise; therefore look for a down trend in both or one, over a few weeks or even few months.

3. Wear your corset measured at 33.5″ over corset or 32.5 ” under the corset– an actual   2″ reduction when you start. At the end of your program when you will have a 31.5″ waistline and wear the corest closed at 30″ over or 29″ under,  for 10 continuous hours. Is this acceptable to you? It is do-able!

Wearing Program

I suggest that you use the following time/level of wear. You can adjust to a faster or slower pace mid way once you look at your progress/comfort level. You will start by wearing your corset laced down over the corset to   33 ” for 3 hrs (or 32.5″ under the corset, a 1.5″ actual reduction from your waistline). The first two weeks are your time to tinker with the proposed schedule, nutrition, etc., then settle in until mid-term to readjust.

Some students never see results until the last two weeks – so stay the full course. Do not give up until you complete your commitment to yourself and a proper trial period.

This assumes one day off per week from corseting, namely Sunday. You may choose Saturday or any other day and adjust the schedule below accordingly. “MTW” stands for Monday, Tuesday, Weds., and etc.

WEEK 1
MTW 33.5″/2 hrs (Your waist is 32.5″ under; Wear your corset for two hours consistently measured at 33.5″ over the corset)
TFS     33.5 /4 hrs (Wear your corset for four hours consistently measured at 33.5″ over the corset at the waistline)

If this is way too easy end of first week, then we will extend your hours before you lace down, the second week, for example,  33 .5 for 12 hrs. The key is to wear the corset consistently longer hours before you lace tighter. Moving up to 8 to 10 hrs. or 12 hrs per day is better than lacing down too quickly, if you do find the program too easy for you the first two weeks.

WEEK 2
MTW 33.5/6 hrs
TFS   33.5/8 hrs

We will adjust your schedule below, if the above has been too easy and you have moved up in hours, plus your 1 to 10 daily ‘comfort/challenge’ scale has been below 5 most of the days.  Strive to be at 6 to 7 in terms of challenge, each day after the full wearing is complete, during your corset training period.

WEEK 3
MTW 33/2
TFS   33/4
WEEK 4
MTW 33/6
TFS   32.5/2
WEEK 5
MTW 32.5/4
TFS   32.5/6
WEEK6
MTW 32/2
TFS   32/4

Mid-Term:  Now is the time to draft your Maintenance Planto implement after you complete your first period of formal training.

WEEK 7
MTW 32/6
TFS   31.5/3
WEEK 8
MTW 31.5/6
TFS   31.5/9
WEEK 9
MTW 31/3
TFS   31/6
WEEK 10
MTW 31/9
TFS   30.5/3
WEEK 11
MTW 30.5/6
TFS   30/3; Now your corset will be closed in back entirely perhaps closed entire top to bottom.
Now is the time to finalize your formal Maintenance Plan. Read Chapter 10 in book Corset Magic.
WEEK 12
MTW 30/6
TFS 30/10 (29″ under the corset)

Note you will have reached your wearing goal of wearing the corset at 30″ over the corset (29″ under the corset) for 10  consistent hours! Congratulations! Your natural waist should then be 31.5″ so you are lacing down 2.5″. This should be very comfortable for you.).

If you do not achieve this particular set of goals, do not be concerned. Simply extend your program in a similar methodical fashion for one to three more months, keeping the same discipline and the same records. Some people simply take longer than others to see satisfactory results occur. The point is to be consistent and view waist training as akin to a marathon, not a sprint. Take heart and continue to nurture yourself and your health!

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There is Hope for the Hopeful Health Optimist in 2017!! (Check our The Amazing Ana, below)

FCM - Ashlee before and afterA New Year signifies new hope. That’s why I love January 1!

So let’s talk about hope — and our bodies and health. After all is said and done, better health (and posture) is what corset waist training is all about. (See Ashlee, the amazingly successful student of our three month corset waist training coaching program, left.)

My therapist BFF calls me a “corset Pollyanna” — a lover of all things corset (custom, that is) — coupled with being a hopeless optimist.

