(This may be TMI for some of my guy readers. It is, however, informative.)
When most people hear the word corset, they think of feminine bondage and uncomfortable dressing. After I had my ninth baby, my abdomen was loose and t seemed as if my insides were pouring themselves out of my body, over my pelvic bone. It wasn't that I was in bad shape; the muscles were like a deflated balloon and just tired!
I surfed the internet and not knowing what to buy, I found Ann at Romantasy to be the best and most informative seller. When I told her what I needed to do, she suggested a few custom designs. Being very budget conscious, I chose a basic model in black cotton duck. Romantic? Yes, it is actually! Even in duck, but my husband says it's the woman in the duck, not the duck on the woman! It was an investment of several hundred dollars and I wondered about my sanity in buying the contraption while I waited several months for it to be made.
I have been doing yoga for years, but my muscles were just flabby. Shortly before my corset was done, I bought one off of Ebay for $60 that they said was worth $300. I felt stupid for having ordered the custom one, but the Ebay one was worn out in five wearings. When the custom one arrived, it was stiff, and I don't know if I'd have appreciated it or even worn it had I not bought my inferior one first.
I lied about my actual measurements because I wasn't able to admit how flabby my waist was and I was glad that I didn't live in California to have it measured. I don't advocate lying, especially because you are taking the several hundred dollars you are investing into your own hands, but my 32" waist was able to be compacted into the 28" corset. Since it was spring, I walked as much as I could, and I only wore the thing a few times a week for an hour or two. (Lacing it is another story-- I am glad that I do yoga!) I am now down to a laced down 25" waist. My body is slimming down quickly with it and it seems like the corset has reminded my body what it is supposed to feel like and where things are supposed to be. I took off my corset yesterday and my husband came home and ran his hand over my waist and was surprised that I didn't have it on. My "tummy pooch" is now almost eliminated, and my waist on the sides is now an hourglass. It's been less than 4 months that I've been wearing it and I still don't wear it more than a few times a week due to the heat. I am VERY lucky that my body has done as I thought it would with slimming down as fast as it did. I'm at 28" now sans the corset and I am very, very close to closing it. I'd like to get a 20" waist. My organs are in great shape and what people don't realize is that if these things harmed people, the corset makers wouldn't stay in business!
One of the unexpected bonuses of this is that I had needed surgery to correct a sagging bladder but don't now. This comes fromthe corset only allowing me to stoop, just as I was taught in finishing school, as opposed to simply bending over. Over the years I quit stooping and got sloppy and started bending because it was just easier on my legs. Because I stoop many times a day picking up children, toys and putting things away while I tightlace, it's tightened those muscles up. Forget the 200 kegals the OB/Gyn tells you to do-- they are pointless when you are not strengthening other muscles that support them.
For wearing and holding up nice stockings, I advocate getting at least four garters on each side of the corset. The garter belts with only two belts on each side are no good as they don't hold seamed stockings in the right places.
My husband works with diseases and he hates the thing. He does not find it romantic in any way, shape or form, which is really a drag but since he also doesn't object, I won't complain. He is one of those awesome guys who'd really still genuinely love me if I didn't stay slender.
I do not advocate dieting when you tightlace. I used to model and I had an agent who said you don't diet, you develop habits. You don't start developing habits, once you feel "fat" you cut back on the extras. Have a piece of chocolate every day if you think you need it, but limit how much you have. If you know you are going to a birthday party that night or planning to have a few drinks, don't eat the chocolate. It's about balance. You need to get your heart rate up a few times per week, too. I think the best advice that she gave me was when I told her that I would start "tomorrow," she said that "good habits start today, this very moment." She also told me to never discuss dieting socially which I did at the age of 18, because the purpose of a good party is to indulge a bit, "to eat, drink and be merry." The advice has never failed me.