all right - waist training, the update.
so i ended up buying a proper waist trainer - it's a very thick, strong spandex/latex corset-type thing with three rows of hooks, and you guys. it's super hard to get on. but it is WAY different than the actual Agent Provocateur corset...totally different.
it's really tight. and it really squeezes in a different way than the corset does. the corset kind of.... well you know since you tighten a corset yourself, there is always a bit of leniency that you afford your own body so i probably never tighten it as much as i could have. the actual waist trainer does not afford any grace - it has three settings and even the loosest one is a bitch for the first few weeks! the first day i wore it... if someone would have secretly taped me trying to get this thing on, OMG. insanity. my husband also tried to put it on himself but no luck. maybe he lacks the ability to be a contortionist on command :-)
as you can see, i had this on with the loosest settings. i CAN get it to the middle set of hooks but YOU GUYS it is SO HARD to get it there. but OK so what is it like? it's tight. it really squeezes you in, and i think where i feel it the most is my upper back ribcage and my upper hips aka "love handles" area. i feel it in the waist itself, but i really feel the burn in those upper and lower areas. you can see in the picture below...it really pulls you in. i feel it the MOST in my upper thorasic spine/ribcage. like the part of my ribcage that is right below the bra line. i think it REALLY squeezes that in....like to the point where... that area of my body has actually reduced by a whole 1.5 inches in circumference. that's a lot! it squeezes those ribs IN.
next - this thing generates HEAT. when i take it off, whatever tank i'm wearing underneath it is usually pretty much soaked through with sweat. the rest of my body doesn't feel hot when i wear it, but it really, really heats my core up. obviously it is not a breathable material, but it really surprised me! my abs are sweatin' it out when i wear this thing. all the websites say like...wear it to burn fat! i mean i don't know if it is actually burning fat (that's a bold claim) but it REALLY does make your core burn up.
and it DOES improve my posture. you cannot slump over in this thing....it's so uncomfortable. you have to sit straight as an arrow, and now that i'm about 4 weeks into wearing it, even when i'm not wearing it, i feel awkward to slouch over. the posture thing WORKS. 100% works. and better posture makes EVERYONE look thinner.
so what about visible results? ok. here goes. and while i am a very confident, open and NOT modest person at all... it's not like it's easy to post pictures of yourself where you look less than great. but whatever. our bodies are always a process. the first picture was on the first day i started waist training back in late october. the others are from TODAY.
so i think there is definitely a difference. undoubtedly. tummy is flatter, abs are more defined, my back looks trimmer. my waist DEFINITELY does look smaller. my tattoos look more awesome obviously :-) i was no where near fat in the first picture (i'm a size 4 in all pictures)...but i definitely feel like i look better now..and i FEEL better. and my clothes definitely feel a little looser in the waist/ribcage.
is it from waist training? i'm not sure. OK - so i wear it anywhere from 1 - 4 hours per day. usually when i'm working at home. and when i wear it...it is super uncomfortable to SNACK on ANYTHING. like i'd say before wearing it, i would snack maybe twice a day on something. i love popcorn (which is healthy and fine) but i also love gluten free crisps and like...sea salt chips. so sue me. but with this thing on, you can only fit like 10 grapes in your stomach and then you feel like your'e going to BURST. so i'd just drink my water instead, which felt better. so i definitely, legitimately cut snacking out because i was wearing this thing. and now even when i'm not wearing it, i don't snack. i got used to not snacking, so i don't anymore during the day.
so that's probably anywhere from 100 - 500 less calories per day. and then the posture thing...so i've become very accustomed to standing/sitting up straighter, and i suck my tummy in. i walk with my abdominal wall "tucked in" like they tell you to do in pilates and yoga, and i think that actually makes you appear thinner and with more defined abs once you do that to the point where you're "trained" to walk/stand/sit like that. does that make sense?
i DO think the fact that the waist trainer makes my core warm up helps. i know being warm makes you burn more calories. however, i also know that you can't "target" your fat burn. so i don't know if makes me burn calories in a fashion that makes my hips/waist skinnier.
and finally - full disclosure, it's not like i'm doing nothing other than waist training. i work out every day and kick my own ass daily. i do bikram yoga (90 minutes of yoga in a 105 degree room) every week, which also reinforces the "pull your tummy in" thing, and my husband and i run a minimum of about 10-15 miles per week. plus i'm a huge tracy anderson devotee. it's not like that doesn't help with fat burn and muscle definition. because it obviously does.
but i think...overall...it's a full scale combination of all factors. the posture, the no-more-snacking, the abdominal wall muscle contraction, the yoga, the running, the tracy anderson....and the fact that i'm squeezing my body into a tiny little corset that is sweating me out and compressing me into a smaller package.
will i keep doing it? yes. i dig it. i've grown accustomed to the uncomfortable feeling and now it's even enjoyable. sometimes i wear it in public like..under a dress or on a walk with my yoga pants and i know i look NUTS but whatever. and one day, i'll be able to get to that last row of hooks! a girl can dream.
i think overall, it helps me and inspires me to 1. snack less 2. sit/stand straighter 3. pull/tuck my abdominal wall in through the day. all of these things are good. i think it does compress my lower back ribs together into a tighter package. i won't comment on if that's good or bad for you (i'm not a doctor....but it doesn't cause me any kind of pain or discomfort so whatever), but i do like the results.
so that's where i stand with the waist training. the party carries on!