Actually, I’m a hopeful optimist!

Today’s NY Times had an article, “A Month Without Sugar.” The writer who tried what I tried 1.5 years ago and gave up all sugar (except fruit sugars), did what I did — survived the month.  I don’t know if his resolve continues, but mine does (save that I occasionally eat a bit of honey and can now indulge in– get this: eating one candy corn or  two small bites of cake–every long while!)  because the results were phenomenally good for me, as they would be for you, I am convinced.

My relevant point today, January 1, is that there is hope.

There is hope when it comes to us taking better care of ourselves to be our healthiest, and usually that includes omitting added sugars from our nutrition program. For some it includes trying the effective process known as “corset waist training.” featured as the main title of my new December book, A Primer on Easy, Fun and Fashionable Waistline Reduction.

The NYT’s author points out that the understanding of sugar’s dangers to health has led to a backlash against it, in both political action and in our personal diets.

Politically, taxes on sugary drinks were passed in my city last year, and the author points out they are also in existence in Chicago, Philadelphia Oakland, and Boulder. Mexico and France now have such taxes as well, and Ireland and Britain are not far behind, he says. I’m convinced it’s a national trend, but one that does not go far enough, and that might even be unfair to Big Cola for being singled out. Why should colas be taxed and not Twinkis, M&Ms, and other candy bars, for example? But let’s leave politics for a moment to focus on the real issue today.

I discuss hope in my new book; here is what I say:

mivabranncopperarm“There is hope.

“Modest improvements have been made nationwide in the United States, but they are ‘extremely unevenly spread, with most changes happening among more educated Americans,’ says Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health. A paper he helped write, published in December, 2015 in Health Affairs, reported that Americans’ diets had improved in quality from 1999 to 2012, with a reduction in trans fats, small increases in fiber, and less soda consumption. However, most of those advances were not happening among lower-income, less formally educated Americans.

“I was also pleasantly surprised by a July 24, 2015 article by Margo Sanger-Katz, ‘Americans Are Finally Eating Less.’ She reported that fewer calories are finally being eaten in this country, with the most propitious results for families with children. Soda drinking has dropped about 35 percent from the late 1990s. Dr. Willett says that, finally, childhood obesity rates are not rising, according to the Center for Disease Control (New York Times, December 12, 2015). Disappointingly, Americans have not cut back on sugar and desserts.

“But with the influence of Big Food overseas, I often wonder if these improvements have translated around the world. Still there is hope; one study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and reported in The Lancet on August 30, 2014, said that ‘since 2006 (until 2013) the increase in adult obesity in developed countries has slowed down.’

“Only time will tell if these modest beneficial changes will apply to more of us in this country or abroad, and if recent public health messages about the risks associated with obesity have permanently gotten through to us and sunk in. In the meantime, please read on before you decide corsets aren’t for you, or you delay trying waist training, or you take one of those radical, expensive, and irreversible surgical steps.”

I continue:

blog17-1-full-figure“There’s no need to be discouraged by past failures, no need to be ashamed of your present waistline—even if it exceeds 60″—no need to rush into risky [bariatric] surgeries, and no need to wait before you try corsets. You can start right now with a popular new approach that works. Isn’t it about time that you do what Pamela Anne Miller, one of my clients, said?

‘I’m about ready to concentrate more on the waist not becoming a waste basket!'”

My single wish today is for your–and my–improving health.

Without a healthy, strong body of which we are proud (forget what others say about it!), we cannot concentrate on doing good in the world, promoting our passionate causes, and contributing to a more compassionate and just world.

Some of you know that over the past six months I’ve been challenged by a serious (but recoverable) physical problem, and for over four of those months I have been committed to working very hard (no pain no gain) to come back to full health once more. I’m making progress!blog17-1-full-figure-2

Better yet — I have hope.

I know that any progress takes hard work — be it corset waist training to achieve dramatic waistline reduction that makes one gasp to behold — or  corseting for better posture, — or corseting for an improved daily viewpoint, — or corseting for uplifted spirit that also comes from moderate corseting, — or from pursuing any other modality including therapy, expert advice, support groups, or friendships of any kind that help us to improve, heal, and look forward in hope.

blog17-1-anaThere is hope that if you want it, you, too, can achieve the quintessential hourglass silhouette, aided by and amply demonstrated by, a well-fitting, comfy corset.

