Category Archives: Hot Topics on Health

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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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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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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