We ran into a department store to grab a birthday present for a friend in my daughters preschool class and there sitting in a display out front was a waist trainer. Other than the internet, I'd never seen one in person before. If things happen on the internet, they are not really real right? But, seeing one in person, I thought, wow, this trend is really happening. I've got to say something. Have you had a friend mention wanting to get one? If so, please share this blog post with them.
When things look like a quick fix or too good to be true, they probably are. 🙁
So, you want to buy a waist trainer to make your waist smaller, here is what is actually going on.
#1. YOU HAVE ORGANS! There are things in there, intestines, kidneys, a liver and stomach, organs that need space to move and operate correctly. Yes, I said move. Did you know that every time you take a deep breath in and your diaphragm (breathing muscle) goes down, it massages and moves your organs? Pretty cool right?! Who doesn't like a nice massage to keep things happy? Our body feels stressed when it gets "stuck".
#2. Guess what you can't do with a waist trainer on? Take a deep breath!!! Breathing is one of the easiest ways we have to control our autonomic nervous system. If you take a shallow breath, you send a signal that says, fight or flight. Ramp up my system and make me stressed out. Shallow breathing decreases sleep quality, creates a nervous stomach, and decreases your sex drive because it's sending a signal to your brain that it's not safe out there.
If you take a deep breath and the diaphragm goes down, you send a signal that says, ahhhh, relax, digest my food, increase my sex drive, improve my life because life is grand and safe. A waist trainer just stresses you out because you're physically unable to get a deep breath with one on.
#3. It increases your risk of pelvic floor dysfunction and pelvic organ prolapse. When you strap on that waist trainer, it stops the natural expansion of your entire core, so when pressure builds up, that pressure only has 2 places to go. Up or down. Which is better? Well... up will probably give you heartburn or acid reflux, maybe even a hiatal hernia. Down will give you pelvic floor issues. The body is designed to help distribute pressure everywhere. If you cinch something around your waist, you decrease your bodies natural ability to do that.
But, what if I'm wearing it to help my diastasis? I find the results are short-lived. Fascia needs stress to fully heal. With any type of abdominal binder or corset, you remove all stress. You might be able to take it off and get results for an hour or maybe a day, but it won't hold. True healing means it holds. True healing means you get stronger. Read about when an abdominal binder might be a good idea [here].
#5. It probably won't hold and would you actually want it to? This reminds me of the old Chinese foot binding practice. I'm sure that the first dozen times the women bound their feet to make them smaller, they took off the binder and their feet went back, but eventually, you wear something long enough, it deforms the body. Our feet are the foundation for our entire body. When you lose foot strength, it affects everything up the chain, from our posture to our balance to our core strength. The body will find a way to function in its new state, but that will be full of compromises. So, if you wear the binder long enough, it may hold, but think of all the other natural functions you are losing to make that happen.
You're going to ramp up cortisol, send yourself into fight or flight mode and squash your organs until they don't function properly. Seriously, what the heck is wrong with society. A smaller waist is not worth that. Ok, on that note, I'm not criticizing wanting to look good. I get it, I want to be a sexy mama as well. So, I'm not saying, don't have the goal, I just want you to be safe on how you go about achieving it. Quick fixes often leave people worse down the road. So, let me or an awesome wellness person in your area, safely get you a smaller, stronger waist, if that's what you're going for. Unfortunately, in life, there are no easy fixes. Changing the body take time, commitment and work, but if you're willing to put in the effort, you can get results. And don't even get me started on exercising with this thing on! I'll save that topic for another day.