Our long-time  friend and client from Arizona, The Amazing Ana — as I have deemed her to be — has achieved that  hourglass silhouette. (Stunning orange silk corset by Sue Nice for ROMANTASY.) She has also achieved much more in her lifelong quest for body building, better health, superb strength, and undeniable power.

She is a woman of determination and sweat and tears, and in my own physical journey this past year she has been an inspiration, whether or not she knows it!

MY NEW YEAR’S WISH FOR YOU:  May you have much progress (not perfection) in 2017!

May you, even with the distractions of the day,  information overload, and pressures to fit in, be quick to see the experts and teachers who come into your life with gifts that will restore your hope and lift your spirits!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

 

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Medically-sponsored bulemia and The Fall of the Roman U.S. Empire?

Medically-sponsored bulemia?  (Is the US in decline as was the Roman Empire after it reached the pinacle of its world power and crazed excess?)

So immediately opined two of my friends today when I tweeted and Facebooked about the new FDA approved medical device, the AspireAssist,  a device that takes food right form the stomach — into the toilet. For real. Courtesy of a study at the Washington University in St. Louis and 111 study subjects who tested the device.

Gratefully, there has been a bit of an uproar. One surgeon is attempting to organize others to sue the FDA.  “Others worry that the device will give patients the impression that they can eat as much as they want, because they can just pump the food out afterwards. Instead, curing obesity means changing eating habits, teaching patients to eat less and eat healthier foods, combined with exercise.”

Apparently one of the male study participants loves the device because he can still go out ‘with the boys’ and indulge in a huge rib eye steak.

Apparently about 500 people world-wide are exploring this new trend.

Enough said. Will the craziness never end in this country?

And some celebrity doctors enjoying enormous public trust and impact, those like Dr. Oz, rail against safe and sane custom corset waist training?

And call “a waist training disaster” the fact that you might need two breaths to blow out 20 birthday candles when you are snugly laced down in your corset? This was the case for one young person appearing on Dr. Oz’s April TV show.

Perhaps Dr. Oz would like to interview the owner of Aspire Bariatrics, the promoter and funding organization for  the new medically-sponsored bulemia device, and promote it as a proper obesity approach compared to corsets?

 

 

 

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“Accountabilibuddy” – new term coined by November Project (free fitness exercise project)

LOVE THE NEW WORD — “ACCOUNTABILIBUDDY”! Same as our emphasis on getting a “Waist-Training Buddy”!Ashlee before and after profile collage ROMANTASY

Today on Good Morning America (ABC TV news show) I saw interviewed the two chaps from the November Project (TM): “is a FREE fitness movement that was born in Boston as a way to stay in shape during cold New England months”. There’s a book out since April explaining the concept. From the short blurb this morning, I heard the word “accountability buddy” — the same concept of our Waist-Training Buddy. I watched a few of the exercises you can do for free around your city but a good number seem a bit vigorous; it’s clear you must be in great shape to do a lot of them, so be careful!

For some of us just getting back into exercising, it will require first building up strength, balance, and of course, flexibility. If you have creaky knees, limited range of motion, shoulder impingement or other, you’ll have to self- monitor and not push yourself quite as hard as others may be able to do in this program, or other exercise programs you join. Even yoga as I discovered six months ago! I just can’t twist my left knee out of alignment with my leg, or it tweaks from a prior case of bursitis.  No yoga teacher can be expected to know your personal weaknesses, so you have to step into his or her role and protect yourself.

I just completed writing my chapter in my new  book in progress, Corset Waist Training: A Primer on Easy, Fun and Fashionable Waist Reduction, on exercise. (There’s still a few free copies of this book! Just send us email for yours: inquiry@romantasy.com). I make the point that what I suggest as warm up, cool down, back strengthening, or waist targeted exercises, have to be tailored to fit your needs. But just because you can’t get down to the floor, doesn’t mean you can’t do some standing waist-targeted exercising every day or every other day, to help tighten the oblique muscles and shrink your waistline!

