(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: email@example.com)
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.
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, post-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.”
What 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 corset, 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 wonderful, 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!