(By: Irving Hyppolite)
As the number of people giving into the waist training craze rapidly increases and everyone’s favorite Instagram model promotes it wildly, you’d would think ‘#WaistTrainingSuccess’ would be a trending topic. Except, after you invest $49.99 and 3 months, most folks realize that they are exactly who they were before they started…minus $49.99, of course.
“Waist training; a gradual process of waist reduction using a latex waist cincher or corset. Also known as waist cinching, this practice came to prominence during Victorian times.”
You want to modify your body? You want to look ‘snatched?’ Great. But there is no shortcut to real success. Although these products promise you a hip-to-waist ratio that brings all boys to the yard, this “quick fix” can never your genetic and physiological make up. In this cultural moment, we seem perfectly content to look healthy as opposed to actually being healthy. Companies know that folks are far happier to pay in dollars for ‘the look’ than they’d be to pay in sweat for the actual body, so they joyfully take advantage.
Here’s their big theory:
“Don’t want to workout hard!? Great! Eat fruits and veggies, put this waist trainer on, go to the gym and show it off while on the treadmill , take it off and BOOM; you’ve lost 2 inches!’
Well thank you, Captain Breakthroughs in Modern Science.
Using a waist trainer will naturally apply pressure and elevate the temperature in that specific area (the stomach). This will force that area’s sweat glands to produce at a higher rate, thus allowing it to quickly impact the area by decreasing its size. The body stores most of its water weight in the mid-section so if using a waist training, as one starts to lose weight they initially lose water weight first. So…my compliments to Captain Breakthroughs; you will indeed lose weight if you wear a waist trainer. Except it’s water weight and has absolutely no relationship to body fat. Actually, all that water you sweated off will come right back the minute you down a glass of water. So yes! Some form of change will happen but ‘change’ isn’t really the right word. You’re sort of temporarily evaporating…like water in a boiling pot. If I paid someone 50 of my hard-earned dollars and then strapped myself into a latex vice everyday for 8 hours, I might start to wonder, “If this really worked and got rid of body fat , why do I have to keep wearing it over and over? Shouldn’t one month be enough?”
“All our shapers are for redefining the body by wearing the shaper 8-10 hrs a day, everyday. Waist training your waist daily results in: reduced waistline, weight loss, losing at least 4 inches off your waist, firmed, & flattened your stomach, better posture, reduced back pain & strengthened core, great for post-partum pregnancy[sic]. Waist training is great to add to your daily activity. The more you waist train the more results you will see.” -beautifulbodyshaper
Appealing , I must admit. The only hitch is that waist trainers allege that one can lose weight from a specific area.
Otherwise known as a spot reduction. Otherwise known as not physiologically possible. The body must work as a complete unit to maximize caloric expenditure and help lose unwanted body fat. However, it’s always beneficial to strengthen the muscles underneath the fat, so indulge me; try to do a crunch with a waist trainer on. I think you found that you couldn’t complete one because waist trainers restrict movement. So, you can’t contract your abdominal muscles, which is how you will strengthen your core and create the desired aesthetic.
Ok, so let’s say I just want to put waist training companies out of business; that I prefer women to invest in personal training and slave away at the gym. Let’s say all the “testimonials” are legit and money back guarantees are sound. But, where is their visual proof? Where is a 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month transformation that justifies these claims? There aren’t any. At least not any that aren’t using the most effective waist trainer of all: Photoshop.
“There’s misinformation that body shape and body weight can be easily changeable to society’s standards,” says Leslie Heinberg, MD, Director of Behavioral Sciences for the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at Cleveland Clinic. “But we come in all different shapes and sizes and some of us aren’t meant to have a tiny waist.”
So we talked about what it doesn’t do, let’s talk about what it does do.
Waist trainers compress the stomach and push the fat around instead of eliminating it. While this sounds like a good idea, your organs, now shoved into a new area in your body, disagree. Excuse me while I practice my Ph. D skills; The point of a waist trainer is to force the torso into a reduced size. It also reduces the space within it. Many waist trainers force the torso to taper towards the waist, which pushes the lower ribs inwards. As a consequence, internal organs are moved closer together and out of their original positions in a way similar to the way a pregnant woman’s expanding uterus causes the organs to be displaced. As this happens, lungs’ volume diminishes and so you tend to breathe ‘high’ in the upper portion of the lungs (it feels like simply lifting your chest), rather than ‘low and deep’ with the whole lung apparatus (a professionally-trained singer friend of mine refers to this as ‘breathing into your back’ ) . Since you’re using the lower portion of your lungs less, fluid begins to build-up, and your body will react by by developing a persistent cough to clear up the problem.
I was once taught that “everybody has a price.” But ladies, my question is, how much are you worth to yourself? Certainly more than a quick fix and lung full of fluid. You want to do little waist training on Friday night to accentuate your perfect outfit? Great. You think beauty is pain and who am I to judge? But be a glutton for the right kind of punishment; take that torture device off. Go get your butt kicked at your local gym instead.