Back to “Accountabilibuddy”…in the maintenance chapter of my primer book, I address the imperative of setting up a support system to maintain the waistline you work so hard to achieve during a three-month waist-training program, or longer. I have not seen any of my students maintain substantial progress they make, (one losing 5″ waistline inches and another losing 6.5” waistline inches) without some kind of real-time or online support. Pictured here is Ashely who achieved remarkable posture improvement from her exercises during her coaching program, altho she only lost 9 lbs. Weight is not the issue; it’s posture and waistline measurements that count for more and are more related to health in the long run as well as a sense of well-being.

A support system can include occasional or regular email with a health-conscious and supportive friend, wearing your corset out to show off once a week, corseting at home or stealthing to work every other day, following a corset-related or health related social media group online, joining a gym or other program to work on corset strength (aka “core strength”), and attending to clean eating and not too much of that and joining with others to maintain that discipline.

It takes some discipline, but not much overall. The discipline was enduring when you got thru your initial program. If you have done that and reached some or all of your initial goals, pat yourself on the back!

Aside from a support group to help you maintain your success, continue to self-congratulate as you deserve it, and more! Admire yourself in the mirror, bask in the notations of your friends in how tiny  your waist looks (and smile sweetly and mysteriously if you are stealthing that day!), and stick to your maintenance plan. Don’t give up and don’t backslide — but if you do, make a quick re-calibration and move back down. Don’t let it get out of hand — or out of corset as some do!!!

Most of my students have maintained their original loss or added on only a few pounds or half=inch or two, and you can do that, too! I’m here to support you, or you can enroll in my One Month Tune Up Plan if you need my support. Good luck, and go for accountability and support!

 

 

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Successful Waist Training Is About Doing What Works — For YOU!!

coverMockupsharpenednoquote_heather_v002IT’S ABOUT DOING WHAT WORKS — FOR YOU!

(Section below in part taken from Corset Waist Training: A Primer on Easy, Fun & Fashionable Waist Reduction, publication fall, 2016; first 15 orders are FREE! Order at romantasy.com, or send email to:  inquiry@romantasy.com)

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Waist training, like dieting, is highly individual.  In January 2015, I decided to drop some extra weight I had put on over the prior year. I was feeling sluggish and a bit depressed. About the same time I caught a daytime TV talk show featuring Dr. Mehmet Oz, where he promoted the alleged weight-loss benefits of his “14-day diet.”

According to his recommendations, I stopped eating dairy (excepting Greek yogurt), wheat, sugar, and red meat. I added a few cups of jasmine tea per day but refused to give up coffee, although I reduced the amount I drank.

Another doctor’s diet diaster!  I quickly became the poster child for just one more “doctor’s diet disaster.” I should have known!

To be sure, in a little over one week I dropped 4 lbs, but my tummy rumbled, groaned, burbled, clenched, tooted, and ultimately withheld the “healthy” foods I was now eating. Fairly severe gastric distress was troubling, but it also set me back a month in getting used to wearing a lovely new corset. I managed two three-hour sessions with my corset laced down one inch, then I quit wearing it in order to normalize my digestion. I was fine in a few more weeks after I returned to my normal diet.

Dr. X., my long-time medical consultant on corsetry and the body, and personal friend, gently reminded me that any “general” advice is just that: general and not specific to an individual (Dr. Oz had said nothing about that!). Clearly, I need to eat fiber and wheat—in fact, a lot of fiber.

Bret, my esteemed former waist-training student and another friend of many years, reminded me: “When I needed to lose some weight last year, I eased into dieting over a four-week period by reducing daily calorie intake approximately ten percent a day for six days each week. Then I went up to approximately ten percent below my weight-maintenance calorie level for one day a week in order to keep from feeling deprived or in distress. I did the reverse coming out of the regime, with no problems noted.”

