Are Waist Trainers A Gimmick, or a Useful Tool for Weight Loss?
Our bodies change where we store fat as we age.
If you are over 35 and trying to lose weight, you probably have found yourself complaining about how much harder it is to lose weight around your “middle”. Most women find that their bodies change after having a baby, or after their hormones start getting all jacked up (which obviously happens after a baby but can also happen with being on The Pill and/or being on a lot of antibiotics and/or being exposed to a lot of toxic ingredients- all true for me – minus having a kid) and suddenly the areas where they gain weight or store fat- change. It certainly happened to me. I used to – when I was younger – store fat on my upper thighs, my butt and my boobs. I always had a very flat stomach and small waist. After my hormones starting shifting in perimenopause, I slowly noticed a shift happening. I was getting thicker in my middle. It’s like my whole core region- from front to back, became the Storage Facility for fat. Home base. And what made it all more frustrating is that I never gained weight in a obvious manner where I had fat rolls around my middle. It was more like the paper towel analogy you may have heard– I just got thicker vs. having big areas of fat ROLLS. Does it matter? Not sure. Either way, my body makeup changed and the way I lost weight changed.
As we age, the way we gain weight changes.
In addition to where I stored fat, the way I gained fat changed. It used to be that when I was younger, I would gain weight all in one area, very noticeable to me, and then it was like a red alert to go diet. Now that I’m older – my body spreads the fat out all over. I don’t just gain in my thighs or my butt or my tummy — it’s everywhere. So in some cases, this might be viewed as a benefit– I don’t get a big huge tummy with rolls of fat. I don’t look like Santa Claus. I get curvier and just slightly bigger everywhere. The truth is even at my heaviest weights over the past 10 years, most people don’t see me as someone who needs to lose weight. That can be a blessing or a curse, I view it as a curse.
Why? Because the weight creeping on is insidious. It’s easy when one is in an “on the bench” season (I’ve had several over the past few years- one when I had adrenal burnout and was following the wrong advice of a dietitian for 7 months, the other was most recently – the end of 2019-January 2020 when I was having chronic headaches and migraines for 7+ months and couldn’t work out hardly at all) to not notice you are gaining fat when you don’t SEE it in the typical areas. When you are in a slump or on the bench you are typically not wearing your workout clothes daily- so you won’t know how tight they’ve become. I could go on an on about this but you get the point. As we get older, and before we become intentionally focused and always in tune with our bodies to keep them fit and healthy– we can be gaining fat and not necessarily realizing it until we hit a HOLY HECK WHAT HAPPENED moment.
Why Being Reminded Daily of Where You Are Is the Best Motivator For Weight Loss.
This is my opinion. This whole post, well this whole blog is my opinion. I’m NOT writing this blog to say I am 100% right or that my way is the only way. I’m sharing what I’m doing and why it’s HELPING ME. You might totally disagree and I respect that. But I want to be clear before I give the details on why I’m using the waist trainer.
In my opinion, part of why any of us- men or women- get in a slump is that we’ve gotten out of touch with the state of our bodies. Bear with me. If you are the average American working 60 hours a week- and you haven’t been really working out or focused on weight loss or fitness– OR if you have fallen off the wagon for a while– you tend to dress in comfortable clothes. You naturally avoid wearing things that are too tight. You stay where you are comfortable and avoid confronting what troubles you. Think about it- how many times do average people stand naked in the mirror? Not much.
When I recently “came off the bench” in mid-February- finally able to work out again after being benched for 7+ months, I had to take it slow with my workouts to break back into it. I was self-aware enough to know- girl, you’ve been unable to work out for this long you are not going to be as strong, as cardio capable, and you’ve gained some fat and lost muscle-– accept that. I did. I was not hard on myself.
