Waist Case Scenario: My Weeks With a Waist Trainer

I imagine that once you read the above title, any shred of respect you had for me as a blogger went completely out the window. Alas, I’m a human and the human desire to try absurd fitness trends proved to be too strong for my weak, weak mind.

For the last two and a half weeks I have been going about my days in general discomfort and perfect posture thanks to a special bit of fabric strapped to my body.

Now let me preface all this by saying that it should be very clear to everyone that I’m not here to push some sort of skinny agenda, nor am I here to bring up the finer points of body shaming. I’m here to share an experience — one that it turns out a lot of women are enduring in secret.

I discovered, after starting my waist training and telling a few friends about it, that many of them were doing it as well or had plans to start. Most of them were too embarrassed to say anything or even utter the words because of the negative backlash; a sentiment I understood the first time someone made jokes about what I was doing.

Before squeezing into the waist trainer, I took some measurements and discovered I had a 31 inch waist and weigh approximately one hundred and none of your business pounds. These numbers are pretty average for a person of my height and age. I took these numbers down so I’d be able to monitor progress and see if this trend actually does what it claims.

The first thing I learned about WT is that they’re not all the same. There is a world of different kinds of trainers with different fabrics and linings, different torso lengths, and some of them even have different skinniness targets entirely. One trainer I came across looked like a jumpsuit for wrestlers but on the back side half of the butt was wide open because it was meant to lift and separate the buns. That one was scary. Can you imagine having to take that off when you really have to pee?

Nevertheless the one I started using was simple and black with two “levels.” Levels basically have to do with how tight the whole thing is going to fit.

Clipping the trainer into place for the first time left me with a mixed bag of feelings. For one, I felt as if with every clip I was squeezing out all the self love and positive thinking I had harvested this year and replacing it with a black fabric of socially acceptable beauty norms. On the other hand, I felt pretty damn cool.

On that very first day I didn’t obey the instructions and immediately wore the trainer on its level 2 tightness and then ran straight to my local gym. Now would be the best time to call me stupid. I’ll wait…

I felt like I was dying! It was as if I wasn’t getting enough air and the air I was getting was thick and oxygen deprived. But instead of stopping to rest I continued my workout of stupidity and went until I felt my legs were going to give out. Because that’s how fitness works right?

Removing the trainer for the first time is something that I would liken to the first time I stepped into a mosque. Everything was quiet and relaxed and I’d wondered if by this singular act my problems were now all gone.

Wow, even I have to admit that’s a little dramatic. But it’s still true. Because I observe hijab, I had overheated and over exerted myself at the gym and my water intake for the entire day was below the healthy requirement. I wasn’t going to let any of that stop me though!

Over the next few days I did extensive research on YouTube about the best ways to deal with my new fitness accessory. I even read the instructions and warnings that came with the trainer. Since I’m generally lazy, I wore the trainer to work every other day as opposed to every day. I picked up my exercise routine slightly at home (I haven’t been back to my local gym since the first attempt) and I even spent some time watching what I ate.

But all of that just added to how cranky I was feeling. The trainer wasn’t just squeezing my stomach fat, it was squeezing my will to be nice. I couldn’t sit still because I was constantly trying to find a position in which the trainer wasn’t poking at me or folding into my clothing. I couldn’t slouch at all, which is something I do constantly. When eating I got fuller faster, and worst of all, I was constantly hot.

All that negativity aside, results don’t lie. After a week and a half of consistent use and mild exercise, my waistline measured 28.5 inches. My posture is still proper even when not wearing a trainer and I even managed to curve my cranky attitude (not by much). Now, I can say that I quite like wearing the trainer. It has become something of my Batsuit.

While the trainer is certainly not a miracle product as some would have you believe, I did develop a fondness for it. But this fondness does not extend past myself. It’s not something we need to put on our must buy lists. It’s not a necessary discomfort to endure. Before trying this, really think about your reasoning. And if the reasoning isn’t sound then don’t do it. The world will still turn no matter how large or small your midsection is.