Even if you are a healthy, highly-motivated corset enthusiast who is raring to go with waist training, you’ll increase the risk of adverse effects if you take general advice too much to heart. Do not ignore your own unique body and needs, especially when you make dietary changes that will be necessitated during any serious corset waist-training program.

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Ill-informed and misguided opposition to safe and sane corset waist training.  Sadly, Dr. Oz, once more on his television show a few days ago, promoted “waist training disasters” in his puzzling campaign to focus only on the negative, and dismiss thousands of case studies, and the facts, demonstrating the success of fun, easy and fashionable moderate corset waist training, especially in addressing the obesity epidemic.

He ignores the historical use of corsets for hundreds and hundreds of years by his medical colleagues to address severe scoliosis,  Mel and Ann smpost-liposuction and back surgery, and to effectively control pain and other suffering. A number of doctors over our 26 years in the corset business, have come to order personal corsets, and Dr. Milton Simmons, a distinguished retired Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at the Wayne State Unversity School of Medicine-Michigan, not only wears them to control his back pain, but prescribed them for years to the appropriate patient in his clinical practice. Dr. Milt says:

“As a retired ABFP Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and physician practicing for 43 years, I used all the modalities of diagnosing and treating that were open to me, including prescribing corsets, which support structures and increase intra-abdominal pressure correcting spinal alignment. A corset impedes excessive expansion of the lungs, thus reduces emphysema, and most importantly, it reduces the need for pain medication. Naturally, circulation and neuro-complications must be avoided, but these can be easily managed. The corset contributes to relief in addressing my personal back issues, and is what medicine is all about. It is a modality that helped me throughout the years to cure some, control many, and comfort all.”

Spencer55_1947_mat2xWhat militates against corseting? Of course, there are situations and conditions that militate against corseting! No one denies that! Pregnancy comes to mind (but of course in Victorian times, elastic panels, straps, and a lighter weight corset were in fact, used to support women’s backs and bodies, as the fetus grew. The picture is taken from Spencer’s sales manual from 1957). Treated or untreated conditions might set aside corseting, such as high blood pressure, problems of circulation and edema, hernias, bronchial infections, GERD disease, some spinal and nerve conditions, or  pregnancy. But sometimes they do not!

The point is, to keep in mind that wearing a corset affects circulation, digestion, and breathing, and affects everyone differently. You must exercise common sense; if your corset is producing discomfort, find out why. Better yet, before investing in a corset, check with your doctor or other health professional; you may still be able to corset but go about it with less restriction and take a longer time. No one is running a race here!

I dare say there are situations and conditions that militate against bariatric surgery, as well. Would Dr. Oz deny that? No one method has the key to effective weight control or personal happiness—and what reasonable person would ignore an effective method such as corset waist training in appropriate circumstances, to get control of a disastrous international trend of increasing waistlines, if not weight (tho weight is less important; more below)?

I know that the medical corsets are just awful:  ill-fitting, thick, unwieldy, and impossible to disguise underneath clothing. When I wore one for over 20 years before discovering custom corsetry in 1989, everyone knew when my back “went out” and I was suffering. I had to wear the ugly white, pre-formed, thickly boned, or velcroed, thing over my clothing–or not at all.

How a corset is handy to address my personal low-back issues.  Now if my back is ailing, I just pop an ice bag under a gorgeous Mel and Ann smcorset, lace loosely, and off I go to social events and feeling fine. Pictured is one of our Corset Soirees in 2005 organized to celebrate the graduation  of vivacious Melinda (in blue corset) from my three-month waist-training coaching program. I’m wearing a 25″ metallic leather BR Creations corset. That night my back was tweaking mightily—and I had an ice bag under the back of the corset! Can you tell? Of course not! Am I in pain? Nope … a wee bit of discomfort, but I’m smiling! This technique enabled me to go out, dance a little, and celebrate in comfort with a nice group of corset enthusiast friends.