Well, as I progressed and leveled up a LITTLE BIT each week, I found myself getting into a groove. And with each week I added back in a lot of things I hadn’t been able to do in a while. It was like being reunited with an old friend, again and again. One of those things recently was cardio. I’d been avoiding cardio – a lot- for years- based on listening to stupid myths about “cardio is bad” and listening to some bad advice that cardio is bad for adrenal fatigue etc. I’m currently doing a workout program that I LOVE that focuses on heavy LIFTing 4x a week and then I do whatever cardio I want the other days. Then I started adding 20-30 minutes of HIIT training prior to my LIFT sessions since the LIFT sessions are typically only 35 minutes max. All this cardio was like a GIFT to me. You see, I LOVE a sweaty cardio session. I had missed it!! And so as I had a sweaty cardio sesh one day I remembered how I used to use this product Sweet Sweat– I think Valerie Waters told me about it. You apply this stuff to your skin around your core- and I add it to my arms and chest- and you sweat like a monster beast!! I LOVE IT!! So I ordered some. And they were out of stock on the waist wrap trainer that is ideal to use with it, so Ms. Impatient Me ordered one from a different brand. Here’s the deal- I know from experience when you apply the SS on your core and use their waist trainer belt, you sweat- and it’s pretty awesome when you take the belt off you can SEE a rainforest of sweat on the inside. The different brand belt I bought linked above – it more absorbs the sweat so you don’t see it as much. I didn’t care for that so I went back and ordered the Sweet Sweat waist trainer that I’ve used previously. It’s supposed to arrive later this week.
Why do I love using Sweet Sweat and the Waist Trainer for workouts?
Ok so here is why I love this situation. First- as I mentioned above, it’s a personal preference for me that I LOVE to break a massive sweat during a workout. That’s the first reason I love the Sweet Sweat situation. Secondly, when you add their waist trainer or use theirs and/or another brand, here’s what happens that takes my fitness/diet/fat loss game up a notch. When you slather your core with the Sweet Sweat every day- you are acutely aware of the extra fat on your core. It’s a visceral reminder daily of “girl, you can get rid of this stuff”— it’s a reminder to your brain as you rub on the Sweet Sweat. It’s when we wear baggy clothes and avoid seeing our bodies that it’s easier to stay on the bench. That’s my opinion.
Why else do we freak out when it’s spring break time? Because we know we can’t hide!
Anyway- then you add a waist trainer- to whatever degree you put a waist thing with any level of tightness around your core- if you have fat around your core– you’ll be aware. The waist trainer will only zip or velcro or buckle up so far. And– it’s a bit unpleasant at first but you’ll probably see some fat at the top of your waist trainer and/or below it. For me, this is a visual and physical PUSH for me daily- it’s accountability to the max —I’m telling you people — whenever I’ve been off my game it’s because for whatever reason– either I’m not weighing and measuring myself or not working out- or maybe I’ve been sick- whatever the reason- if you are not physically in tune and confronting your body as it is now– it’s easy to take it easy. Ever since I took things up a notch and added the Sweet Sweat and the waist trainer situation back in — I am working out harder, I want that waist trainer belt to be able to be tighter and have the fat above it NOT THERE ANYMORE. I also love how that tight feeling around my core – well it helps my back when I train. The belt on makes me feel how I want my core to be naturally- tight and hard and strong. It’s daily motivation.
So this is why I love and swear by this combo. It’s not because I think I will cinch my waist and make it transform to Scarlett O’Hara size. Not at all. For me it’s a spotlight on my target zone. It’s a spotlight on my goals. It enhances my workouts and I am OBSESSED AND ON FIRE because of it.
So- what do you think? Remember, I’m not here to tell you what to do but to share why this is helping me in a big way. If you want to go for it GET YOURSELF SOME SWEET SWEAT and a waist trainer baby!! PS- I also had no idea until I ordered this stuff that Sports Research the company that makes SS also makes a ton of quality supplements– I ordered this collagen– it’s like 1/3 of the price of the Vital Proteins stuff I was ordering previously and it’s amazing. Check out all the great reviews on Amazon! FYI.
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