I Tried Waist Training And This is What Happened

I Tried Waist Training And This is What Happened

Waist training is the new trend that seems to be getting a lot of negative views.
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A new (and rather controversial) trend is sweeping the internet that promises its participants a perfect hourglass shape. It’s called “Waist Training”. Waist Training is the practice of using a steel boned corset to achieve slimmer curves around the waist. The corset is able to do this by pulling and clinching the floating ribs in tighter, and in some very extreme cases rearranging the internal organs, to reduce the circumference of the waist. The effects of this are semi-permanent, but require continual use and use after the desired look is achieved. These corsets can also be used to assist in losing weight, and improving posture although some users only wish to modify their waist.

I was first introduced this weird concept by one of by best friends in college. She had ordered one off Amazon and had been raving about it. Apparently she wore it every day for three hours max, and within a few weeks, her “muffin top” had completely slimmed down and was now a smooth curve. Out of curiosity, I asked to try it on. It took a solid three minutes between the two of us to get it on, as one can imagine, they are very tight, even at it’s loosest. To my surprise, it was not painful at all. It feels very much like a tight hug right around the waist, forcing you into perfect posture. I went out on a limb and ordered one myself. What can I say? The “freshmen 15” is real and my busy schedule made it difficult to get to the gym every week. Still a little skeptical about the whole thing, I wore it only a few times a week for an hour or two, at it’s loosest. Slowly increasing my time in it. I would wear it and go some cardio or go for walks. After the first month or so of wearing it, I found I could now easily tighten the corset to the next tightest setting having lost a little over an inch around my waist.

As I got more and more comfortable wearing with the waist trainer, I began to get more curious and decided to do a little more research on my own. Simply googling “waist training” you’ll find participants raving and ranting about how in good moderation, waist training is perfectly safe and shapes your natural curves. Gurus happily explaining their waist training routines. But you’ll also find many sources speaking about “the dangers of waist training”. Many consider how celebrities such as Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Jessica Alba, Amber Rose, and Kylie Jenner are swearing by and obsessing over waist trainers. However, they also site claims saying they do not work at all, or how some experts claim there is a risk to the lower intestines, compressing of the diaphragm (which could lead to pulmonary problems), other internal organ compression, skin infection or potential for kidney or lung issues.

Opposing viewpoints to this argue this can only be the case if the user uses a corset too excessively and skin infection is only possible for those who do not properly clean their waist trainer. Looking deeper into the opposition of waist trainers, I can only find the same several arguments over and over. Even on the Odyssey I found a plethora of articles saying “don’t try it, it’s dangerous”, “why you shouldn’t try it” or showing overly exaggerated images of women with the waist trainers sporting impossible waistlines. I found most of the articles to have misleading titles and to generalize all users into people attempting to dramatically shrink their waists in a very unhealthy way. Contrary to popular belief, in order for waist trainers to work, one must engage in some physical activity. You don’t just wear it for 10 hours and sit while it does some waist magic, making it impossible to breathe or eat. They work by forcing you to work harder at your workout and discourages overeating. If you wear it properly, so you can breathe, are comfortable, not cutting off circulation and for no more than about 4 hours a day, you can achieve a natural hourglass figure. By saying “waist training needs to stop”, “it is scary” etc, is stereotyping. It’s like saying “you diet, you could become anorexic”, well yes. That’s possible. But you can diet and be healthy about it. You can also waist train and be safe about it.

Now, I’m not one to follow the crowd and try all the latest fads or even listen to a word a Kardashian says. BUT. In my experience, I only put the waist trainer on to encourage myself to sit up straight and work a little harder during my at-home exercise regime. It works for me in helping me feel better about myself. You’re all flashing these images of celebrities with face-tuned images and models with unhealthy bodies. Yes, there are people out there wearing this damn thing for 10+ hours day, every day who are doing very destructive things to their bodies. But to say it’s completely useless, terrible for you and to shame anyone who does it without doing the proper research or knowing to what extent they use it, is wrong.

Cover Image Credit: Corbis

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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

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It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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The Peaceful melody of Alone-time

Talking to yourself isn't crazy, in fact it makes you more sane.

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Spending time with a significant other brings joy, fun memories, and a feeling of love. Time with family brings a sense of comfort and grounding. Friends bring delight, laughter and good times. Time spent alone, it has no definition or specific feeling; a whole new level of intimacy and self-discovery.

Take a walk by yourself in a new place, foreign to you and silence your phone. Here, you place a dependency on your shoulders and a miniature escape from everything you think you know or feel comfortable with. Your mind will thrive in these peaceful lonesome moments. You'll begin to observe and assess, rather than speak and discuss others ideas. The foreign place gives you a fresh perspective on your thought process and how you take the scenes in helping unfold bits of your identity, untainted with others inputs.

Discussing ideas with others isn't wrong, on the contrary, it grows our minds and expands our knowledge. The purpose of the alone time is not to nourish that side of us, but rather to uncover our own truths and thought process. Our minds change and develop and create new perspectives, it's important to always keep up with it and to keep an honest relationship with the self.

The honesty can scare us, that's a gamble. Selecting yourself away from the noise grants us time for reflection and discussion within our minds. You'll begin to ask yourself things you didn't think mattered too much or things you've never specifically thought about. When the internal discussion grows, your mind will begin to think of the important things to you and assess how they fit in and what things no longer fit in. This time is essential to categorize your priorities and your worries and their solutions.

Besides the reflection, take the alone time to figure out what things truly entertain you. Enjoy a guilty pleasure film with your comfort beverage. Create positive moments for yourself purely based on your own likes with zero compromises for others. These simple moments are little keys that unlock further understanding on who we are as special individuals.

Please realize everyone needs alone time every once in a while. Not only should you grant this time to the people you love, but it should be an encouraged ritual. Let every person align their brain and take the time to test their worries and concerns.

This alone time is neither selfish or bizarre. In the novel Mrs. Dalloway, the main character always finds her ideas being disrupted by her surrounding environment. These distractions are everywhere the more we progress in the technological age. Now more than ever, people need time away from screens, people, vehicles and more time in nature where we find ourselves distracted by the natural Earth. Don't photograph how peaceful your alone time is, but simply live it and live in those moments you have allotted yourself to escape from all the things that cloud the mind.

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https://pixabay.com/en/people-woman-travel-adventure-trek-2591874/

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