Dr. Oz says (in a SF Examiner newspaper column from 2015) that the last things he would promote to address diabetes and obesity, are radical and irreversible stomach surgeries. Like many of us, he’s obviously concerned about the obesity epidemic that is said to be world-wide. (Despite a mounting public education campaign about healthy eating and against sugar, in the US we have only managed to cut back on sugar-laden and diet sodas, but not much else, per a studies from 2015 that I’ve reviewed.) But, does Dr. Oz now think that wearing a custom fit, comfortable corset in a moderate way, properly and slowly lacing it down and enjoying wonderful posture benefits and portion control immediately—then disappearing hunger in a few weeks—is also an invalid method to address and reverse obesity?

Could it be that Dr. Oz promotes the financial well being of the diet drug industry, quick-fix one-item “14-day diets” such as he promotes, and  prefers his gastric and plastic surgeon colleagues to a wonderfulCDlogo, truly comparatively inexpensive, safe, and effective approach to address obesity–one that works for the grand majority of generally healthy folks, as well as for a lot of medically-challenged folks?

And how does that make sense?

Lucy Williams will soon publish her book, Solaced: 101 Uplifting Narratives About Corsets, Well-Being, and Hope. It summarizes the many and diverse benefits of corseting, from waist training and weight reduction, to back support, to solving medical problems such as severe back pain, the fallout of terrible vehicle accidents, less life-threatening conditions like IBS, and many more. April, who sponsors a blog we recommend on waist training, is our corset client (her waist-training lace-and-satin corset pictured is by Sheri), and tells her story in Lucy’s book.

I’ve been privileged recently to assist Lucy with manuscript editing. After reading her book, I’m  in wonder once again at the diversity of benefits that wearing a corset bestows on those who seek to try them, and who go about it with common sense and respect for one’s own body and individual needs. I am more than ever re-dedicated to promoting corsets to those with common sense, who have an adventurous attitude, and who want to try corsets for support, for pain reduction, for posture, and for waist reduction. With a bit more attention to exercise and nutrition, corsets can even help one rather easily lose weight–but that’s a beneficial side effect.

It’s the girth of one’s waist that counts more than the scale.  Dr. Joseph Mercola (3/11/16 article) suggests that the “ideal” waist proportion for men in a .8 ratio of waist to derriere, and for women, the ratio is .7. Just multiply your derriere measurement by .8, or .7, to come up with a desirable ideal waist. This reflects research many years ago conducted by U. of Texas professor Divendra Singh, who discovered that a ratio of .7 for women provides the enviable “hourglass” shape that most men from age 6 to 90, emotionally prefer!

Don’t obsess about your weight whether or not you decide to try corset waist training. Your weight may actually stay the same or go up a bit once you start waist-targeted exercise and toning your midriff muscles! It’s about the visceral fat surrounding vital organs, and your waistline, that must be addressed, avoided, or diminished–if we are to enjoy a long and healthy life. Corset waist training is one viable method to do just that.

Risks?  We’ve all read about revisions needed post-bariatric surgery, as well as risks of scepsis and other.  Risks from corseting? Of course there are! But I’ve never heard of surgical revision being needed, or sepsis developing from corseting. Of course I have read about a few other conditions that militate against corseting.

No one of us corset enthusiasts or educators is oblivious to the odd situation where a former medical or health condition can be exacerbated by corseting. For that reason alone, I will not coach a client who has high blood pressure, even if controlled by medication! At the same time, unlike a number of plastic surgeons and other doctors who diss corseting and waist training to promote high-priced surgery as a suitable option to address extreme obesity, but I don’t diss surgery, if that is your chosen solution and if your situation is life-threatening.

But it’s important to know that a 2015 study shows that 57 percent of post gastric-banding patients surveyed 10 years later, don’t keep the weight off.  We all know that no matter the method we pursue to address and reshape our figures, once we achieve success, then we have to have a strategy in place to maintain our progress, or we will yo-yo back up, and sometimes gain even more weight or inches. One entire chapter in my book is devoted to “Waistline Maintenance” for that reason.

I not only want you to be successful for three months, but for three years, and then for a lifetime after that!

 

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Filed under General, General Waist Training Information, Hot Topics on Health, Proper Nutrition Tips for Waist Training